“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.” John 3:8 (NIV)
“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Genesis 1:2-3 (NIV)
The word “spirit” in both Greek and Hebrew means “breath” or “wind.”
The Hebrew word behind spirit is ruach, and it means “air in motion.” It is the same word for “breath.” It also means “life.” By resemblance to breath and air in motion, it means “spirit.” It is my conclusion that there is great significance to be drawn from the word SPIRIT and how it parallels the word Wind.
There are many comparisons to be made between the words spirit and wind. I would like to write about a few of the analogies.
First of all we cannot see the wind and it has no material shape or form. This is true with the Holy Spirit. We cannot see the source or the destination of either one, but we do know of their presence by their effects. Second, the wind is a powerful force and cannot be controlled by man. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is not subject to human control. When the Holy Spirit is at work, it is God moving and in action.
Another parallel I see is the variety of ways the wind and Holy Spirit move. Sometimes the wind is a gentle breeze, refreshing and tender. The Holy Spirit will often gently whisper or prompt a believer into action, by speaking words of encouragement and instruction. Then there are other times when the wind becomes a hurricane, strong enough to uproot trees and scatter homes and people. They Holy Spirit can also be strong, direct, and fierce in uprooting sin and convicting Christians.
It is God’s breath that gave mankind life. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” Genesis 2:6-7 (NKJV) Jesus gave His disciples the Holy Spirit (Jn. 20:21-22) by breathing on them and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
The wind should be a constant reminder to us of God’s gift of life and of the Holy Spirit. It is His breath that spoke the heavens into existence and it is His Holy Spirit that will guide and direct His children.
When you are in the middle of a struggle, you can always trust that the Holy Spirit will lead and direct your steps. The very breath of God will surround you with words of love, comfort, instruction, and encouragement. May the Spirit of God be upon you today and always!
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV)