Being Led By The Spirit, Not By (Other People’s) Bible Obsessions

April 12, 2013 — 12 Comments

It’s interesting that when Jesus walked the earth it was the children, the poor, the uneducated and the illiterate that understood Jesus the most – in contrast, it was the Scripture scholars, the experts of the Bible, with their explanations of Scripture and long drawn-out interpretations of what the written word meant who didn’t understand him at all.

In this day and age, while it is possible to cram all the Bible reading we can fit into a day, the reality is it will profit us nothing if we value it over the voice of the Holy Spirit within us. More than that, it can actually be the very thing that pulls us away from understanding the heart and ways of God.

The Pharisees spent so much time in the Scriptures they failed to actually realize the point of the Scriptures all together, making the Scriptures of zero help to them in their spiritual walk. If anything, their devotion to Scripture and their interpretations of it only pushed them to rage against the truth all the more.

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39-40

In reality, we don’t need more Bible in our life, for we are not people of the written code, but rather people of the Spirit; and as such we need more trust in the Spirit dwelling within us. For if we can first rest in this inner reality and be led by the Spirit, then when we do read Scripture, the Spirit will be able to lead us through it and show us things none of us could see by reading the Bible just as a written code.

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6

For the Bible to be of help to us, we need to see between the lines, behind the words, within the message; we need to let the Spirit show us things invisible to those who only want to read the Bible as a plain and simple written code.

Most importantly, we need to realize the Bible can become a stumbling stone to us if we allow it to be used by others to enforce their beliefs upon us. It was those who were the disciples of the Pharisees who also missed the truth of Jesus, for their ‘teachers’ had all the answers from Scripture as to why Jesus was nothing more than a blasphemer.

This is, I believe, why the Apostle John wrote to the church with this encouragement:

“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit —just as it has taught you, remain in him.” 1 John 2:27

It is interesting because John himself was writing to the church and teaching them things, yet he tells them plainly they don’t actually need any teachers, not even himself, what they need is the confidence to trust The Teacher in them, the indwelling Spirit of God. In John’s day, there were many teachers who were enforcing their doctrines and opinions on the church, most likely using Scripture as their tool to force submission to their way of thinking.

John, then, writes to remind the church that although there are God-given teachers in the body of Christ, the ones who are worth listening to are the ones who are always directing you to trust more in the indwelling Spirit within you.

We could say that the role of a teacher in the body of Christ is not to give answers, but to encourage the body of Christ to ask questions, to seek the truth for themselves, and to trust that the Spirit of Christ within to be their Teacher who will lead them, enlighten them, and draw them closer to the divine reality of God’s nature as they continue in their faith walk.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14

Remember, while the Bible can help us in our journey of faith, it is not what leads us. That role belongs to the Spirit of God within you. Take confidence as the Apostle John wrote, and trust that the anointing in you is real, not counterfeit … and follow the voice of your Good Shepherd, the guiding Spirit within you, as you venture with your indwelling Savior into all truth.

  • Dorothy

    thank you. timely post for me. also fits with what I “heard” through scripture this morning – which I read _after_ extended prayer! :)

  • Dan T.

    Amen, Brother. Great insights and enrichment. Thanks!

  • Marianne


  • graces joy 777

    yepp!!!amennnnn soooooo true , i thank u my jesus forrrr your hg in me the hope of glory an not the letter that kill,s . to much bible thompin but noooooo jesus author of it . .

  • Jim Wright


    Some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Some of us also are able to experience a daily, vibrant relationship with the Living Word, while submitting to the discipline and authority of His written Word.

    Those who don’t, seldom seem able to find or commit to the balanced maturity that results in healthy fellowships and dynamic spiritual power.

    I have found in my own life, and in the lives of those in the fellowships I’m involved with, that the Holy Spirit seems to take greater liberty in speaking to us personally when He knows we are submitted to the authority of what He’s already said in scripture. With that context, He knows we are less likely to misunderstand or misuse His personal words to us.

    Yes, the Holy Spirit speaks to us today. But He is not a liar – and will never contradict what He has already said in scripture – all of which is God breathed and thus the very Word of God. 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

    • mickmooney

      “Sigh” right back at you bro

    • Jim Wehde

      I think the title of Mick’s article tells the whole story of the problem with “Bible-over-all”.

    • Bruce R McCluggage

      Some of us can walk, chew gum AND see a need of someone lying in crisis mode in the road and NOT walk around them (like so many evangelicals do all the while contemplating how much they ‘submit to the authority of their scriptures’ and to the ‘discipline of their elders’ who tell them how much MORE they need to submit to the authority of their…ad nauseum).

    • Bart Breen

      Mick. Congrats on getting the condescending sigh from Jim Wright. I like you already. Jim lives in my area in northern Virginia and loves to speak of his “fellowships.”. He speaks for them, describes them and uses the royal we frequently. He does everything except actually name anyone or identify an actual time and place where any of them meet.

      More info about him is available at

      • Jim Wright

        Bart Breen is all in tither, and has become my own internet troll seeking out any comment I’ve ever made on any topic over the last five years, because of my work – as both an attorney and a local church leader- in helping victims of church sexual abuse. He takes offense that over the years I have confronted church leaders (including successful litigation) who he thinks are the real victims.

        It is true that our fellowships have not responded to Mr. Breen’s incessant demands that he be allowed to come visit and trash us (he started trashing us before he even asked to visit, because we confronted the history of sexual abuse by an author and self professed apostolic “worker” who was a friend of his).

        If anyone really cares about all this (and I apologize that Mr. Breen is using your forum to advance his obsession), here’s the background on his obsession:

  • Eric Leong

    I remember one pharisee who came to see Jesus at night. Seems like he was trying to understand the teachings of Jesus. It was touching to see him come after Christ died to bury him. He honored Jesus, the Word, by his actions. May Jesus continue His work of salvation in our lives :)