The question of seeing God’s ultimate leading in our lives has profound ramifications. This second part (Part 1) espouses on the weathervane words of Jesus in John 3: “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” (John 3:8).
Wind lesson #4: We need to know that God gusts for his glory! As human beings made in God’s image, we intrinsically want to get the most out of life—yet it is the faithfulness of God that wants to get the most out of us. We talk often about being good stewards before God, but have we contemplated how much God is the great steward of our lives? That is the prime pointer of where the Spirit blows. It is also a comforting truth worthy of deep contemplation. Where he leads us is ultimately the place, position and purpose that will give him the greatest glory. Because he knows that projection infinitely better than us, and sees all future developments—we must trust him no matter how crazy it looks or gets.
Here is the rub. Our thoughts and his thoughts rarely align (Isa 55:8-9). When it comes to God’s wind, it might just as well be a hurricane!” When I went through the rerouting of my ministry, I wrote this description: “Like a pinball, my life was shot skyrocketed upward eventually falling and ricocheting down into a singular slot.” Let me say it was never easy bouncing from one peg to another—trying to figure out exactly what God was doing. The question I asked myself over and over again—sitting on the sidelines of ministry, at times feeling borderline destitute, always wondering what’s next, is: “LORD, where could you use me most for your gospel?”
What I found is that the ideas in this passage: (1) The wind comes from God, and (2) is angling toward his glory—are enough to anchor us through our doubts and uncertainty and keep us from being swept off course. Believe me, if you go with God’s wind your resolve will be tested. My mom has routinely talked to me about getting a “real job.” I have had to fight through the rationale with her. With a bit more angst than I know was proper, “I don’t care about a paycheck, mom. That’s not what life is about for me. I want to do what God is calling me to do; if that means it’s a more difficult path, then so be it!” (Please know I’m not against “real” jobs with good paychecks). When one of our friends journeyed through a wind segue, they coined the phrase: “Beans, rice, and Jesus Christ.” Like Paul finding himself in all sorts of situations, we learn how to live in plenty and in want (Phil 4:11–12), and we can do it when we realize we are right where God wants us to be.
On God’s leadings and their timetables, I have lived through the waiting crucible—projects that took years to complete, without any guarantee that anything would come of it. Yet I had that one essential impetus . . . I sensed his wind in my sails . . . his Spirit was guiding inspiration—this gave me faith to keep going. Looking back, the only thing that has sustained me for the long-term is wind. You might have planned to be so much farther along than you are today in . . . your personal life . . . your church . . . your profession. Welcome to the club! But you’re hanging in there. Why? You are following his lead. God’s Spirit is with you. You are divinely planted. This can only mean he wills to fulfill something far more fruitful ahead!
Maintaining that view is no simple feat, however. My wife has been a voice of reason when I have lost perspective. (Believe me when I say—that occurs almost daily.) To counteract, we have two sayings that have taken on mantra-like form in our household. One is: “That’s a first world problem.” It just has a way of putting the right lens on our lives. The second is: “The story is not over.” While chasing seemingly unreachable dreams amid my own limitations and obscurity, I cannot count the number of emotional dive-moments where I needed to remind myself: “The story is not over.” It has kept us believing in what God began (Phil 1:6). The conviction over “where it is going” will serve you well, as well. When hope gets dim, savor God’s prophetic word of assurance to Habakkuk: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time . . . Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come” (Hab 2:3).
In sum, wind puts us in the pocket of trusting him. It’s when he forces us into having faith to see his larger eternal plan unfold, something that is above our own vantage point. We have to believe in his purpose for our journey even when we can’t see it. Though today I do not have a crystal ball of the future, I hold to the principles of the weathervane: If the wind comes from God, and is heading for his glory—I’m all in.