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Driven by the Spirit

Driven by the Spirit


12 May 2010

Brendan spake to them and said, "Fear not," said he,"for we have our God Himself as our guide and helper. And ship your oars, and do not toil or labour; and God will guide His own boat and company as He pleases." And they got a steady wind, but knew not wither the wind was carrying them.

- Anonymous, Vita Brendani (Irish, 12th century, from an earlier ms.)

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.

- Mark 1.12, 13

Brendan's mission was to sail north and west from Ireland, to minister the Gospel to whatever people he met on his journey, by whatever means seemed appropriate. For this mission he recruited a group of 16 companions, and they sailed west over the uncharted sea in a boat made of leather (a curragh).

Ten days into the journey they were becalmed, and wore themselves out rowing against an untoward sea. Then came Brendan's instruction, given above. The writer seems to want to use this episode to tell us that, early on in our walk with the Lord, we need to learn to trust in Him, to let His Spirit fill our sails and guide us, wherever He may want us to go. The life of discipline will only benefit us if we learn to listen for, submit to, be filled with, and walk in the Spirit of God.

And that's not always an easy row to hoe, as Jesus understood. Driven by the Spirit, He experienced deprivation, loneliness, weakness, and temptation. But sustained by the Spirit - as Brendan and his company were - Jesus knew the presence of God, the strength of His power, and the reliability of His Word.

These are important lessons, and only the Spirit can teach them to us. Would you describe yourself as driven by the Spirit in your daily life? Or are you struggling and striving with all your wits and might against all the adversity and obstacles of your life, but making no headway for the Lord?

Rest in the Spirit; listen for His voice, speaking to you from God's Word and His world. Let His comforting presence refresh and renew you, and submit to His leading. He'll fill your sails with a steady wind to guide you in the paths of righteousness, peace, and joy every moment of your life.

Today in ReVision: Skin Problem - Is the President a little touchy?

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule - In the framework of a personal rule, you can learn to rest in God's Spirit.

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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