Led by the Spirit (17-04-21)
Bible Reading: John 3:7-12
Jesus said, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'
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."
"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?
Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen,
but still you people do not accept our testimony.
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe;
how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
I’ve never been on a mystery tour or on a package holiday where you don’t know your destination, but we have taken the caravan to France for a month (the perks of long summer holidays while training for ministry) and travelled down the west coast with nothing planned and no particular destination in mind, other than ferry tickets to eventually take us home. Going ‘where the spirit leads’ can either be an adventure or a trauma, depending on your mindset.
Jesus likened the Holy Spirit to the wind which blows where it pleases. It seems to me that when we become a Christian, we cease to be a rowing boat, powered by our own efforts. Instead we put up our sails, open them up to the wind of the Holy Spirit and allow God’s Spirit to both power our lives and to give us direction.
I wonder how much we stress we put ourselves under by relying on our own strength, rather than on the power of the Holy Spirit, and how much we miss out on the adventure of the Christian life by having our lives too rigidly planned out.
A small change of direction can make a tremendous difference to the eventual destination of a boat. Are there any small changes in the direction of your life or your lifestyle that God's Spirit might be nudging you to make?
Are there times when you are drained through relying on your own strength and ability to see you through when you should be putting up your sails and allowing the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and to empower you?
Like us, Nicodemus had many questions which Jesus doesn’t seem to answer, at least not immediately. For Nicodemus and for us, the challenge is to go where God’s Spirit leads us and to trust that we will have answers to our questions when we need them.
Lord, give me the discernment to know where your Spirit is guiding me, and the courage to follow his guiding.
Holy Spirit, we welcome you.