Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting it?
“Breathe in…breathe out…. You do it 12-14 times a minute without thinking”, says Stacey W.
Breathing is a miracle we don’t stop to think about very much. We just do it. It keeps us alive. In the same amazing way God has given us as Christians a way to “breathe spiritually” for our spiritual well-being. Spiritual breathing, like physical breathing, is a process of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure. It can become a way of life.
But the average Christian does not understand this concept and as a result lives on a spiritual roller coaster, controlling his or her own, life resulting in frustration. On our own we may at times have a fresh start in life only to lose it again – negative thoughts, angry words, slammed doors…… How could this change?
It could change by learning and applying the concept of spiritual breathing, which is like physical breathing in that:
You “exhale” by confessing your sins as soon as you become aware of it, and claim God’s forgiveness…. And then……
You “inhale” by asking the Holy Spirit to once again control and empower you to help you from returning to that sin.
Usually we don’t give much thought to our physical breathing. But spiritual breathing is something that requires conscious action – a readiness to “exhale”, or confess our sin, and to “inhale”, or trust God to fill us with his Holy Spirit.
Don’t wait to exhale. Be quick to confess. We can pause and confess our sin as soon as we entertain a sinful thought, speak an ugly word, or act on evil desires. “Spiritual exhaling” is agreeing with God about our sin, whether in thought or deed, thanking Him for his forgiveness, and expressing a willingness to change our attitudes and actions. The Practise of breathing spiritually aids in developing a God-consciousness, which in turn serves to keep the revived heart spiritually focused and less susceptible to continual sinning.
To inhale spiritually is to claim and receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith. How do you do that? When you first received Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit immediately enters your life and he never leaves – John 1:12; Colossians 2:9-10; John 14:16-17. Though all born-again Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all are continuously filled with the Holy Spirit. When the negative circumstances of life crowd in and we take control of the reigns of our life, we push pack, or crowd out the Holy Spirit, when really we should, “Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit” – Ephesians 5:18.
Betty says, “It is a continuous, conscious choice I make to walk in the Holy Spirit’s power. Repentance isn’t a one-time thing; it’s giving my life over to God and asking Him to direct my decisions on a moment-by-moment basis. Though spiritual breathing is a conscious thing, the more I choose to do it, the more it becomes second nature.”