“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. – Acts 2:2.
I’ve written about it before, but once again I was truly inspired by it. By what, you might ask? Well, outside my office window about fifty feet in the back yard of our neighbor is what I like to call my “inspiration tree.” We’ve lived in this house for going on ten years on July 4th and that tree has always been an inspiration from day one. It’s one of the reasons I chose this room for my office.
There are times when I’m praying or reading my Bible (or both) when I look out and just get lost in the tree, it’s look depending on the season, how green, or how varied in color and at times how barren. There’s hardly a time when I don’t see a couple of squirrels scurrying around in it and the birds love that tree. Yep, it’s truly my “inspiration tree.” I’ve actually done a video lesson using it as an illustration.
But the other day, the wind was howling! I’m not being dramatic either. In the ten years we’ve been here, this year has seen the strongest, most powerful winds that I have witnessed. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with some “long-timers” from the area and many of them also state they hadn’t seen the wind blow quite so hard as it has this year.
On this particular day, I thought for sure this large tree was going to either topple over or break some of its branches, but its roots must go deep. It swayed and you could see the leaves just shaking and a few dead branches did fall, but it looks as sturdy today as I’m writing this as it ever has. That was with fifty to sixty mile an hour gusts according to the weather bureau.
But as I was praying and fascinated by how it was standing against that onslaught of something I couldn’t see at all, and as I saw the dead leaves and a few dead branches fall, and cotton type seeds blowing all over as if it were snow, it made me think of the power, magnificence and glory of the Holy Spirit.
By virtue of Him being Spirit, He can’t be seen. You couldn’t point Him out to anyone and if someone asked you what He looked like, all you could do would be to ask them what the wind looked like!
Now here’s something I find so interesting concerning the Word of God which I truly love and find so fascinating and deep. There is no Hebrew or Greek word that exclusively means “spirit”; however, the concept of spirit is most commonly put forth with words that also mean “wind” or “breath” such as the Hebrew word, rûaḥ, which can refer to the wind, or the breath of someone or something that is alive, or as spirit, the living essence of a living creature. You truly have to understand the context of what the writer is putting forth to know which English word is meant from the Hebrew.
In the same instance, the Greek work that so many Christians are familiar with, pneuma, can also mean, “wind, breath, spirit” yet in the New Testament context it is used predominately to mean “spirit” in most of its contextual uses. Again, it depends on context because it could refer to the living essence of man, or in some cases it can refer to supernatural beings, either angelic or demonic. Yet it can also and often does refer to the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit.
However it is used in the context of what the author is writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit, it is still an invisible attribute in form or substance. Yet its effect is most obviously evident.
When Nicodemus went to Jesus under cover of night and Jesus made the statement that I quoted above from John 3:8, the very word that Jesus used to denote the Spirit of God was pneuma, which is the ordinary Greek word for “wind” or “air.”
If you remember in Genesis 2:7, after Jehovah, God formed Adam from the dust of the earth, He BREATHED into Adam and the Bible says, Adam became a living being or soul. Also, in like manner (and remember Jesus stated He and the Father were One) when the disciples were gathered together after Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to them and the Bible says that He BREATHED on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22).
Jesus and the Father are One and this is just another indication that His Spirit is in actuality the breath of life, His very life-giving breath!
Now I also want to remind you of the Scripture that I gave to you above from Acts 2. The disciples were all gathered together, most likely worshipping together in unity with one another and waiting as Jesus had told them too and in their midst, they heard a loud mighty sound as of a rushing wind and the Bible says it filled the WHOLE house! It didn’t just touch each one individually it touched them all indiscriminately, as a whole!
As I was sitting and praying that day and observing the wind’s effect on “my” tree. I could hear through the office window the gusts as it roared through the leaves and branches. I would imagine it was NOTHING compared to what the disciples heard in that upper room on that particular day!
It filled the WHOLE house. Think on that for a bit. It’s easy to just skim over and go on reading. The Holy Spirit, like the wind is all around us constantly. It is everywhere. It isn’t confined to just a small area here or there. The wind, even when it is still, is in the very life-giving air that we breathe! The Holy Spirit is our very life-giving breath of God, the Father!
When the air moves calmly, it can create a delightful, gentle, soothing and cooling breeze. When the Holy Spirit moves in that way, specifically as He did upon the prophets of old, there is a stirring within the heart of man. It is gentle, soothing and cooling and yet at the same time full of life-giving energy and power. The Holy Spirit is manifested or symbolized as the wind and He can come as a great rush or torrent of air that fills the hearts of believers who are waiting upon Him.
Now I want to share something with you that I read and what struck me is that it is something that most Christians (myself included) have not given much thought too. We tend to think of the Holy Spirit as our own special “gift” as it were from the Lord and yet, just like the wind and the air that we breath, the Holy Spirit is everywhere right now in the world. His power and anointing resides within His children as believers. He is who gives us the strength to persevere and to continue in this race, but His influence right now is in the world also as it was in the days of the patriarchs and prophets.
The Holy Spirit is with us.
Since the Holy Spirit is the wind of God, we must understand how the Holy Spirit functions as God’s wind (pneuma).
The metaphor of wind is used to describe the Holy Spirit because wind is felt and not seen. Wind can also be either powerful or gentle. The wind is also experienced everywhere in the world at the same time. Therefore the Holy Spirit is at work in accord with God’s desires everywhere in the world. By sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus could break the limitations of having to be in one place at one time. Now, through the work of the Holy Spirit, He is able to effect His will and presence everywhere. We never need to look for the Holy Spirit; in fact, the Holy Spirit seeks us everywhere.
Since the Holy Spirit was sent to the world and not only to the Christian, we must understand the Holy Spirit’s role in dealing with the world. Jesus said, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” – John 16:8–11. Therefore, the reason why we were convicted of our sins and desired to have Jesus Christ come into our lives as our personal savior is because the Holy Spirit was working with us. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit was with them, but in the new birth, He would be in them (John 14:17). Yet once we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we are washed by His blood and then we become ready for the Holy Spirit to move inside us.
When we pray for the lost, we ask the Holy Spirit to convict (convince) of sin and to soften hearts and to open blinded eyes and deaf ears, but how often do we give credence to the fact that He truly is not just in us, but everywhere all around us! If it wasn’t for His influence upon us, convincing us of our need for Jesus, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to accept Jesus, let alone have Christ’s Spirit dwelling, abiding within our very being! It truly gives me a greater appreciation of His work among all of us living in this temporary world.
God has graciously given us the wind of His Spirit as an anointing into His truth. One of my favorite verses is found in the Gospel of John; “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24.
Which leads us to what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes and Paul in his letter to the Corinthians:
As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. – Ecclesiastes 11:5.
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. – 1 Corinthians 2:9-12.
Like the wind, spirit is invisible. A person cannot see it in any tangible form move or work. However, one can see the effect of what the Spirit does. God has given us the means to KNOW Him like we have never been able to before. One can see how He acts on things. Just like the wind going through my “inspiration” tree full of leaves. One cannot see the actual wind, but everyone has seen how it makes the tree’s leaves and the branches sway. Some have even witnessed a strong wind knock a nest out of a tree or rip leaves or branches off of a tree, but no one has seen the wind itself. It is the same with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit moves, either gently like a breeze or forcefully as a torrent, and we can then see people’s reactions. People react to the wind of the Spirit and they do things. Something gets accomplished. So then, like the wind, what we see is not the Holy Spirit Himself, but the Spirit’s fruit.
We carry Christ’s Spirit within us, if we have surrendered to Him. He gently moves us, cleanses us from the dust and grime of the world as He blows through our hearts. He convinces us of right living and prompts us to do Christ’s bidding.
In the time we are living today, we are starting to see His convicting influence on the world around us. Just like all of God’s creation, mankind can ignore the breezes and the blowing of the Spirit through their hearts and minds or they can recognize His movements for what they truly are. His movements can be a cooling and satisfying, refreshing breeze, or they can come down on a hardened heart like a wind storm tugging at the roots of a tree.
The Holy Spirit is alive and well and living in us and with us today. But His influence IN man will end when Christ Jesus comes back and calls us from the clouds and it will be His Spirit within us that will quicken us to meet Him in the air.
My only question; are you ready? Are you looking up expectantly? It COULD very well be at any moment!