There is an unpredictability to life in the Spirit that can be unsettling. In this day and age, we do our best to be predictable. We plan our course. We set goals, write mission statements, and announce our intentions. If we don’t know how to get somewhere, we consult maps, GPS, or some other mapping software. Our lives are often regulated by the clock and calendar. Filling our hours and days well in advance with little space left free. Somehow we think that choosing a restaurant at the last minute is spontaneous all the while knowing we had planned to go out. All this leads me to one question – Who is in control?
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be good stewards of time or that we shouldn’t have plans, goals, and the like. What I am saying is that we can fill our lives to the point where there is no room left in our day for the Holy Spirit to use us.
Jesus observed to Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8, NASB95) We live in a time that better understands the wind, barometric pressure, and isobars. We can at any time not only determine why the wind is blowing from the south but when it will change and plan our day accordingly.
Even though we may be able to predict to some degree wind and weather, we can’t predict the Holy Spirit. As followers of Jesus, we need to be movable, ready to go in His direction and speed. Paul called on Timothy to “be ready in season and out of season.” Peter advised his readers to always be ready to explain the hope we have in Christ. Philip unpredictably struck up a conversation at the direction of the Holy Spirt without knowing what would happen next (Acts 8:29).
So often all we want is for God to be in our lives. We want the road ahead to be paved with His peace and for God to bless our plans, goals, and desires. We desire things to be better. We pray for a better job, a larger bank account, a pleasing spouse, and obedient children. But what if God wants something we didn’t plan for? We often come to the throne of grace with our wants, needs, and desires, but rarely ask God what He wants.
Following Jesus is not about what we want but what the Holy Spirit wants. There is order, but there is also unpredictability. Are you ready to be moved by the Holy Spirit?