This post was developed from a conversation on Facebook about what is more expedient; listening to the Holy Spirit or to men (led by the Holy Spirit?). Below was my attempt at a response. Comments are welcome.
The Holy Spirit lives in people and does His work there. It can also be said we live in the Holy Spirit. (In Him we live and move and have our being).
Acts 17: 26He made also of one blood every nation of men, to dwell upon all the face of the earth — having ordained times before appointed, and the bounds of their dwellings —
27 to seek the Lord, if perhaps they did feel after Him and find, — though, indeed, He is not far from each one of us,
28 for in Him we live, and move, and are; as also certain of your poets have said: For of Him also we are offspring.
In fact, there are given many gifts to the body of the Lord so that there would be a mutual growth in the church. A mutual growth. Romans 12 speaks of this, even 1 Cor 12 speaks of this. In Ephesians 4 it teaches some were given to teach, some to establish, some to testify of Christ in prophecy etc.
The Spirit was/is at work in all.
Romans 12: 4 for as in one body we have many members, and all the members have not the same office,
5 so we, the many, one body are in Christ, and members each one of one another.
6 And having gifts, different according to the grace that was given to us;
The crucial thing here is we are the body of Christ. He is the HEAD of the body. It is so crucial that we understand the HEADSHIP of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Many people have gifts and many LORD IT OVER others maybe because they have superior understanding or gifts or whatever it is, yet that is not the way it should be.
Ephesians 5:23 … as also the Christ [is] head of the assembly, and he is saviour of the body,
24 but even as the assembly is subject to Christ…
The body of Christ is that – a body – Christ with the MIND, the one sending healings, or information, or discernment to the whole body and then we with the gifts enrich the entire body (Not that some are more important than others, as it is even written “on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty”.)
I would hate to use a bad image to explain the Holy Spirit, but maybe this makes sense… blood in a body flows from each area to distribute oxygen and remove poisons. In a way, He is like this. He connects all of us together, testifying of Christ in all of us, in that we agree when we all have the true testimony of Jesus.
It’s an interesting question you raise. I can say though, the Holy Spirit empowers all of us for the work of enriching each other. So, it is hard to be in isolation to “follow the Spirit”.
If you mean that it is better to follow your “knowledge of the Lord” than another one’s knowledge, it is still worth having a conversation about. When we know the Spirit and whom He testifies of, we can easily identify when another brother is speaking a lie or speaking ignorantly. Otherwise, usually we should all know the same thing.
In growth, faithful servants do share their knowledge of God and expose us to the school of Christ. They always point to Christ, the source, not themselves. This is very important. Paul, Peter, name them, served this way. Pointing to the LIFE.
In their faithful teaching indeed the Lord teaches/taught each of us individually and testifies of Himself. In that we all can agree on Him (notice I say Him and not things).
Col 1:17 and himself is before all, and the all things in him have consisted.
May the Lord draw our hearts to Himself, who is true and right. I feel that is what the question is asking. May He make us able to receive Him. Some may preach lies and we may believe, that may be our worry. Not all are deceiving though, many are testifying of Him who is our life, and somehow our hearts will agree when we meet these people.
All scripture is from Young’s Literal Translation.