Book Review: The Wind and the Rudder: How to Live in the Power of the Spirit Without Becoming Weird by Dan Smith

The Wind and the Rudder: How to Live in the Power of the Spirit Without Becoming Weird (Dan Smith)

It seems like it’s been a while since someone wrote a book on the Holy Spirit, His ministry, His gifts, His desire to move among His people. I, for one, welcome the return to a topic that once was on many believers minds but has now become forgotten or neglected. Vineyard Pastor Dan Smith’s The Wind and the Rudder: How to Live in the Power of the Spirit Without Becoming Weird is such a book.

Dan says,

“The outpouring of God’s Spirit is the primary thing, but not the only thing we need. There have been many times in history when the wind of God’s Spirit has begun to move powerfully through an individual, in a city or across a nation, only to see healthy, long-lasting revival aborted due to the lack of a rudder. One of the attempts of this book is to help provide the stabilizing force of a strong rudder during times of dramatic renewal and revival.”

and again,

“The burden of this book is really two-fold: To help an ocean of Jesus-followers discover the thrill, the adventure, and the passion of the Spirit-filled life they have been called to, and to help other believers, who have had some experience of the Spirit, to discover balance, understanding, and a new sense of mission. We must have both the Wind and the rudder.”

and again,

“My heart’s desire is that you and all who read this book would capture a fresh excitement and yearning for all that the Spirit wants to do in and through you.”

I’m not sure those outside of the charismatic stream will appreciate or relate to this book as much as those within it but you never know. It seems to me like there are less arguments these days about the Holy Spirit than there were when I started out in the 70’s.

Here’s what stood out to me:

We are addicted to activity, to being busy, because we tend to feel that if we’re not busy, we’re not being productive.

When the Spirit begins to initiate ministry of some kind—an unexpected encounter, a burst of inspiration, inner impressions or “pictures,” etc.—we must learn to pay attention, to “let go” of our agenda, schedule, other priorities, and follow His lead.

What would happen if someone in your church experienced a real miracle? I’m not talking about God healing someone’s headache or sore elbow, but an indisputable miracle, like someone whom everyone knows is blind, and has been blind from birth, who’s been sitting next to her seeing-eye dog in church every week, and someone lays hands on her and she’s instantly healed and can see with 20/20 vision! Can you imagine the repercussions?

The purpose for the power of the Spirit is to equip believers to help bring Kingdom transformation to unchurched people, cities, and nations.

Our starting point in any kind of discussion about spiritual phenomena must be scripture.

No matter how wonderful it is when the wind of the Spirit blows, without a rudder we can easily end up on the rocks of burnout, devastation, or error.

It is essential that we learn to discern what is genuinely from God versus what is merely the product of our imaginations or emotions.

I found The Wind and the Rudder a fast read and well researched and written.