AJ Heil | 8:00 AM
As Bill Bright from Campus Crusade for Christ would say, "The greatest promise of Christ is the assurance that we can walk daily in the power of the Holy Spirit."
The Christian life is very simplistic, yet at the same time, very difficult. The only way we can acquire the strength to have lifestyles different from those our selfish-sides desire is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The concept of spiritual breathing as a labeled discipline was first made known to me through Campus Crusade for Christ's Transferable Concepts book series. Spiritual breathing is a metaphor for regularly "exhaling" the impure (sin, guilt, etc.) and "inhaling" the pure (God's will, changes in lifestyle to magnify Christ, etc.).
Exhaling is the act of confession in which there are three crucial parts:
1) Acknowledging that you are sinful and in need of atonement.
2) Actively acknowledging that God has forgiven you through Christ's death on the cross, as the necessary sacrifice to cover the depth of our sins.
1 John 1:9 promises, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
3) Repentance: Consciously changing your attitude toward sin in your life. This also includes an active commitment that leads to a change in your conduct and how you behave (lifestyle change).
Inhaling is the claiming, and appropriation, of God's Spirit by faith. If you genuinely believe in Christ as being your Lord and Savior - living as God, dying as a sacrifice, and resurrecting as messiah - then you are a Christian and the Holy Spirit is within you. All you have to do to live by faith and magnify Christ in your life is to claim the power of the Holy Spirit by accepting to put God's will as priority in your life, and not your own.
Easier said than done.... But that is exactly why we must continually be breathing spiritually in this way.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." (1 John 5:14,15)
As Christians, we are commanded to be constantly and continually empowered by the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to use our lives according to God's will that we find in scripture. (Ephesians 5:18)
Keep in mind: Someone isn't filled with the Holy Spirit because he or she desires to be filled, and not because you confess your sins. We are filled by faith. Faith in Christ and His living Spirit.
The worldly, hypocritical "Christian" is the one that tries to live the Christian life by the power of his own flesh, and not the Spirit. On the other hand, if you are authentically breathing spiritually, you can have confidence you are a spirit-filled Christian.
As stated in 1 John 5:14-15, we are also promised that the Holy Spirit will work through us if we surrender ourselves and claim the power of the Spirit - not our own. One way we can do this is through the process of spiritual breathing.
"You know that you are praying according to His will when you ask God to control and empower you." (Paraphrase - Bill Bright)
Bill Bright, Transferable Concepts: How You Can be Filled with the Holy Spirit (Peachtree City, GA: Campus Crusade for Christ, New Life Resources, 2009).
+ How often do you confess you sins and practice repentance in your life?
+ This week - Sit down and breath spiritually through prayer at least once per day.