I spent some time with the Lord yesterday meditating on John 3. It was one of those precious occasions when He and I were able to dialogue about the Word without interruption. I’d wondered why He’d led me to such a familiar passage, but had determined that I was going to sit there and listen until He showed me what was on His heart.
Yesterday was one of those balmy, breezy, sunny-with-a-high-of-75 kind of days that remind me of why I love spring so much. I had the windows open throughout my home, and exulted in the fresh smells pouring in around me as I sat in the middle of my living room floor and let the ceiling fan play with the pages of my Bible. I had just read this:
“…The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
when a sound outside arrested my attention.
Glancing up, I saw the branches of the big, beautiful trees outside my front windows dancing together as an unseen breeze swept through. I was losing myself in delight at the crashing sound of the leaves when I heard the soft voice of the Spirit speaking to my heart–a voice I’ve come to love and to trust even when it’s asked me to do difficult things. So it is with everyone who is borne of the Spirit.
I laughed at the pun, but continued to stay in an attitude of prayer until His meaning crystalized in my heart. He was talking to me about the forerunner/pioneer calling.
The branches on the trees outside were moving in response to the wind passing through. Although the breeze continued one for a few minutes, the initial burst of wind that disturbed the trees had already moved ahead before the branches began to respond. I felt the Lord telling me that this is often how it is in the life of the front-runners in the church. They are borne aloft by the Spirit, carried from place to place, but on so many occasions this anointing mandates that they relinquish their right to see the fruit of their labors. The nature of a forerunner is that by the time the ground they’ve covered begins to react to their influence, the Spirit has already carried them on to the next goal. While they may at times reap the harvest of someone else’s labors, the nature of a forerunner calling is that it they must constantly stay ahead of everyone else, eyes locked on Jesus and preparing the way for the people running after Him.
So often in my own life, I have alternately become discouraged at the apparent lack of answer to my prayers, or silently raged as someone else reaped the credit for building on the foundation I’d worked so hard with the Lord to lay. However, the Lord is reminding me that to stop and wait for the branches to move only stalls my spiritual momentum and deafens my ears to the Spirit’s cry, “Come deeper…higher….further in…”