Charisma Magazine

Choosing a Path Different from the World’s

Written by Stephen Strang

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We live in a world where evil is called good and good is called evil. Right is considered wrong, and wrong is considered right. Everything is being turned inside out and upside down. But if you have a personal relationship with God and are being led by His Spirit, you can stand strong and thrive, even in an upside-down world.

What do I mean when I say we can be led by the Holy Spirit? Spirit-led living is following a different path from what the world says you should pursue. It is boldly stepping into the future without fear, knowing who you are in Christ and having confidence that the Holy Spirit within you is greater than anything you face in this world. It is knowing God intimately, which results in learning to hear His voice. Spirit-led living is following God’s leading so you can fulfill every bit of potential He has designed for your life. And Spirit-led living is the peace of knowing that no matter what following Him costs, it will be worth it.

Living in the Spirit isn’t easy, but it’s not something we must accomplish by ourselves. The Holy Spirit fuels us by His power. He gives us spiritual gifts that enable us to gain victory in life and minister to the world. And as we surrender to Him, His fruit becomes more and more evident in our lives.

I do not want to do anything without the presence of the Holy Spirit. Living a Spirit-led life is the key to moving forward successfully in this upside-down world and accessing the fulfilling life God has planned for us.

If I were addressing a group of young people eager to progress in life and the things of the Spirit, I would explain that when I say “Spirit led,” I’m not speaking of mere human intuition or gut instinct. Mood, diet and even hormones can influence these natural, sometimes helpful, prompts. This makes them undependable at best, and they may even be misleading. Rather, being Spirit led is being guided by the Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity, the navigator abiding within the core of the born-again believer.

When we give the Holy Spirit full rein in our lives, He transforms us. You may ask, “How do I become a person who is led by the Holy Spirit?” It starts with getting to know the Holy Spirit the same way you would get to know a friend. Think of your relationships with friends or your spouse. How did you get to know them? By spending time and talking with them. To get to know the Holy Spirit, you spend quiet time waiting for Him to communicate with you in your spirit. He desires to commune with you and to lead and guide you in all things.

Being led by the Spirit isn’t something we do passively; it’s a conscious decision we make to be different from a world that thinks those who live according to the Bible are backward and out of step. It’s a choice to trust God’s Word and stand against the woke culture that rejects what Scripture says about marriage, sexuality and even gender. It means staying married and raising your kids according to biblical values, and having integrity in all your relationships, both personal and professional. It means speaking up on moral issues and not just going with the flow. And it means realizing that reaching others for Christ is our main responsibility.

Being led by the Spirit isn’t a matter of being conservative, and it’s not a political position. I use those examples to convey that when we live by the power of the Holy Spirit, we don’t just go along to get along. We live a different way.

Decades ago the culture at least had a facade of religiosity. It was good for business to go to the right church and make people think you were a good person. Of course, there was a lot of hypocrisy, and Christianity in those days was very shallow. But today the tide has turned. It’s not easy to walk a different way when the culture not only doesn’t support Christianity but pulls us away from God instead of toward Him.

This happens in every aspect of life—entertainment, education, government and business, where there are so many ways to compromise and be dishonest. The family is being shattered, and even the church is becoming more and more reprobate. Even some evangelical churches are pushing ungodly woke doctrines such as critical race theory and gender fluidity, even though the Bible clearly says God created us male and female.

How do we not only survive but thrive in such an upside-down world? It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit, but first we must get to know who the Holy Spirit is as well as what the Bible says about His power, His gifts and the fruit of walking with Him.

Stephen Strang has seen major changes in the church, the culture and technology since he founded Charisma magazine in 1975. In addition to being CEO of Charisma Media, he hosts a Strang Report podcast live on YouTube and Rumble at 4 p.m. EST every Tuesday and Thursday.  His important new book Spirit-Led Living in an Upside-World is available wherever fine Christian books are sold. You can get a copy signed by the author online at

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