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
Having grown up in Oklahoma, my family members were all well aware of the power of the wind. If atmospheric conditions were right, we’d hear the city sirens begin to blare — warning everyone to run for cover because severe winds or a tornado was imminent. At the sound of those sirens, I remember my mother commanding me to get off the porch and into the house to seek shelter. Running for cover was the last thing I wanted to do, because I loved watching how the low-level clouds would suddenly turn eerily dark. The latent power of wind simply mesmerized me. The fact that the wind could not be seen but could be felt — and the added fact that it was so unpredictable — made me want to stay on the porch so I could feel the wind in action.
But at my mother’s urging, I would eventually head for cover with the rest of the family, usually in a small, enclosed area of the house that could potentially withstand a hit, like a bathroom or closet. We’d shut the door and wait. When the sirens stopped blaring, that’s when we knew the storm had passed. Many times we emerged from our hiding place to find large tree limbs strewn across our yard that had been carried there from blocks away. Sometimes we would see huge trees that the wind had ripped up from their roots. Very often after these storms, we’d venture out to discover that roads were impassable because of debris — trees, limbs, and power lines that had been knocked down by the wind and scattered across the roads. Electrical sparks would spit fiercely into the air from where electrical lines had been severed, so we would drive around them or look for alternative routes until electric crews arrived to repair the fallen lines.
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We’re all aware of the potentially destructive power of wind. But if properly harnessed, wind can also bring tremendous benefits. Think how much it would impact the world if there were no wind. The earth would be stagnant, stinking from pollution and from the normal decaying process that is occurring on the planet.
Just think how essential wind has been to the very development of civilization. For example, if there were no winds, exploration never would have occurred. Consider the great ships of the past that had no mechanical or nuclear energy to drive them, yet they glided across oceans with ease as their great sails caught the winds. The world was explored and conquered by men who “set sail” and traveled the globe, fueled by the force of the wind.
In fact, if no wind were blowing, there would be no movement. Windmill blades would never turn — and the production of materials would be slowed and diminished. Wind is essential for progress to be made. Without wind, we would be hundreds of years behind where we presently are in history.
Wind cannot be seen, but its effects can be felt and heard — just like the Holy Spirit. We cannot see Him, but we can feel the effects of His presence and His power. On the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:2 says, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” Today I want us to look at the comparison of wind to the Holy Spirit in this verse to see what we can learn about why the Spirit came in this manner on the Day of Pentecost and what this means to you and me.
In Acts 2:2, 120 disciples were gathered in the Upper Room, waiting for the promise of the Father as Jesus had commanded them (see Acts 1:4). The Bible says that as they were waiting, “suddenly” there came from Heaven a certain sound. The word “suddenly” was translated from the Greek word aphno, which carries with it the idea that something took them off-guard and by surprise.
Acts 2:2 goes on to say, “…Suddenly there came a sound….” This phrase “there came” is a translation of the word ginomai, which in this case describes something very similar to the Greek word aphno — something that happens unexpectedly or that catches one off-guard.
The word “sound” in this verse is the Greek word echos. This is the very word that is used in Luke 21:25 to describe the deafening roar of the sea.
Verse 2 continues, “…A sound from heaven….” The phrase “from heaven” is from the Greek words ek tou ourano. The word ek means out, and tou ourano means of Heaven. This leaves no doubt that this sound had originated and emanated from Heaven itself.
Then Luke compared this sound from Heaven to a “rushing, mighty wind.” The word “rushing” was translated from the Greek word pheromones, the present-passive participle of phero, which means to be carried, borne, or driven and agrees with the idea of something borne or driven downward very loudly. When this sound from Heaven came, it was loud — so loud that the writer used the word “rushing” to describe what Jesus’ disciples heard that day in the room where they gathered.
Furthermore, the Greek text also uses the word biaias for “mighty,” a word that could be better translated as violent. Hence, this “sound” thundered like the roaring of a sea or a mighty wind that swept downward very loudly and violently.
The word “wind” itself comes from pnoe, which describes wind so loud that one may be tempted to cover his ears from the overpowering noise of it. This means when the Spirit was poured out, it was no quiet affair. It was loud, noisy, and violent — not violent in terms of destructive, but rather it was strongly felt.
Just as wind moves ships, empowers engines, drives windmills, and disperses pollution from the earth — when the Holy Spirit moved on the Day of Pentecost, He released power strong enough to transform 120 disciples into a mighty force for God!
When the wind of the Spirit blows upon a near-dead church, it can blow life back into that congregation again. When all of our organizing is done and is nearly perfect, yet we still lack power, it is the wind of the Holy Spirit that can blow strongly upon us and cause a vision or organization to come alive with the life of God.
If you are someone who desires a “quiet” relationship with God, I must warn you that when the Holy Spirit’s wind blows, it is rarely a quiet affair. It is usually noisy and attention-attracting — or as we’ve seen, it’s a powerful force that sweeps downward from Heaven like the roaring of the sea.
When God formed man, He formed him perfectly. But man had no breath in his lungs until God breathed the breath of life into him (see Genesis 2:7). Likewise, when the Church was assembled on the Day of Pentecost, it had no power until the Holy Spirit breathed into that assembly. When that loud “boom” exploded overhead in the room where they were gathered, the power of God came upon 120 disciples, and they became an empowered, mighty force in the earth as a result.
Wind is a good word to describe the power of the Holy Spirit. Change happens when winds blow — and when the Holy Spirit moves, He brings change like wind. Energy is produced by wind — and when the Holy Spirit moves in this manner, He supplies supernatural energy. He empowers us to do what we could not naturally do on our own. Oh, how we need the supernatural wind of the Holy Spirit!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for the movement of the Holy Spirit that comes to empower me and to make me alive to minister and represent You on the earth! So many times I do everything that needs to be done organizationally, but life and power remain missing. Today I personally ask You to blow Your wind upon me, upon my church, and upon the mission organizations I support so they will all be “moved” by the Spirit and supernaturally empowered to do the work of the ministry!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I boldly declare that I will not be satisfied until a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit has blown upon me to give me divine life and divine energy. Without this life, I can only do what human power can do, but when the Spirit blows His divine wind upon me, suddenly I am empowered to do what I could have never done before. Today — right now — I am opening myself to the rushing mighty wind of the Holy Spirit. I confess that I am a ready recipient, and I am receiving a fresh infilling of this divine wind to empower me for God’s service.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of a time when you did everything naturally that could be done, but you still lacked the power to do the work of the ministry? Do you feel that way right now? If yes, what are you going to do about it after reading today’s Sparkling Gem?
- Have you ever had a moment when the Spirit’s wind moved upon you — and suddenly you were supernaturally empowered like never before in your life?
- If you know someone who feels spiritually stagnant, how would you encourage him or her after what you have read in today’s Sparkling Gem?