UCAN sharing: God’s wind
Scripture: Gal 5:25
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”Jn 3:8
No one knows wind better than a sailor. To say that a sailboat uses wind seems obvious but to a person who sails they understand that wind comes in different forms. Some wind agrees with you and drives the boat well but other wind can be against you such as a storm or worse no wind, such as in the doldrums. Spiritually speaking our walk with God can be liken to a sailing a ship. When we allow God to direct our course we find good winds and we can weather any storm. But if we take control and start making the decisions in our lives we may find ourselves shipwrecked or sitting in the doldrums, which means we are overcome by our troubles or we have been so cold to God’s love that we are not hearing and listening any more to Him. The best scenario is to have your sailboat catching the right wind, heading in the right direction, at the right speed and making way towards the right destination. For this each of us has to learn to listen and obey so that God’s wind is always ours.
Today with the advent of engines sailing is mostly recreational. Gone are the days of tall ships plying the seas racing to bring their cargo to port first. Despite this we can all relate to a sailboats dependency on wind. What we may not see is how complicated the balance of wind, speed and navigating can be when one is dependent on wind. It is the same for many Christians. We take our carnal lives as indicators of our spiritual condition. If all things are well in this life it must mean that all is well in my spiritual life too. This is
not so as one can have a great carnal life but be lost in their spiritual life. The reason so many us of make this connection is we think carnally not spiritually. We lack knowledge and experience of God’s wind, The Holy Spirit.
For a sailboat going from A to B the travel is rarely a straight line. The direction of the travel is determined by the wind. If it is contrary then travel can be challenging requiring a zigzagging motion to gain power. But when the wind is behind us the ship can move at full speed and full sails. The sailor can’t control the wind but follows where it leads. In a similar way Christians are called to follow and not live independently of the Holy Spirit. Since God knows the best course for our lives no matter what we face he can lead us
through the worst and ensure that we are always sailing at our best. For this to work all on board have to trust and believe in the leader. When it is God there can be no failure no matter how things look. Examine the time Jesus sent the disciples out in a boat and he went up to pray. They get caught in a terrible storm where the wind was against them (Mk 6:48). Here are experienced sailors and they are stressing out as they fight the wind. But God has no problems with wind; Jesus walked out to show them who he was then
he got in to the boat and the wind stopped. We fail to grasp how mighty God is and how weak we are and as a result we strain against wind we can’t overcome.
The idea of wind is used in several ways in the bible. Often time is seen as storm with fierce power that threatens us. These are life’s problems like illness, death and financial troubles that seem so big that they will swallow us up. All of us are familiar with these and we run for shelter when the storm comes.
But there are other winds that we often fail to notice. Apathy is an attitude towards God of indifference. We no longer see God and the relationship with him as a priority. Perhaps we never did and as a result we have become cold and religious in our walk. We may regularly do all the things that a Christian should do but it is not motivated by love but rather a form of self-righteousness. We have stopped growing. We no longer have a passion for the things of God but rather are neutral and empty. We have made our own
decisions about life for so long that we have lost our connection with the Living God. His Holy Spirit is not leading us so we find ourselves without power to change. No change in life brings defeat. We grow hard hearted and give up. We seek alternatives that are not real. We won’t acknowledge our position and repent so we sit and keep busy but going nowhere. We have become lukewarm. The Word of God warns us that this condition is serious. In Revelation 3 God makes it clear that we can be busy doing but not be
right with Him. God sees what we do but he also sees the heart with which we do it. If it is not out of love and devotion to him we deceive ourselves and God will reject us (Rev 3:15-16, also Matt 7:21-23).
Another wind that many follow is that of the good life that follows the ways of this world. Matthew 7:13-14 describes two ways. One is easy and many will go that way. Wind is good, weather is sunny, mild and life is all about pleasure and comfort. Most people if questioned what the “good life” is would say that it is having money, a nice home, family and friends, health and a good job. It is all about here and now and it is
all about “me”. It is the highest expression of selfishness. God says that those who follow this way are heading to destruction and they are not alone. The idea here is that there is a life without hurts, pain and storms. This is a lie that far too many people choose to believe. Many a person has turn to follow pleasure only to find it brings troubles and emptiness (See Lk 15:11-32).
We can see that there are many winds that blow in a person’s life and if a person is not aware they can allow their life to travel in a way that does not bring life but takes it. But God did something about this to intervene for all who are willing to receive the wind that leads to true life. This wind every believer should know but we often ignore, He is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus hinted that it was good that he go so that the Helper would come (Jn. 16:7). He was sent to guide and convict us of sin so that we remain in Christ. But one of the key things he does is to remind us of all that Jesus said and what his teachings are (Jn 14:17, 26). The Holy Spirit helps us understand the scripture for man’s mind can’t do this no matter how many degrees or bible studies you attend (1 Cor. 2:14-15). He leads us to repentance by bringing godly sorrow for our wrongs. He also comforts us in our times of need (2 Cor. 1). You would think with all these wonderful blessings all Christians would run to be with the Spirit. But there are some requirements that many of us just are not ready to make to get all these wonderful gifts.
In Acts 2:2 God sends the Spirit on all mankind in what seemed like a wind. Jesus had told them to wait till they got baptized in Him. Wait till the wind blew through them and changed their hearts. Once that happens we have power to change and follow Jesus. But to receive this we have to totally submit and give all our life to God. He has to become the true Lord of our life not just in words but indeed as well. This requires we surrender all and be broken before Him (Matt. 21:42-44). Only in this way will man’s foolish
pride be extinguished and he be able to fully walk with the Lord. Many will try to some degree but any flesh left not killed will push to lead a person away from godliness. This is how we end up following the wrong wind (1 Tim. 4:1). The more we die to ourselves the more God can captain our vessel and lead us in the narrow way which is tough but what a blessed ride. With sails full and wind at our backs we can navigate any seas and reach the end where our Father waits to crown those who do.
Giving up this life may sound bad but living this life without God is beyond horrible; it is eternally terrible. Stop and ask God to help you yield to Him fully that His Holy Spirit may lead you to Him. Grace and mercy will abound if you fail and joy, peace and love are just a few of the fruits you can enjoy. There will be troubles but Jesus said for us to take heart he has overcome. So give up captaining your life and in all things all God to lead you through the Holy Spirit. Blessed sailing.