Stop reading this for a second and take a huge deep breath—go ahead, right there in your seat. A deep breath is free, and only by the grace of God, the air is available and contains what we need to live. In breathing deeply, a more concentrated amount of oxygen goes to the lungs which then transfers to our blood cells and goes straight to the heart and then to the brain. We, literally, think and live better when we breathe right and deeply. However, most days, we zip through without taking advantage of this wonderful and necessary exercise. The same can happen spiritually.
In the story of creation, God breathed (napah) into Adam the breath (ruah) of life. Then Adam became Adam. It was not the act of breathing that made Adam alive, but rather what God breathed into him. The gospel works the same way. The gospel of God’s free grace and new life in Christ is made available by the sacrificial gift of the Father and of the Son through the Spirit. The Word is Life and this Life became flesh in order to give eternal life to us. But how often do you take a huge deep breath of this grace and Life on a daily basis? What do I mean?
The spiritual air we often breathe is polluted with self, sensuality, worry, and fear, and our spiritual lungs are often sick and dissatisfied. So, what do we do? When I feel suffocated by the dirty, polluted air of fear, worry and anxiety, I go to the Bible and take in a huge “deep breath” of God’s salvation for me. For example, in Luke 10, we see Jesus helping his disciples to breathe deeply by saying, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” It was like Jesus was saying to them (and to us), “Remember your ultimate identity is a citizen of Heaven. Don’t forget to breathe.”