The Air I Breathe

13961114677_5bc83fa896_bBeing human, the air you breathe is probably the most important thing you need, more than food and water. You can go weeks without food and maybe days without water, but within 10 to 15 minutes of being deprived of air, your brain dies. Plants and animal life on earth cannot survive without air, all living things need air to survive.

Have you ever woken up one day and said, “I ate yesterday I’m not going to eat today, I breathed yesterday, I’m not going to breathe today?” The lungs’ primary role is to bring in air from the atmosphere and pass life-giving oxygen into the bloodstream; from here, it can be circulated to the rest of the body. In the long run, swimming can help improve the capacity of the lung. As you breathe more deeply, your lungs will function more efficiently.

Similarly, these principles work the same way spiritually, we are desperately in need of daily filling of the Holy Spirit, daily surrender to His power, strength, daily walking and living in the Spirit, and daily putting on the full armour of God. We are to live utterly dependent on God and his Word so that the Holy Spirit can work in us to conform us to the likeness of the perfect, complete Christ Jesus.  Just as our mouth is directly connected to the lungs also should our heart be directly connected to God at all times.

What did Jesus mean by “man shall not leave by bread alone but by every word that comes out of His mouth?” He is saying that the Word of God will feed your soul when you’re hungry; will sustain you when you’re faint; will lift you up when you’re down; will give you power to say no to temptation; will give you strength to stand alone if you have to; will carry you when no one else can and will satisfy your deepest longing and desire. “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible” – Dwight L. Moody

I remember decades ago, during a Sunday school service, the teacher asked someone to complete the following sentence – “Let everything that has breathe……?” A girl came up to the front of the class to answer that very simple question with one word, “Breathe!” She couldn’t have been more correct but to my amazement, everyone else started laughing. Anyway, on that day, I learnt that the very last Psalm of King David gave the same answers to that very question (with the use of a different wording perhaps):

 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” – Psalm 150

A life that is obedient to the Lord-to His written commandments and to the daily guidance of the Holy Spirit-is a life of praise. Praise leads to faith, which leads to boldness in prayer, which leads to an outpouring of God’s Spirit, which leads to confidence and boldness in action. You can spend hours praising God for your salvation, and you will not even have scratched the surface of how much God is worthy to be praised.

If you ever question for even a moment how to praise God, turn to Psalm 100. In the context of Thanksgiving, this short Psalm covers all the basics of praise and tells us: “The lord is God! He is our creator and our caring shepherd. The lord is good, loving and faithful.” If praise is the theme song-the lyrics and melody of our life-then thanksgiving is the rhythm of our heart and attitude. We are to give the Lord thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18).”

Sometimes I wish I were gifted in the area of playing music.  Psalm 150 must certainly be considered the instrumental music psalm. we are to praise God with all kind of musical instruments such as trumpet, harp, tambourine, cymbals etc…

I heard a story about a man in a midweek prayer meeting who began to pray, “O Lord, I will praise you with the instrument of ten strings.” Just about everybody in the room opened at least one eye because there were no musical instruments around. How was this man going to praise the Lord with a ten-stringed instrument? Then the man continued his prayer:

 “I will praise You with my 2 eyes- I will look only to You. I will praise You by exalting You with my 2 ears– I will listen only to Your voice. I will extol You with the work of my 2 hands-I will work in Your service wherever You direct. I will honour You with my 2 feet-I will walk in Your statutes, and I will go wherever You lead. I will magnify Your Holy name with my tongue-I will testify constantly of Your loving-kindness. I will worship You with my heart-I will love only You, and I will receive all unconditional love You pour out in Your mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I thank You, Lord, for the ten-stringed instrument that you built into my being.”

The Psalmist in praising the name of the Lord describes himself as an olive tree in the house of God (Psalm 52:8). Did you know that olive trees grow best in hard rocky soil? Their roots go deep finding their ways into the crags through the tough soil. They usually are slow growing trees, and you probably won’t even see any berries on them for the first 7 years and even after then, it’s only between 10 to 15 years before they produce any good berries.

But an olive tree would continue to be extremely productive for many years to come. The properly rooted olive tree lasts for 20 generations, in fact, the well-established olive tree doesn’t need cultivation or supervision once it takes off, it literally just takes care of itself. An olive tree is an ever-green tree if it seats right in the right soil, it will display its beauty no matter what season it’s in.

God brought the Bible into existence by the very breathe of His Spirit. Some would say weren’t there human authors who wrote the bible? Yes, there were. The Spirit of God did not erase the natural characteristic of these writers who have written the word of God. In fact, God prepared the writers for these tasks before they were born. Jeremiah (in Jem 1:5) said, “before I was born you prepared me for this.” Each writer had their own distinctive style and vocabulary, yet it was God Spirit that guided the very word that was writing down.

Like an ever-green olive tree, when our hearts are rooted deep in Christ, Son of David, and our eyes are firmly fixed on Him, we will find ourselves abiding in the vine (Christ) and Him in us (John 5:4), and as result, we will surely bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)

This is the air I breathe