(J.C. Ryle, “Heirs of God” 1878)
“As many as are led by the Spirit of God–they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14
All true Christians are under the leading and teaching of a power which is Almighty, though unseen–even the power of the Holy Spirit. They no longer turn to their own way, and walk in the light of their own eyes, and follow their own natural heart’s desire. The Spirit leads them. The Spirit guides them. There is a movement in their hearts, lives, and affections, which they feel–though they may not be able to explain; and a movement which is always more or less in the same direction.
They are all led . . .
away from sin,
away from self-righteousness,
away from the world!
This is the road by which the Spirit leads God’s children.
Those whom God adopts as His children–He teaches and train
He shows them their own hearts.
He makes them weary of their own ways.
They are all led to Christ.
They are all led to the Bible.
They are all led to prayer.
They are all led to holiness.
This is the beaten path along which the Spirit makes them to travel.
Those whom God adopts–He always sanctifies.
He makes sin very bitter to them.
He makes holiness very sweet.
When they are taken into the wilderness, and taught to see their own emptiness–it is the leading of the Spirit.
It is He who leads them to Mount Sinai, and first shows them the law–that their hearts may be broken.
It is He who leads them to Mount Calvary, and shows them the cross–that their hearts may be bound up and healed.
It is He who leads them to Mount Pisgah, and gives them distinct views of the promised land–that their hearts may be cheered.
Each and all of God’s children is the subject of these leadings.
Each and all is led by the right way, to bring him to a city of habitation.
Settle this down in your heart, and do not let it go: the children of God are a people “led by the Spirit of God,” and always led more or less in the same way. Their experience will tally wonderfully when they compare notes in Heaven.
“I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Proverbs 4:11
“In your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed.
In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13