You Can't Tell Where The Wind Is Going
Nicodemus was a Rabbi among the Pharisees, a teacher of the Jewish religion, greatly admired and respected in his position. He recognized that the things Jesus was doing could only be done by God. This troubled him and he came by night to ask him questions, under the safety of darkness lest he be seen with Jesus by the other Pharisees and teachers who were rejecting Christ.
Nicodemus starts asking questions, but Jesus stops him and changes the subject, coming quickly to the point - that he won't understand the answers unless he is born again.
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born again, he CANNOT see the kingdom of God.”
This was shocking and Nicodemus didn't know what to make of it.
"Nicodemus said to him, 'How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?'”
Jesus repeats, for effect, the absolute bottom line. He tells him that he's not saying that a man must be born again in the flesh, but that man lives in a fallen human nature and the only remedy for it is to be born again.
"Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and the Spirit,
he CANNOT enter the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’"
Then Jesus elaborates a bit and speaks of the nature of the person who has been born again:
"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it,
but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
So is EVERY ONE who is born of the Spirit.”
A human being lives under the direction of the fallen human nature that he was born into, and his actions are predictable. Offend him and he gets angry, steal from him and he'll demand justice, lie to him and he'll believe the lie, tempt him and he'll fall. But when a man is born again by the Spirit of God, his whole NATURE is changed. Now, instead of living under the direction of his fallen human nature, his spirit has been made alive and he comes under the direction of the Spirit of God who gives him life and opens his understanding. That doesn't mean he will not sin, the person born again is born as a babe and he must learn how to walk in the Spirit, which takes time. But he has a new nature and from the day of his rebirth, he will be led by the Spirit of God.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is A NEW CREATION;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17
This is what Jesus meant when he spoke of the wind. You hear it, you feel it, but you can't tell where it comes from or where it's going. "SO IS EVERYONE who is born of the Spirit," Jesus said. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, the born again person will be led to do things that are unpredictable, unusual, to speak things unnatural, to go places he would not have gone to, and to not do or say or go as he would have previously. He is daily led by the Holy Spirit and one can never predict what he'll do because the walk of faith can not be predicted. He now has a new spirit, made alive and operating under a wholly new source of direction. It's a grand adventure.
If you feel that you're totally able to “direct my own course thank you!” and that you don't need to be born again, then this message is not for you. Jesus said:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Don’t get puffed up thinking that verse is meant for the down-and-out. The Scriptures make it crystal clear that we ALL need the great Physician. NOT ONE OF US is righteous. Jesus is calling to anyone humble ehough to admit his true state, and who will receive him. The rest will be lost.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;”
The first and most necessary step is to realize and admit one's fallenness, one's sinfulness. The pride common to all must fall. You must realize that God has a plan for your life, and that it's totally different from YOUR plan for your life.
If you're willing to surrender yourself and your life to your Creator, pray something like this:
“Father, I realize that the plan you have for my life may be different from the plan I have, and wisdom acknowledges that you are my creator and that I am called to surrender to you knowing that your plan is the right one, that it is purposeful, and is forever. I confess as sin my doubts and the temptation to believe that I can do it better my way. I surrender to you and allow you to become the Lord of my life. I ask to be born again, that my eyes and my understanding may be opened to truth. Change me Lord, I ask you for this great new birth and new life which only you can give. I ask it in Jesus's name, amen.”
'Born Again' - What Does That Mean?