“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5
I am born again into the kingdom of God by two agents; water ~ which is the Word of God and the Spirit ~ who opens my eyes to the Word so that I can understand it. Preaching of the Word is not sufficient for a new birth. It must be accompanied by the breath of the Spirit who moves over a darkened mind.
These two change agents are what is necessary for my eyes to be opened to my need for a Savior. If I only read the Word, it is a strange language which seems to have no value. Think about your favorite scripture; the one you’ve cherished for years, the one you’ve typed out, written on a card to a friend, highlighted and dated in your Bible, and perhaps even taped to your bathroom mirror. You could write out that same verse for ten unbelievers and it would mean nothing. They would be puzzled by how life-giving it is to you. That’s because the wind of the Holy Spirit hasn’t opened their eyes.
There have been so many places in my heart that needed change. There have been lies about God that held me hostage. There have been areas where despair ruled and faith was absent. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have victory. I memorized many verses in an attempt to bring the change I was seeking but the truth of them didn’t impact me. I was confused but was too embarrassed to admit it. How do you tell someone that the scriptures aren’t working for you! My disappointment in my faith festered in secret. If only I’d understood what Jesus was telling Nicodemus. It is the scriptures plus the wind of the Spirit that brings new life.
This devotional is pivotal to everything that follows. As I write about the ten profile characteristics of a spiritual orphan, I come up against one stronghold after another. It will easily be overwhelming without the assurance that the spiritual power of the Word, and the Spirit, combine to offer deliverance and a change to a way of life that has defined me for the breadth of my lifetime. I can not only know the truth but feel the truth.
The wind of the Spirit is already at work in your heart. Can you sense it? He’s been stirring up need and preparing the soil for the reception of the Word to come. When something clicks in the coming weeks, when you have an ‘a-ha’ moment, remember that the Holy Spirit is giving you understanding of the scriptures. The Word will become precious to you and the Spirit will write a new message on the pillars on your life’s foundation.
For all the scriptures I’ve known but felt little, I’m asking Your Holy Spirit to prepare to write them on my heart. Blow over my barren landscape. Amen