John 3:8 “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Children of the Wind
An interesting conversation takes place late one night, between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Sanhedrin (Jewish ruling council). They are discussing the mystery of the new birth, which unlike other council members, Nicodemus was open to believing. In their talk Jesus likens the lifestyle of those who have been born again to the blowing of the wind. It is interesting to note that “Wind” in verse eight is the word (pneuma), and can also be translated as “breath, spirit, or Spirit,” it is also translated as “Spirit” in this same verse.
The word for “blows” can also be translated “breath”, or “breathe,” and the word for “sound” is (phōnē) which usually means “voice.” Putting all this together, it would not be incorrect to translate what Jesus said to Nicodemus as “The Spirit breathes where He pleases, and you hear His voice…”
Jesus is describing a life lived by and intertwined with the activity of the Holy Spirit. Just as the movements of the wind can be felt and its effect on things around us can be seen; so it is with the Holy Spirit’s activity in the life of those who are born again. Jesus makes it clear that the operations of the Spirit are a mystery and certainly beyond human comprehension. Just as we can tell the direction of the wind once we feel it, believers can discern the movement of the Spirit once He’s upon them.
Life in the Wind
Think for a moment of how sailing works, and what it takes to move a sail boat forward on the water. Progress is made as the sails are used to catch the wind, allowing it to drive the boat forward. A skilled sailor knows that keeping his sails full requires keeping his boat properly aligned with the wind. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
As a child of God you are born of the Spirit, and it is God’s plan that you remain entirely under the Spirit’s control. The Holy Spirit will lead you and use you as He pleases; you are responsible for keeping yourself full by keeping yourself properly aligned with the Holy Spirit.
Even though it is you working to remain “in the way of the wind,” it is still the Spirit’s power that moves you forward in life. Just as the sailor needs to be always aware of the winds change in direction, you too must remain sensitive to the movements of the Holy Spirit. Successful sailing is accomplished by dependence on and submission to the wind. Successful Christian living is accomplished by absolute dependence on and submission to the Spirit.
Paul the apostle gives some insightful instructions about remaining filled with the Spirit; “…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20). “Be filled with the Spirit” in verse 18 is in the “present middle,” which is passive. This means you are to “allow the Spirit” to be always filling you. Literally, you position yourself in the Spirit allowing Him to keep you filled, like the sailor positions his boat in the wind allowing it to keep his sails full. The sailor does his part the wind does the rest, just as you do your part and the Spirit does His.
Fellowship with the Wind
Spending time in the Presence of God contemplating and discussing this new life, will always cause you to be renewed, refreshed and empowered with “new direction” by your fellowship with the Holy Spirit; Just like the sailor’s “fellowship” with the wind refreshes his sails empowering his boat in a new direction.
Become an accomplished sailor in the Spirit. Learn to follow the changing directions of His wind in your life. Experience the joys of sailing through life on the winds of the Spirit. Be accustomed to His power at your back propelling you forward toward your designed destiny in Christ, and Be Encouraged! -JSP