By His breath the heavens gained their beauty.
Job 26:13a (HSCB)
Series: An Invitation to Rest
My husband and I recently flew to Miami for a restful getaway. As everyone who has flown, we received these instructions before takeoff: “In case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.” Our bodies can only survive four minutes without oxygen. In an emergent situation, it is imperative we can breathe so we can not only survive but also help others.
Our physical breath provides oxygen throughout our bodies, to every organ and extremity. Deep breathing promotes blood flow, fuels our cells, produces melatonin, and releases toxins. When God created man, He breathed His breath into him, and so human life began. Genesis 2:7 (HCSB) says:
Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.
God’s breath filled the lungs of the first man, Adam, and physical life has continued since. Through the ages, mankind has recognized our breath comes from God.
In Job 33:4, Elihu says:
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Not only our physical breath and life, but all of creation came into being through the breath of God. The Psalmist wrote:
The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth. (Psalm 33:6 HCSB)
And finally, we see that the new birth through faith in Jesus, and the infilling of His Holy Spirit, comes from His breath. John recorded in his Gospel:
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” After saying this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22 HCSB)
Through the breath of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was given to those in His presence. The Holy Spirit provided strength, comfort, guidance, peace, instruction, and so much more. We, as New Testament believers, also receive God’s Holy Spirit, having been born of the Spirit through faith in Jesus.
Just as the disciples needed the Spirit of God—the breath of God—so do we. They faced trials, opposition, and turmoil, and we do too. Is there a spiritual oxygen mask we can put on to support our life in Christ in times of struggle? Absolutely! Here are three things we can do to breathe in God’s presence and receive His breath anew:
- Breathe the Word – spend time daily reading and thinking upon the truths in scripture. (Joshua 1:8)
- Breathe through Prayer – pray to God daily and often. His peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-7)
- Breathe through Praise – praise gets our focus off of our situation and on the power, strength, and ability of God. (Psalm 150:6)
Our physical bodies can only survive four minutes without breath. Why do we deprive our spiritual bodies of the breath of God? Martin Luther said, “To be a Christian without praying is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” How long has it been since you rested in His presence and breathed Him in deep? Do you need to mask up? There’s no time to wait! Breathe Him in.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Job 26:13a, 33:4; Genesis 2:7; Psalm 33:6, 150:6; John 3, 14, 16, 20:22; Joshua 1:8; Philippians 4:6-7