8 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.”[a]
John 3:8 NIV
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control
No one wakes up one day and decides they are going to change everything they believe and risk losing all of their friends just for the hell of it. No one does that! If someone is saying something, and they have everything to lose, it would be wise to listen-agreement is not required. When someone changes the course they have been on, something happened. Pain is usually involved, because pain is often what it takes to deliver us to the next phase of life. We do not go willingly. Jen Hatmaker described it as giving birth. There is pain and resistance, but eventually we must surrender so the new life can be birthed.
When everything I once believed crumbled, because it did not hold up when pain arrived–I ended up finding freedom vs despair. I feel like I need to keep saying this because it is important to know this. We are being asked to let go.
I really do not know a whole lot about who God is or what God is doing, but I discovered the Spirit and the Spirit is truth (John 16:13). Knowing I am an Enneagram 7, I can see why the Holy Spirit was so exciting for me to discover. The Holy Spirit is wild and free. I love how the Bible describes the Spirit as wind, you cannot define or put borders on the Spirit. I love adventure and following the moment. Jake and I rarely plan our dates because we like spontaneous fun. Experience is everything to me, and the Holy Spirit is definitely an experience. The Bible is to be lived, not over analyzed.
So with all of this said, I realize it is hard to let go of certainty. We often want an authoritarian leader because they keep order (or so we think). If we had a candidate that we described as wind – no one knows where they came from or where they are going- we would not elect that person. We have been handed a script that we thought we had to follow so we can earn our next life. Many would not say earn, but the way we live–you might as well say earn. I have been cast out of people’s lives for changing my views. It is scary to say “I don’t know”, so tonight I want to share a few things I do know -post letting go of certainty.
- We cannot explain human suffering. I don’t even try to understand. What I do know is the Spirit suffers with us, the groans are in our belly.
- Once you have discovered the Spirit, you can’t stay still. The Spirit delivers us to life even in the midst of the most tragic trauma. I have talked to people who have suffered more than anyone should ever have to, but found joy and life despite circumstances. Peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) Getting help is often required. We are not designed to carry our burdens alone–Jesus did not carry the cross all on his own. The phrase “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” is not born of the Spirit.
- Inclusion has lead to more life. Joy!
- Diversity is beautiful and a gift from God.
- Receiving my own freedom to participate fully in church, with no boundaries, has lead to joy I cannot contain.
- Gratitude drives out fear
- Gratitude leaves us with a Spirit of abundance. We will want to share!
- Living by the fruit of the Spirit is easier than the law! The law comes naturally when you live by the Spirit. It is joy driven versus checking the box.
- Go where the life is. You will know you are off when you don’t feel life.
- Leaving room for mystery makes the story better. We get to participate in the creation of this story.
- When you are filled with love, violence just isn’t an option.
I could go on and on. There is so much we do not know, but there is a lot we do know. Our certainty to doctrine is not bearing good fruit. It is hurting people and causing division. There is no way to live the Bible out completely by what it says start to finish— because it isn’t that kind of book. It is an ancient text written in a time similar to what we are facing now. We get an insight into what they are thinking and doing to resist the powerful who benefit from oppression. It is a liberation story. If you notice, the people in the Bible are moving and changing. Old Testament to New Testament is a huge paradigm shift.
Jesus’s top 2 commands are: Love God. Love People. The End.