Breath that Changes the World

01 Nov

Now that Halloween is over, I think it’s time to celebrate life!  And nothing says, “Living” like the act of breathing!

So, to celebrate life and breath, let’s look at breath in the Bible.   I already talked about the connection between the Spirit of God and the concept of wind or breath (“Just Breathe“).  And while they aren’t exactly interchangeable, they share some things in common.

  • We don’t see the Spirit so much as the effects of the Spirit, and
  • We often take the Holy Spirit for granted… and sadly ignore it, and
  • When the Holy Spirit moves, those who experience it are changed forever

So, here’s a short history of life and breath:

1.  Physical

“Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” (Gen 2:7 NLT)

If you’re breathing today, you can trace your breath all the way to this “Mother of all Breaths.” God has formed man in his image and everything is perfect except one thing: that man is not alive.  So God breathes into this man, and humans have been breathing ever since.

2.  Spiritual

The Twelve (John 20:22):  Fast forward into Jesus’ time.  Jesus forms 12 disciples over three years to change the world.  There was only one problem: they weren’t alive (spiritually).  But Jesus breathes the life of the Spirit in them and they go from self-absorbed private club to the core team that rocks the world.  And if you’re a Christian today, you can trace your spiritual heritage to this “Mother of all spiritual breaths.”

And the world will never be the same…

The Start of Jesus’ Earthly Ministry (Matt 3:16):  We note that as Jesus comes up out of the water, the Spirit (wind, breath) of God descends on Him like a dove.  Since this marks the official beginning of Jesus’ powerful earthly ministry, we can only assume something powerful happened.  Jesus goes from son of a carpenter to Son of the Living God! (Note: the breath did not change Jesus’ status, Jesus was born the Son of God.  But the breath launched his powerful, spirit-filled, earthly ministry).  God, “breathing” on Jesus, launches an earthly ministry.

And the world will never be the same…

The early church (Acts 2:2, 3).  In Acts 2, we find the early church gathered in a room devoted to praying.  Suddenly, guess who shows up in a mighty rush of wind?  The Holy Spirit (breath…wind).   And a band of believers turns into a movement that adds thousands to their number in a day.

And the world will never be the same…

Holy Spirit,

Holy Spirit, (Photo credit: kelsey_lovefusionphoto)

You and I (Acts 2:17).  Citing prophecy from Joel, Peter proclaims that this same spiritual breath… and life… is coming to all.

“‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people...” (Acts 2:17 NLT)

We can join the greatest movement the world has ever known.  Lives changed, hurts healed, hope restored….

So today, I say let’s celebrate life… and breath… and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  And perhaps one day someone will say of us:

And the world will never be the same…

How will you let the Holy Spirit breathe in you today?  What do you do to make sure you don’t take the Spirit for granted?  Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments!

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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Group Discussion


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