The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. Acts 17:24-25
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Acts 2:2
These two verses in the Bible use the same Greek word to mean both breath and wind. In a gentle way, I can easily picture the duplicate meaning here. Yet, in Acts 2:2, the adjectives describing this wind are rushing and mighty, neither of which fit the usual gentle nature of breath or a breeze that I initially picture.
respiration, breath of life
a breeze:—breath, wind
God gives man life and breath and everything. He gives us all that we need to live. He also gives us the rushing mighty wind, filling us to overflowing. The Holy Spirit gives us a life in Christ Jesus that goes so deep, so wide, so high. The Holy Spirit breathes life into us so that we may walk in the Spirit while we live our lives here on earth, sharing the Truth of God.
to move by bearing; move or, to be conveyed or borne, with the suggestion of force or speed
of a gust of wind, to rush
of the mind, to be moved inwardly, prompted
God’s wind can be strong, able to move things. It can be forceful as we are seeing with Hurricane Matthew in the Atlantic this very day. It can be a breeze that barely ruffles the hairs on our head. But the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus that day of Pentecost with force, made to move the minds and hearts of those who followed Him. The wind in God’s hands is formidable, awesome, and able to accomplish all that God intends.
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
Who makes lightnings for the rain,
Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries. Psalm 135:7
Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know! Proverbs 30:4
Matthew Henry spoke of this wind:
We often read in the old Testament of God’s coming down in a cloud; as when He took possession first of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple, which intimates the darkness of that dispensation. And Christ went up to heaven in a cloud, to intimate how much we are kept in the dark concerning the upper world. But the Holy Ghost did not descend in a cloud; for He was to dispel and scatter the clouds that overspread men’s minds, and to bring light into the world.
The Spirit of God came upon those gathered together in one accord, without dissension as the apostles had indulged in while Jesus was still with them (i.e., …for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. Mark 9:34). Yet over the three years of the ministry of Jesus, they had been prepared by the LORD to live together, pray as one, eat together, fellowship with others. Through lessons, love, and the example of Christ, they had seen His ways. When Christ returned to them after His crucifixion, He had told them to wait in Jerusalem before heading out to spread the Gospel. They did. They broke bread together and prayed together. They were in one accord, loving one another. The Holy Spirit, the precious dove, came in the calm, over the still waters, where noise and chaos were not.
When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, the force of the wind would signify the influence He would and could have over the minds and hearts of men. By that, men, women, and children can be mighty through God.
Let us be all of one accord, and, notwithstanding variety of sentiments and interests, as no doubt there was among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for, where brethren dwell together in unity, there it is that the Lord commands his blessing.
The Spirit came upon the apostles in a rushing mighty wind. His powerful and secure direction through the hearts of believers is compared to the breathing of the wind.
Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” Ezekiel 37:9
His sweet effect on the souls of saints to the north and south wind…
“Awake, O north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
Make my garden breathe out fragrance,
Let its spices be wafted abroad.
May my beloved come into his garden
And eat its choice fruits!” Song of Solomon 4:16
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
The Spirit works randomly, not abiding by our ways of order, nor is He subject to our command. God directs Him. The Spirit fulfills God’s Word.
…fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling His word! Psalm 148:8
The Holy Spirit distributes His influences where, and when, on whom, and in what measure and degree He pleases.
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, Who apportions to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11
A filling of the Holy Spirit brings the graces of the Spirit into this body temple, sanctifying the one indwelled to be more holy, more spiritual, more weaned from this world. The comforts of the Spirit, the love of Christ, and the hope of heaven are endowed.
Father God, thank You for living me dearly. I pray that as I write these words, that they be Your Truth. As the wind breathes into me, filling me to overflowing, may I know Your Holy Spirit in my very being. If I am tossed upon the waves of this life, may I recall that the Holy Spirit is with me in all ways. May my heart reach for Your best and know the Divine nature from which I have been created. May I trust in You as I walk in the Spirit. I want to know You, LORD. I want to know You in all Your Ways. Breathe on me, O LORD. I love You and seek You. I pray in the Name of Christ, Your Son. Amen.
Graphic: “Rushing Wind” by Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre