12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Romans chapter 12, verses 12 thru 14; from the New Living Translation; emphasis mine)

God’s grace is always amazing and mind-blowing! Not only does He love me, He saw fit to let me grow up in the South; where life moves at a different pace. I was blessed to be surrounded by people with a lot of common sense. I’m not saying you can’t find that North of the Mason-Dixon Line–I’m just talking about where I grew up. There are lots of colloquialisms, one of which being, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Simple meaning: Everyone has a choice. It’s their’s to make or not make.

And that got me to thinking this morning about Romans chapter 8; specifically verse 14: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. As a child I remember playing the game Follow The Leader. If you don’t know about this game, you had a deprived childhood; Google it if you need to. And just about everyone wanted to be the leader. And that childhood desire to be The Leader continues on into adulthood. Uh, Houston, we have a problem.

The chaos in culture, politics, and yes, even the church, is the result of either US wanting to be the leader, or worse, following the wrong leader. Let me speak now about the church. There is only one “Leader” to follow when it comes to the church. And that’s the Holy Spirit! Reality Time: We are all being led by something or someone! And we choose that Leader. Not heredity. Not politics. Not culture. Not our circumstances. Nothing chooses who we follow but WE!

Did you notice the first word in Verse 12: Therefore! It’s the word that speaks about consequences! And in chapter 8, it’s about being justified (made right with God) by faith in Jesus and what He did for us in His life, death, and Resurrection. And Paul writes in Verse 2: “And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Yet so many today want to think, nay, even BELIEVE, that are now free to live the way they want to or feel like.

To be a son or daughter of God, there’s only one way–be led by The Holy Spirit. And always, always, ALWAYS remember that The Holy Spirit will never lead us outside the boundaries of The Bible. And for my fellow Tribal Members of the United Methodist Church, I urge you to follow the lead of The Holy Spirit. Don’t leave the UMC just because many of our leaders aren’t following The Holy Spirit. Follow that same Holy Spirit that they are not following! Disaffiliation is your opportunity to put the Holy Spirit right back where He belongs–out front and leading us! And remember that childhood game of Following The Leader: you do what He tells you to do, say what He tells you to say, and go where HE is the one out front! The Holy Spirit will always lead you to The Truth! But He won’t make you drink. That, my friends, is your choice!


  1. Your post here reveals that you have the heart of a shepherd. This past year, I’ve been part of an ecumenical Wednesday night mens Bible study composed of mainly leadership from various local churches. We’ve been going through Francis Chan’s “Letters to the Church “ book. The book challenges us to examine how we understand and “do church “, whether by God’s ways or the traditions of men. Along the way, we discussed how hard it is to implement change, even when it would be more Biblical to do so. I’ve come to believe that in contrast to Jesus’s command to be the light of the world, the churches here in America are mostly enlightened by the surrounding culture. Implementing change is impossible unless the Holy Spirit transforms one’s heart. The GMC will be the UMC 2.0 unless folks are willing to step out of their comfort zones and yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Several years ago a pastor named Ralph Neighbors wrote a book entitled “ The seven last words of the church, we never did it that way before .” Our current situation reminds me of Judges 21:25,”In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”

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