What Does Surfing Have to Do with Life in the Spirit?

Recently, God has been teaching me that just as I cannot please Him apart from His Son, so I cannot live a life that’s pleasing to Him apart from His Holy Spirit.

It all started several months ago when our staff began watching the “Flow” video series by Pastor John Ortberg, who likened life in the Spirit to . . . surfing!

A surfing instructor once taught Pastor Ortberg how to center himself on the board, catch a wave, and ride it in to shore. But, the one thing the instructor couldn’t teach him was how to create a wave. Just as Pastor Ortberg had no chance of creating the power source needed to surf, so we cannot live the Christian life without “catching the wave” of His Spirit, and harnessing His power all day long! You’ll know you’re maturing and growing in Christ when . . . after falling, it takes you less time to catch the next wave. 

I used to think being a good Christian meant acting like one, striving to be one. I’m slowly learning that it’s letting the very-alive Spirit of God take over every part of me and do what’s natural for Him (and absolutely unnatural for me!). When I see Him responding through me to frustrating situations in ways I never could on my own, I am absolutely in awe of Him!

So, how about you? Have you been living your life in the power of the flesh, or filled with the Spirit? (These are the only two options, according to God’s Word!) “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Gal. 5:16).

It’s time to ride some waves, ladies! “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). 


God, thank You for gifting us, sealing us with Your precious, powerful Holy Spirit when we trusted in Christ as our Savior and Lord. Forgive us for misunderstanding, undervaluing, ignoring, and quenching Your Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). Would you teach us more and more how to live in the power of the Spirit, rather than in self-effort? We want to keep being filled with Your Spirit from minute to minute, staying in the “flow,” so we might be Your powerful witnesses. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller is a gifted communicator with a tenacious commitment to Scripture coupled with a compassionate, loving voice. God has captured Paula’s heart, and she is passionate about sharing life-changing, gospel truths through the lens of her everyday, ordinary life … read more …

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