I think most churches nowadays would agree the Holy Spirit is a component of the Trinity as well as the Advocate Jesus left behind when he ascended back into heaven after his resurrection. However, the interpretation of how the Holy Spirit interacts with believers has been a subject of high debate. Does the Holy Spirit still speak to us today aside from the Word of God? If he does, why doesn’t he speak to every person in the same way?
At the end of the day this conversation is of minute importance; I might even say we are missing the point in trying to figure out how others ought to hear from God.
What is of utmost importance is if we are allowing ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
What does it mean to be led by the Spirit?
Charismatic followers of Jesus will declare openly that the Holy Spirit speaks to them in very specific ways. This may include specific encouragements, exhortations, and even timely initiatives to share the Gospel with non-believers in their everyday lives. The Holy Spirit moves with the emotional volatility that comes with the day to day routine.
On the other side of the spectrum, conservative followers of Jesus will view the Holy Spirit as simply a guide as apart of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit is not necessarily active in the day to day, but should be acknowledged as a being that is holy and divinely appointed by God. The Holy Spirit is seen as a consistent Advocate that is unchanging.
Perhaps these are two pieces of an incomplete puzzle. There are most definitely truths found in both of these views, but why do they differ so much?
The resolve in unclear, but the path to following Christ and being led by the Holy Spirit are clear. Above denominations, personalities, and propensities is affirmative Scripture that lays out exactly how we ought to be led by the Holy Spirit.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God […] Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
If we are to be led by the Spirit it is to walk in the belief that we are adopted in sonship by the living God; we also ought to see ourselves as co-heirs with Christ and share in the sufferings of Christ.
Ultimately, being led by the Spirit is to walk as children of God that joyfully partake in the sufferings that come along with following Christ. As we follow Christ we embrace and seek out suffering with the conditional reality that the suffering has been amended by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.