"Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7). It is the breath of our Father God that imbued life into us, and it is His breath that continues to sustain us. Without this precious breath, humankind would not exist. The breath of God is life itself.
Throughout the Bible, when the breath of God is present, it produces or revives life. If God is our very life-breath, we should be living in a place of revival, but many of us are not. In fact, some of us are out of breath. Life has a way of taking our breath away. The phrase "take my breath away" typically makes us think of moments when the beauty and grandeur of God leave us breathless, but that is not the kind of breathlessness we're referring to. There is another kind of breathlessness that comes upon us when life is pressing in so hard that we feel crushed and desperate, as if we can hardly breathe.
Maybe you wake up so weary and exhausted you think you can't possibly make it through the day. Perhaps you feel hopeless and lost. You're certainly not alone. But our God is a God of hope. If you let Him, He will breathe into you and fill your spiritual lungs with His very life and revive your soul. Then, when you are full of God, His presence will overflow to everyone you come in contact with.
If you have reached for your spiritual inhaler on more than one occasion, perhaps it is time to build a "breathing room" for God. Maybe it's time to create a place for God to meet you and breathe new life into you as you encounter Him on a personal level. But know this—when you inhale God's breath, you will exhale revival fire!
So what is revival fire? The word "revival" has become a buzzword the church uses to describe a great spiritual experience. We are continually talking and praying for revival. But if we're going to pray about revival, shouldn't we know what it actually is?
Oxford Living Dictionaries describe "revival" as "an improvement in the condition or strength of something; an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again; a reawakening of religious fervor." Wow! That definition should not only excite us but also awaken us to the fact that most of us are not living in a state of revival.
Yes, we go to meetings where we are moved by the music and touched by the sermon, but are we in fact improved, strengthened or reawakened in our spirits? If we truly experienced revival. Shouldn't entire cities, states and nations be changed as people encounter the living God? It seems the body of Christ would be influencing culture rather than culture influencing the church if we were in revival, but that is not always happening. We have become satisfied to merely coexist with the culture around us.
It's time for us to experience personal revival so corporate revival can begin to influence our society. It's time for us to be resuscitated out of our state of lethargy and compromise so we can improve the condition of our world, strengthen the next generation, and reawaken our spiritual fervor so our lives display God's resurrection power. That's what revival is!
It's time for us to groan again that God would send His Spirit across our land. Charles Spurgeon said, "Groanings that cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused." We need to get back to a place of deep travail, where our soul groans for the breath of God to blow afresh into our lives. We call this the "sigh of the soul." A sigh is when you audibly exhale in disgust or relief. If you are tired of where you are in your walk with God, disgusted by continual shifting winds of cultural compromise, exhausted from fighting the enemy on every front and just surviving, then it is time to build a breathing room in your life, a place where you can breathe in the breath of God.
Adapted from Rebuilding the Altar by Pat and Karen Schatzline (2017, Charisma House). This book challenges you to return to the place where you can daily encounter God: the altar. When this happens and you truly encounter Him, His light and power will flow into you, your homes, church, nation and the world. To order your copy, click on this link.
Prayer Power for the Week Beginning Aug. 27, 2017
This week, go to your spiritual altar and seek a fresh encounter with God. Continue to seek and pray for personal and worldwide revival. Lift up our national and spiritual leaders. Pray that they would seek godly counsel and receive wisdom, protection and direction to navigate the challenges they face every day. Pray for the families who suffered loss due to terrorist attacks, crime and service to their country. Read Isaiah 6:4-8; Romans 13:11-14
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