Blowing in the Wind

Dandelion pod

The bumper for the weekly Shulamite Podcast includes the following caveat: “not giving just another method, but a living impartation.” Before I was saved, I didn’t really understand what exactly a spiritual impartation was, let alone how it worked. Now that I’m saved, I understand what it is, but I still can’t tell you how it works. What I can tell you is how I move ever closer to being at peace with my ignorance.

I understand very well the siren’s call of formulas and methodology as a means to overcoming sin, or strengthening character, or resolving conflicts in relationships. One of the reasons I find it so maddening is that I’m not immune to it, and there’s very little that galls me more than a reminder of my own weakness of character. Nonetheless, the “7 Steps to a Better You” promise is tempting because it puts me in control of what I surrender in my life. I get to pick the method of getting clean, of what to give up and how. Judging by the success of the method premise, I know I’m not alone.

But where it gets really messy is when the testimony of Christ’s move in a single life is turned into a lifeless formula that favors uniformity over the uniquely personal move of the Spirit. When I was first born again, I experienced the bliss of being loved and the indescribable peace of a newly-quiet spirit. The spiritually violent upheaval of confrontation and God’s merciful wrath and judgment that led to my salvation were revealed to me as His unfathomable Love. And after a while, I looked at the movements of the Spirit that resulted in my salvation as a kind of blueprint. My desire for people who were hurt and lost and in torment – just as I had been – to come through to the bliss and love of God was defiled by my belief that they would come through the same way I did.

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 NKJV

God has been smashing my personal methodology (aka, “I know”) with increasing intensity ever since. When I impose my testimony of Christ onto someone, rather than impart it, I obliterate that unique individual and block the move of the Spirit. They cease to exist as a person, because it’s all about me and what I believe and what I think I know. It is abhorrent.

The truth is, I don’t know what the Holy Spirit wants to say or do about any given person or situation until He tells me. He is a mystery even in my own story. I can only share so much about my life with God, because He is ever solving each new crisis of my heart in a manner beyond my knowing. I can tell what I did and said, what word or scripture was given to me, and I can even reveal the Spirit’s diagnosis for what ails me. But I have no idea how He heals my wounded and diseased heart. “The wind blows where it wishes,” and I simply “cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.”

Living BlueprintThere is no blueprint, or method, or formula that the Spirit adheres to every time. As disciples, we follow Christ’s gift to us, the Holy Spirit. We walk the same path, and we are given guidance in the examples of disciples who’ve gone before us. We have the safety of God-given authority to submit to and live under. But we also live day in and day out with the Mystery of God, and making peace with the inexplicable isn’t an option. I move closer to that peace with every surrender to the reality that God is GOD, and with every choice to delight in His ways rather than fight them. The Spirit does the rest, and I have no idea how.

As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him.
Psalm 18:30 AMP

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    • Sam

      Oh, Jen, you have always been misteriously “tuned” to the Spirit, and He has filled you with an amazing wisdom. You are the mighty example it doesn’t matter how long you have been “saved”, in Him every day is new and a wonder to a disciple. He gets through His message!

      This is so too for the rest of shulamites and writers of this blog. Always spot on (and you cannot image how much!)

      So much love to you all!

    • Irene

      Oh Jennifer, your words have flowed into me and over me and through me and I am undone. No, rather I am done. I love you so much dear sister in Jesus and thank you with abundant gratitude for being the conduit of His flowing Life.

      • Tammy


    • Tammy

      …and this is why He has called me to listen!

    • Fabi

      Well, I´ve been traying to nail to the cross some people around with my well cultivated and expensive to learn testimony, I´ve been pleased with all I have to say… Why on earth do you ruin my method? (smile)

      I was also thinking lately: why do I feel so connected, like talking the same language with you Shulamites, but so lonely around here, like unable to communicate?

      Praise the Lord for this living impartation!

      Back to abc.

      Love you Jen

    • debra

      Oh to completely surrender my sanctification to Him. Along with everyone else’s…for I do NOT “know”. My thinking that “I know” plugs my hearing ear and blinds my seeing eyes. That leads me to the loss of His blissful peace. Thanks Jennifer….I needed that.

    • Mac Dumcum

      The wisdom in this article is absolutely over the top! I came out of a movement that was constantly giving 7 steps to this and 5 steps to that. The result? A lot of disillusioned people who found that following the steps didn’t lead to the quality of life or encounter they hoped for.

      It seems like we will do almost anything rather than sit down and listen to God. We run from the relationship that is the answer to everything that comes our way. Thank, Jen, for pointing us back to the right path.


      • Irene

        Mac, perhaps we have been involved in the same “movement”. Would be interesting to know.

    • Cindy

      Amazing, heart-opening article, Jennifer. I had never seen that it was possible to obliterate a person (as a Christian). The whole imposing vs. imparting has really struck me.

    • Pauline

      Thank you, Jennifer. Bottom line for me is: whether I’m following the 4 steps to…the 10 reasons for…the 5 things I should…, or imposing my persoal methodology — who’s being exalted, Christ or me?

    • Cindy Pollard

      Thanks Jen for your real struggle. I can relate. Walking with the Holy Spirit is simple. I just follow. Learning to love Him can be a challenge until I give up everything again & again. I wrestle with yielding my thoughts to think His thoughts. Yielding my prayers to pray His prayers. It’s ongoing.

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