In 1st Kings 18, Obadiah, a righteous man, voiced a fear to the Prophet Elijah. Elijah has told him to go to King Ahab, who has been searching for Elijah for years, and tell him, “Elijah is here.” Obadiah expresses his fear that the Spirit of God will take Elijah off somewhere else so that when Ahab comes looking for Elijah, he won’t be there anymore. The consequences for Obadiah could be severe! However, he is given the assurance that Elijah will indeed appear before Ahab that very day.
Obadiah understood this: the wind of God’s Spirit blows where He wills and can catch people up as He does so, setting them down again where neither they nor others could ever predict. He can do that phsyically, or spiritually to a person.
These thoughts that came to me this evening, set me thinking about a familiar verse in John’s Gospel in what will be an unfamiliar translation to most of us:
“The Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit.” ( John 3 verse 8 in Young’s Literal Translation)
There is unsearchable, inexplicable mystery at the heart of being born again, or born from above. Regeneration is not under our control. I wonder though if there is something in this verse that would speak to us of a principle in born again living , not simply in born again beginnings: are you and I willing to be like a leaf in the wind of the Spirit? Or having been born anew beyond our control, do we then seek to harness the wind of God’s Spirit to our to our convenience, control or commanding rather than be blown not knowing whither, save that we trust the Father by whose love and will we were conceived is working out His loving will in us day by day, moment by moment?
Life in the Spirit is not always “safe.” It may be that from time to time, in our lives, we need to tear down the idol of safety and predictability. It has a remarkable way of setting itself up again and again.