Let us hear the word, the word is taken from John 3:8. “The wind blows where he chooses and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes to. So it is with everyone who’s born of the spirit.” Just meditate on this. It’s a beautiful passage. I love this verse in the Bible. It is poetic and very powerful. It has a very powerful message about life. And I like to see my life in this way too, you know, we’re not just flesh and bone. We have the spirit. We are born of the spirit. That’s what Jesus is saying. You’re not born of just flesh and bones. You are born of the spirit. And Christians are those who recognize that we are born of the spirit and they call it born again, but that simply means born of the spirit, recognize that you are born of the spirit. You’re not just a body. You have the spirit. And Jesus describes what it looks like to live as a person who is born of the spirit. And he visually uses wind as an example to describe what that life is like. It is very interesting that he used the wind, the word wind, because the word in Hebrew is ruah, ruah can also mean the spirit. So the same word ruah can be both the wind or spirit. So Jesus is talking about the person’s life of the spirit, like the wind. And he describes that. So you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where he comes from. And where it goes to, and the wind chooses as it wills. So the wind blows. I mean, here the word that comes to my mind is you do not know that particular passage. You do not know, so as a person who’s born of the spirit, you don’t know everything. You recognize that you do not know.
Culture of Knowledge
I mean, it’s a very counter cultural message. We’re living in a culture where knowledge is very highly valued. Modern people love knowledge. They love to know. Look at the Google. I mean, the reason they’re so successful is because they can quench the thirst of people’s desire to know. So Google is growing. I mean you punch in a few words or a few phrases. A whole knowledge thing comes down, most likely in one page, the first page you can find what you want. If you put the right words into it. There’s a Korean drama called K2 and in K2 there’s a cloud nine. In the cloud nine, there is a special room when you go in there. Not everybody can go in, only a person who has a special privilege can go in and then there’s a special room inside which is covered by windows. And then within it, people are talking outside. You cannot hear them. And then there in the room, you just ask any question and the answers come with all the description and pictures and everything. But that place is a controlling center. From there, all kinds of conspiracy, all kinds of things are happening. You know modern people are obsessed with knowledge, not to use knowledge for the benefit of humanity necessarily. More often, this knowledge is used to dominate control, to subdue others. That’s why they want knowledge so much. Having knowledge is having control. You have to know exactly what’s going on in your life. Otherwise you will lose control of your life, so you want to know, so that you can control your life, and I realized that is an attribute of human beings right, from the beginning. When you look at Genesis, the first sin the human beings made, committed was the desire to know, and satan used that desire to know, in other words, for them, the desire to know is the desire to control. This is what satan said to the first human being, you will not die, for God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil, so then knowledge and knowing is to take control over their lives on their own. I think modern world has maximized the desire of the first human being to the extreme, the modern world, nurtures the mind, but not the spirit. The mind without the spirit. I think it’s very dangerous. It’s like knowledge without love. When you have lot’s of knowledge without love, you know what that will do? It’s very scary. You give so much knowledge to the person who has no love? You don’t know what that person may do with that knowledge, and when I look at modern world it’s like this, we keep nurturing mind, the knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, but we don’t nurture, love, compassion, mercy, these things we don’t nurture. Then what will humanity become?
You know, if they’re ignorant, that’s okay, but if they are so smart, so knowledgeable, and yet they don’t have love, that kind of world is a very scary world to me. You know, I thank God that God is hidden to those who have a desire to rule, control and dominate. If you have that desire to rule, control and dominate, you can never know God. God is hidden to you. Conceptually you know God, but deep inside you can never know God. If you have so much desire to control over your life, you can never know God. You cannot experience God in that way because God hides himself to those who have this desire to control, dominate and rule. Thomas Aquinas, saw it right when he said, “the extreme of human knowledge of God is to know that we do not know God.” That’s the extreme human knowledge of God. The only way for you to truly know God and experienced God is to give up your desire to rule, control and dominate, but come to the light with desire to love and serve. Then you will know God.
Listen to Your Heart
Otherwise, you can never know God. That’s why I feel that in the modern world, the problem is people don’t know God. We don’t know God. We know God only by name. We don’t truly experience God. We don’t know God because we have so much desire to control over our lives. In that way, we can never know God. You know, as I look back, I had a few turning points in my life that has shaped my life and made a big change in direction. Those turning points were like moments that I saw light in a way, and that changed the course of my life and I don’t think I made those turning points. I don’t think it was just purely my intellectual decision to live my life in a certain way. I think there was something in my heart at that time that led me to make that decision and that something in the heart, I call it a revelation, it is only to me, not to anybody else. It spoke to me personally. It was revealed to me. So it’s not something I decided, but there’s something else outside that planted that thought. And in my heart, I do believe that you will have that too in your life. At that time, I didn’t know where my decision would lead me at that time, but when I look back, God used that, miraculously to shape my life and to lead my life. It is wonderful when you look back at your life in that way, oh, those turning points really shaped my life. And you realize there’s something more than your intellectual understanding. There is something more powerful that unravels your life. There’s something more powerful that unfolds your life. So I do believe that life gets unfolded. Life is not something that you make decisions. Life gets unfolded as you live your lives. As you listen to your heart very carefully, God has put something in that heart and when you are able to read that, then life gets unfolded and then you realize the mystery of life. Wow, that’s wonderful. Even now I don’t know what’s waiting for me, ahead of me, tomorrow or next year or I don’t know how many years, but I don’t know what’s ahead of me, but I have confidence that it’s going to be all right because I have experienced the last almost 60 years and then I think I’ll be all right. God will guide me. So I don’t have much fear in that way. I have confidence in that because I know I have confidence because I believe.
So even now, you have to learn to hear what’s in your heart. If you don’t, if you’re not able to hear us in your heart, you can never be led by God. God wants to lead you. God wants to guide you, don’t ignore what God put in your heart, and sometimes we don’t know life and that’s all right even though we don’t know life, but we need to hear what’s in our heart and then that mystery will be unfolded as you live your lives. And then that’s freedom that you experience. Another phrase that comes to my mind is the wind blows where it chooses, the wind blows where it chooses. I don’t know exactly where the wind will blow. I don’t know where it comes from or where it goes to, but I do know that the wind chooses its own course. And I realized that God chooses his own way. And I have trust in God’s choice. I’m thankful that it’s not my choice. It is God’s choice and God will decide where to blow. Just because I don’t know what the wind does, that does not mean that the wind will stop blowing, on the surface. It may look like nothing is going on, but underneath, the wind continuously blows wherever it chooses. That is how God works. God moves where God chooses. You know often we get discouraged because of the outcome of our life, and often we get bothered by the uncertainties of the future. Often we get tired and drained because of the endless challenges, and often we are let down by our own shortcomings and failures. In spite of all that God moves where God chooses. That’s wonderful news. That’s the good news, in spite of my shortcomings. In spite of the outcome so far, God chooses where He will move. When I look at the world around me these days, I get quite discouraged. All the things that are going on. How many children must die for people to truly recognize the cruelty of war and the cruelty of human greed? How long? How many people have to die for humanity to recognize that we need to reconcile, we need to live in harmony. We need to love each other. How many people have to die for us to recognize that? Ezekiel, old prophet, long time ago he cried out like this, “mortal, you’re living in the midst of a rebellious house who have eyes to see but do not see with ears to hear, but do not hear.”
I believe that Bob Dylan was inspired by this passage, Bob Dylan is a singer. One of my favorite singers who just got Nobel prize when he got the nobel prize, all day I listened to Bob Dylan. From the morning until the evening, you know he was a Jew, who was born Jew, but later he became a Christian. And he has a lot of biblical image and his songs reflect a lot of his biblical image. And then I wish that we had people like Bob Dylan in our congregation. Why don’t you guys write some songs, beautiful songs. You can do that. And that’s what I like to do in our church, I like to sing songs that we ourselves have made because that reflects our culture, our religion, our spirituality. You have a spiritual sensitivity. I hope that you have some confidence and start writing songs. And so every Sunday we can sing that song. And when Bob Dylan when he was 21 years old, only 21 years, you know, he’s saying this song. “Yes. And how many times must the cannon balls fly before they are forever banned? Yes. And how many times can a men turn his head and pretend that he just does not see? Yes. And how many years must one man have before he can hear people cry. The answer, my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.” You know, when that song first came out, people asked him about the meaning of the song. And this was what Bob Dylan said. There ain’t too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind it ain’t in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group, man it’s in the wind and it’s blowing in the wind.
We have many questions. We don’t have answers, but the wind blows where it chooses. And the answer is blowing in the wind, and that wind is God, ruah. God chooses where it blows. What you need to do is to surrender your life to God and let God lead you that is life, born of the spirit, a revolutionary message. Life born of the spirit is like life in the wind, not a structured life like a modern corporate life. Life in the wind and the wind will blow where it chooses, and you follow and fly with the wind. I hope that you become free to be able to fly with the wind. Have courage, you’ll be all right.