spirit

The Wind of the Spirit

I chuckle every time I read John 3:8 in the King James Version.  Jesus says to Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where it listeth.” Do you have any idea what Jesus was really saying, according to the King’s English? I didn’t for the longest time! Thank God for newer versions of the Bible that clarify such verses. Like any verse in the Bible, to fully understand it, we need to look at the verses before and after: 

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 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’” (verses 1-8).

Do you remember the Jesus Movement during the late 60s and early 70s? The Spirit of God began touching thousands of young people, primarily on the West Coast.  Many were swept into the kingdom of God outside the auspices of local churches. It was a sovereign move of the Spirit that eventually landed many of them into organized evangelical churches. Many of today’s pastors were born again during that time. 

That same move of God swept across the United States during that same period. I too am a product of that “wind of God.” I came from a largely unchurched home in northeastern Ohio. The Holy Spirit began touching my heart when I was seven years old in 1963 without ever hearing a gospel sermon. The “wind of God” began to blow into my life, and in the years that followed, the Lord continued to tender my heart. At age 14, I was so thirsty and desperate for a touch from God. My crowning day, one that I’ll forever cherish, came on August 4, 1970, when at a youth camp I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. That same night I was called to preach. The winds of the Spirit blew into my life, and I was born again. My life course was set into motion. 

When I think about the Spirit drawing me to salvation, I realize that I wasn’t the only one who was spiritually impacted during those years. I remember many in my family and friends who also experienced the wind of God’s Spirit. He is no respecter of persons and while thousands accepted God’s free gift of grace during that wonderful “salvation season,” many rejected him. My friend, salvation is a choice. I grieve over the ones I knew who had the same visitation I did and today their lives are shipwrecked by time and bad choices.

Why do some reject, and others accept, God’s free gift of salvation? The Lord sent what would later be dubbed the “Jesus Movement” as America was in the middle of the turbulent 60‘s and early 70’s. His grace reached into a land that was facing turmoil at every hand. I’m so thankful the Spirit of God sovereignly touched my heart and drew me by His grace. I’m so glad I did not allow His “wind” to pass me by without responding to His call. Please, please, please. Do not reject the Lord on your day of visitation.    

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