"Led By the Spirit of the Lord" is a song I wrote in October of 1990, during an interesting time in my spiritual journey. I had been out of college for a year and a half and had just started my second "real" job post-graduation. I was happily and heavily involved at Risen Savior Fellowship, a charismatic non-denominational, independent, tiny church in Milwaukee which I had joined about three years prior to that.
A question had formed in my soul, a niggling, a prayer, a desire. (Deliciously dangerous, these kind are.) I truly adored the worship music and more so worship experience at Risen Savior. It was truly healing, and it was the deepest thing I'd known at the time. Certainly it was deeper than my experience with liturgy in my Lutheran church before that, which had come to feel like chains holding me down. But the niggling in my soul that would not be silent said to me that we were following a formula with our worship music, too. There was a predictable progression, and what was more, it was just as possible to go through the motions in this type of worship without any deep encounter with God.
That really bothered me.
Just a short time after I wrote this song, a matter of a few months at most, I was met with the impossible situation of three friends of mine converting to the Catholic faith, which made me begin to question all sorts of things. But for the moment, this song came to me as a series of questions about what it really means to follow the Holy Spirit. What would be left when self-effort was left behind? It speaks of a hopeful sense that a real answer to these questions existed, and that I would discover it.
Musically, what I've tried to capture is that while the Holy Spirit challenges us essentially to die to our own selves and our own ideas, He leads us to the fullness of life and joy. So this is a fun song. For me this means it is in the pop style of the 1960s. As I write, it is in mid-production, but I already love the sound. One thing I am learning in this process of recording is that the gifts of so many people contribute to a real transformation of the little song I offer.