DayBreaks for 2/12/18 – The Spirit and the Wind

DayBreaks for 2/12/18: The Spirit and the Wind

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2008:

John 3:8 (NIV) – The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Without a doubt, the aspect of the Trinity that we know the least about would be the Spirit.  Even His name, “Spirit”, seems strange and mysterious to us compared to Father or Son.  We long to lay our eyes upon the Father and upon the Son, but how often have you heard anyone say, “I can’t wait until I see the Spirit!”

As you probably know, the word for Spirit in Greek is pneuma.  It’s translated as breath, wind, spirit.  In John 3:8, it is the word that Jesus uses when speaking of the Holy Spirit.  That just makes it all the more mysterious, don’t you think?  You cannot see the wind itself, but you can see its effects.  So it is with the Spirit.  Jesus says the wind blows where it decides to go, and so does the Spirit.  The wind can be gentle or powerful, so it is with the Spirit.  It is interesting to me, that in Genesis 1:2, the Spirit of God is introduced, and as the KJV puts it, “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” – just like the wind that moves over land and sea. 

I have been focusing a lot lately in my life on trying to see and perceive God more clearly though the things that He has created.  Sometimes my eyes are covered and I struggle to see Him in things, but at others, I wonder if I sometimes go a bit too far with my perceptions.  We live in a time when we have a scientific explanation for everything, where even the human genome has been fully mapped, where earthquakes are no longer believed to be an act of God (or the gods to the pagans), where eclipses are understood to be naturally occurring celestial events rather than a sign of displeasure from on high.  Solomon said that “to everything there is a season” but modern man in all our supposed wisdom, says “To everything there is an explanation.”  Something great has been lost, I fear.  Mystery has been subsumed by the mundane and de-mystified.

Here’s my point: what if, just for sake of conjecture, we were to think of the breeze, the wind as being the Spirit passing by instead of being caused by competing areas of high and low pressure in the atmosphere?  After all, the wind and Spirit are used interchangeably in some Biblical texts.  Maybe it isn’t just the movement of air molecules that brushes your face when you step outside today – maybe it’s the breath of the Spirit, or the caress of His hand as the Spirit moves around you. 

Would that not be a better way for us who are believers to think of the wind?  While I’m not possessed of enough wisdom and insight to know whether or not it is true, Scripture says that the Lord will never leave us – and where the Lord is, the Spirit is.  And if we were to start to think of the wind as the Spirit every time we sense the breeze, if we let it draw our thoughts to God would we not be better off than explaining it away as just the difference in atmospheric pressure?

PRAYER: Sometimes, Lord, we listen too much to science and not nearly enough to Your Spirit, that we confess is mysterious indeed to us.  Teach us through the things that You’ve created, capture our imaginations and hearts anew with the awe and wonder we once knew as little children, and direct our thoughts toward You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 06/17/14 – Shaped by the Wind

DayBreaks for 6/17/14 – Shaped by the Wind

Job 33:4 (ESV) – The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Prior to my present work as a missionary, when I was called to conduct a funeral of someone from the community, the funeral director (whom all pastor’s get to know far too well!) would invariably ask if I’d like to ride with him in the hearse rather than to drive my own car. Typically, I would say yes, for it was more relaxing not to have to worry about driving at such a time.

I must say that I’ve had some interesting and informative drives out to the cemetery. Another pastor shared how one funeral director shared with him about the effect God’s wind has on things that grow. You’ve seen evidence of it yourself: how that, over time, trees that have to stand out in the open become shaped in the direction the wind is blowing. Unless there are other trees around to block it from happening, a tree will eventually be shaped by the force and direction of the wind. As you drive around, look for yourself and you’ll notice that tree after tree has been shaped in this way.  We often pass them and not notice, or not think about it. Once you do begin to notice it, one begins to see them everywhere. All shaped by the Winds of God!

In thinking about this, I’d hope that I, and that we as His people and church show evidence of being shaped by the Winds of God’s Spirit.  What started 2000 years ago on Pentecost, the mighty rush of the Spirit, should continue to be a fresh, yet ever continuing Presence in your life and mine.  If it isn’t there is something wrong that needs to be fixed. 

Is there evidence of the Spirit’s work in your life?  What is that evidence?  Do others see it?  How is the Spirit bending you on a daily, continuing basis?   

PRAYER: Lord, You have already given us, Your children, the Spirit.  We pray that He will bend and shape us and that we will be yielded to His influence upon us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. 

Look down the left side of the page, locate the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section, click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible.

Your support would be greatly appreciatd!

DayBreaks for 4/01/14 – A Mighty, Rushing Wind

DayBreaks for 4/01/14 – A Mighty, Rushing Wind

John 3:8 (NIV)  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Acts 2:2 (ESV)  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Why is it that all my life when I imagined the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost that the sound was not that of a “mighty” wind?  Perhaps it is because I picture it taking place inside a room and while a breeze may flow through a room, a mighty wind doesn’t.  I don’t know.  But Scripture is clear: it was a mighty rushing wind

Of course, the word for Spirit in Scripture is from the Greek pneuma, which can mean wind. That’s why Jesus, in John 3:8 speaks of the wind and likens it to the Spirit. 

While we’ve been living in Georgia these past few months, we’ve had some mighty winds during several of our storms!  Georgia is covered with forest.  Twice in the last week we’d have winds that were strong – gusting 40 miles per hour or so, and whenever it gets like that, I can’t help but wonder if a tall Georgia pine will come crashing down on our dwelling.  It happens frequently here it seems – I’m sure that’s due to the preponderance of trees so close to homes and buildings.  On occasion, one hears of a boat capsizing and people being drown as a result of high winds.

The wind is very powerful. It can snap trees like match sticks (witness the destruction wrought by hurricane Katrina and tsunamis, or tornadoes).  Jesus said that the work of the Spirit is like the power and unpredictability of the wind.  In Hebrew, Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) carries with it the concept of the power and force the wind possesses to change and move things. The Spirit of God is no weakling!

Sometimes, as we sail through life, the wind dies down and we barely move. In Ephesians 5:18, we are told to be filled with the Spirit (or, alternatively, “be filled with the Wind”).  Get the picture: it is time to raise our sails and let the Spirit fill them!  What we have do to is set our sails through prayer, fasting and a willing heart and let the Spirit provide the momentum! 

Spread your sails.  Let the Ruach Elohim push you onward!

PRAYER: Thank you for the power of the mighty Spirit.  Help us learn to set our sails so that we can be propelled by His will and move in His direction! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 01/19/12 – A Fresh Breeze

DayBreaks for 01/19/12 – The Fresh Breeze

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:2

Last spring I challenged our congregation to read through the entire Bible over the course of the coming year.  I know that there is a blessing to be received from reading through Scripture (it’s the only book in the world that offers such a guarantee!), but I discovered one that I’d not anticipated this time.

Since I issued the challenge, I accepted the challenge myself, and I chose a reading method that was chronologically oriented.  That meant that I got to read through the Old Testament first.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Old Testament!  There are so many lessons and stories for us to learn from – great men and women to meet, an awesome God to discover, His faithfulness on display.  It was, as the NT tells us, written to be a “school teacher” for us, to help bring us to Christ.  So we should never, ever underestimate the power and importance of the Old Testament.

But, I’ve now turned the corner into the New Testament, and when I did, something REALLY struck me.  I felt as if a huge blast of fresh air had swept into my soul as I began to read the stories of Jesus from the gospels!!!!  It was like turning from night to day, from cold to delightfully warm.  And why should it not be so?  I was literally turning from Law to Grace!  It was, I believe, the difference between the letter of the Law and the rushing power of the mighty Spirit!

There is something so refreshing about Jesus.  He not only came to bring us good news – He IS the good news and we should receive Him with great joy!!!!

PRAYER: For the delight of the Word, hallelujah, we praise You!  For the surprises that take our breath away as we discover the Christ anew, we rejoice!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work with iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 10/11/11 – Where the Wind Blows

DayBreaks for 10/11/11 – Where the Wind Blows

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 10/11/11:

John 3:8 – “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

I love the sound of the wind in the treetops in the forest.  Some of my most peaceful moments have come when I could lean against the base of a great tree, far from humanity, and listen to the whispering of the wind in the trees.  I could listen to the sighing of the trees in the wind for hours and never grow tired of it.  Sometimes I’ll lay back on the ground and stare up at the tips of the trees and watch their gentle swaying in the wind.

The wind can be gentle or incredibly powerful.  It is no mere coincidence that the wind is likened to the Spirit.  The Spirit is called the spirit of peace, but also the Spirit of power and of might.  There are, however, places that are safe from the wind and which seem to be largely immune to the movings of the Spirit as well.

Physically, walls of human or natural origin, can keep the wind off of us.  Sadly, sometimes the church lacks for the influence of the Spirit as well.  Brennan Manning wrote these words in The Signature of Jesus: “Even a superficial study of church history reveals that the Spirit of God blows with hurricane force only through those prophets and lovers who have surrendered to the follow of the Cross.  If there is little power and shallow wisdom in our preaching, teaching, worship and ministry, I believe it is because the Crucified Christ has been ignored in favor of a lot of ‘burning theological issues’, most of which are neither burning nor theological.

Certainly, there have been those in the history of the church who seemed to be born to be wind tunnels.  The Spirit has whipped mightily through their lives.  And then there are others who seem to have no concept of what life in the Spirit means.  I think that much of the problem lies in what the church has become.  When we, in our corporate church, or in our personal lives, ignore the cross of Christ and preach a social gospel to the exclusion of all else, when we as listeners seek for a message to tickle our ears instead of strike our hearts, it should be no surprise that we find little “Wind” in our lives.

We were all meant to be wind tunnels – vessels for the expression and ministry of the Holy Spirit to a parched and lost world.  Is your life more like a wall, or a wind tunnel?  Are you blocking the movement of the Spirit in your own life, and are your actions cooperating with Him or hindering His desired effect on those around you?

PRAYER: Fill us with Your Holy Spirit of power each day, Lord Jesus!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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