This time of year commencement speakers and valedictorians from sea to shining sea are encouraging graduates to follow their hearts. That is just about the worst advice anyone could possibly give.  The best advice they could give would be to follow Jesus (and I don’t mean on Instagram) and to be led by the Spirit.

Jesus said in his sermon on the mount that there are two gates and two roads.  One is broad and there are many who take that route. Jesus said this way leads to destruction. The other one is narrow, and few travel that path. Jesus said this way leads to Life.

The broad road is the way most traveled these days; especially graduates who take the speakers advice, Following their hearts, believing their dreams can come true.  The narrow road is for those who choose to follow Jesus and be led by the Spirit.

I have been studying Romans 8 lately. The apostle Paul writes about the way of the Spirit and the way of the flesh (flesh being the natural desires of the heart). The life governed by the Spirit and the life governed by the flesh. Living in the realm of the Spirit and living in the realm of the flesh. The life led by the desires of the flesh and the life led by the Spirit.

His conclusion – Those who live their lives according to the flesh are under condemnation and spiritual death.  Those who are led by the Spirit are children of God.

The road in the photo above is of a typical road in the remote regions of Oaxaca, Mexico. This road links little pueblos or towns together. Often there is no public transportation and people must walk many miles on these roads if they wish to visit or do business with people in these communities.

I have walked many a weary mile on roads like this with Pastor Edgar.  Pastor Edgar started over a dozen churches in distant, isolated villages in the rugged mountains of Amoltepec, Oaxaca.

There was a time in his life when he had to make a decision of whether to follow his heart or be led by the Spirit. He was married with two young children, one who suffered with physical health issues. He was working in a church in a big city, doing alright for himself, following his dream of being a successful pastor with a big church.

But then the Holy Spirit intruded. He was made aware of a region of Oaxaca, out in the middle of nowhere, with no churches, with no gospel presence, where some had never heard of the love of God or the message of Christ. He had a big decision to make. Would he be led by the Spirit and uproot his family from the city and move to the wilderness of Amoltepec, or follow his heart and continue to live his dream in the comfort of the city.

He chose to be led by the Spirit. Was it easy? No! There were no doctors to treat his son when he suffered and he almost died. They called out to that same Spirit who had called him, and his son was healed!  Edgar himself almost died when he was hit by a car, and still suffers terrible leg pain to this day. He was almost murdered by a group of men who did not want any part of the gospel being preached in their community.

So was it worth it? He would definitely say yes, thinking of all the churches he started and all the souls that said Yes to Jesus and No to the World, the Flesh and the Devil. Brothers and sisters in Christ who now have a peace that surpasses all understanding, a glorious inheritance in God to look forward to, and are no longer slaves to fear. Something they would not have if it were not for Pastor Edgar being led by the Spirit.

So, to all those graduates being encouraged to follow their hearts, I say, “Be led by the Spirit. Become a child of God. Delight in God and he will give you the desires of your heart!”

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