drafting behind Jesus (aka, living by his Spirit)

For some reason it has come to my awareness several times lately how different life is in the church when we are truly “drafting” behind Jesus. There’s the sense that so many details of life are left to him, and we deal only with what he lets come our way. And he knows what we’re made of, when we’re ready for something new, how much we can take, how much and what kind of burden he thinks we’re ready for, etc. I think this is an especially important topic for simple church. In the church business approach, which has been the traditional form of church life for most of us, I found that it was mostly about man figuring out what we’re supposed to do in this life, and working very hard – a mix of trying to follow the promptings of God’s spirit, but a lot of flesh effort as well – to make things happen. Whoever had the best ideas of the day, whoever sounded the most compelling or was in the hierarchy leadership authority we put ourselves under, or whatever book was taking Christendom by storm lately – this is where we often took our queues from. It seemed that truly living life by the Spirit of God was difficult there, or was limited. And even for many who have made the move to simple church, I still find that there is a blindness where we don’t always see how used to living by our own means we are – we are still spending a lot of time and energy sweating out how to do this life. There is a different dynamic when it comes to being a sheep of the Lord’s shepherding, following the gentle, persuasive leading of his staff, eating & doing what’s in front of us. Check out this wikipedia definition of “drafting”:

“Drafting or slipstreaming is a technique where two vehicles or objects align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object’s slipstream. Especially when high speeds are involved, drafting can significantly reduce the echelon’s average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed and can also slightly reduce the energy expenditure of the lead vehicle or object.”

There’s a humility in this – we don’t get to be the one in charge. We don’t get to say “look what I did!”. In this way of living, I think we mostly end up following his desire for our lives without any fanfare. Have you ever noticed that some of the most amazing times of God using us in this life is when we had no idea it was happening? I have this hunch that most of the living of the life he desires is like that – we really have no idea all that he’s accomplishing. And we don’t need to know. We couldn’t fathom all the intricacies of his master plan. We get to spend more time being preoccupied with him – adoring him, being with him in our thoughts, letting him whisper his love to us. And letting him be the clever one who knows what needs to be done, and trust him to lead us by the things he’s put inside us. And our role is to tap in on those passions he’s put in us for this life – in the context and “check” of a growing relationship with him and his church around us. Then we just end up in the right places at the right time, doing the right things.

3 Replies to “drafting behind Jesus (aka, living by his Spirit)”

  1. I think I pretty much already resopnded to this over at SimpleChurchSeattle, but I’m totally with you. I’m seeing lately how easy it is to repeat old patterns, only putting new labels on them. We don’t have to figure it all out, that’s the really beauty of Jesus being in charge! He’s got it under control, we can just go along for the ride. Talk to you soon Page….

  2. This made me remember how I have been thinking of the ‘Footprints’ poem lately. It occurred to me in my journey that the thought that Jesus only ‘carries us’ during the hard times, and the rest of the time we see our own footprints, is a bit eschewed. Shouldn’t it be that we ONLY see Jesus’ footprints, because we are NEVER to go about it on our own strength?
    Even if He’s not ‘carrying’ us the whole time, you wouldn’t see your own footprint because it should be imprinted into where His print went, and it would become one print! See what I’m saying?

  3. I like both comments above. We need more talk about this topic, so it gets into the fabric of our thinking, conversations, and life style. Thanks Daniel and Gordon.

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