Wind is invisible; known only by its effects. When surrounding trees are still, we conclude that there is no wind. If we live by a lake or on the seashore we gauge the wind’s intensity by the height of the waves.
Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is invisible; We discern His presence by His effects. Since He convicts “the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement”(John 16:8), where we see conviction of sin we know the Spirit is at work. Where sin is denied or redefined or relativized, as happens throughout our societies, we conclude that the Holy Spirit is being hindered. Where righteousness is rare and wickedness is exalted; where no fear of judgement exists we should cry for God to move among us.
Without the Spirit’s work we are bereft of the anguish that attends conviction of sin which, in turn, moves us to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Without repentance and faith people cannot be converted. And without conversions there can be no transformed lives. And without transformed lives social transformation cannot occur. Perversion and wickedness will continue to spread.
Our societies need many more people re-born of the Spirit—converted. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, “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”(John 3: 7,8).
Without being born again by the Spirit, we will not be able to overcome the acts of our sinful natures; “immorality,…hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition”(See Gal. 5:19-21 for the full list). Without the Holy Spirit we will not be able to produce the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”(Gal. 5:22,23).
Surely, we don’t want societies where hatred, discord and fits of age endure as we have seen recently in some of our cities and around the world. We all long for societies where love and peace and gentleness and self-control predominate. That can only happen as one person at a time is transformed by the Spirit.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to spread ripples of blessing from our lives. As individual Christians we depend so much on the invisible work of this Counselor, Comforter, biblical Interpreter. He leads us (Rom 8:14 ); strengthens us (Eph. 3:16 ); motivates us to love God and our neighbours (Gal. 1:8 ); enables us to overcome our tendency to be critical(Eph. 4:3); assures us we are God’s children (Rom. 8:16); and comforts us in pain and tragedy.
May the wind, or its absence, remind us to pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit to control us individually and create a hunger for righteousness in our villages, our towns, and our cities. Come Holy Spirit; make known the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Spread the good news of mercy and grace to all.