Standing very close to someone, you can sometimes discover whether they practice good hygiene, or not; good breath or bad.Whether you’re in a crowded place like an elevator or meeting room, or someone standing close to you praying; you could be distracted because of these things. It’s not a particularly pleasant encounter, but it does happen on occasion. This month I want to share with you something that has captivated my walk with the Lord for many years. It’s the exhilarating closeness of God that we can experience through the encountering of His divine, holy breath upon our face! It’s so refreshing, powerful, encouraging, strengthening, and something of which we are all called to — to know an ever growing, ever deepening spiritual intimacy with God.
Have you ever considered what it might be like to encounter the Presence of God to such a degree that you feel His divine, holy, powerful Breath (or wind/soft breeze) upon your face? Wonderfully, there are different scriptures in God’s Word that speak of this very thing.
Let’s start with the first book of the Bible where we see how the Lord God Almighty after forming the man out of the dust of the ground, “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” [Gen. 2:7] Right from the start, humanity was created to know the breath/life/breeze/power of God’s divine, holy breath. Man was created for very close relationship with God. It’s almost like a spiritual kiss or CPR — breath and life!
Consider too 2 Samuel 22:16-18a, “Then the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were laid bare by the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils, He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy…” It is the strong Presence and divine Breath of God that delivers us from evil. What a powerful breath that can be! How comforting to know that God Almighty is fighting for us to save us out of drowning waters, things that are trying to overtake us, drown us, kill us. It is the Lord’s Breath, His holy Presence in our lives that gives us continued victory day in and day out. What a blast of victory! This is our cry for 2016. No more overwhelming, yucky, mucky waters from the enemy. We are standing on holy ground within the Divine Breath of God Himself! Dear friends, there is confidence in that position because Job 4:8-9 says, “According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it. By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of His anger they come to an end.”
The Best is Yet to Come
Take a good look at Job in the book after his name. He suffered unbelievable loss, and yet was still able to proclaim to his family and friends: “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” [Job 33:4] Because he could still proclaim his deep relationship with God, it says at the end of this book that, “The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” Let’s proclaim for 2016, that the best is yet to come! It doesn’t matter what the enemy dished out to us this past year. We’re now at the head of birthing a New Year. A new slate has been given to us to write new, fresh, exciting, amazing things for the legacy of our lives! The Lord’s Presence and power has never changed and we’ve been called to access it through abiding in His Living Breath!
Victory and power belong to us through the Lord God Almighty. Isaiah 11:4-5 is so powerful in its declaration to us: “But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips, He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.” And this chapter of Isaiah goes on to assure us again and again in verse after verse how the ‘Righteous Branch’ [Jesus] will reign in our lives. If you feel you’ve been broken to pieces and are just ‘shredded by life’… seek ,cling, and abide in the powerful Breath of God’s Presence and power. This life is not up to you and I to direct on our own, even though oftentimes we try to do just that! Even bigger troubles await us if that’s the route we take. Wonderfully, we were created by God to have intimate fellowship with Him, just as Adam and Eve first knew in the Garden of Eden until they compromised that relationship. But just as they immediately knew they’d sinned and were ushered out of Paradise, we too need to know the ever abiding Presence of God to help us make it through each and every day, right up until the very last breath on this side of the veil.
Miracles Take Place in His Breath
For this year of 2016, I sense the call of God so strongly to just cradle up in the arms of God and abide in His Presence like the ‘child of God’ that we are. In that place it’s so comforting, so protecting, that you become oblivious to the ravages of life’s onslaughts because you’re resting in the arms of Jesus, not striving, not warring — just resting, because He is the Prince of Peace. That in itself is so powerful. We always think we have to be doing something, but sometimes all the Lord is asking us to do is just be with Him, abide in Him, rest in Him and be held like a little baby in His arms. How comforting is that? He is after all our Papa Abba!
Think about a situation in your life right now, this year that may seem quite impossible to overcome. Now turn your thoughts for a moment to the question God asks the prophet Ezekiel in 37:3 upon seeing a valley of dead, dry bones, the Lord asks, “Can these bones live?” And the prophet responds, “O Lord God, You know.” This wasn’t just one dead person in a grave. It was a whole army that had been dead for a long time! This is nothing short of an utterly, humanly impossible situation. There is nothing of this world that can bring a whole grave yard back to life! Whoa! “But God!” He is the God of impossibilities. Miracles are a given within the Breath of God’s Presence and power.
So the Lord asks the prophet to “prophesy over these bones and SAY to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.” [My emphasis] And verse 10 says that this army rose up on their feet! How wonderfully shocking that must have been! Nevertheless, I do know this truth for a fact, since the Lord did use me once to raise someone from the snare of death. I’d like it to happen more often! But the Lord is in charge and we must follow Him into every situation of life. Father knows best. What we need to do is to live in the divine Presence of His holy Breath.
So let’s do what Ezekiel did in verse 7, He prophesied as he was commanded. Shouldn’t we do the same? God hasn’t changed. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. So just as the prophet obeyed the Lord’s strange assignment, he spoke God’s Word over that valley of dry bones saying, “… Thus says the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they might come to life.” Ezekiel’s faith and obedience, even though it all sounded strange and utterly inhumanly impossible — nevertheless, he prophesied as directed by the Lord, and God’s Breath entered in and brought life! Oh the glory of God’s Breath! Oh the holiness and power of it! Shall we not also walk in the Breath of God for life in the here and now and in the life hereafter? Yes, and Amen! Psalm 150:6 declares, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” So right now, this day, this month, this year, declare God’s Breath, His power and Presence over any adverse situation you find yourself in. He’s a God of mighty miracles!
Abide in the Breath of His Presence
Have you ever pondered John 20:22? It’s an amazing portion of scripture as our resurrected Lord Jesus encounters the Apostles saying, “’Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” If you’re standing very close to someone, you feel their breath. And so it is with our Lord. We have been called to stand as close to Him as we can, and just like the Apostles on that awesome day, we too can feel the wonder, awe, Presence and power of the Lord! It’s in our spiritual DNA to know the Lord intimately.
One thing is for sure, when you’ve been captivated and engulfed by the Breath of God, His divine Presence is so pure, so holy, so refreshing and powerful it can almost take your own breath away with delight and wonder! I’d liken it to being on a rollercoaster ride — it’s so breathtaking, exciting and quite heavenly, as you’re taken into a new realm of His glory! Have you ever felt that?! If not, I’d strongly urge you to press in to that kind of closeness and intimacy with God where you sense His Presence so keenly that you lose yourself in Him even feeling the brush of angels wings passing by and the power of His Breath upon your face.
A number of years ago I was awakened in the night to pray (as I am oftentimes). It happened to be a good ol’ Iowa wintry, snowy, wind- howling night. As I sat down on the floor by the glass door to be as close as possible to the view outside, I could see my breath on the door. Suddenly I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me. Two thoughts emerged. One, was that I began to realize how very close the Presence of the life-giving Breath of God really is. It’s not just life in this earthly existence, but everlasting LIFE and astoundingly deep fellowship with Him forever and ever. When one gives their entire being to God, there is no longer a barrier, no door, no window, no wall, just the Lord’s ever abiding Presence in one’s life. We must draw ourselves into this truth so that we are strengthened beyond worldly cares and concerns. It takes us to a whole new level of abiding in His Presence. After being ‘born again’ by the power of the Holy Spirit, every breath we draw from our lungs becomes a breath of life everlasting through Him that goes on into all of eternity. What a thought!
We don’t have to work up something to have it. We don’t have to press in laboriously crying out for Him to come or to have more of Him. He’s just there, always there — ever in total Presence as we come to Him with a contrite, committed heart. The Lord is here, there and everywhere. The Presence of His divine Breath is ever present, ever abiding in and through us. Therefore we do not walk as unsaved people, but walk in God’s Presence and power which is always present to heal, to deliver, to provide, protect and help in every and all situations of this earthy existence. Our every breath is designed to give glory and honor to Him who created us and saved us.
Captivated by His Breath
When I saw my breath on that glass door, I was also reminded of how close we walk to the spectaculars of heavens glory – it’s so close, so very close, only a breath away, we can see through to heaven’s realm by His grace and power living within us. Since that moment in time, I’ve been completely captivated by the Breath of God! We do not have to struggle to be close to Him. In fact, by partaking of the Word of God in daily scripture reading, we begin to walk profoundly in His holy, divine, glorious, powerful breath for it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” [My emphasis] Perhaps if you’re not in the Holy Scriptures on a regular basis, you’re not sensing God’s power and presence in your life. God’s Word is the most powerful thing on earth! Knowing His divine Breath through its powerful pages, will give you the life and breath you need to overcome any adverse situation that may come your way.
Personally, I’ve done a physical exercise for years of taking in a deep breath as I open my Bible every morning according to 2 Timothy 3:16 that all scripture is God-breathed. It just refocuses my mind, heart and spirit from earthly things to godly things. It helps me realize the actual power that exudes from those divine words that bring life, healing, restoration, forgiveness, provision and so many other things the Lord desires to bless us with.
The Threat of the Enemy’s Breath
It’s important to realize that the enemy has his own breath, albeit – bad, stinky breath, trying to knock us over. So it’s no surprise the enemy has come to threaten me personally by trying to take away my own physical breath causing my battle with cancer to spread to one of my lungs. Nevertheless may each of us consider that as a child of God, we are cocooned in the Lord’s holy, abiding, divine, powerful Breath and nothing shall by any means hurt us! Living in the presence of God’s life within us, we are overcomers now and forevermore. We have everlasting life abiding within us while even on this side of the veil. Nothing changes except that the thin membrane between heaven and earth is penetrated for one brief moment in time when we pass through the veil to our everlasting reward! We win.We always win when abiding in the Breath of God’s Presence. Amen! Hallelujah!
But let us be fully aware and take note of what happened with Paul in the New Testament who used to be ‘Saul’ until he wonderfully came to know Jesus up close and personal and his whole life changed. Saul used to breathe threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord in Acts 9:1. This is exactly how the enemy acts. He’s the enemy of our souls, he too has a breath (a fiery one from the pit of hell) and is murderous in his intent. [Matt. 25:41] Saul became a changed man by the power of God, was filled with His divine breath, and became one of the mightiest men of his time for the kingdom of God. This is what you and I are called to! Rebuke the putrid breath of the enemy and breathe in the refreshing Breath of God’s Presence and power! This is a year of profound victories for God’s people! So take in a deep breath and relish His glory within you. It’s there now, and it’s there for all eternity.
I love what one of our little grandson’s said one day a few years ago as his mommy had just picked him up from pre-school. The car window was rolled down and the sweet summer breeze was blowing over his face and also stirring the little bean plant in the pot he’d gotten at pre-school. With great excitement he said to our daughter, “Air is the candy of plants!” I loved that so much I wrote it down in my journal and likened it to the song below that many of you are familiar with. The title of the song is ‘Breathe’ written by Marie Barnett. I particularly love the CD by Michael W. Smith with this song on it.
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 desperate for You
And I — I’m lost without You
This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy Presence living in me…