In the last week [before Election interference] we were studying the beautiful chapter, John 15, and about abiding in Jesus Christ, practicing his presence as a matter of course in our daily lives.
~>take a deep breath and let it out now--this has been quite a week! Okay...'you ready?
I thank God for his unfathomable love, for his desire to know us and be known by us . . . isn’t that a radical notion? The God of the Universe wants to know and be known by you and me. Oh yeah, and he loves us.
Friend, you have a choice not to be thrown about by every
thing that comes across the headlines, you can exercise
your faith in an Almighty God who is ABLE. You can
choose joy each day . . . but no one can choose it for you.
I wanted to tell you of something I discovered called ‘Spiritual Breathing,’ (I don't necessarily like that description as it sounds kind of 'New Age-y' but it captures the notion). The basic idea is that you live with a moment-by-moment awareness of the Holy Spirit, and walking in the Spirit becomes as natural—as habitual—as breathing. It is just part of who you are. Here’s how it works: the moment you become aware of sin in your life, you exhale. Repentance becomes a natural response and clears out space in our hearts for the Spirit to fill us. So the moment you are worrying, prideful, jealous, lustful, harsh, selfish, impatient, or ___?___, you exhale and repent of your sin.1
The only way there is room for me to be filled with the Spirit is if I first empty myself of me. When I empty me of me, there is space for the Holy Spirit to fill me . . . hmmmm ... ponder that.
And then you inhale. When you inhale, you take a breath in
and pray to be filled with the Spirit, surrendering control to him.
Stop insisting on your own way;
if you walk with God, God's got you!
Any control you think you have is just an illusion anyway.
As you practice spiritual breathing, it teaches you to keep in step with the Spirit. Ah, now that is good—very good indeed! Make this practice part of who you are; for if you do, you will truly know what it is to abide in him. Follow Paul’s mandate to “take every thought captive.”2
There was a reason Paul wrote that we are to 'keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit'3 . . . and now you have a little mechanism to be mindful. It brings to mind Brother Lawrence who practiced the presence of God hour by hour. Hmmm, so good.
Now may the grace of our Lord surround you,
may the peace of our Lord Jesus reign in your heart,
1 - Not a Fan – becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus, Kyle Idleman, 2011, Zondervan Publishing
2 - 2 Corinthians 10.5
3 - Ephesians 5.18
5/Worship: Just As I Am, Brian Doerksen, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dc09UWGvV8