Spinning by the Spirit – Guest Post – Part 1
The Windmill Epiphanies:
Part 1—Spinning by the Spirit
a Guest Post by Rebecca Orozco
I was driving over the Altamont Pass, going my usual route to get to church for the mom’s ministry I volunteer in, when I got an undeniably strong sensation that God wanted me to pull my car over to the side of the road. After resisting the prompt for a few minutes, I finally tuned in, pulled over, and asked God what it was He wanted to tell me.
As I looked out at the scenery, I saw hundreds of windmills dotting the hillside, all completely still. And then it felt like God whispered this to my heart: “You are like these windmills.”
To tell you the truth, this was frustrating to hear. “I kind of don’t want to be some huge monstrosity off the side of the freeway, God,” I told Him. I mean, come on: these wind turbines, whose sole purpose is to capture wind energy to produce electricity for the surrounding area, weren’t even spinning on this particular day. How useless is that?
At first, this whole “You are a windmill” thing seemed to confirm everything I had recently been internally struggling with: You see, I frequently feel like I am barely making a difference in this world.
I love how God has specifically and uniquely made each of us and chooses to give us our own callings and purposes while we are here on this earth… but, quite often, I feel useless and unnecessary.
Like I’m not fulfilling “my purpose,” whatever that is.
My four year old yelled from the back seat, obviously referring to the motionless windmills in the distance: “Aren’t they supposed to be MOVING?” “Yes,” I confirmed, and then told the Lord, “See? They aren’t even doing their job.”
I see so many wonderful gifts in the people around me and I take them each in like smelling a fresh array of bright, colorful flowers. I listen to my songwriting husband sing the beautiful melodies that he has created and it blesses my soul. I read a friend’s blog post who writes so perfectly and passionately and her words seem to flow so effortlessly across the page. I witness my dear girlfriends preaching with fire, bringing the Bible and Gods’ words of truth to life in our mom’s ministry. I see friends leading worship with voices like angels, bringing God’s people into His presence week after week.
And sometimes, after witnessing so many people around me “do their thing” for Jesus, despite the joy and elation it brings me, I start to feel useless.
I see others truly moving mightily for God and I start to question what He has purposed me for. I fear that my insecurities and inabilities are preventing me from doing anything well. I worry that the Lord will not be able to use me at all because my talents are so minimal and insignificant and, honestly, I am just not that good at them.
I frequently feel like I am barely making a difference for my Jesus.
Just like a sedentary old windmill up on the Altamont Pass.
As I sat in my car, looking off into the distance at the plethora of wind turbines, feeling ridiculous and disheartened, I noticed a few windmills just barely spinning, as if it took all of their energy to muster even one rotation.
And that’s when God hit me with the truth.
That’s how I felt: like I had been trying to “force my blades to move” by my own power, relying solely on what God had supposedly given me. The result was no movement at all, or barely even one rotation. But: just like the earth needs the sunshine to heat up the atmosphere to produce the wind currents necessary to create movement in the wind turbines… so I needed to let God’s Son shine on me and create His own movement in my life. Then, and only then, would I be moving in response to God’s movement. Then, and only then, would I be used effectively in this world.
I had been failing to let God’s Spirit spin me.
It is not, nor has it ever been, about the gifts that God has given me. The gifts He gives His people are needed to build up the church, and are certainly blessings to behold, but they are absolutely NOTHING without Him. The gifts we are given will sit and remain stationary if we fail to see this.
That day on the Altamont Pass, the Lord told me that I had been relying on my own winds. Although God has indeed given me gifts that He wants me to use, I had become too focused on the gifts themselves, too busy comparing myself to others— thus, I had begun feeling inadequate about it all. I had forgotten about the most powerful gift of all: God’s Son, who is the sole source of all that I do. His Spirit should be working in me and through me. I had for too long been trying to rely on my own strength and abilities to spin my blades, using all of my own power.
Zechariah 4:6 tells us “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty.”
How easily I forget that simple truth. It is His Spirit, moving us through our gifts, that truly brings life and freedom.
Isaiah 61:1 says “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me.”
It is truly not up to our own doing at all. It is entirely our reliance on God’s Spirit that will help us be effective in any way in this world. Yes, we have to do our best and work hard at whatever we do, but we will most certainly fail if it is entirely up to us alone.
I apologized for my foolishness in making it more about myself than about Him.
There is something so freeing about letting my Jesus shine on me and turn my blades for me. It is as if the Holy Spirit takes over and He effortlessly flows through my life. The “windmill” of my life can spin wildly, without much stress or strain, when I take in His presence and let His Spirit guide and direct my days.
Matthew 11:28-30 in The Message says “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me— watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
No matter how ill-qualified we feel, we have to rely on God as we use the gifts He has given us. That is where true freedom and effectiveness are found.
(for Part 2 of this two-part mini-series, click here)
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What about you?
Has God ever prompted you to stop and look at something (either in His creation or something manmade) and spoken to your heart through it? What is He saying to your heart today through Rebecca’s story?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.