The Spirit in Me Blows Like the Wind
When Yeshua (Jesus) was speaking to Nicodemus about being born again, Yeshua made a very interesting comparison about people being born again and the wind. We want to take a closer look at this and see if we can understand more clearly about this passage.
John 3:1-8 records this conversation: “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.’ Yeshua 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!’ Yeshua 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.’” There! There it is: this obscure statement about those who are born again being like the wind. Let’s start by briefly looking at the Holy Spirit.
Evidence of the Holy Spirit
The Hebrew word for the Holy Spirit is ‘Ruach,’ which means breath, wind, or spirit. John 20:22 tells us that Yeshua breathed the Holy Spirit into the apostles: “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” The Holy Spirit is a force. He is invisible. He can only be felt like the breeze upon your face, gentle and comforting. Like a soft voice speaking to us, He comforts and helps us (John 14:26). You can only experience the Holy Spirit through His gifts that He gives. Paul tells us of those gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. You can only see the Holy Spirit by the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). As much as the Holy Spirit can be gentle, He can also be a powerful force. On the day of Pentecost, the people felt the awesome power of the Holy Spirit when those who were gathered felt a mighty wind blowing and tongues of fire appeared, and the disciples all began speaking in tongues. The people all around were amazed because each one could understand them in their own language (Acts 2:1-5).
Alive in the Spirit
So how does all of this relate to being born again? The Holy Spirit gives new life, and we see this in a great story in Ezekiel 37:1-10: “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’ So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. ‘So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.”
These bones are like being born again. We too were dead in our flesh, and now we are born anew in our spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 tells us, “Such is the confidence that we have through Messiah toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Yeshua told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again, but this time not in the flesh, but in His Spirit. It was not enough that he kept all the laws and traditions. It was not enough that he knew the holy scriptures. Of course, all of this is important for a relationship with God, but he needed to walk out and live out those laws and traditions and scripture not only in faith, but by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We can become dry. We can become dead. We can go about our lives as people who are just going through the motions. We think that we are alive, but we are really dead. Revelation 3:1-3 tells us, “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of Him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”’”
If we are still living in the flesh, by the world’s way (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the boastful pride of life, 1 John 2:16), then we are not living in newness of life, as Romans 6:3-4 tells us: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Messiah Yeshua were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
We too must die to the flesh. We too must rise into newness of life, or to put it in another way, we must die to the flesh and be born again in newness of life. We must be born of the Spirit and we must live by the Spirit and we must walk by the Spirit because now we are dead to the flesh and alive in our spirit by the renewing of our minds and hearts, as Romans 12:2 tells us, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
All of this to say this: When we are born again, born of the Holy Spirit, in newness of life, we become like the wind. We are no longer bound by the things of this world. Our Spirit is now free to serve God and God alone. God, who is not bound by His creation, is free, and so we too become free of bounds. We serve God according to His fullness, for we can do all things in Messiah as Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” God’s love is not like the world’s; God’s peace is not like the world’s; and we who now walk by the Holy Spirit walk in God’s love and peace. We are free and free to serve Him. We go through life like the wind that blows, operating in the gifts of the Spirit and living by the fruit of the Spirit. Like a gentle breeze or a mighty wind, we serve God by being led by His Spirit, born again in newness of life. We never know where the Holy Spirit will lead us—one day here, one day there, doing this or doing that—but we are always in tune with God, hearing His voice.
So be like the wind and blow wherever God leads you, doing His work, living in the Spirit by His fruit and using His gifts that He gives to those who are born of His Spirit.