According to legend, the Native Americans who lived in this region named our little city “Simi Valley.” Many believe the Chumash word, Simi, means “windy.” Anyone who has experienced the fury of our Santa Ana winds will testify that this can be a very windy valley. Just look at the large oak tree in our park that was snapped off at the roots by 75 mph winds.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came with a noise “like a mighty, rushing wind.” This wind did not come with the assignment to destroy, but to make men and women truly live. In the Old Testament, God’s people experienced occasional “visitations” from His Spirit. Now, all who turn to Jesus by faith become His “habitation” – He lives with us and in us. We who love and follow Jesus are never alone as He makes our hearts His home!
As Jesus lives in His people’s hearts by faith, we are relieved to learn that He is more interested in who we are becoming than in what we’re producing. God does not measure us by output and production, but by attitude and character. Our ladder-climbing in the workplace means little to God; the way we treat our fellow workers along the way means everything.
As He intimately lives in my heart it becomes clear that He is perfect and I’m not, so someone has to change. His presence is always filled with “grace and truth.” My heart, by nature, is filled with selfishness and dishonesty. As His Presence fills my heart I find more and more of His pure and perfect nature being revealed in me. Less of me, more of Him.
This broken-down world demands ambitious performance and grants affirmation and love based upon personal achievement. Jesus grants love and acceptance based on His incomprehensible love.
Need some good news? Jesus is more interested in who you’re becoming than in what you’re producing. In the midst of crushing failure, He is with you and in you, working the life-transformation He desires.
The apostle Paul identifies the outcome of this transformation as the fruit of the Spirit. One who has lost his job and financial security may find more success in pleasing God. As we become more and more like Jesus, we will be filled with His “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22
Blow, wind of God!