Personally, I’ve heard that sound myself, having lived through two tornadoes in Kentucky. It is a terrifying sound, unlike anything you’ve ever heard before, because along with the noise of the wind, there is the sound of flying debris hitting the windows and houses, and the sound of wood, metal and stone being ripped away from structures.
Just as the tornadoes of this week impacted the lives of their victims in a way they will never forget, so the disciples, after their experience with the Holy Spirit on the day Pentecost, would never be the same. After telling them how they would become His witnesses throughout the world, Jesus commanded them to wait in Jerusalem, “for the promise of the Father,” the coming of God’s Spirit. With the Holy Spirit’s coming, they would receive power, and be transformed into a people who would impact the world for eternity.
Sometimes, we have been guilty of domesticating the Holy Spirit, and explaining His work in humanistic terms. And, when we do this, we fail to see and understand the radical and eternal impact He has upon the lives of those who follow Christ. His coming is anything but tame! He radically changes our lives altering both our direction and our nature forever. This is the essence of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus also used the metaphor of the wind to explain the new birth, and the work of the Holy Spirit to an influential religious leader of His day, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from, and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8 NLT). Speaking of the new birth, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5 NLT) Also, Paul the Apostle said it like this, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17 NLT)