Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Wind of Man
Jn.3:8 - The wind blows where it desires, and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell where it came from and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

I have listened to a message by Mike Ratliff of Possessing the Treasure and he was speaking about the teaching of Jesus in John chapter three. In that chapter Jesus is attempting to describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit by using something that men could understand. Of course the ministry of the Holy Spirit cannot be fully captured by the mind of a man but His ministry is important for us to not just understand on our level, but to depend upon Him for our lives.

Jesus compares the movement and ministry of the Spirit of God to the movement of the wind. No one can see the wind but everyone can see the effects of that same invisible wind. And as Mike observed man cannot create natural wind just as man cannot manipulate the ministry of the Holy Spirit. But as I listened to Mike’s message it hit me that although man cannot create natural wind, he can create wind of his own making. Of course all of us have watched the propellers of an airplane make a huge amount of manmade wind. We all have felt the wind as a train came speeding by the platform. And most of us have felt and enjoyed the cold air generated from our air conditioner created by a man made fan. We even have folded a piece of paper and fanned ourselves by the strength and movement of our own arm.

And with that metaphor we are witnessing a massive amount of manmade wind that claims to be the divine wind of the Holy Spirit. Wind that travels at the behest and direction of man and not the desire of God. Strategies that have been well thought out without consulting or even taking into consideration the will of God and the parameters of Scripture much less the invisible nature of the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit has been misrepresented as a pragmatist and very predictable when in reality He moves according to the will of the Godhead to accomplish God’s purposes certainly not ours.

But, you ask, doesn’t God desire everyone to be saved? Yes, I believe that. And I certainly believe that the Holy Spirit generally reveals Christ in the world, but that revelation is general in nature and speaks to the whole universe. Without getting into the eternal perspective concerning the choice of man I will contend Biblically that the Holy Spirit will not try and force anyone to believe. And He runs to and fro watching for anyone who even slightly pauses in the midst of this earthly life and wonders. With that the Spirit of God will reveal more of Christ who responds to the drawing of God’s Spirit.

Where we get into trouble is when a person is not responding to the Holy Spirit and we make our own wind molded to what we perceive will interest the person and not what God demands. Like jingling car keys in front of an infant we jingle money, marriage, success, and many other worldly things to garner a sinner’s attention. We reject the command of Jesus Who said “If I be lifted up…” and also when He taught us that when the Comforter comes “He will speak of Me”. These new preachers are well aware that the person of Christ has no attraction to most people so they must wrap up an attractive offer with Jesus hidden well inside this earthly package that they have passed off as true Christianity. So they have created their own man made wind in a fleshly attempt to blow a person to Jesus without the sinner even realizing it.

No one can come to Jesus unless the Holy Spirit draws him. No one. Only the Holy Spirit can illuminate a person’s spirit to the Person of Christ and all the worldly accoutrements only cloud the issue. And a dangerous thought, if people “make decisions” for Christ based upon what He can do for them on this earth they have not been drawn by God’s Spirit but their own lusts. And at the end of that man made wind is a man made Jesus who cannot save.

The wind of man that leads to eternal destruction.


Mike Ratliff said...

Well said Rick! Yes, that false man-made wind is effective only in to those whose hearts are unregenerate. It does not contain the power to regenerate anyone. I may create converts, but not genuine disicples. Thanks for this very good teaching.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

PRCalDude said...

In Genesis the term "Spirit" and "wind" in Genesis 3:8 are the same word. God came in the "Spirit of day" (i.e. spirit of the day of judgment) to Adam and Eve. Beware the "wind" of God as well.

Kim T said...

Indeed beware of the wind of man that leads to eternal destruction.

"And a dangerous thought, if people “make decisions” for Christ based upon what He can do for them on this earth they have not been drawn by God’s Spirit but their own lusts."

Similar thought, perhaps, If people 'make decision' for Christ based on someone backing them or leading them into a logical or non-refutable conclusion, they have also not necessarily been drawn by God's Spirit.