I believe that one of the most misunderstood and underutilized blessings of being a child of God is the ministry and influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We pray to our Heavenly Father who is the Creator of life and the Universe, and we joyfully praise Jesus who died for our sins so that we can be made right with the God and live out our lives without carrying around a heavy burden of guilt, but when it comes to the Holy Spirit, we seem to struggle with, and sometimes even overlook, His role in our lives (at least I do).
A good friend of mine recently lent me a book entitled, “They Found the Secret,” that was written by V. Raymond Edman. This book is full of stories of men and women who found the path to an “exchanged life,” which Edman says is simply, “the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ made real and rewarding by the Holy Spirit.” In a chapter about the life of Adoniram Judson Gordon, I was struck by an illustration that Dr. Gordon gave about the power that is available to all Christians if they simply would tap into it.
“Just in front of the study window where I write is a street, above which it is said that a powerful electric current is constantly moving. I cannot see that current; it does not report itself to hearing, or sight, or taste, or smell, and so far as the testimony of the senses is to be taken, I might reasonably discredit its existence. But I see a slender arm, called the trolley, reaching up and touching it, and immediately the car with its heavy load of passengers moves along the track as though seized in the grasp of some mighty giant. The power has been there before, only now the car lays hold of it or is rather laid hold of by it, since it was a touch, not a rip, through which the motion was communicated. And it would be presumptuous for one to say that he had known something of a similar contact with not merely a divine force but a divine person? The change which ensued may be described thus; Instead of praying constantly for the descent of a divine influence there was now a surrender, however imperfect, to a divine and ever-present Being; instead of a constant effort to make use of the Holy Spirit for doing my work there arose a clear and abiding conviction that the true secret of service lay in so yielding to the Holy Spirit that he might use me to do his work…”
What Dr. Gordon had come to realize is that the Holy Spirit is always at His work, and that if we want to know His sweet and powerful presence in our lives, we need to tap into His movement, and not ask Him to come and tap into ours.
In the third chapter of the book of John, Jesus described the work of the Holy Spirit as a wind that blows where it wishes. Jesus said that if we want to experience the Sprit of God and tap His mighty power we need to first be spiritually born again.
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him.”3Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?”5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. 7Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
As I have been meditating on Jesus words about the Holy Spirit of God, and Dr. Gordon’s analogy of a street car being tapped into an overhead cable, it seems to me that our role in the ministry of the Holy Spirit is more like that of a windmill. A windmill is built for one purpose. Its purpose is to catch the wind when it blows, and then to convert the wind into useful energy that can serve the needs of others. Windmills don’t create the wind, and they are incapable of generating any power on their own, their sole purpose is to catch the wind.
Windmills are usually built in areas that are known to be high traffic areas for wind, and they need to be maintained or they can break down and be less, or noneffective at converting the wind into energy. Similarly, Christians need to be in regular fellowship with other believers in active and living churches that are high traffic areas for the Holy Spirit. We need to be disciplined to read the Word of God and pray so that we are fully functional and don’t break down when the Holy Spirit desires to use us to generate useful energy to serve others and bring glory to the Wind. The struggles of life and the selfish desires of the flesh battle against windmill maintenance, and when the Wind blows we are often missing blades and our gears creak and groan because of infrequent use. Worse yet, sometimes the windmills are converted to inferior purposes and are disassembled and moved to areas of isolation to stay out of the influence of the Wind.
Dear friends, let us resolve to live up to our holy purpose in the Kingdom of God. We were created to catch the Wind, not to waste and rot and just feel the Wind blow past us. Jesus died so that we can be born again of the Spirit and experience the thrill and joy of being captured and used by the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s purposes in the world. Dear Lord please forgive us when we fail to live into our purposes in your Kingdom. Help us to shake off the dust and the rust and to be ready to catch the Wind for your glory and honor. Amen.