I think one of the most difficult things to understand about living out our faith is learning how to be lead by the Holy Spirit. Ironically, it's also one of the most critical. Let's talk about the Spirit. When Jesus is having His last dinner with the disciples in the late chapters of John, He tells them that when He goes the Spirit will come -- and it will actually be better than having Him with them. He tells a Pharisee named Nick at one point that the Holy Spirit is like the wind -- there is no telling where it comes from or where it blows. Paul tells us in Romans 8 that we are supposed to let the Holy Spirit lead us in our everyday lives. We know from various other places throughout scripture that the Holy Spirit can come upon us suddenly, but that He also lives inside us. Ephesians 2 says that the temple of the Holy Spirit is the body of followers who are built together into a communal structure, built around Jesus. The Holy Spirit is literally God in us, around us, working through us. He expresses to God what is deep inside us when we can't find the words. He drives sin out of us -- and gives us the ability to overcome it. Yet, I have always had difficulty figuring out how to let Him lead.

I think one of the things I have been struggling with is the popular idea that when we follow the Holy Spirit we are quite predictable. Followers of Jesus are supposed to be safe and clean cut, right? Like God wouldn't spark us to do anything out of the ordinary -- like if we let the Spirit lead us then we will basically just be pretty pure in the way we live. And for the longest time, I've kept the Holy Spirit inside this box, keeping Him at bay in my life -- hoping that would prevent Him from ever speaking directly to my heart in a confrontation way.

The Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit "the Wild Goose". I know, when I first read about it my blasphemy alarm went off too. The wild goose? I shrugged it off. But God has continued to open up my eyes to this alarming truth -- that being lead by the Holy Spirit isn't as simple and comfortable as I wish it was. Sometimes God asks his people to do alarming things. He told Abraham to perform a child sacrifice... Hosea to marry a prostitute... Boaz to say yes to a marriage proposal from a seemingly scandelous woman who came into him in the middle of the night... Isaiah to walk around naked for 3 years... Mary that she'd be getting pregnant with the Son of God... and so on and so on. And when all these people told everyone around them that God spoke to them, everyone around them thought they were crazy.

And I feel like lately God has been challenging me to think about these things. That God is always working around me and I continually shut Him out because I want to be comfortable in my simple understanding of how He works. And I wonder what would happen if we stopped trying to trap wind in a box.


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