Inhale…exhale…inhale…stretch…inhale…reach…exhale…repeat. So says the well toned instructor on my exercise DVD. Breathe. Then stretch. Breathe. Then crunch. Breathe. Then lunge. It makes sense; our bodies need oxygen for the stretching and stress of an exercise routine.
The same could be said for our souls. I need oxygen for my daily life as a Christian, for it is a sometimes strenuous exercise in faith and character development.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 After filling my soul with this truth, my core, my identity as a child of God, is stronger. I’m less likely to trip or lose my balance.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8:1 This lifts and straightens my posture. And it reminds me to uplift others with the same grace and mercy that has been shown to me.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 This is very necessary oxygen when I need to be humble, breathe…my muscles are shaking, or obedient, breathe…I feel slightly sick, or when I must make a difficult surrender, breathe…how much longer can I hold this position? Only in Christ, our model of humility, obedience and surrender, is any of that that possible.
Lord, help me to remember to breathe.
What are some truths that provide oxygen for your spiritual life? I’d love to hear them.
Like second hand smoke, we breathe in worldly influences. Sometimes we choose to “light up” the things that “darken” our lives. We breathe in pride and self-sufficiency, accomplishment and self-reliance, comparison and partiality, desire and self-will, hopelessness and discontent. If we don’t pay attention to what we are breathing in and make a concerted effort to breathe in Him and His ways, we will be weakened and will stumble, though we were meant to be strong, courageous and soaring like eagles. Breathing in Him, will enable us to run and not be weary and walk and not faint. Sitting quietly with Him, with His word and WAITING in weakness, are what give me real oxygen for life.
Beautifully said, Sue. I like your contrast between breathing second-hand smoke and the pure oxygen of God’s presence and His word. One pollutes, the other purifies; one clouds vision, the other sharpens our focus. The smoke is everywhere, seeping in every crack in our hearts, but really, God’s pure oxygen is everywhere too. Sometimes we act like we’re helplessly suffocating in sinful fumes, but is it really that hard to find clean truth, fresh air? It’s there. He’s here. Thanks for your thoughts, Sue.
I’m grateful for these words of encouragement! Keep up the good work 🙂 God bless you!
Lord, help me not to just breathe, but in that breathe to surrender….
Breathe in… and then breathe out: Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Works every time!
Yes! Thanks Linda. Another excellent source of spiritual oxygen.