In 1843, John C. Fremont, an explorer (and the namesake for the junior high school I attended), set off to explore the unknown once again. He had just returned from an expedition to Wyoming but was driven to see what was then called Oregon Country. He ended up exploring what is now known as Portland, Oregon, but his journey took him through the Sierra Nevada mountains then south and east to the desolate deserts and the Great Salt Lake in what is now known as Utah. However, this passion for exploring almost cost him his life in the Sierra’s where he and his mate, Kit Carson (who would gain fame in Nevada and whose capital city is named after him), were forced to eat their horses to survive. With Kit’s instincts and keen sense of direction, he would be Fremont’s saving guide. Without him, things would have turned out much different.
When Jesus came to earth to mentor and to fulfill God the Father’s plan for our eternal redemption, He brought along a guide and powerful force – the Holy Spirit. While the Holy Spirit seems mystical to many, Jesus knew that the Spirit was essential to His endurance and power. Jesus, in a human body, needed the Holy Spirit to be an advocate to His Father. Like Kit Carson was to Fremont, we need a reliable guide to show us the way through the perils of the broken earth and the perplexities of the people we encounter. The Holy Spirit is in the air we breathe, yet, how often we forget to call on Him for guidance. Jesus often dismissed Himself from the disciples and crowds to be guided and refreshed by God’s Spirit. So why don’t we?
I am married to a curious and creative explorer.
My husband, Phil, has a curious and driving nature to see what’s on the other side of the mountain. He is constantly exploring the thoughts and lives of others. If you follow his social media posts, they reflect the humor he often finds in the crazy choices people say and do. It is always an adventure living with an explorer and never a dull moment. Curiosity makes us interesting and propels us to think and explore, but often we don’t act on those urges. Confidently moving forward is what separates professionals from amateurs. Fear holds us back if we aren’t tapped into the Holy Spirit who can guide our steps. Fremont’s insatiable curiosity drove him to explore with endless enthusiasm. If he was ever fearful, he knew that having someone beside him with keen knowledgeable instincts in the environment and navigation was crucial. It was wisdom he had gained from earlier explorations. When we have a history with God and have walked with the guiding direction of the Holy Spirit throughout life, we are able to know His voice and walk more confidently into the unknown.
We need the ultimate guidance of the Holy Spirit today as never before.
However, when fresh creativity is required, we often forget the resource we have in the Holy Spirit. Having worked in the Hollywood industry for many years, I have learned that exploring new ideas and projects can quickly get many people into perilous territories. Yet, taking chances is the one thing that sets creatives on a pedestal. Discovering the next big unknown movie plot or TV series, or discovering a rising actor, director or writer is what audiences crave and studios bank on to sell tickets. “Next” is the insatiable thirst that never gets satisfied in Hollywood. As creatives, if we can tap into the great Creator’s artistic waters– His heart and mind, the Bible says we will never go thirsty. We will never run dry of places to explore and create. The access to that creative tap is through the Holy Spirit.
The most important exploration we can attempt is discovering the heart of God.
When you are creatively stuck engage in Bible reading and don’t forget to pray specifically to the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that He would accelerate our endeavors and be our Comforter. He’s there in the wind that blows our hair, the sweet aroma in the air and in the whispers of our heart’s desires. But we have to first invite Him to saddle up and go with us.
Jude 1:20-21 says, “But you, my delightfully loved friends, constantly and progressively build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith by praying every moment in the Spirit. Fasten your hearts to the love of God and receive the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us eternal life.”