Jude uses waterless clouds to describe troublemakers in the church. I think we all have experienced being waterless clouds to some degree. Here is what Jude writes about these troublemakers:
Jude 1:12b-13 They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds;
Waterless clouds are definitely a problem. We depend on clouds to carry water so that they may bring us rain. We depend on the rain to water our crops. We depend on the rain to provide us with water to drink. Without rain, nothing can survive. Clouds are supposed to provide life-sustaining water. Waterless Clouds lead to withering and death.
Troublemakers are empty, waterless clouds who go where ever the winds blow. They go without purpose or direction. Fruitful Christians, however, are directed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a leading and guiding wind with purpose and direction. The Holy Spirit is often related to such wind, or even the breath of God.
There have been times in my life when I have been an empty raincloud, floating along without direction, and failing to provide life-giving water to others. I don’t like those times, and I am thankful that I know how to fill to recharge my spiritual tank when I have needed it. When I was little, I used to sing a song called, “Deep and Wide,” that taught me that there is a fountain flowing deep and wide. God is the source of life giving water. When we feel like waterless clouds, God is there to cleanse and replenish us with His plentiful waters, filling us to the point of overflowing.
This is why it is important for all Christians to experience times of renewal. Take time to be with other Christians. Take time to study and pray. Take time to worship with others. These are ways that God tends to fill us when we are empty. If we try to lead when we are empty, we end up denying people of Christ like waterless clouds deny people of water.