I found this wonderful account of Christopher Columbus’ inspiration to sail to America. Probably not a story you’d find in any textbook, but a brilliant testimony of how the Holy Spirit was at work in his life. Below is an excerpt from a book Columbus wrote called Book of Prophecies. I find examples like this encouraging and hope you do, too.
At a very early age I began to sail upon the ocean. For more than forty years, I have sailed everywhere that people go. I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task: seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports. I also studied cosmology, history, chronology and philosophy.
It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from there to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures … encouraging me to continually to press forward and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me make haste.
Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God. I spent seven years in the royal court, discussing the matter with many persons of great reputation and wisdom in all the arts; and in the end they concluded that it was all foolishness, so they gave it up. …
It is possible that those who see this book will accuse me of being unlearned in literature, of being a layman and a sailor. I reply with the words of Matt. 11:25, “Lord, because thou has hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hath revealed them unto babes. …
For the execution of the journey to the to the Indies I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied. All this is what I desire to write down for you in this book.
No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Savior, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service. The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will even though He gives advice. He lacks nothing that it is in the power of men to give him. Oh what a gracious Lord, who desires that people should perform for Him those things for which He holds Himself responsible! Day and night moment by moment, everyone should express to Him their most devoted gratitude. …
This post is part of a 4 week series about the Holy Spirit. Click HERE for other posts in this series.
This series will look at topics such as:
– Inviting the Holy Spirit to begin working within us
– How to listen for the Holy Spirit
– What it means to obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit
– How obedience is linked to trust
– How the Holy Spirit equips us, even when we don’t feel qualified
– What impact we can have in the world when we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit