Every night before I go to sleep, I tip-toe into my daughters’ rooms to gaze at their darling faces. After they take my breath away, I listen for theirs. If I cannot hear it, I watch to see if their chests are rising and falling. Why? Because where there is breath, there is life. The same is true spiritually. Where there is the Breath of God, there is life.
In the beginning, when Jesus created the heavens and the Earth, He spoke them into existence, but when He enlivened Adam, He did it in a profoundly different way. He got face-to-face with Adam and intimately breathed into Adam’s nostrils the Breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Now, flash forward many millennia. A few days after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples. After saying “Peace,” what did He do? He breathed on them (John 20:22). This may seem a little strange until you know what Jesus was doing. In both cases, He was giving men His Breath or Spirit. (The words breath, spirit, and wind are derived from the same Hebrew word ruach.) Now marvel at this…not only did Jesus give Adam and His disciples the Breath of God, He did this for you! When you were physically born, you took your first breath. When you were born again (1 Peter 1:23), He gave you His Breath. He “in spired” you, meaning, He breathed Life into you. In doing so, you came alive (Ephesians 2:5). Now His Breath is as close as your own.
It is the Breath of God that “inhales” and “exhales” us toward the goal of being more like Christ. I realize that may be a confusing statement, so take a deep breath. When you inhaled, you pulled air into your lungs. When you exhaled, you pushed air out of your lungs. That’s what the Breath of God does – He gently pulls AND pushes us toward being more like Christ.
God pulls us by inspiring us. To say it another way, “inhalation” is inspiration. When God inspired us, He gave us a new nature, and with that new nature came new desires; We want to be more like Jesus.
God pushes us by motivating us. Simply stated, “exhalation” is motivation. Specifically, it is His attributes that gently push us toward being more like Christ. What leads us to repentance? His kindness (Romans 2:4). What compels us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice? His mercy (Romans 12:1). What teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness? His grace (Titus 2:11-14). What compels us? His love (2 Corinthians 5:14a).
Provided that we do not grieve or quench the indwelling Breath of God (Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:19), He will gently pull and push us toward being more like Christ. In other words, He will inspire and motivate us to fix our eyes on Jesus, and convict us when we stare elsewhere. While we still have breath, let His Breath inhale and exhale.
Written by Logan Stogner. 2022 Copyright
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