57 As Jesus and his disciples traveled along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Luke 9:57 CEB
One ship is sailing off into the night trying to slip away unnoticed having just kidnapped a young woman. Another ship is pursuing the first ship and seems to be getting closer. The kidnappers begin to argue about how inconceivable it is that the other ship could be gaining on them. As they continue to argue the Spaniard in the group asks the question, “I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using?” Of course, if you recognize this dialogue you know it is from the movie "The Princess Bride." This question, which is raised by the character Inigo Montoya, is an important one. The small band of kidnappers is trying to outrun the Dread Pirate Roberts. If he is using the same wind, he may be able to catch them. But I believe this is also a very important question to ask in our faith.
I believe this question has great importance for our faith life … with one minor change. The change has to do with the notion of following. Most of the time through life we are following after, or pursuing, something. The question is, “What wind are we using?” Perhaps it is easier to understand in terms of a more typical life scenario. You see a coworker who is doing well, being promoted, and receiving raises. You are not experiencing the same level of success. You might ask yourself, “I wonder if she is using the same wind I am using?” We may see a situation where someone or some organization is doing well and you wonder what their secret could be. I believe we experience this in our faith life when we see someone else who seems to be a little deeper in their walk with Christ than we are. Maybe the question might be, “Do you think they are following the same God I am following?”
As I have been preparing the message for this weekend I have been thinking along these lines. What is it that makes some people so deeply spiritual while others of us struggle? I believe that this scene from one of my favorite movies has actually helped me think differently about this. You see, I believe that there is a common resource available to us all and a common fault that hinders a lot of us. The common resource available to us all as Christians is the Holy Spirit. This is the wind that fills our spiritual sails and leads us in the direction of God’s will. Every believer has the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their life. I hope you let that sink in for a moment. We all have the living, breathing power of God dwelling within us in the Holy Spirit. However, the common fault that hinders so many is choice. We have to choose to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We have to choose to use the same wind that the deeply spiritual folks we admire use. We have to choose faithfulness to God’s leading in our life.
I wonder if you are using the same wind I am using? We all must choose to follow the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is the only way we can follow after Christ’s example for us. Luke records where one person told Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answers this person by painting a picture of just how unglamorous that would be. It is as if Jesus wants the person to consider what wind they want to use. Does the person really want to use the same wind Jesus is using? It won’t be easy. I want to encourage you to use the same wind, the Holy Spirit, which Jesus used. It is the only way we will get closer to the design and desire God has for your life. That is the only way we can truly follow Jesus.
God wants us all to follow Jesus Christ in everything. God desires to have everyone using the same wind, the Holy Spirit, and gaining in their faithfulness. This Sunday we will continue the message series entitled "One Faithful Promise." The message will help us think about what it means to choose faithfulness in the power of the Holy Spirit. I look forward to sharing this message with you Sunday at St. Andrew’s, and Susan Lewis will share with the folks who are at Andy Camping. God is at work at St. Andrew’s and I can’t wait to see you in church!