Right now even as you read this post, there is one thing you are doing that you probably just take for granted. Assuming you have no medical condition that limits this necessary function, it just happens without you even thinking about it. Yes, you guessed it, breathing. Technically speaking, what this is called is respiration, or in other words, the exchange of gases. Simply put, respiration occurs by breathing. We inhale to deliver oxygen to our lungs, and we exhale to send carbon dioxide out of our bodies. The respiration rate for an average adult at rest is 12 to 16 breaths per minute.
Just as breathing on a human level is necessary for physical life, spiritual breathing is necessary in order to interact with the Holy Spirit. Or to put it another way … To breathe physically is to take in air containing oxygen to facilitate energy production. To breathe spiritually is to interact with (“breathe”) the Holy Spirit, and thereby, living by the Spirit (producing “energy”).
The English word “spirit” comes from the Hebrew word ruach and the Greek word pneuma. The biblical language uses these words in three ways, spirit – wind – breath. The Old Testament uses ruach as a name of God, for example Ruach Elohim as the Spirit of God, Ruach Adonia as Spirit of the Lord. Job 33:4 says this: The Spirit of God (Ruach-El) has made me, the breath of the Almighty gives me life. In theology, pneumatology is the study of the Holy Spirit.
There is a song, written by Marie Barnett, that of the Holy Spirit’s presence being the air we breathe. It talks of being desperate for God. Let’s look at the lyrics to the song.
This is the air I breathe This is the air I breathe Your holy presence Living in me This is my daily bread This is my daily bread Your very Word Spoken to me And I, I’m desperate for You And I, I’m lost without You
© 1995 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing
The breath in a person is the most obvious sign they are alive. Without the air we breathe, we are dead. So I ask you, are you spiritually alive? Are you desperate for God? Why not ask the Spirit of God to give you life today, and then ask again tomorrow, and the next day, and every day after that. When you do that, just like the lyrics of the song, you are saying, “This is the air I breathe, your holy presence, living in me. And God, I am desperate for You, I am lost without You.”