Once during my devotion time, I asked God an audacious question, “How do I defeat the evil one?” Now, I know that Jesus has won the victory for us on the Cross and furthermore, Rev 12:11 exhorts us that we’ve defeated the “accuser of the brethren” by the Blood of the Lamb and by our testimony, not loving our lives nor renouncing our faith even when faced with death. But I was looking more for some practical steps to apply in my life. I was led to John 3:8 which I’ve come across before and it’s one of those verses which baffles me. It says, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Yup, I know what you’re thinking after reading this verse. I felt the same too. How does this verse answer my earlier question? What has wind got to do with defeating the enemy? I felt the Holy Spirit said, “Read again.” I read it a few more times and suddenly, it hit me! I got it! I felt the Lord was showing me that the key to defeating the enemy was to be as “unpredictable” as the wind. Along with this revelation came story after story from the Bible that are examples of this so-called “unpredictability like the wind”.
I’m sure you’ve come across those stories in the Bible that seem like a paradox, that sometimes God’s plans and strategies may not make sense or seemed to be counter-intuitive. For example, in the story of David and Goliath (1 Sam 17), the odds were against David, but he overcame that by being unpredictable.
Goliath expected David to fight him up close face-to-face, but David fired off from his slingshot while running towards Goliath and eventually killed him. When David was king, he often sought the Lord’s counsel and direction, especially when facing his enemies. Each time, he’d ask two questions: (1) Shall I go up against the enemy? and (2) Will I succeed?
David understood that God had a different strategy for every battle, even though the context might be similar (1 Sam 23, 30; 2 Sam 2, 5 & 21). Likewise, our dependence must be in the Lord. And what about King Jehoshaphat when he sent the choir and musicians to the front of the battle line? In all of military history, this must be one of the most unconventional ways to try to defend a country under siege. But sing and play they did, and won the battle, because God fought on their behalf as they followed (obeyed) God’s strategy!
In the New Testament, you see a similar pattern. For 11 years, Jesus accompanied his parents to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover and then travel back home once it was over, “as was their custom”. But on the 12th year, Jesus did a “U-turn” on his parents and stayed back in Jerusalem to engage the religious teachers (Luke 2). There were three accounts where Jesus healed blind men, but He didn’t heal them using the same method (Mark 8, 10; John 9). When it comes to being the greatest, contrary to what society propagated then and still does today, Jesus taught His disciples that “the greatest one among you will live as one called to serve others without honour.” (Luke 22:26).
To be led by the Holy Spirit means to co-operate with Him, not resist Him. If you’ve taken roller-coaster rides before, you’d know through experience that it’s unwise to be tense and all stiffened up throughout the “bumpy” ride. You need to “go with the flow” as the carriage twists and turns along those winding tracks.
So how can you be “unpredictable” like the wind? When there’s every reason for you to be upset or angry, but you choose patience and love. When you feel you’re too dignified to dance before the Lord, do it anyway! God loves it! When people in your office start quitting because the company isn’t doing well, but you stay on and finish each assignment excellently, because you know when it’s time, the Lord will release you.
When it seems that you’re the “favourite go-to” person for running errands, do it anyway and with joy! Because you know that sometimes the greatest blessings are small packages in disguise. When you feel like walking out of your marriage because it’s becoming unbearable, you choose to stay because God’s as much committed to this marriage as you are. And He’s staying put! When you don’t feel like responding to the altar call because the message was average, respond anyway! Don’t let the enemy steal your breakthrough. When you don’t feel like going to church because you didn’t start your morning right, go anyway! Don’t fall into the enemy’s trap. The answer to your question could be found in that weekend’s service.
Well, you get my point – respond the opposite of what your body is reacting to. There comes a time, when you throw away the oars of “being predictable” and set your sail God-ward. Listen to the wind of the Holy Spirit, flow with and follow His leading. Be unpredictable; be like the wind. For it’s “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.” (Zech 4:6)