Oxygen for my soul

Without oxygen our bodies begin to die in minutes. If our air supply is cut off, within seconds, our brain notifies us to remedy the situation for, in a very short time, unconsciousness and death will follow. Remember when you went swimming as a kid and each kid attempted to be the one who could stay underwater the longest? That was a game I always lost! The need to breathe was far more important to me than the need to win. After 20 or 30 seconds, I was headed to the surface, gasping for air. In the Summer of 2005, when we vacationed in Colorado, we drove to the summit of Pike’s Peak. There, at 14000 feet above sea level, the air is crisp, clean, and thin! I felt light-headed. If I had attempted to run a distance in that atmosphere, I would have probably fainted. Just walking made me aware that my body was having a problem getting the oxygen it needed.

My soul needs the Spirit, like my body needs oxygen. Serving God with strength, living fruitfully, wholly, and holy demands a fresh, recurring supply of the air of the Spirit in my life. In the Bible, one of the descriptive words used for the Holy Spirit is “pneuma,” a Greek word which means “air” or “breath.” The Breath of God makes us spiritually alive! But, we can cut off the Supply!

A tragic figure in the Scripture is a flawed leader named Samson. He was called by God at an early age, but did not treasure the call or the gifts of God that came with that call. He mixed great service with low living, winning victories for the people of God while living with prostitutes from their enemies! God was patient with him for a long time, but then Samson went too far. His final love from the Philistines was a beauty named Delilah. Night after night, he lay his head in her lap, knowing that he was breaking the law of God. She pressed him for the secret of his strength, why he could defeat her people in battle time and time again. After playing games with her, he finally told her that his strength came from the Lord, that he was a man called and gifted by God, and that his hair was a symbol of that calling. After he had fallen asleep, she cut off his hair and God, seeing Samson’s willingness to profane the holy calling, withdrew His Spirit from him, leaving him just an ordinary man. The King James Version of the Bible uses a quaint phrase — “And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.” (Judges 16:20, KJV) The breathe of the Spirit was taken from Samson and he was then weak, subject to the enemies of Israel, made a slave to the Philistines for years. Until he got up to fight them off, like he had always done in the past, he did not realize that his Supply of Breath had been cut off by his disobedience.

Believer, we can become weak, gasping for the Breath of Life, if we cut off the flow of the Spirit with our disobedience, too. It need not be some flagrant act of moral failure. Just ignoring Him, covering His voice with the loud music of daily life is enough to cause Him to withdraw His fellowship from us. When He lifts from us, we are weakened – and we suffer. The Word says, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30, NIV) Do not cause the Spirit to lift from your by treating Him with casual contempt! When He speaks to you about some behavior that needs to change, when He calls on you to give yourself in some specific service, when He says “don’t” or “do,” respond with obedience. “Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. “ (Ephesians 4:30, The Message)

Breathe deeply of the Breath of God.
Be strengthened.
Let the Pneuma fill you with vitality today, as you live closely, intimately with Him.
______________________

This is the air I breathe,
This is the air I breathe,
Your holy presence living in me.
This is my daily bread,
This is my daily bread,
Your very word spoken to me.
And I, I’m desp’rate for You.
And I, I’m lost without You.

Breathe © 1995 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 810055

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