Posts Tagged breath

Creative Breath

Psalm 104: 30

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the ground.

Yesterday we began a glimpse into scriptures about the Holy Spirit. In my studies I have found 248 verses which speak about the Holy Spirit. They all give us insights into who he is and what his role is in the Kingdom of God. The first thing we need understand about the Spirit is that he is God. That is the great epiphany of the Trinity.

Today’s verse is particularly interesting in the study of the Holy Spirit. An alternate reading for the word “Spirit” in this verse is “breath.” Think about that for a moment. This construction yields, “You send forth your breath, they are created.” Doesn’t this sound like the Genesis account of the creation of human beings? “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2: 7). The Chumash reveals much about this passage. The breath of God created humanity. The Chumash tells us that this imparted a portion of God into the created being. People were made from matter from the earth and the breath of God, so we are part God because the breath inside us was given by the Holy Spirit. That impartation made us living souls or as the Chumash reveals, speaking spirits. In other words, God gave us his breath which is the Holy Spirit.

If you look up today’s verse you will be referred to two other verses relating the Holy Spirit as the breath of God, Job 33:4 and Ezekiel 37:9. Job reads, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Certainly, that makes clear the creative, life giving power the Holy Spirit wielded in creating humanity. Perhaps it raises some new interest as well. There is another pertinent passage from Job, chapter 32, verse 8, “But it is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.” Jesus called the Spirit our teacher. As we see from this passage in Job, it is from the Spirit that we gain understanding.

Consider also Job 27: 3 – 4, “For as long as life is in me, and the breath of God is in my nostrils, my lips certainly will not speak unjustly, nor will my tongue mutter deceit.” The footnote for the word “life” in the first phrase reveals the literal translation of this word is “breath.” The footnote for “breath” reveals the word to be “Spirit.” So, here is how it reads literally, “For as long as breath is in me, and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils . . ..”

Ezekiel 37: 9 is equally intriguing, “Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath,’ Thus says the Lord God, ‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.’” The Old Testament folks realized two things that we may have lost. First, they recognized the Spirit as life giving. They also knew him as the breath of God. He is the creative force resident within us that gives us life.

I hope this has been eye opening and inspiring. I hope it permanently changes your perspective and enlightens your thinking about the Spirit of God. And, the next time I write, “God is as close as your next breath,” I hope it will mean something special to you.” Be blessed.

In Stillness

Psalm 46: 10             KJV

Be still, and know that I am God.

This is one of those verses which I like and often quote from the King James Bible. It is also probably the one scripture that did more for my ability to converse with God than any other. To come to know God, I had to be still. The NASB version is very instructive on this verse. It reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” This rendering of the verse spoke loudly to me. I was very frustrated with my inability to hear God speak to me. It turned out that I needed to not try so hard. I just needed to be still physically and mentally, then I could and did hear him.

You have heard me mention Dr. Mark Virkler’s Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice and Dr. Jim Richard’s Heart Physics. Each of these are good tools for helping you calm yourself down so that you can hear God speaking  inside of you. My favorite tool of all is breathing. Yep, I said breathing. I have learned how to take a deep breath and clear the stress and anxiety from my mind so I can hear Him speak. Sometimes my mind is so active that it is like a pinball game inside my head. That is when I just need to take a deep breath and relax. In the beginning it might take me a while to settle but now I can usually notice a difference with one big breath. I also turn my mind to a picture of Jesus. Usually in times of busyness and chaos, there are lots of pictures and words running through my mind. So, I take a deep breath and perhaps picture Jesus seated next to a mountain stream. In a moment I join him there and the rest of the world slips away for a few minutes.

You will learn about journaling in the Four Keys. Check out, also, some examples of my journaling at http://www.bornofthespirit.today/learning-to-hear-directly-from-god/. Journaling is another good way to calm your mind. When you give your mind and hands something focused to do the chaos calms.

Once I could hear Father speak to me, our relationship began to change quickly. I began to recognize Him as a Dad every bit as much as God. From there I soon recognized His presence with me. More and more He became an integrated part of my life and more and more I yearned to have Him in every moment of my day. He and Jesus have become my friends. They are who I like to talk with. I point out my observations to them and they share their perspective with me.

As, I said, I have not arrived at the end of the journey by any means, but, becoming more intertwined with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has changed my life, as you would expect it would. I find I long for them even more because life with them is good. Life has stress but when you have best friends like Yahweh and Jesus, it sure helps. They fill me with their peace and take my stress. They take my judgment, replacing it with compassion. Living in them and with them is just better than life without them.

I have shared some of my journey to getting to know the Holy Trinity and how I am intertwining my life with theirs. I invite you to share your experiences and successes so others may find a closer walk with Jesus. Simply click the link below to share your thoughts. Thanks.

Inhale

Isaiah 7: 14

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Immanuel, or Emmanuel, the name means God is with us. Right now, as you read these words, God is with you. There is a superficial understanding of this and then there is the revelation of God with you.

Most of us readily accept the name given to Jesus and its meaning which is repeated in Matthew and revealed in John. We know that Jesus came to earth and showed himself as God with humanity. I am not here to bring you this “general” understanding, though. The purpose of writing this daily devotional is to continually encourage you into a deeper relationship with this God. I want you to receive the revelation of this scripture and the name Immanuel as a personal message to you from God.

Immanuel – God with YOU! When you read the book of John you see God’s intent to be with us every minute of every day. He talks about abiding. What does that mean? He wants to move in. Wow! Right now, even as you read this, your Father is right there with you. He is so close that He hears you breathe.

God sent His son, Immanuel – God with us, so that forever and ever He could be with us. Jesus bought that for Him and for us. I love thinking of Him as being in my breath. He is that close. Inhale! God is with you.

God is . . . hopeful

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.

Love has an indomitable spirit. Synonyms for indomitable are: invincible, unconquerable, unbeatable, unassailable, invulnerable, unshakable, unsinkable; indefatigable and the list goes on. This is the quality of God’s staying power. Hope never dies in His heart. The flame of hope does not ever even flicker. His hope is unassailable. This hope is so strong that it very closely allies itself with faith. Love, and hence God, trusts. Our Father actually trusts us. He also knows about the effectiveness of His son and His Spirit who are at work in our lives. That alone is enough for Him to never give up hope.

The question is, is that enough for us to never give up hope. One would think it should be. If God will never stop hoping and we are intertwined with Him then maybe we can hold on to our hope even in the dark hours. That hope is really vital to our well-being. It is stronger than a wish. Hope leans forward. It has expectation in its wings. It has confidence in tomorrow, every day. No disappointment rises above hope. We may have to catch our breath at times but hope picks us up even if we fall. Hope always refocuses our eyes on the horizon, not on the ground.

Maybe yesterday was a challenge. Maybe this morning was without sunshine. Not to worry. Our God is right there in the very next breath you take and each subsequent breath. He will renew our hope and encourage us with each breath, if we allow Him. You can turn around your day in a breath. Stop. Breath. Expect God to fill you with hope and encouragement. Remind yourself of His words and wonders. Let the God of hope, the God of love restore you, right now!

Hope Is Born

Luke 2: 8 – 14

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

I love the Christmas story and this passage of scripture specifically. In fact, it is one of my most favorite passages in the whole Bible. And yet … sometimes I wonder if I get lost in the poetry and the wonder of the event and miss the deep significance. 

As you may know, I spent the last several weeks caring for a loved one as she made her transition to heaven. So many times, both when she was in the hospital and later at home, I wondered what people who are without Jesus do in times of great trial and challenge. We were so obviously buoyed up by the prayers of friends and the grace of our dear lord. I would not like to try to endure that without the help of my dear Jesus. The other day it dawned on me that more was born on that Christmas morn than just a baby; more even than a Messiah and king. It dawned on me that hope was born on that precious morning. 

Humanity was lost and without a hope. At least the Jews knew there was a promised Messiah but the rest of humankind had no hope, no prayer. And while it sounds a bit crazy, eternal salvation just isn’t the whole gift. In fact, over the last six or so weeks it hasn’t even seemed like the most important gift of that blessed morn. No, to me, Christianity is so much more than my address in eternity. Christianity to me is my precious, beloved Jesus who is with me every minute of every day caring about every single thing in my life; he who cries when I cry, who laughs when I laugh; he who takes joy in some of the simplest things in my life; who will sit with me, ride my bike with me, who forgives me when I lose my temper and brags on me when I do something right. He is more than a brother, he is so much more than a lord, and more even than a Messiah. He is my breath. I appreciate that he paid the price for me to get to spend eternity in the company of God but I needed someone who would breathe for me, who would laugh for me, who gives me joy in the midst of great travail, who gives me strength when I have none of my own. I love him because he has breathed life and hope into this hurting and decayed world. He gives joy where there is sorrow and he is life. I love him because he first loved me and because he loves me unconditionally. He gives us hope of a future, hope of getting through the rough times. I have stood on, relied on, leaned on and believed in that hope. I have seen the love of those he calls his own and how his beauty shines through them like the glory of the Lord must have shone on that Christmas morn. 

When we were lost and without hope our Father sent us hope in the guise of a little baby. Never again is the world without hope, praise God. For all those who don’t know the Lord Jesus personally I pray that they would find him and be wrapped in his love and grace as I have been. For those without hope, I have this Christmas wish, that the personification of hope, Jesus, the Christ, will fill them with all the joyful anticipation of joy in the morning and that they would be filled with the courage and confidence that comes with knowing Jesus personally, not as Lord, nor as Messiah, but as best friend, confidant, loving brother, as hope and glory. This is what Christianity means to me. Take a deep breath, breath in hope and life. Let Jesus fill you heart and your lungs.

May your Christmas be blessed with a deeper revelation of and a more meaningful relationship with the Lord Jesus and may your heart be filled with hope and joy. Merry Christmas and God bless you.