The Wind – The Holy Spirit

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”          John 3:1-8 (NLT)

I love the spring and fall because the windows of the house are open. There is a breeze that causes the curtains to sway and the tablecloth on the dining table to ruffle. It’s hard to work because I get distracted and watch cardinals and blue jays swoop across the yard and squirrels scamper down my neighbor’s fence. As I watch the leaves rustle with the breeze I think of Jesus’ words about the Spirit:

“The wind blows wherever it wants.”

Yes, the Holy Spirit moves wherever and however He wants. I have read books on “how to get the Spirit” and heard leaders in the church discuss “how to control the manifestations of the Spirit.” Oh we humans are so delusional!

Nicodemus comes to talk with Jesus which tells me he had some questions. He came after dark which tells me that he was not ready to commit himself as a disciple of Jesus. He begins this one-on-one conversation with flattery. I wonder if Jesus was rolling His eyes or did it just annoy Him? Either way, Jesus cut through the niceties and said something that was bound to throw Nicodemus off his feet.

It is not unusual that when it comes to the Holy Spirit I too can get knocked off my feet, metaphorically and in reality. God sent His Spirit into my life in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise (John 14:25-27) and because the Spirit can provide the most accurate way for God and me to communicate. Words are often not adequate to tell God what is in my heart and, likewise, when I listen with my spirit, I can understand God better.

Too often we try to put parameters around the Holy Spirit. We want to know who has God’s Spirit in them so we say that speaking in tongues is the definitive manifestation. I knew a woman who did not speak in tongues but I knew she had the Spirit of God inside her because she wrote the most powerful and often life-changing notes to people. At her funeral, person after person related how she had written them a note that arrived at just the right time and made such a difference in their lives and the ministry that they were doing. I knew another woman had the Holy Spirit inside of her when I saw this beautiful huge banner that she had made. I had never seen her draw a circle and here she was putting together banners and then she painted beautiful pictures and now she is doing photography. God’s Spirit is in her and manifesting Himself in different ways as the seasons of life move on.

There is nothing that God can’t do but I shouldn’t be surprised if I am limited in my ability to explain who God is and how He works! Often I read a passage of Scripture and it just doesn’t come in clear to me. That is when I stop and just quietly listen. Remember how young Samuel said, “Speak, LORD, Your servant is listening!” That is a good example of how to have a conversation with God. It is good to spend much more time listening than talking. Quiet time is a good time for any child.

Indescribable written and sung by Chris Tomlin

 

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