A LIFE PACKED WITH SURPRISES
Children can teach us many things. One is their sense of joyful innocence, excitement, and expectancy for upcoming events - like birthdays and Christmas. I love to be around children during these times to look at the glint in their eyes and the spark in their demeanor as they think about these anticipated events.
God’s ways of working often have elements of uncertainty and surprise. Jesus told Nicodemus, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) He was saying to this seeker that the spiritual discovery of new birth can only be realized when one takes a step of faith to believe that what God says is true. Jesus later described to Nicodemus how the Spirit works. “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.” (v:8)
God works within an atmosphere of surprise. People cannot tie up the wind. It blows where it wills – often in some of the most unexpected places. That is how God’s spirit works. I have witnessed it many times over the years – as God by his Spirit begins to work within the hearts of people to reveal sin and awaken them to the saving ministry of Jesus.
Some years back In Tallinn, Estonia a hardened criminal named Felix made his way forward in a Sunday night service to give his heart to Jesus. Tears trickled down his cheeks as he stood head bowed to repent of his sin and accept Jesus as Savior. The winds of God’s Spirit were clearly blowing! (John 15:26) As my friend, Pastor Allan Lauer began to pray with this brother, his mouth dropped open as his eyes caught sight of a pistol tucked in the top of Felix’s pants. Despite it, God enabled him to maintain his composure to lead him to a saving knowledge of Jesus as Savior. That same night, Felix wanted to be baptized. So out they went in Allan’s car to the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea. He drove the car up on the beach and parked as close to the shore as he could, leaving the lights on to illuminate the area. That night Felix was baptized and publicly declared his decision to follow Jesus. A new name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Felix became a key functioning member in that local assembly.
That is how the Holy Spirit works. Surprisingly. Unexpectedly. Suddenly. In that same way, Jesus will come again “…at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:40)
To partner effectively with God, we must live in a constant state of joyful readiness and expectancy to catch the winds of his Spirit and get into the flow of what he is doing. In that flow, life becomes packed with surprises and takes on a wonderful element of child-like spontaneity and anticipation of what God will do next. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
John 15:5-16; Acts 1:8; Luke 12:35-40