THE WIND OF THIS WORLD
At the southernmost point of New Zealand, a place known as Slope Point on South Island, are some of the most bizarre-looking trees. They look as though they’ve been misshapen by an atomic blast. But such is not the case. They’re the result of a more common phenomenon.
Now trees do not naturally grow on Slope Point. Why? It’s the wind. The wind is not only strong. It’s relentless. As a local writer said: “It is not a wind that will necessarily break and snap at will, although clearly it can. It is its sheer relentlessness, like a gnawing toothache, that never ceases until total submission from the victim is achieved.”
This wind travels unobstructed for more than 2,000 miles from the Antarctic before it hits Slope Point. And it never stops or wavers. Its steady force makes Slope Point an inhospitable place for anything that tries to stand tall – especially trees.
Nevertheless, there are some trees that grow on Slope Point. But they are all disfigured by the relentless wind. Sheep herders planted them long ago so that their sheep, the area’s only inhabitants, could find some relief from the wind. To get them to grow, these trees had to be properly braced by poles and supporting wires – at least up to six feet above the ground. After the six-foot mark, the trees had no bracing. And that’s when they began to bend to the wind – as can be seen in the picture above.
And what do you think the steady and relentless force of this sinful world is doing to the Christian believer? Unless there is a counter force in the believer’s life, won’t the world’s steady influence bend him or her to its will? Won’t it distort the believer’s biblical world view and incline their heart toward evil?
There is hardly any escape from the world’s corrosive current. Therefore, it’s imperative that Christian believers immerse themselves into God’s holy word, the Bible that they may be spiritually fed. God’s word can brace them against the destructive wind of this world (Matthew 7:24-27; James 2:21; 1 Peter 2:2).
It’s also essential that they join with other believers in regular worship and fellowship (Hebrews 10:25). The skyscraping coast redwoods of California and southern Oregon cannot stand up in isolation, but require the mutual support of others redwoods. It’s the same for Christian believers. God intended for us to grow up and thrive together.
It’s also necessary for every believer to maintain an active prayer life. This is their daily date with God, a time when they cast their anxieties and concerns upon God. It’s our opportunity to open the windows of our souls to heaven and allow God’s Spirit to fill us (Luke 3:21-22; Ephesians 5:18). Individual and collective prayer is also the way God has chosen to execute His will and bring His reign upon the earth (Matthew 6:9-10).
If these disciplines are absent from your life, then I can guarantee you that the world’s prevailing wind is having its way in your life. You’ll be as much of a distortion of a believer as the trees of Slope Point are a perversion of what God designed them to be.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, please awaken my conscience and bring me to my senses. Help me to buckled down and commit myself to those disciplines essential to my growth and survival against the corrosive current of this world. Create in me, O God, a hunger for Your word, a thirst for Your Holy Spirit, and a yearning to be with Your people. Amen.