African female doctor pointing at x-rays on computer screenThis past Sunday, Luke guided us through the history of Apollos in Acts 18:24-28. Apollos, though he was a competent and eloquent man, knew he needed directions and was willing to take them when offered. John the Baptist, Aquila, Priscilla and most importantly the Holy Spirit (John 16:12) acted as Apollos’ guides as he sought to go further along on the “way of God” (Acts 18:25; cf. Deuteronomy 30:16; 32:4). Apollos eventually ended up becoming a guide to others in Corinth, others who like him had “through grace believed.”

Unfortunately, where Apollos succeeded, the Corinthians failed. They began to focus on their great teacher Apollos and not on the Kingdom of God into which he was pointing them. Although it was not Apollos’ intention for them, the Corinthians treated their guide like a poster, not a pointer. They started dividing over who their favorite Christian pop-star was: Apollos or Paul or Peter or Christ (see 1 Corinthians 1). They were unable to progress further into the Kingdom of Christ because they were not following the directions of their guides. Instead they were only moving further into the kingdom of this world, where the cult of personality holds sway.

The normal way that God guides his people is through providing Spirit-led guides for us. Just like Apollos, we must trustingly submit to the authority of others in order to proceed further into God’s kingdom.

Questions for Conversation

–       When you are seeking to know God’s will, how do you expect to come to know what his will is?

–       Do you believe that God expects us to look to others for his guidance?

–       How do you decide who’s the right person to ask for wisdom? What gives them the authority to guide you well?

–       Have you fallen into the trap of treating guides like posters rather than pointers?

–       How do you see the necessity of Spirit-guided teachers in 1 John 4:6?