Are we really “flying blind” in this life?

It was Jesus who introduced the thought of flying blind, when he talked to Nicodemus about the Spirit in John 3:8. Jesus compared the Spirit to the wind, which “blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Jesus was talking from experience too, because he’d been given “the Spirit without limit,” verse 34. From the moment he was baptized “the Spirit came down from heaven as a dove and remained on him” (John 1:32), so he knew what it was like living in the dimension of the Spirit, and in his words the Spirit “blows wherever it pleases.” We have no idea where it’s going. We’re flying blind like an aeroplane in a fog.

John then tells us that Jesus came to “baptize with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:33), meaning soak US in that same world of the Spirit too. And like Jesus we can know we’re in that Spirit world, John 14:17, “for he (the Spirit) lives with you and will be in you.” So we’ll know the Spirit is with us and in us, like a pilot can hear the hum of the engines, but where the Spirit is taking us we have no idea. We’re flying blind.

And this is what Jesus baptizes us into, because he knows what being baptized with the Spirit is like. The Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17), who “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Spirit is a perfect Guide. He knows exactly where he’s going and he will take us there. We have no idea where we’re going or how to get there – but he does.

We’re like those blind skiers in the Winter Paralympics, who thunder down the slopes at breakneck speeds with carefree abandon, even though they can’t see where they’re going, because in front of them they have a skier who can see, feeding instructions to them through an ear piece. And it works. The sighted skier guides the blind skier down the hill to the finish line, even though the blind skier can’t see where he’s going the whole way.

And neither can we. We’re flying blind, just like that blind skier, from the moment we’re born of the Spirit. We’ve entered a completely new dimension totally depending on the Spirit to guide us. But that’s why Jesus came to baptize us with the Spirit, so that we too can have “the Spirit without limit” guiding us through our lives like the Spirit guided him, because in his own experience as a human being it worked just perfectly.

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