As I write this I’m sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop. It’s very windy outside and the wind messed up my hair as I walked in. I had no control; it blew wherever it wanted. Other customers look windblown and nobody can do anything about it. The wind blows wherever it wishes.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is the same: He blows salvation and moves wherever He wishes. “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)
Sometimes I foolishly start thinking that ministry success is about me, about my great techniques, strategies, planning, timelines and execution. I may not say it out loud, but I feel it. That attitude is ignorant. It is NOT all about me. Salvation, successful living and fruitful ministry are always a miraculous work of God’s Spirit.
I have shared Christ with hundreds of people. Some became Christians, others did not. Years ago I remember telling a man I was witnessing to that I believed he was going to be saved. It never happened, at least, not to my knowledge.
A few years later we started a Bible study group and invited several of our neighbors, including a family who started attending the study as well as our church. The husband, however, seemed a lost cause. He was the “devil’s advocate” when we shared Scriptural truth. I would have voted him “most likely to never get saved.”
Yet today he is pastoring a church he planted, and leading many people to Jesus.
Was his change the fruit of my ministry? I don’t really think so. “The wind blows where it wishes…”
When I remember this truth of Scripture there are some wonderful benefits:
I relax more
I pray more
I do my part, remembering that it is ultimately God’s Spirit that produces fruit
But how can we implement reliance on the Holy Spirit in a practical way?
Here’s how to rely more on the Spirit:
01. Release Pride and Self-Determination
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6b ESV)
When I feel like it’s all about me, my effort, my success, my drive, etc., I try to remember this verse and others like it.
The point is not that what I do doesn’t matter. Not at all! The point is that while I must “run the race to win the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24), in the final analysis, all impact is by the grace of God.
02. Ask for the Spirit’s Filling and Empowering
Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 ESV)
Here Jesus says clearly that the Holy Spirit is given “to those who ask.”
Asking and receiving the Holy Spirit’s empowerment is not mysterious or difficult. In fact, the process is as easy as breathing. To learn how, read my article on the topic HERE.
03. Take time to Listen, Regularly
The Holy Spirit typically speaks through a “still small voice” (see 1 Kings 19:12).
Because we live in such a noisy world, we have to find quietness and solitude in order to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit.
To learn more about how to do this and rely more on the Spirit, see my articles: