Predicting the Wind

“The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear the 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 biggest problem with those given completely over to God is this one factoid buried in a famous discussion on salvation.  Do you see it?  I’ve read this passage over many times over the past thirty years and missed this every time.

I get the fact that the Holy Spirit is a mystery to the world; His movements baffle the minds of the carnal Christian as well as those who remain unconscious of Him.  What never jumped out at me until last night as I read this passage was the last sentence:  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

A person who follows the mind of Jesus becomes a mystery to the world around them.  They (the world) cannot tell where the follower of Christ is coming from or where they are going because it’s like predicting the wind.  Jesus answers our question on this problem pretty succinctly by telling Nic how we enter the kingdom and why the mystery exists in the first place.

“…No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

God called His followers a “peculiar people” or those who stand out from the crowd.  It is not for the sake of being different we are peculiar because then it would just a be a badge we wear for the sake of impressing other people with our uniqueness (which, to our shame, happens anyway in the church), rather it is for the purpose of being like Jesus.  The Spirit gives birth in our spirit conformity to the mind and will of Christ, which those caught up in darkness find unpredictable and think of as nonsense, but their reasoning is only stuck there because they haven’t been born of the Spirit.

I know a lot of people (even self-proclaimed Christians) who consider any conditions for salvation a blight on the message of grace.  For them unconditional love means just that:  no conditons whatsoever.  And they are right.  But we mustn’t confuse God’s love for His creation with the conditions of salvation, for there is a difference.

For a person to be a citizen of American, they either have to apply and take the oath or be born here, right?  This, however, is just the first step to being what we call an American.  The next step requires that we work for the good of our country by being loyaly to its laws and stated goals.  So it is with everyone who claims the name of Jesus.  If we want to be called ‘Christian” in fact as well as affiliation, we must demonstrate the traits and attributes which come with it or our claims are a sham.

As we conform to the mind of Christ (a work of a lifetime, by the way), we become more intimately informed to the nature of God’s work in mankind and the direction of the wind.  However, predicting the wind is not something I would be comfortable doing any time soon.  Yet I see those who have lived long in Christ content to exist with the sheer unpredictability of the Spirit for they have come to know Him and realize how secure His plans are for them.  He is all about blessing—even in the worst situations imaginable.  What we cannot predict as it applies to situations or consequences exactly, we can know what our actions should be.

Those born with death in mind instead of eternity tend to live with the mindset of getting whatever is offered in here and now.  Those born of water and Spirit find they can take the long view on things.  When eternity becomes a given, the incidental of today loses some of its vital status.

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2 Responses to “Predicting the Wind”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    We are taught to not take the grace of God in vain. Which speaks to me that there are guidelines, as with anything else.

    I am desperate to be that person who never gets hung up on life and just flows with the way life goes. Unfortunately, I find myself worrying, doubting, judging and crying out and sometimes fighting against the current. I’m better but I envy those people who have more revelation of this than I do.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    Yet even they had to grow to where they are now. Some have less baggage to deal with than others, I think, so they conform to the mind of Christ a little easier. Still, those who struggle the hardest love the hardest as well, remember what Jesus told Simon: “He who has been forgiven much, loves much.”

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