for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21, N.K.J.V.)
The Greek word translated as “moved” in this verse is phero. The word means “to bear” or “to carry.” It speaks of being borne along or carried along by some person, object, or force. It’s the same word that gets translated as “drive” in Acts 27:15 in the story of how the ship Paul was aboard got caught in a cyclonic storm. Because the wind was too strong to allow the ship to head into the wind, the sailors gave up on that plan and just let the wind “drive” (phero) the ship to wherever it might take it.
To be moved by God the Holy Spirit in this way is to completely let go of the reins of control and simply ride the wind of the Holy Spirit. Wherever the Spirit wants to take you, you go. Whatever He wants you to do, you do. Whatever He wants you to say, you say. Whatever He wants you to write, you write.
This is how God’s prophets prophesied. They were merely the vessels for God the Holy Spirit. Did each prophet have an individualized style of speaking and writing? Yes. Did each one have unique mannerisms? Yes. Did each one come from different backgrounds? Yes. But when it came time to prophesy, each one’s whole job was to empty himself of all self will and let the Holy Spirit have total control over him.
In this way, phero is similar in meaning to another Greek word, pleroo. While pleroo literally means “to fill to the full,” the way this filling plays itself out amounts to control. For example, in Ephesians 5:18 Paul contrasts being filled with the Holy Spirit to being drunk with wine. And how does a person being drunk with wine manifest itself? The wine makes the person say things he wouldn’t otherwise say, go places he wouldn’t otherwise go, and do things he wouldn’t otherwise do. In other words, the wine’s wind drives the person and the person is merely carried along by that wind.
Similarly, this is the relationship the indwelling Holy Spirit longs to have with the Christian. He wants to control the Christian from the inside. He wants the Christian to ride His wind. He wants to cause the Christian to say things he wouldn’t otherwise say, write things he wouldn’t otherwise write, go places he wouldn’t otherwise go, and do things he wouldn’t otherwise do. These will all be good adventures, mind you, acts carried out in the will and service of God just as God’s prophets of old spoke and wrote words for Him that were good, truthful, and helpful.
So, with all this understood, I guess the question to ask about now is, “What wind is currently driving you and thereby controlling you?” Is it the wind of the world with its warped ideas and wrong standards? Is it the wind of another person, one who has far too much influence over your life? Is it a demonic wind that has you carrying out the will of some demon to whom Satan has given his marching orders concerning you? Or could it even be the wind of your own logic as you think to yourself, “I don’t need to be borne along by the Holy Spirit. I know where I need to go. I know what I should do. I know what ought to be said. I know what’s called for in this situation”?
Needless to say, if a wind other than God the Holy is driving you, that’s a current from which you need to extricate yourself. You say, “Russell, I’d like to break free from this current but it is too strong.” Then tell God about it and ask Him to help you. Remember that no wind is as powerful as God the Holy Spirit, and when He starts blowing His wind in your life then all other winds must subside because they can’t compete.
Let this be an encouragement to you as you seek God’s will and service. Just as those prophets of old did great things for God, so can you. But you can’t do them until you let the Holy Spirit have complete control of you and start riding His wind current. I can’t tell you where that current will carry you, but I can tell you that it will be where God wants you to go.