We often read into the expression "led by the spirit" something that is not there. Some interpret not being "led by the Spirit" to mean we are out of 1 God's will. And in one sense this is true. It is not God's will for us to operate in the flesh but in the Spirit. But being lead or 2 directed by his Spirit is not what we might think.
What does it mean to operate "in the spirit?" Is it something we must do or will to happen? Yes and no.
To "walk in the spirit" simply means we are operating under the total care and Love of the Father. And we are under his infinite care because this has been earned/secured for us by the efforts of Christ, not ours i.e. this is only possible by grace.
To be lead by the Spirit is not something we do, per se it is possible because of something that has been done for us i.e. it is a status gained by another and given to us.
Because of Christ we operate knowing we are fully loved no matter 3 what we are feeling, experiencing or doing.
So what is our role? We do play a part but our "work" or "walking" is simply choosing to believe. The call or admonition to "walk in the spirit" is a calling to believe -- and never stop believing (to remain/abide) -- we are constantly under the care of God and fully loved by him ***no matter what. The only thing we 4 "do" is believe these things to be true.
For a further Discussion on operating in the spirit click here
1 many interpret being "out of God's will" as being off the track and therefore never reaching the destiny God has set out for us. Because we missed it is now lost to us forever. However, God's will is not "vocational" but developmental. It is not to take us to a specific place but to make us like a specific person i.e. his son. To do so he uses all things i.e. all the good and bad choices and experiences we encounter in life.
For a further discussion on "being in the will of God" click here
2 Being led or directed by his spirit simply means operating in and under the influence of his love. Our call to operate this way is simply a call to believe his love set upon is nonstop i.e. endless and without interruption.
For a further discussion on the definition of terms click here
3 Even when we are sinning we are still under his love and care for God uses all things to make us more like his son i.e. He's constantly increasing our capacity to experience more of his love; he's always working in and through all things for the good.
For a discussion on all things working for good click here.
4 For a discussion on why faith is hard "work" click here.