Many Christians find the Holy Spirit a most puzzling personage of the Holy Trinity. But understanding the Holy Spirit can be a breeze! – or a whirlwind… or a whisper.
When Nicodemus came by night to secretly question Jesus, Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “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.” (John 3:8). The “insufflation” refers to Jesus’ post-resurrection appearance to His disciples when “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22). [See also Ezek. 37:9-14]. And when the Holy Spirit fell in His fullness upon the disciples we read, “a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2).
Wind, it seems, has much to teach us about the activity of the Holy Spirit: invisible, gentle & refreshing, forceful & abrasive, powerful or entreating, silent or howling. Wind can empower sailboats, generate electricity, soar a kite or sound delicate chimes. But the one thing no one can determine about it is “where it comes from or where it is going,” and Jesus said the Holy Spirit is like that.
If we want to experience the wind — want to see what it’s up to today — we will need to get outside and expose ourselves to what is has to offer, not just gaze at it’s effects through glazed glass windows.
If we want to experience the Holy Spirit, we must do the same… we must expose ourselves to what He is doing today, not just gaze at His effects through glazed-over hearts and eyes.
How do we do that? Our service this past Sunday offered some clues… leave off our own agendas, ask… seek… knock… and wait for the wind to answer.
Unusual? Not really. Wind is like that. Wind is usually unusual.