John 3:8 “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Think about the differences between a speedboat and a sailboat – one has a motor and the other doesn’t. One doesn’t need sails while the other does. One needs gasoline and the other needs wind. One can move independently of the wind, the other cannot move without the wind. One is a whole lot easier to get where you’re going, when you want to get there and how fast you want to get there – guess which one!
The speedboat (any boat with a motor) offers independence – it’s at the whim of its ‘captain’. The sailboat is dependent upon the wind. No wind – and it isn’t going anywhere. A speedboat can be driven by just about anyone, even someone who’s never been on water; just start the motor and off you go. Whether a child or an adult, if you can steer anything – from a kiddie car, go-kart, automobile – you can steer the speedboat. It’s also easier to stop!
The sailboat is different; there’s a whole lot more to learn and a lot more skill involved. But the key things are its dependency upon the wind and the ability of its ‘captain’ to read the wind and sail the boat where it’s to go, and the route the sailboat goes to get there.
Think about it: how do you get from here to there with a headwind blowing straight at you? That means that the wind is blowing from the direction you want to go. Instead of being at your back, it’s blowing in your face. The question then becomes are we sure that’s where we want to (or are supposed to) go? If it is, the sailboat can do it, but it sure isn’t a direct route.
Kind of sounds like what we experience with the Holy Spirit sometimes doesn’t it? He leads us to do something and we encounter ‘headwinds’ – difficulties, opposition, obstacles, etc… As I suggested in yesterday’s devotional, for the Christian (Jesus Follower), a life of obedience to Scriptures, becomes the sails of our boat. Walking in His ways, becomes the skill to sail the boat – to read the wind and allow it to choose the route whatever it might be. Loving God develops the life-dependence upon Him.
That dependence is essential if our lives are to be about Jesus (sailboat)! Without it, our lives are about us (boat with a motor)! We must beware of the spirit of independence that is so common in our culture and in our lives. The Holy Spirit is given to us so that we may have relationship with Him and live the lives that experience, enjoy and reflect the glory of our God.