“When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.”
I’m currently reading through the gospel of John and my church is also going through John. So, it feels like I’m getting a double dose of John’s gospel. And believe you me, my heart needs it.
In John 3:3, Jesus says, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Then he says in John 3:5, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” The parallels in these verses are unavoidable.
The beginning of both verses talk about the new birth, and the second part of both verses explain the result of the new birth. You wouldn’t want to be in the kingdom of God if you couldn’t see it (vs 3), and even if you hypothetically could see it apart from the new birth, you could not enter the kingdom (vs 5). The entering of the kingdom is predicated on the new birth. It’s somehow this ticket into the kingdom. So how do we get the new birth?
Verse 3 says we must be born again, and the parallel phrase in verse 5 says we must be born of water and the Spirit. This must mean that the Holy Spirit must come into our lives, awaken our hearts, and cause us to be born again.
The Spirit moves freely and breathes life into dead hearts, “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)
I had the privilege of going to a Lecrae concert last weekend at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. It was loud, the gospel was proclaimed, and everyone was commissioned to be unashamed about their faith. The theme of the night was, “Come Alive.” They kept saying, “Come alive, Bay Area!!!”
I thought about how many people don’t know Jesus, how many people have the wrath of God abiding on them in my city, and the burden was and is crushing. But my heart leapt inside of me because we were begging the Spirit to breathe on our city. As Christians, we have a role to play in speaking the word of the gospel to those in our lives, but we aren’t the primary cause of anyone turning to Jesus. The Spirit regenerates, the Spirit moves, the Spirit awakens dead hearts. This should cause us to pray for the Spirit to move through our city. We may not know when the Spirit is going to breathe life into souls, or where he’s going next, but we can beg for him to come.
So join me, and pray that the Spirit moves and breathes new life on the Bay Area. Let’s pray that the Bay Area truly comes alive.