Monday, November 08, 2010

The Wind Blows Where He Will

Jn.3:5-8 - 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.”

he Lord makes the statement that the Spirit gives birth to the spirit. That is an obvious reference to the Holy Spirit being the One who gives the new birth to a sinner’s fallen spirit. And how does the Spirit operate in this ministry? Again, Jesus now compares the Spirit to the wind, in that He moves around invisibly and works as He pleases. The working of the Spirit in redemption is a glorious mystery and often accomplishes His mission in ways that we would not approve. But so many times, we in the western industrialized cultures, must have all things within reach of our intellect and explanation.

But the glory of the Spirit will not bow down to the intellectual dictates of men, and He has defied the doctrinal and theological constructs of the church. Many times a sinner has come to saving faith in Jesus Christ through avenues that are unacceptable to our normal evangelistic constructs. I am not saying that the truth that Jesus is the only way to eternal life can be altered, it cannot. But I have seen and heard many saints whose testimonies defy orthodox evangelism. Let me rehearse a few of this authentic narratives.

There is a widespread phenomenon that has been taking place in some Muslim countries. A faithful Muslim, usually a man and father, goes to sleep at night after having observed his normal Islamic prayers. During the night, this man has a dream, perhaps more than a dream, in which Jesus appears to him and presents Himself as He really is - more than just a prophet but the Savior of the world. This man not only awakens with that dream permeating his very being, but he rises with a faith in Jesus Christ and the freshness of the new birth. Do a google search and you will find many accounts of such a remarkable phenomenon. The man cannot help but witness to his family and often they follow in his new found faith. From that day he begins a new life which is both glorious and challenging considering the culture in which he lives. The wind, my friends.

I knew an aviator who was a missionary. He was once commissioned to fly several missionaries to a tribe in South America who were very primitive. These missionaries had worked with this tribe for many months, learning their language and putting the gospel into that language. When they arrived they had brought a tape player with the gospel recorded upon a cassette tape. As soon as they turned it on the entire tribe ran scared into the woods. It took some time to coax them out through their interpreter. They all went into a large hut and began to listen to the missionary preach through the interpreter.

But as the aviator listened, a woman began to cough violently near him and those sitting near her scattered. The woman was in the last stages of tuberculosis and was coughing up blood. She was dying and only had an hour to live. This aviator began to tell her a story of the Great Creator who wished to have her come and live in His house. Did she desire to go to Him? The woman nodded that she did. Through the interpreter the aviator explained that the Creator’s own Son had made the only path to His house, and did she believe in the Creator’s Son. She nodded that she did, and the aviator said His name was Jesus. Since the woman could not speak very well in her condition, the aviator asked her if he could pray for her and his voice would be hers. She agreed.

He prayed a prayer that outlined the gospel in her words and said that she believed in Jesus to take her to the Creator’s home. After the prayer the woman looked at the missionary and smiled and nodded that she had understood and agreed. In 45 minutes she was dead. Now perhaps you do not believe that God’s grace extends to such a woman, or that a sinner needs more specifics to be saved, but I refer to the thief upon the cross who had less information than did this native woman. The wind, my friends.

Lastly I recall a story of a very sinful man who sold drugs into the high school. He was a very violent man who abused drugs and alcohol. He was a bouncer at a very violent bar. And this man was planning to rob a certain bank with other friends and kill the guard as they entered. But before he could implement this plan he was injured in a street fight. While he was convalescing as his lost aunt’s house, he was invited to a Broadway play in Manhattan named “Godspell”. It was written by an unbelieving Jew named Stephen Schwartz, and it was a modern narrative of the Gospel of Matthew. This man was very move by that play. Later, he was watching television and saw Billy Graham on TV and heard that Jesus was returning. Again, he was moved.

One night he climbed the face of Garret Mountain at night, and sitting high atop that mountain and overlooking the Manhattan skyline, he believed on Jesus Christ. His life was changed that night and he entered Bible College and became a preacher. Many people would say that God would not use a medium such as Godspell, or that God would not use Billy Graham. But just as the Jewish rulers doubted that Jesus had made the blind man see, I can only say with the once blind man that “Once I was blind, but now I can see!” You see, that man was me. The wind, my friends.

So while we stand firm on the gospel and the exclusivity of the Lord Jesus being the only Savior, we must also humbly admit that the Spirit can work and move in areas about which we are unaware and often about which we would normally disapprove. You see, redemption of sinners is more important to God than obeying the suggestions of man as to how He must accomplish it. So sometimes we must confess to being limited in our understanding, and with our faces lifted toward heaven and our hearts filled with worship, we can feel God’s wind even if we cannot see Him. The wind, my friends, continues to blow today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you're saying, Rick! I asked the Lord Jesus a question about the devil. He answered me audibly, healed me head to toe and soon after I "knew" that I needed to submit to His will. It was a struggle, but I believed and surrendered. After that I began to go to church and was introduced to the Bible. Then...after a number of years I left the church organization - because He called me out.
Thank you for your article and for sharing.