Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”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. How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. John 3:1 – 9
Every time I read the encounter Nicodemus had with our Lord Jesus Christ, I am quickly reminded that religion and Life in Christ are two opposites that can never meet just like black and white are. If you carefully read the above Scriptural passage, you will note that Nicodemus was speaking from human reasoning point of view and hence, he mentioned the word “How” two (2) times while Jesus Christ mentioned the word “Spirit” four (4) times. I believe that these indicates a kind of emphasis from the two personalities involved (Jesus and Nicodemus).
Today, religion is obsessed with the “hows” as we can see in many writings and sermons emanating from many bookstores and pulpits on several Christian subjects like: “How to pray”, “3-steps to Evangelism”, “5 Ways to live a Holy Life”, “How to be a good Christian”, “How to do Church”, “How to be a good Pastor”, “How to Succeed in Ministry”, “How to Love God” and on and on the list is endless. It is quite unfortunate to see Christianity been reduced to methodologies and traditions of men which nullifies the word of God and thereby, placing Common sense and and logic far above Life in the Spirit. I now understand what Apostle Paul means when he emphatically made it clear that “As many as are led by the Spirit are the sons of God” (Roman 8:14). Not as many as say the sinners’ prayer contrary to popular believe.
Nicodemus was a very good man, but he was clueless as far as Spiritual things are concerned. He came with an expectation of Jesus to give him a sound theo-logical answer of how he could be like Jesus, but was disappointed by Jesus’ response to his inquiry because Jesus end up shredding what was left of his theological knowledge by telling him that he must be born again and went further to state that he that is born from of the Spirit is like the WIND which blows where you least expected. In short, Jesus was saying that he that is born of the Spirit is not predictable because his life his hidden in Christ Jesus. He that is born of the Spirit does not live on “how” formulas and rituals, neither is he govern by carnal dictates or judgments. He that is born of the Spirit is a person who has died to self and has no rigid agenda that cannot be subject to change. He that is born of the Spirit lives an open minded life because yesterday he may be going South, but today the Spirit mighty lead him North. He that is born of the Spirit does not build his life on the traditions of men and teachings of men, neither does he live to fulfill men’s expectations of him. He that is born of the Spirit cannot be a yes-man to any religious leader or group/sect, because the Spirit of God in him is not a stooge.
I have come to discover that a lot of so called Christians are not truly born again, as this could be seen in their unwillingness to shift ground whenever the Spirit wants them to. Yes, they may have said what has come to be called “the sinner’s prayer”, but they don’t have the experience Jesus was describing in John 3 and that is why so much of what is called Christianity or Church is nothing but a glorified religion of man trying to do his own thing as best as he sees fit. Not minding whether it is from above or below. As James reminded us in James 3:15 that there is a wisdom which comes from Above and another comes from below.
If indeed we are truly born again (from above) and born of the Spirit, then why is it that we are not flexible to the same Spirit who begat us? Why is it that you hear many people saying that “I was born Catholic, ECWA, COCIN or Pentecostal and I will die their”? or “This is how we have always done it”. Why is it that we insist that the only right place to worship God is in our “wonderful”denominations and house churches when Jesus was saying to the Samaritan woman in John 4:21 that, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father”. Why are we so cling to our traditional mindset of judging and condemning other Christians who their only sin is that they choose to live in the Wind instead of living in religion? I must appreciate the humility of “Rev. Bishop. Prof. Nicodemus” for coming to an ordinary person like Jesus who hasn’t gone to any theological seminary nor have a title, in other to ask Him some pertinent questions concerning the Kingdom of God. We must give it Nicodemus for the fact that he came down from his high horse to a young man of 33 years old called Jesus in his days . It will interest you to know that even Jesus admitted that Nicodemus was a Teacher of the Law, but he deliberately became a student under the feet of the Master. I am just wondering if it will be possible in our contemporary society today for a Bible Professor or an Archbishop who is well learned in the Greek and the Hebrew to go and meet a young man of 32 years to inquire of the things of the Kingdom. Your guess will be as good as mine.
The average Christian today is comfortable with his or her brand of Christianity, their is no more hunger to dig deeper into the realities of Kingdom of God. Many of us are always quick to judge before the time, and claims we have already figured out the Christian life all out. And hence, many are secured in their titles, knowledge, positions in church, activities, etc. Brothers and sister in Christ, the best life to live is in The Wind! When you live in the Wind, you will NEVER go to extremes. When you live in the Wind, you will NEVER make a mistake. And now I understand what our brother John was saying to the young believers in 1 John 3:9 that, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”. When you live in the WIND, the mind that is in you will be the Mind of Christ. Living in the Wind makes you free from bondage of religion, and the stress of TRYING to be a Christian. Living in the Wind is the best thing that can ever happen to you and I.
Let me give you some examples of some men that Lived in the Wind while on earth:
ENOCH: Genesis 5:24 states that, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”. Enoch’s story is quite an interesting one, because this is a man that had a short number of years compared to his contemporaries like Methuselah, yet he constantly walked in the Spirit (with God) until he was lost in the Wind. God took him. In other words, God was carrying Enoch around instead of him carrying God. I love the last word that state “…and God took him”. What a parallel from a lot of Christians today, whom we are rather trying to carry God in our pockets and do anything we like with Him. Thank God that our God is too big for that. For Enoch, that was the opposite, because he completely surrendered to his God by walking with Him – stepping where God steps until he followed God to his home in heaven. Enoch did not try to impress anybody, he was focus on pleasing his one and only friend who is God. It is interesting that all through the story of Enoch, he was simply identified as “Enoch” without any such titles as “Rev. Dr. Prof. Bishop, Elder, Apostle, Deacon, Pastor Enoch”. No! Enoch was a simple man and he walked in that simplicity of faith which earned him the last testimony that he pleased God.
JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH: While on earth, Jesus categorically state that his meat (food) is to do will of His Father who sent him (John 4:34). He was focused on pleasing nobody but His Heavenly Father who sent Him. In the course of doing just the will of the Father, he ran into trouble with the religious leaders of his day. Look at it this way, here was a young man that was never known to have gone to any renown Bible School, neither does he lead any “Church”, talk less of being a G.O (General Overseer), He has no title just like Enoch, he was an ordinary son of a Carpenter and to make it worse, he was born in a Manger instead of a world class State-of-the-art Hospitals that we have today, yet, he out-shined all of them all. Jesus was an epitome of humility and focus, he knew all men that He couldn’t entrust himself to them. Jesus lived his life in the Wind, always following the instructions of the Father, waiting to see what the Father is doing and doing same (John 5:20). In short Jesus in the course of pleasing his Father, he broke religious rules and regulations, like healing on the Sabbath day, teaching with authority, chasing the money changers in His Father’s House, etc.
I have realize that if you constantly live in the Wind (Spirit) like Jesus Christ did, you will always end up in the cross – crucified!
As I close, I will like to say, that Living in the Wind is a daily thing, their is no holiday to living and walking in Spirit. We as Christians, must always be open to the nudgings of the Holy Spirit even if it contradicts the popular opinions and thinking of men. Let’s keep setting our minds on things above and not on things below. May God in His Grace and Mercy help us to always walk in the Spirit in other to fulfill God’s purpose in our generation. Amen.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. Romans 8:14. AGAPE 🙂
Hosea Fwangmun lives in Jos – Nigeria,