Brendan spake to them and said: “Fear not,” said he, “for we have 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 Brendan and his company...got a steady wind...
- Anonymous, Vita Brendani, Irish, 12th century
“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.”
- John 3.8
Brendan (fl. ca. 560 AD) and his men dug mightily with their oars into the cold waters of the North Atlantic, but they could make no headway and were becoming discouraged.
They had just set off, in obedience to God’s leading, to carry the Gospel west over the ocean. And now, barely into the beginning of their journey, it seemed like the ocean itself, onto which the Lord had sent them, was trying to thwart their mission.
Brendan knew that, in spite of their struggle, God would take them where He intended them to go. They needed to trust in Him, and not their own strength. So he instructed his men to ship their oars, and they hoisted the sail of their leather boat, determined to let the steady wind of God blow them where He would.
And He did.
Our lives are like that sometimes. We think we know where God wants us to go, and we work and pray and fret and fuss to get there, but we don’t seem to be making much progress. In fact, what looked in prospect like such “smooth sailing” has become a stormy, stubborn sea instead.
But this doesn’t mean we’re out of the will of God, only that He wants to move us forward in a way other than we might have chosen or preferred. He wants us to make sure we’re relying on His strength, and not our own.
If you’re seeking the Lord, truly seeking Him, even your troubled waters may be precisely where the Spirit is blowing. Check your course, trim your sails, and rest in the Lord’s wisdom and strength.
Look for the Spirit’s leading and rest in His power to keep you moving forward.
The steady wind of God’s Spirit blows through the pages of His Word, in the still small voice of prompts and nudges that come in the quiet moments of life, and sometimes through circumstances that just aren’t working out the way we’d hoped (Acts 16.6, 7).
At such times we need to hoist whatever will catch the current of God’s Spirit – especially prayer, searching the Scriptures, seeking wise counsel, and waiting in silence on the Lord. The Spirit of God is always blowing toward the realization of God’s good and perfect plan. We will know that plan best and enjoy its fullest fruit and blessings as we seek the Spirit, are filled with the Spirit, wait on the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit – following His steady wind wherever He wants to take us.
Of course, there will be work to do, even as you catch the steady wind of God’s Spirit. But the better we know the Spirit and how He works (Ezek. 36.26, 27; Jn. 16.8-11; Gal. 5.22, 23; etc.), and the more we bring our lives into line with His purposes (Acts 1.8; Eph. 2.19-22), the more our lives and work will sail in the channel of His power, toward progress in the Kingdom of our Lord.
If progress in faith seems slow and life is wearing you down, make sure your sails are hoisted into the life and work of the Spirit, and wait to see where that Steady Wind of God will take you.
1. Would it help in keeping the Lord’s Wind in your sails if you set some times throughout the day for brief prayers and meditation? Explain.
2. Why is it important to understand how and toward what ends the Spirit is at work within us?
Psalm 86.7-9 (Andrews: Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven)
When in my trouble, Lord, I call You,
You answer me, there is none like You!
There are no words like Yours, and all whom
You have created shall worship You.
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord be gracious to me,
all shall glory give to You!
Whenever I’m troubled, Lord, or stuck, or uncertain, or frustrated, help me to…
The right Wind
One of the reasons we struggle in our walk with the Lord is that the wrong winds are filling the sails of our soul. Our ReVision series, “Winds of Doctrine,” explains more. You can download the first three parts of this study by clicking here.
Our book Restore Us! can show you how and why to seek the Lord for revival. We’re offering it at a special price through this month. Just click here.
We pray that, if Crosfigell ministers to you, you’ll consider sharing with us in the financial support of our ministry. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Plummer, p. 53.