A Different Kind of LeadingJune 10, 2018
And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us…. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
— Matthew 9:27,29
Today I want to further highlight Jesus’ own supernatural partnership with the Holy Spirit. It’s so important to grasp the fact that Jesus depended entirely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance during His earthly ministry as He preached and performed miracles throughout the land. And with that in mind, let’s focus in on this truth: Everything Jesus did in His earthly ministry worked! Every single sick person He laid hands on was healed. Every demon He cast out of a possessed person left for good. Even the dead rose to His command! His rate of success was 100 percent.
What was the key to Jesus’ success? Just this: He never took action unless He knew the Father through His Spirit was leading Him to do so. Jesus never attempted to heal a sick person, cast out a demon, or raise the dead without first knowing that He was doing what He saw the Father do (see John 5:19).
An interesting example of Jesus’ spiritual partnership with the Holy Spirit can be found in the account of the two blind beggars in Matthew 9:27-31. As it is related in this passage, two beggars heard Jesus walking by them and began to cry out to Him for healing. However, instead of stopping to heal them, Jesus continued on His way without even acknowledging their presence. As a result, verse 27 states they “…followed him, crying and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.” Even though they were blind and couldn’t see where they were going, these beggars were determined to follow Jesus until they got His attention, and the Bible says they were “crying.” This word “crying” is the Greek word kradzo, which means to scream, to yell, to exclaim, or to cry out. In other words, the two blind beggars were exerting every ounce of their hearts and their efforts into using their mouths to make a sound that would cause Jesus to turn His attention on them so they get Jesus’ attention!
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Think about this situation for a moment. It is a very unusual depiction of Jesus. There were two blind men who desperately wanted to be healed and were crying out to get Jesus’ attention. Yet instead of stopping to help them, Jesus just continued on His way as though they weren’t even there. Still they pursued Him relentlessly. Groping along in their darkness, the blind men screamed, yelled, and cried out at the top of their lungs: “Have mercy on us! Have mercy on us! Have mercy on us!” There was no way that Jesus didn’t hear their cries, but He didn’t stop to acknowledge their existence.
In Matthew 9:28, we see that these blind beggars followed Him all the way to the house where He was staying and continued to cry out, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” Finally, Jesus came outside and addressed them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” They answered, “Yea, Lord.” Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith be it unto you,” and their eyes were immediately opened (v. 30).
Although this passage of Scripture relates the story of a mighty healing miracle, it perplexed me for many years. Why didn’t Jesus acknowledge them? Why didn’t He immediately turn to heal them when He learned of their blind condition? What were the reasons behind His hesitation?
After meditating on this subject, I came to a realization. The only answer possible is that Jesus evidently did not sense the leading of the Holy Spirit in that moment to restore sight to those men. Otherwise, He would have stopped to do it, because as Jesus stated in John 5:19, He did only whatever He saw the Father do, regardless of His own inclinations. The good news is that those men were able to use their own faith to be healed, anyway, and their sight was miraculously restored. In fact, it is almost as if Jesus told them, “You are going to have to receive this on your own. Be it unto you according to your own faith.”
Usually we think of the Holy Spirit leading us to do something; however, in the case of the two blind beggars, Jesus was led to do nothing. If He had been led to heal them, He would have healed them immediately, just as He had done on countless other instances.
So often we get caught up in following our own plans and miss out entirely on what the Holy Spirit is attempting to do and say through us. We get the ball rolling on a project, and then after our program is already well underway, we pray and ask God to bless what we have initiated — assuming it was His will in the first place. No wonder we often have such poor results! We must learn to let the Holy Spirit lead us just as He led Jesus.
If the Holy Spirit leads us to action, we should act — but if there is no leading, we should do nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do! I can think of many instances when I saw something that was a good idea — something I thought someone should do — but I felt no unction to do it, and knew I would be wrong if I did it. In those cases, someone else had to use his or her faith to get it done, and ultimately that task was completed — but by someone else, not me.
I’m sure that when Jesus first saw those two blind beggars, He felt tugged by compassion to immediately reach out and heal them. However, He did only what He saw the Father doing, and He initiated nothing without first being led by the Holy Spirit. That is why His success rate was 100 percent!
Instead of jumping into action every time you see a need, learn to put on the brakes, stop yourself for a moment, and wait until the Holy Spirit speaks clearly to your heart. It may seem as though this way of doing things takes longer, but the end results will be far more rewarding and long-lasting if you adopt Jesus’ approach and rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than just going with your own preplanned program. You’ll find that your success rate will increase dramatically!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I ask You to help me learn to be keenly sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit — paying attention not just to when I should take action, but also to when I should do nothing. I’ve never thought about the Holy Spirit leading me to do nothing, but I can see that sometimes it is not His will for me to take action because He wants to work in a different way, at a different time, or through someone else. I admit that I’ve often assumed I knew what the Holy Spirit wanted me to do and then acted presumptuously without even praying. Now I under- stand why my success rate has not been as high as I desire. Help me be like Jesus — taking action only when the Holy Spirit is leading.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am led by the Holy Spirit and that I refuse to jump into action simply because I see something that needs to be done or because I am aware of a need that should be met. I put on the brakes; I listen; and I wait for the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart. Because I take action when He speaks to me and I do exactly what He tells me to do, I experience His supernatural power and supernatural results in my life. I confess that I will endeavor to do things the way Jesus did — doing only what He knew was being initiated by the Father and the Holy Spirit!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of an instance when you assumed you were supposed to take action, but in actuality, the Holy Spirit had not led you to do anything at all?
- Can you recall other times in the four gospels when Jesus didn’t heal someone? What do you learn about being led by the Holy Spirit by studying those examples?
- Have you ever done something out of compulsion? Perhaps you thought this task needed to be done and it cost you a lot, but ultimately it produced no results. As you look back on that experience, what did you learn from it?