The Spirit is a Lamp
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord, searching every inmost part. (Proverbs 20:27)
The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (KJV)
Our culture has increasingly glorified the professional—men and women who tout studies and statistics and figures in the soft sciences, those areas of life, areas of the soul, which aren’t naturally given to hard lines. And this mindset has seeped into contemporary Christianity, transmogrifying from a straightforward message of redemption into a pseudo-intellectual self-help enterprise. Our Christian subculture has churned out heavy tomes on systematic theologies, book-sized articles with myriads of footnotes, and preaching professionals who are members of the academy.
But the mind of man is not the lamp of the Lord. His spirit is. When God called on Samuel to anoint a new king in Israel, Samuel didn't form a peer review committee, he didn't conduct lengthy interviews with Jesse's sons and mark off their leadership abilities, and he didn't put up the choice for a vote. He followed the leading of God's Spirit, which led him to anoint a boy that no professional would have ever given a second thought to being king.
God is [a] spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)
Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? (Hebrews 12:9)
God is a spirit. He communicates with our spirits, not our intellects. We may have studies and facts and figures under our arms, but they may not mean a thing. Samuel’s anointing of David might be a dramatic example, but it shows us that not all of God’s leadings are consistent with our intellectual leanings. When we meet that circumstance, like Samuel’s meeting Eliab, it’s imperative that we follow what we know to be the Spirit’s leading, and not our own thoughts and reasonings.