by Wade E Taylor
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
Adam was created from dust. Because God used dust, man was created to be dependent upon his Creator, as dust is incapable of holding its form. Had Adam been formed of clay, the image into which he was made would have been able to maintain itself.
God breathed into Adam “the breath of life” (plural). In the Lord’s original intention, man was formed to live and function on two different levels of relationship and experience – the “earthly” realm and also, the “heavenly” realm. The “breath” that God breathed into Adam was the sustaining power to maintain him on each of these levels of life.
Due to the high calling of man to commune and fellowship with his Creator, and to exercise dominion over the earth, man was required to be tested in order to maintain this state of dependent submission.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17
Through disobedience, man lost his higher form of life. Though Adam and Eve continued to live physically, an immediate death took place. Death is not annihilation; rather, it is a separation. They died spiritually, and therefore they could function only in the lower plane of physical life.
By means of a “new birth,” we are reborn into the spiritual dimension of life, which God had originally intended. As a part of our new birth, we have been provided with (spiritual) faculties, which enable us to function in our newly recreated spiritual life. Through the proper use of these, we either prosper or suffer in varying degrees.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” I Peter 2:2 (comment added)
Through an act of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, we are born again into this new creation, as a spiritual baby. Just as natural babies must develop their senses until they function properly, our spiritual senses, which are comparable to our physical senses, must also be developed. If the totality of our desires and focus upon life is toward the temporal area, then only our physical senses will develop.
However, if the inner desire of our heart seeks that which is born of the Spirit, our spiritual senses will develop and function. This will result in our being able to distinguish and understand spiritual things. Whenever we respond to the spiritual (His presence), we will be infinitely better off than we would have been, if we had expended our time and efforts in seeking only the temporal realm of life. All too few recognize this as an immutable principle of life.
“There was a man named Nicodemus a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night….” John 3:1-2
Nicodemus came to Jesus after it became dark, as he did not want to be recognized. But there is far more within this verse. This “night” speaks of the spiritual dullness of the religious system from which he came. The possibility of God being manifestly present with His people had degenerated into a dead religious form. All spiritual reality had long departed. Nicodemus came because he saw that Jesus had something that he did not have, but desired, and asked how to receive it.
Jesus said this was not possible “except a man be born from above.” He also told him that he could not enter the Kingdom apart from this new birth. The Kingdom message transcends and goes beyond the initial experience of our salvation. It speaks of the full development of the spiritual life that was received, through the outworking of the “born again” experience.
Nicodemus attempted to relate this “new birth” to the temporal, as he was incapable of understanding the spiritual. He asked if this birthing into the Kingdom was a natural restructuring. Jesus answered, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).
The natural man can only relate to the temporal realm. But the spiritual man, through the quickening (lifting) power of the Holy Spirit, can relate to both the natural and spiritual realms.
Nicodemus asked if this process of a new birth was like growth within a womb. Because words are incapable of describing this realm of spiritual life, Jesus told him it was like the lifting power of the “wind,” or, that which will lift us into the higher dimension of Spiritual life and experience.
“The wind blows where it lists (pleases), and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and to where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 (comment added)
Our spiritual senses are the key to fully entering into this “New Birth” experience. Only those who are saved and have developed these spiritual senses can hear and enter. We may hear and not understand, but it is vital that we respond to this lifting power of His presence.
The comprehension of that which is spiritual is gradually learned, as we move in this realm of the spiritual – “the wind blowing where it pleases.” We cannot control the realm and movings of the Holy Spirit (divine presence); rather, we are to respond in faith.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Notice that they are to “mount up with wings.” These “wings” speak of our (new birth) ability to both respond to the presence of the Lord, and move with Him. When we sense (are quickened by) the “wind” of the Spirit, we are to spread our wings and begin to ascend into the realms of spiritual life.
An airplane suddenly becomes air-borne as it goes down the runway at an increasing rate of speed. Once “air borne,” the laws that control this plane while it is on the ground no longer apply. An entirely new set of laws come into operation – those of “aerodynamics.” It is not necessary to understand this, all we need do is to “spread our wings” in response to the “wind” of the Holy Spirit.
The Wright brothers flew only a few hundred feet on their first try. They did not quit, but tried again and again, until today, we can easily fly around the world. If we begin to move in this realm of the spirit and crash, we should wipe off the dust, get back on the “runway” and try again.
The lifting power of this divine “wind” will bring us up into the perspective and function of the last-day moving of our Lord’s Shekinah presence, beyond anything we have before experienced. Like Nicodemus, too many are trying to understand this process, rather than entering and partaking.
As we respond to the present moving of the “wind of His presence,” may we also be lifted into the realm in which Jesus lived and walked, and still functions in today.