Too often I beat myself up over not being spiritual enough. I constantly tell myself that I don’t pray enough, I don’t fast enough, I don’t read my Bible enough, I don’t worship enough, don’t practice solitude enough, don’t take communion enough—the list goes on and on! The subtle implicating cloud over all of this is that my life in Jesus is going to wither and die if I don’t do enough! This, friends, is my greatest fear, and it stems from a lie.
The lie is that our own spiritual life and well-being rises and falls on us. The truth is that we’re not responsible to sustain our own life in Jesus, the Holy Spirit is. The Holy Spirit not only breaths resurrection life in us when we die to sin and join with Jesus in faith, but the Holy Spirit is also the breath of our daily walk with Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong, each person certainly carries a degree of responsibility to maintain a living and dynamic relationship with Jesus, however, the Holy Spirit is the orchestrator and ultimate source of daily refreshment and nourishment in our spiritual lives. The reality is that we don’t have to muster up on our own the strength to overcome every challenge and spiritual obstacle in our lives. Rather, we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His work (not ours) that He’s doing in and through us.
Romans 8:5–11 says, “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
It’s like this.
Take a slow, deep breath in. Gently hold it for a moment. Now release.
Do you feel refreshed? Invigorated? This very simple and natural act of breathing is one of the most rejuvenating things we can do. Our breath sustains us.
As a kid, did you ever try to swim the full length of a pool under water? Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? It’s painful and scary!
Breath is one of those fragile, but stabilizing elements of life. It is so natural that we don’t even think about it when we are doing it. Yet breathing is so important that if we miss a few, we drop to the ground.
Breath is life-giving. Oxygen fuels us. It strengthens us. It invigorates us. Breath sustains life! So it is with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the life breath of every Christian. You know how it’s painful and scary when we can’t catch our breath? Trying to life a life without the Holy Spirit is just like that, painful and scary.
Are you breathing?