March is the windy month. And when I see the evidence of the wind in the bending trees and rippling lake water, I’m reminded of the example Jesus used in John 3:8 to describe God’s movement in a person’s life. He said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going” (NIV).
Have you ever prayed for the Wind to blow? “God, would You please move in this situation? Do something! Make Yourself known!” And have you assumed that His movement would be wrapped in glory and blessing? That if only God would move in your family, in your marriage, in your church, in your community, in your own life, something dramatic would happen, and things would get better?
Hosea was an Old Testament prophet who also longed to experience the movement of God in his life and in his country. But in his wisdom, he knew that the movement of God is not always pleasant. In fact, it can be painful.
Read Hosea 6:1-3
I. God’s Movement is Painful
- Give the two phrases in verse 1 that indicate God’s movement is sometimes painful.
- Give the two phrases in verse 1 that indicate God cares for those He wounds.
- How is the movement of God described in John 15:1-2? If a plant had feelings, do you think pruning would hurt?
- How is God pruning you? What has He “cut you back” from doing? Or saying? Where has He cut you back from going?
- What word is used to describe the painful movement of God in Hebrews 12:10-11?
- What are at least three things the pain produces, according to Hebrews?
- Do you think there is any way to achieve these three things without pain?
- What are two things Jesus teaches us by His own example in Hebrews 5:8?
- How does Peter answer those who say God’s will is for us to be happy, healthy, prosperous and problem free? List phrases from 1 Peter 1:6, 4:19 and 5:1.
- How does Peter also refer to God’s care for the wounded? See 1 Peter 5:10.
- What painful experience are you now going through? Could it be evidence of the Wind?
II. God’s Movement is Progressive
- What phrase in verse 2 implies that God may not do everything all at once, but that His movement may be progressive?
- Describe how this progressive movement is confirmed in Genesis 1:1-31 and 2:1-2, Exodus 14:13-14 and 19-22, Joshua 6:1-5, Hebrews 11:30, 1 Kings 17:17-24 and 18:41-45, Psalm 27:13-14, Mark 8:22-25 and Luke 9:22.
- Read God’s promises in these verses: Genesis 12:1-2, 13:15-16 and 15:1-6. Then read Genesis 16:1-4 and Genesis 16:15-16 and describe how Abraham tried to “help” God out when God’s movement seemed too slow.
- What were the results of Abraham’s effort to rush God? Read Genesis 21:8-14.
- Read Genesis 27:1-45. Describe how Jacob and Rebekah tried to help God out. What were the results?
- What counsel does the Bible give to those who are tempted to help God out? See James 5:7, 2 Peter 3:9, Genesis 27:1-45 (Rebekah and Jacob deceiving Isaac), and Psalm 40:1-3 and 27:13-14.
- Instead of rushing God or helping Him out, would you give Him time to move?
III. God’s Movement is Purposeful
- What three words reveal the purposes for God’s movement in verse 2? List the phrases that include these words.
- Write out the dictionary definition for each of these words.
- How are these purposes confirmed in Psalm 80:16-19?
- What additional purpose is mentioned in Psalm 85:6?
- Is it possible that you are spiritually dry and lack joy because you have been resisting God’s purpose when it involves pain and patience?
IV. God’s Movement is Powerful
- Read Hosea 6:3. Give characteristics of the sun’s rise each day that illustrate the movement of God.
- Describe these same characteristics in Exodus 16:4 and Luke 9:10-17.
- What general transformation do spring rains bring about? See Leviticus 26:4.
- How is the movement of God similar to the rain? Read Isaiah 55:10-11, John 10:10 and Galatians 5:22-23.
- Have you misunderstood the quietness of God’s power and thought He was inactive?
- What example does Paul use to describe the powerful movement of God in our lives? See Ephesians 1:19-21.
- Describe a time in your life when you have experienced the powerful movement of God.
As you view your life, or that of your loved one or your friend …
As you view your church, or this nation, or this world …
Ask God to give you eyes to see the Wind.
This Bible study originally appeared in the March 2012 edition of Decision Magazine.