The beautiful 14 year old girl told her Nana at a church meeting that Sister Barbara had a word for her. That evening we received a call from her Nana and asked if we were home and if they could come over. “Why yes, come right on over!” was, my wife, Barbara’s reply. It was related to us how the girl’s desire to hear a word from “Sister Barbara” came about, and as we all sat in the comfort of the living room, Barbara began to share. She explained how we go from being a believer in Jesus to being born into the kingdom.
My explanation is this. It is just like parents who experience a birth. They can know about it, plan for it, talk about it, be all excited about it, and do all kinds of things surrounding that event, but until there is a real physical interaction, there is no birth. It is the same spiritually. There can be belief, excitement, and all kinds of religious activity surrounding belief in Jesus, but until there is a real spiritual interaction with the Word and Spirit of God, there is no spiritual birth. One’s whole life is still only in the natural realm. It is like the encounter that Nicodemus had with Jesus. Nicodemus, a well learned Jewish leader, believed in Jesus enough to come to him, acknowledge that he was a teacher come from God, and state that it was God working with him to do the miracles that he did. That was a very strong belief in Jesus, but his thinking was only in the natural realm. So Jesus said to him “Marvel not”, you don’t need to wonder about it, it is for sure, “you must be born again” (John 3:1-17). Then Jesus explained how the Spirit of God is like the wind that blows so that the wind itself is invisible, but you can see the results. The Spirit is invisible, but when he moves in a person’s life, change is evident, going from only a natural understanding to a spiritual interaction with the resurrected Lord himself.
As the 14 year old girl heard the Word, tears rolled down her cheeks, receiving the inward cleansing that only a real encounter with Jesus can effect. Then with the explanation of receiving the gift and fullness of the Spirit of God into her life (Luke 11:9-13; Acts 19:2-6; Ephesians 1:13), her tears of cleansing became tears of joy as she found a new language rising up from her inner being by which to praise and thank God for the rest of her days into eternity. It was a beautiful time for a beautiful girl receiving from a beautiful Lord Jesus Christ – going from believing to the birth.