Christianity 201

June 15, 2014

The Wind of the Spirit

In John 3:8 (NLT) Jesus says,

“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.”

Yesterday morning we woke up to a rather dark and windy day. The previous night The Weather Network had little sunshine icons with a few clouds, but there was no sign of sun all morning. I decided to try to see if there was any active weather in the area, but the radar only picks up precipitation that is actually in progress; it’s not a predictor of what’s to come. I wanted something a little more authoritative.

Traffic CameraSo it was then I got a bright idea. Most of our weather systems come from the west, so I decided to go on the traffic camera system in the large city about an hour west of us.  My plan was simple: You can’t actually see the sun in the sky, but if there are shadows from the cars, or the bridges, you know the sun is shining and it’s safe bet that kind of weather was heading in our direction.

Sure enough, there were shadows, so I took the plunge and started the laundry. Yes, that’s what this desperate quest for information was all about; being able to hang clothing outside!

I couldn’t see the sun in the tiny, grainy pictures from the traffic cameras, but I could see the effects of the sun. Today, God’s Spirit is at work all around us; we don’t see it, but we see the effects in changed lives, renewed relationships and a hunger and thirst for more of God.

In context, Jesus is talking about the salvation process. We’ve written before about this twice before here. We looked at the process in light of a passage in Numbers which Jesus directly refers to. On a second occasion, I felt led to return to the passage in Numbers and flesh it out fuller, because I think it can a very helpful text in teaching the salvation process.  That text of course is John 3:14

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up…

The Voice Bible translates the last half of our verse, “Life in the Spirit is as if it were the wind of God.”

In a slightly similar vein, C. S. Lewis once said,

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

He of course was talking about taking on a Christian worldview, seeing things through the eyes of faith; but the principle is the same, we sometimes don’t see things directly but we see the effects.

God’s Spirit is alive and well and moving in the hearts of people around the world.