Sermons

Summary: At unlikely times and places we too find ourselves engaged in a battle. However, standing together in the strength of the Holy Spirit the battles we fight won’t be lost! The wind of the Spirit will blow us to unlikely places with power to win!

UNLIKELY - Your Place in the Battle

John 3:7-8 MsgB

“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Introduction: It was a surprise attack! The Japanese Imperial Army caught the American forces stationed at Pearl Harbor completely off guard early Sunday morning December 7, 1941. The Americans were going about their normal routine and missed the warning signs of an impending attack. It was a Sunday morning; a day to rest and sleep in, or for those who chose to get up and go to church. None were at their battle stations prepared for the sudden battle they would be forced to fight and lose.

At unlikely times and places we too find ourselves engaged in a battle. However, standing together in the strength of the Holy Spirit the battles we fight won’t be lost!

God has a place for the unlikely; the wind of the Spirit will blow us into surprising places to accomplish His purpose in our lives.

The Holy Spirit continues to surprise us; one breath of God is not enough.

Nicodemus found himself surprised by the place God brought him. Nicodemus thought he was good with God. He struggled to understand the God wanted him to be born again. Jesus explained this spiritual rebirth as being of the Spirit - the wind or breath of God.

The “PNEUMA” quickens us to be “born again” or “born from above.”

The Greek word PNEUMA is translated as both WIND and SPIRIT

Nicodemus understood this word play because it works the same way with the Hebrew word RAUCH. Rauch likewise is translated as both wind and spirit - it can also be translated breath. Here is what Nicodemus understood:

The root of rauch is simply rah, which is translated as a verb TRAVEL or as a noun PATH. Nicodemus understood this carried the idea of a PRESCRIBED PATH or what we might think of as a routine.

The wind follows a prescribed path - we don’t know the path the wind follows, but the wind does not deviate from the path determined for it to follow. The wind blows bringing the changing seasons; it accomplishes its purpose along it’s prescribed path.

The prescribed path of the wind likewise illustrates the idea behind rauch also meaning BREATH. Every breath we take follows the path of being inhaled and exhaled. Our breath follows this path without deviation and without our conscious thought; breath moves in and out according to the prescribed path giving us life.

Similarly, the spirit is the breath of a person following the prescribed path or purpose to breathe out the life and creativity within the individual. In the same way the wind is invisible but brings the changing of the seasons, so too the invisible spirit within an individual accomplishes the desires or purposes within the person. Therefore, the Holy Spirit breaths into our lives to fulfill God’s creative purpose in our lives.

The Holy Spirit follows a prescribed path blowing into our lives so we might be born again. But God’s work or purpose is not finished with one breath. Just as the winds continue to blow day after day following the prescribed path God has determined for it, the Spirit will come again and again into our lives- sometimes as a gentle breeze and at other times like a gusting hurricane we will discover the wind of God has blown us again into an unlikely place.

Will we yield to the Holy Spirit, or will we push back against the wind to resist the Lord? We can choose to either push against the wind, or we can open the sail of our hearts to be carried along by the Spirit of God being transformed to be more like Jesus.

God has a place for the unlikely. At unlikely times and places we will find ourselves engaged in a battle. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives along His prescribed path to empower and unite us to win every battle.

We are not innocent bystanders. You and I have a place in the battle.

To discover how God wants to work in and through our lives in unlikely places to win the battles we face turn in your bibles to Exodus 17. Here Joshua fights against the Amalekites as Moses looks on from a hillside with Aaron and Hur.

Exodus 17:8-15 NIV

8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

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