It's an involuntary action that we do whether we're awake or asleep, thinking about it, or not, resting or running, happy or sad. We all breathe. Sometimes we are more aware of our breathing patterns than at other times. We may try breathing exercises or be intentional about slowing our breathing down for health reasons, but we all go through a large proportion of the day without thinking about our breathing.
What about the breath of God? What effect does that have on my life?
I love this quote from a song by Stefany Gretzinger:
"The breath You exhale sustaining me"
I stopped to think recently about the meaning of this, and how often I consider the power of the breath of God. There are many scriptures that tell us about the power that the breath of God carries, For example:
For me, the breath of God is exemplified beautifully in the dandelion.
I am this fragile plant, often viewed to be a weed. I am not a beautiful towering rose bush, I am small and weak and easily trodden upon.
But what happens when He draws near to me? I am drawn close to Him.
What happens when His breath is released upon me? Suddenly I can fly!
At the right time, and in the right direction, I am released from all that has held me anchored and static, and suddenly I am flying, moving in a way I could never have moved myself. I am soaring, reaching heights and finding currents I didn't know existed, and traveling to places that I hadn't ever seen to be there.
What happens when I land after His breath has directed me? I multiply.
You see, in the Kingdom of God, nothing is selfish. I may be blessed, I may receive gifts from God, but what is the point if I store it all up for myself?
I believe there is a danger of becoming very inward thinking as believers. We like to approach God and store up his blessings for our own sakes. And there is, of course always a place for this! Our world and our society have become more and more insular and individualistic. The Bible says in John 13:35: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." It is by us being counter-cultural and lovers of others that we will be identified as belonging to the Kingdom of God.
But it all starts with the breath of God blowing upon us, freeing us, bringing us to life, and setting us up to multiply. It is a divine exchange that happens with His breath and our breath. When He breathes upon us, our gifts and dreams come alive, turn to color, and the hard parts of our hearts turn to life. In turn, as we are sustained by His breath, He inspires ours to pour out life and blessing to others, multiplying along the way. Without breath, we cannot live, we cannot breathe, speak, move or function.
It all begins with a breath...