We have had a number of significant storms in the past month, with very heavy rains, some hail, and extreme, sustained, wind.
Our yard is quite wooded, and we can see the wind even when we can’t hear it because of the trees swaying in the breeze. When strong winds come, though, it is as if the trees are doing a stationary dance in praise to God, while bending and swaying to the will of His Hand.
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.“
Isaiah 55:12 ESV
When you watch the tree branches swaying in the wind, it is not difficult to imagine that they are clapping their hands in praise and glory of their Creator, the Almighty God.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:8 ESV
Jesus said these words when He was telling to Nicodemus that he must be born again to see the Kingdom of God.
We know that the wind is present when we see the trees swaying. Then, too, we hear the sound of the leaves as they are driven in all directions when the wind increases and its force is felt by even the strongest of trees.
When I hear the wind like this, I recall Scripture telling us that the Apostles heard the Spirit of God at Pentecost, and the sound was like a mighty rushing Wind.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.”
Acts 2:1-5 ESV
God’s Spirit is characterized as a mighty wind in this Scripture text. The Greek word used for “wind” is transliterated as pnoe, and it means “breath, breath of life”. So Luke is saying that the breath of life that comes from God filled the house … it was His Spirit.
In Acts, the Holy Spirit gave the apostles the ability to speak in languages that they had never learned, languages that the people from “from every nation under heaven” who were in Jerusalem would understand. The apostles were given this ability so that they could effectively witness to the foreigners of Jesus, the Messiah, the One who rose from the dead and who lives in heaven, the One who could cleanse them from sin and who would give them life eternal.
The apostles’ message that day accomplished something that transformed the known world – it made the Gospel of Christ known worldwide. An example of this is found in the fact that Epaphras (Colossians 1:7) was the pastor for the church in Colosse, a church to which Paul addressed the letter to the Colossians, but there is no record that Paul ever visited this church. The people who traveled from Jerusalem to other cities and regions started churches and spread the witness for Jesus Christ throughout the known world.
The application for us?
Have you been touched by the Spirit of God? Has He breathed life into your heart so that you can receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and King? Have you committed your life to Him? If so, then you have the power of the Holy Spirit resident within you and you can use that power to witness to the miraculous works that Jesus has performed in your life.
Next time you feel the wind blowing in your face, or the next time you see the wind blowing the trees around, or the next time you hear the sound of the mighty rushing wind, think of your God and His Spirit that came to this earth to take up residence in your heart and in mine.
Let the wonder of God’s creation remind us to give praise to Him for His wonderful works to the children of men. Psalm 107.
Father, thank You for caring so much for us that You gave us Your Spirit. Thank You for blowing Your breath on us so that we can then breathe out Your love to those around us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. We praise Your holy name and may we give glory to You in all that we do.