home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > April 8th > THE WIND BLOWS WHERE IT WISHES – SO IT IS WITH THE SPIRIT

The Wind Blows Where it Wishes - so it is with the Spirit
This week I have heard of yet more stories of people who had no knowledge of Christianity as they grew up, yet had an almost sudden conversion to Christ. This has included the stories of several Muslims (now ‘former Muslims’) who knew nothing to very little about Christianity, and had always been taught that Islam was the one true religion, who then heard a Christian explain the gospel and were then supernaturally converted. (Several of these Islamic converts to Christ also had supernatural dreams where they claimed that Jesus appeared to them!) I also heard of an atheist scientist who been taught that science could explain away the need for a God/god, who then heard the gospel and was resoundingly converted. The other story I heard this week was closer to home and involved a young lady who had grown up in an ‘atheist home’ where her parents were actually hostile to religion and particularly forbad her from anything to do with Christianity. Years later, her growing curiosity led her into a church one Sunday morning. She heard the gospel and was converted to Christ. Each of these stories confirm what Jesus taught about the power of the gospel and the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit in unlikely people being like the invisible force of the ‘wind’.

“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



When Jesus spoke these words about the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in a person being like the wind, He was talking to the Teacher of Israel, Nicodemus.

¶ Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you
are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do
unless God is with him.”
John 3:1-2

Num. 21:5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Num. 21:6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. Num. 21:7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Num. 21:8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” Num. 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.Nicodemus was used to viewing God as the Law-Giver, and religion as a matter of keeping God’s Laws. But Jesus talked to him about God as a Father who gave His only Son, with whom anyone who simply looked (KJV, Isa. 45:22, ESV “turned”) to Him could be spiritually healed. Just as Moses had lifted the bronze serpent in the wilderness and all the poisoned people had to do was to look to this bronze serpent on the pole, so, anyone who would look to the lifted Saviour who would be lifted up on a cross of wood could also be healed from the serpent’s (Rev. 12:9) poison of sin (Jn. 3:14-15). 

¶“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
John 3:16-17 (note 1Cor. 10:9)

As a result of his encounter with Jesus, the religious leader of Israel (John 3:1) was transformed spiritually. Nicodemus remained faithful to Christ from that point on and attended to the dead body of the crucified Saviour (John 7:50-52; 19:39). His conversion to Christ had the obstacle of religious pride that only a work of the Holy Spirit could heal. Nicodemus was an unlikely convert.



At the age of 30, when Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, John saw the Holy Spirit come down upon Jesus as a dove would (John 1:32). This was the point when Christ’s public ministry began. After His baptism, and a 40-day fast in the wilderness, Jesus returned to Galilee “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). As a result, Christ performed signs, wonders, and miracles (Acts 10:38). With such an intimacy with the Holy Spirit and consistent demonstrations of the Spirit’s miraculous power, the thing that actually impressed those closest to Him was how He prayed. At times He spent all night in prayer while His disciples slept (Luke 6:12). It seemed to His disciples that Jesus prayed from His heart to God as if God was His Father. This led His disciples to ask Him, “Teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1). Jesus not only taught them how to pray, but He also taught them what to pray.

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few;
therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”
Matthew 9:37-38

It seems to me that if the most Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered, Spirit-anointed, Spirit-filled, man spent more time praying than sleeping and then taught people how and what to pray, we should probably take note. What we note is two profound truths: (i) pray; and, (ii) pray for people to accept the gospel and for people to have preached that gospel. The result of implementing these two truths is that the wind of the Spirit often brings unlikely answers to our prayers leading to unlikely people encountering Christ. Saul of Tarsus was an unlikely convert that almost certainly resulted from the Christians he was persecuting praying for his conversion (Acts 9:1-18).



The wind of the Spirit leads to unlikely moments. Sometimes the Christ-follower finds him or herself in situations where sharing their conversion story leads to someone beginning their journey to Christ. These moments can be quite unlikely. They can occur in a supermarket aisle. They can occur while walking your dog. They can occur at a football match. The Spirit’s wind blows He wishes in the most unlikely moments. For Nicodemus it happened in the dark of night in a secret meeting with Jesus. 

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:3-7



The wind of the Spirit also results in the most unlikely welcomes. The most dramatic example of this in the four Gospels would have to have occurred at the most unlikely moment. When Christ was crucified between two criminals He was ridiculed repeatedly by both criminals for hours on end. But then something happened in the soul of one of them. The wind of the Spirit had blown on his soul. He stopped mocking and ridiculing and asked Christ for forgiveness. Christ pardoned him and assured him that he would enter into Paradise and be with Christ for eternity. 

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.”
Luke 23:40-43

Within three hours all three crucified men were dead.

¶ It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, because the sun’s light failed.
The temple curtain was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!
And after He said this He breathed His last.
¶ Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent!”
Luke 23:44-47 NET

Physical death is not the end of a person’s life. Can you imagine the scene when the crucified criminal who had just been forgiven three hours earlier turned up at the entrance of Paradise? I doubt that there was a need for security at Paradise’s doors, but if there was, I could imagine, with a little inspiration from Alistair Begg, that they might have wanted to quiz this unlikely convert before granting him entrance into Paradise.

“Can you explain justification by faith?” they might have asked.

“No, I don’t even know what that means” he might have replied.

“Were you baptised?”

“Baptised? I’ve never heard of it.”

“Then how in the world did you come to be here?”

“The man on the middle cross said I come here!”

“Oh! Then come right in. Welcome!”

As we prepare for the upcoming Tasmania Celebration with evangelist Will Graham, I suspect that the result will be hundreds and hundreds of people who will also experience an unlikely welcome into that heavenly Paradise because the wind of the Spirit blew on their soul awakening them to their need to turn to the Saviour. And some of these unlikely welcomes will be result of the Spirit’s wind blowing on their soul in their final moments in this life. But for the majority of these unlikely welcomes given to unlikely converts who experienced the Holy Spirit’s unlikely breeze upon them in unlikely moments, their welcomes will be given at the doors of hundreds of churches where they had previously thought they would never have been made welcome! May the Spirit of God blow across our State and bring more and more unlikely converts into the Kingdom of God’s Son!

Your pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. LYDIA

    Amen to all of the above Andrew.
    Its not the wheelbarrow, or the ticket that allows a person into heaven. Its the Spirit Who calls, the Spirit Who passes unseen and transforms a person via which ever means and at what ever time.
    As I have heard so often these last few years, ‘it is not what you have done, who you have done it with or how often you have done it’. Jesus paid it all!
    Years past I said to a young man, “If Jesus had not died for your sins, why bother to die in the first place, what a waste of time for Jesus to have died, if His death wasn’t enough for your sins?” But He has and He rose, the only Prophet to have ever done that, so that the Spirit could come to stay, and He moves where no one can stop Him.

    • Wendy Williams

      Well said Lydia.👍

  2. Archibald Norman Macdonald

    Thankyou Andrew it is always good to have confirmation ,that our destiny is tied up with the sovereign move of the Spirit. It gives hope and encouragement particularly as we pray for our families.

  3. Wendy Williams

    In addition to sudden conversions to non believers, our day to day lives are overseen by the Holy Spirit.💕 Some Christians are sadly unable to grasp this knowledge and misinterpret the most beautiful Spirit filled earthly interactions as “luck” or “the amazing thing happened the other day.”, without recognising or acknowledging the Holy Spirit’s supernatural intervention in the circumstances of the event.
    April’s baptism statement is the quintessential witness of how Jesus and the Holy Spirit, supernaturally, bring His loved ones together to help keep each other safe in this physical world. The Spirit knew of April’s great distress and intentions. He arranged for a Christ centred man, Pete Dingemanse, to be just where April would be, at the exact place and time April would be, to give her God’s loving words, direct from Jesus. The world is suddenly changed for so many people, who love April, will come to know April as she grows, and be guided into God’s love by April’s firsthand encounter with the Spirit, through Pete. Praise and thank you Jesus, for April and her beautiful gifts of singing, love and witness.

  4. LYDIA

    I am SO glad I checked out this eNews again just now! Ah yes – April. Wow what a testimony! There would have been few dry eyes yesterday morning and a lot of prayers of gratitude. A testimony to the working of the Spirit, God’s immeasurable grace and the love of our heavenly Father. God is SO good…Thank you April! Thank you Wendy…


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This confrontation of the All-Good meeting face-to-face with Serpent-breath in the wilderness didn’t go the way the Dragon had become accustomed to. Even more baffling to him was what the Eternal Son did next. Rather than going to the supposed ‘rulers of this world’ He went to the despised and inconsequential: the people of His hometown, Nazareth and those in the socio-economically challenged region of Galilee. 

¶ And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read…When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away.
¶ Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ.
Luke 4:16, 28-29, 40-41

Even more baffling to the Satan was that instead whipping up the mobs and leading a rebellion, the Christ went to the shunned, the despised, the broken, the humiliated, as their dinner Guest! It seemed like an odd strategy, especially to those who had been longing for so long for the arrival of the Promised One…


I do not want to give anyone the impression that Christian is just a set of intellectually propositions. It is much more but it is certainly not less. One of the propositions that we Christians make is that Christianity is a spiritual transformation of a soul. While its propositions are true, they are not just true, they invoke a miraculous transformation in a human being. Jesus described this as being “born again” (John 3:3). The New Testament describes the moment this happens as being a transaction with God where we surrender our life and our sin to Him and He gives us His life and His pardon (1Jn. 1:8-9)! This transaction includes a hope that goes beyond the grave. God the Father adopts all those who turn to Him. It results a new way of seeing life and the world. The things that once troubled us no longer do, because we have a growing confidence that God has a plan and is currently outworking that plan. If you have never surrendered your life in a transaction with God, you can now. You are just one prayer away from peace with God and purpose for your life – both now and beyond the grave! The choice is yours. We can’t impose this offer from God on you, but I do have a proposition for you.


Some of the profound truths in the Bible are expressed in just three words. The late J.I. Packer, one of the world’s most respected modern theologians, was asked to sum up the gospel message. He did so in just three words: “God saves sinners.” Many of the most eloquent prayers ever uttered have consisted of no more than three words: “Help me Lord”, “Thank You God”, “God save me”, “Please heal her.” One of the greatest royal invitations only consisted of three words: “Come unto Me.” Three words is all it takes to start an exciting journey: “Come and see.” Many of these three words statements, prayers, and invitations, have become divinely precious triplets that have rescued a lost soul, repaired a broken relationship, and replenished the worn-out.  


The beauty of John 3:16 is that it is so simple it can be understood even by a child; and yet, as a believer’s knowledge of God and His Word grows, he or she will come to discover that there is a wealth of spiritually-satisfying treasure to be mined! In its simplest form, Jesus died so that all those who turn to Him in trust will go to heaven after leaving this life. Dig a little deeper though, and you also discover that the eternal life on offer is not merely about a location (‘heaven’) or a duration of time—but a quality of life and status of existence that elevates the believer into a glorified state with God Himself (Rom. 8:17; 1John 3:2). Our lives are now the training ground for our status as co-regents and co-rulers with Christ over all of His redeemed creation (1Cor. 6:2-3)! 


What would you do if you found a newborn baby that someone had left at your door? Hopefully your answer sounds similar to “I’d take care him or her.” What if it wasn’t a baby? What if it was a young child or a teenager, or an adult, who turned up at your door requesting to be helped? I hope that each of us would also be prepared to help whoever it was. What if it was not an abandoned child, a youth, or an adult? And what if it was not your front door? Instead, how might we each respond if it was a spiritually abandoned, and spiritually hungry, person who turned up at our church seeking help to know how to be saved? While you might feel a similar compassion as you might have felt for the child at your door, you may not be as confident in how you would spiritually help this person seeking a spiritual connection for God through Jesus Christ. “Where would I begin?” “How could I be an effective discipler of a new believer?” you might ask. Well, I’m glad you’ve asked. For any Christian to effectively disciple a new believer it must involve an individual, a small group, and a congregation.


There is one sin that is worse than all others. It is the worst because it is insidious and imperceptibly deceptive. It is always at the root of all other sins. It was the original sin. In C.S. Lewis’s classic book, Mere Christianity, it warranted an entire chapter (“The Great Sin”) and Lewis claims that it is the greatest threat to any person – including the Christian – and their standing before God. Thus, to be truly spiritual, Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered, and spiritual, demands that the man or woman of God be on guard against what Lewis called “spiritual cancer” — pride. To have any chance of guarding against the spread of this deadly spiritual and character blighting ‘cancer’ requires that we adopt a decreasing vision of ‘greatness’.


A year earlier all hell had broken loose when the tyrant emperor Caesar Nero had outlawed Christianity; and now, the last surviving apostle of Christ had been banished to Patmos Island. All looked bleak. The youngest of Christ’s apostles, John was just a teenager when he witnessed the brutal and protracted execution of Jesus. John, now in his fifties, had many reasons to feel disappointed and even disillusioned with God. His apostolic colleagues had each been martyred – having been put to death in often gruesome ways including: crucifixion, flaying, and beheading. On this barren rocky island, separated from the woman he had pledged to her crucified Son that he would look after, and away from the people that Christ had shed His blood for, John was alone. Ever since Jesus had risen bodily from dead, these life-time faithful sabbath-keeping Jews now recognised that Christ had sanctified the first day of the week, Sunday, as His day. It was also on this sanctified day that Christ poured out Holy Spirit on his gathered disciples. Ever since that day, no matter how he felt or the circumstances he was in, John had made it his custom to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. And his first Sunday on this island of banishment was no exception. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. While some weak Christians find disappointment with God an excuse to forsake God, John did not. While some weak Christians allow their excuses for disappointment with God to walk away from their church family, John did not. John’s example has something to teach us. 
¶ I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…
Revelation 1:9-10a


Fear can be crippling. Being afraid is often the result of not what is happening, but what we fear might happen. Such fears make each of us vulnerable to withdraw, give-up, hide, or excuse ourselves from ever trying something new. The result of this happening is that we each become less than who God has created us to be and in the process we deny the world the benefit of what God can do through us. In the Bible there are many stories of many heroes who learned the secret of overcoming their fears by trusting God and learning how to ‘fear’ Him despite their circumstances or fearful expectations. We read of how Kings led their vastly outnumbered army to defeat immensely more powerful and ruthless enemy armies by fearing the Lord. We read how previously unsure, uncertain, unable people became fearless, decisive, and confident and able to solve previously insurmountable problems by simply fearing the Lord. We read how the arrogant were humbled and transformed into gentle and caring souls when they experienced the fear of the Lord. Then in the early chapters of the Book of Acts when becoming a Christian could cost you your life, we read of the numbers of Christians exploded across the Empire because they also no longer had a reason to be afraid because they learned what it meant to fear the Lord.


How different would your life be if you were filled continually with the Holy Spirit? This seems to have been the experience of at least the first Christians. We know that Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection to “receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn. 20:22) which may have been the moment that they were “regenerated” which is a fancy way of saying that they were born again (Jn. 3:3). But then Jesus told His disciples to wait for the outpouring of the Spirit (Lk. 24:39; Acts 1:4) which was yet to come. The effect on the disciples when this happened was dramatic — especially in the Simon Peter (Acts 2:14). He went from being a cowering timid fearful backslider to being a bold courageous fearless leader of the Christ’s Church (Acts 2:15-39). Then some days later, as Peter was about to bear witness before the rulers of Judaism, he was filled afresh with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:8). When Peter met again with the other believers to pray, all of them were filled with Holy Spirit again (Acts 4:31). Thus, being filled continually with the Holy Spirit seems to have been the usually experience of the early believers. As the Church grew and spread, the early Christians’ understanding of who the Holy Spirit was and what He wanted to do in each believer and church also grew. They discovered that the Spirit didn’t just fill them to be bold proclaiming witnesses, He also enabled them to bear witness to the power of Christ by how they lived. The apostle Paul called this, the fruit of the Spirit. 


One of the emotional/intellectual problems that people who accept that there must be a God that resembles closely or exactly the God described in the Bible have had over the years is the problem ow Why would an all good and all powerful God allow suffering, evil, and tragedy in His world? Either He is not really all good and doesn’t care — or He is not really all powerful and is unable to do anything about it. Theologians refer to this problem as Theodicy (the problem of evil). This problem is resolved by asking a greater question: Does God ever ordain or allow what we perceive to be “wrong” because He has a morally good reason for doing so? This greater question is answered when we reflect on Christ’s passion and crucifixion. By working through these questions we may be able to understand why God might allow or ordain natural evil (floods, fires, disastrous weather events) and committed evil (such as wars, violence, crimes against people, brutal oppression of others). Especially when we view the world from the perspective of there being an eternal Judge who redeems those who turn to Him, and holds to account those who don’t. This is why answering the question of destiny is so important to making sense of life and the world we live in.