Birds never stop amazing me.
We were watching a kestrel as we walked along a clifftop. It was using the up-current of wind caused by the steep slope of the land and, with a flickering flutter of its wings, could hover, staying in exactly the same place. After a few moments, it had decided that there was nothing to catch just there and, with effortless ease, swung, gliding scythe-like long the coast, to its next position, a hundred yards away. And once more it was hovering stationary above its chosen spot.
As I was thinking about this wonderful bird, I felt God was telling me something. The kestrel couldn’t do what it was designed to do without the wind. But the wind was of no use to it unless it used its wings in the way they were designed to be used.
I felt God was reminding me that, if I’m going to fulfil His purposes in my life, I must rely on the wind of His Spirit. But, on its own, that’s not enough. I must also use the abilities that He has given me in harmonious partnership with the Spirit. The kestrel could hover so well because its wings were in perfect harmony with the wind.
Keeping in step with the Spirit means that, just as the kestrel’s wings were responding to every variation in the wind’s speed and direction, so what I do needs to be in harmony with every move of the Spirit of God. Only then can I stay at the very centre of His will.
The kestrel’s skill was partly innate, but had also come from constant practice. Even birds have to learn. We are spiritual beings with the God-given ability to respond to His Spirit. But recognising His moving in our lives, and responding to it, is a ‘skill’ that grows with practice.
For every fledgling there comes the moment when they have to leave the nest and trust wind and wings to keep them in the air. From then on, they will develop their aerial skills. It’s as we trust the Spirit of God and launch out that we begin to grow in our sensitivity to His flow.
What if we get it wrong? His ‘everlasting arms’ (Deuteronomy 33:27) are there to catch us. Yes, we will make mistakes; but He’ll help us to learn from them. Remember Samuel? At first, he couldn’t recognise God’s voice. But, in the end, he did – and the rest is history: he became one if the greatest of Israel’s prophetic leaders.
Prayer: Father, please keep me really sensitive to every move of Your Spirit in my life; and help me today to make sure that all I think and say and do is harmony with Him. Amen.
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