Day 26: Just Breathe

Just Breathe

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Job 33:4

Sometimes we can get so worked up about what’s going on around us that we forget to do the simplest and most necessary of things…breathe.  Normally, we breathe automatically without even consciously thinking about it.  But if we are stressed, concentrating, or exerting ourselves physically, we may need to be reminded to take in life-sustaining air.

Oxygen is all around us all the time, but we have to make the effort to fill our lungs.

In the same way, God’s presence—His peace and provision—are all around us all the time.  He freely offers to us all we need for life.  However, it is up to us to receive what He gives, to fill ourselves up with more of Him, to breathe deeply of all He longs to give.

Learn to regularly exhale the junk – sin, useless thoughts, negative emotions, things you wish you hadn’t seen or didn’t know; and take a deep inhale of God Himself – His presence, peace, provision, strength, grace, courage, and beauty.

The word spirit” literally means “breath” or “wind” in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.  This is no accident or coincidence.  God is the father and creator of all language.  He tied breath and spirit together on purpose.

God’s spirit hovered over pre-creation chaos. (Water is often used to symbolically represent chaos.)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Gen 1:1-3

God’s spirit in us gives us physical life.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Gen 2:7

God’s spirit brings us spiritual rebirth and life.

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.  Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.  So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
John 3:5-8, NLT

Like the wind, God’s spirit can be felt, but not seen.

  • I cannot see oxygen with my own eyes.  But I know it exists, even before I am taught its name or learn the chemistry behind it.
  • I desperately need oxygen.   I could try to deny my dependence on it, but that wouldn’t change the fact that I can’t live very long or well without an abundance of it.
  • I can’t grab the air with my fist and shove it into my chest.  I have to breathe it in the way God designed me too.
  • I can’t choose to use oxygen on my own termsI must surrender to the process.

This is true of God as well.

  • I cannot see Him, but I know He is there.
  • I am totally dependent on Him even when I try to deny my neediness.
  • I can’t live well without Him.
  • I can’t use Him for my own purposes or be in a relationship with Him on my own terms.
  • I must surrender to His process which is working for me a much higher purpose than I can imagine.

Life can be full of a lot of things.  You may be buffeted by storms or beaten up by struggles.  Or maybe life is going well for you now, but you are always busy, always running, always striving. You may be concentrating very hard on your goals.

Whatever you are doing, don’t forget to breathe.  Remember, your spirit needs God even more than your body needs oxygen.  Don’t deny yourself your greatest and most basic need.  Just breathe.

“Air I Breathe” by Mat Kearny

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