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Start Breathing - A Devotion

Start Breathing
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John 20:19-22 (NKJV)
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

It had been a dark and confusing time for the disciples of Jesus Christ. They had it all and then He was gone. Now His Body was missing, the religious leaders would surely come for them next, and everything they had based their life on was dead. How could this have happened? Why? Where was Jesus? Was He really the Son of God? Was He the Messiah? What about the new life that the Lord had promised? Everything seemed worse than before. It is one way to live your life and fail but to give your life and fall short is entirely another. I know that there are many people who do not understand this new life. They are confused by the darkness that continues to overshadow the Light of His Love. Why isn’t grace working? Where is the mercy that is promised with each new day? Why don’t I have peace? Why hasn’t anything changed? Why is life so hard?

When the disciples were in hiding, the women who dared venture to the tomb had returned to tell them that He was alive. But they didn’t believe them, how could they only to be disappointed once again? But it was true as they would soon find out when Jesus walked right through locked doors to stand in their midst. He showed them His Nail-Scarred Hands and His Side and they believed. Again, relying on human sight to tell them what should have already been confirmed in their hearts. First, the Lord gave them peace. He could still sense their disbelief. He said it to them again, “Peace to you!” It was time to be released to fulfill God’s Purpose for their life. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ today, I challenge each of you (as well as myself) to be revived by receiving the Breath of Life once more. Jesus has given us His Spirit. He has given us life.

Luke 24:22-24 (NKJV)
“Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

Many people who believe in God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit will get all dressed up today and head to the local church. Some of those people have not been since last Easter. There are those who go to honor grandmothers and mothers who have been praying and tarrying before the Lord for their loved one just to keep the peace during the family gathering later in the day. Others have made a family tradition much like the Easter bunny coming to visit the children. The story of the Cross will be shared. Well, in some churches that is. Many preachers will skip it all together as gruesome as it is and try to go to the vacated tomb, but there is no resurrection without death and sin is not defeated without the Cross. Either way, all who call on His Name today will be offered the very same thing. Jesus died and rose again to give us all abundant life. (John 10:10) The enemy is like a thief who is dedicated to stealing it from you. He wants to rob, kill and destroy you if at all possible. I want abundant life. I am tired of living on artificial respiration of manmade religion and tradition. I have some bones that have dried out and I am ready for them to come back to life. It really doesn’t matter if I am physically intact because without the breath of God flowing inside me – I am not alive at all. The Breath of God started the life cycle of humanity. (Genesis 2:7) The Spirit of God created me and His Breath is how I live. (Job 33:4) It’s funny that Job is the one who God used to provide such revelation. At the end of his test, it was one of his last proclamation before the Lord ended the trial and blessed him doubly. God has compassion for us because He knows how weak and frail we are. (Psalm 78:38-39) Jesus Christ bore our weakness on the Cross so that we could overcome our flesh and live by His Spirit which is breath to our body. Jesus gave us His Spirit to help us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26) His Grace makes it possible to receive strength in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Today is resurrection day. He is alive. Are you?

Ezekiel 37:7-8 (NKJV)
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

The greatest lie that the enemy has ever told God’s Children is that they must earn their Father’s Love. God is love. He has always loved us and always will. He is constantly trying to make a way for His Love to get to us. Jesus Christ overcame the sin problem that we have totally. We can now live by His Grace accepting new mercy each day to discover the vast potential of God’s Love for us. (Ephesians 3:18) Instead we try to recreate the Body of Christ without accepting His Spirit which is life and breathe to the body. If we could have done it ourselves, there would have been no need for a Savior. No calling for a Lord. He would not have made the journey to the Cross or ventured to the grave. Jesus would not have taken the keys to death from satan but He did. After all this was done, He stepped out of the grave and gave it all back to you! You have the potential and power to live as a Child of God and prosper. You have a purpose that is ready to be fulfilled. With well-constructed bones that are dry and lifeless, you are frustrated in your inability to experience all that He has promised. The problem is that there is no breath in them.

Ezekiel 37:9-10 (NKJV)
Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Prophesy is breathing out our words and accepting His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not super spooky spiritual stuff for all the crazy Christians out there. His Spirit is life. (John 6:63) We try to breathe naturally and live spiritually which is contradictory. We are to live united with Jesus Christ. He died to release His Spirit (which tore the veil) so that we don’t have to go through other people or offer sacrifices anymore. We are now united to God because we have His Spirit within us. This is power to overcome sin and darkness and live in the Light of His Love. This doesn’t necessarily change anything in the moment but it changes you. You have the power to change your circumstances because you have the Holy Spirit inside of you. (Matthew 16:16-19) Peter caught on when He said, “You are the Son of the Living God!” But he didn’t get the Spirit until Jesus died and rose again. Peter became the rock of the church after everything was said and done. What you bind on earth is now bound in Heaven and what you loose on earth is loosed in Heaven! What an awesome responsibility! What an awesome God! He has empowered us to live as His Children now and forever. If we are not living a prosperous life, we must make sure that it is not our inability to breathe in the Spirit so that godly potential is released. Have you been slain by the lie of the enemy? Breathe in. Have you been buried by your past and shackled to shame? Breathe in. Stop telling the Lord what you want, what you need, or where you are going! He has a better plan. Now breathe in His Spirit and now you will be strong like “an exceeding great army.” Loneliness gives way to an angel army that surrounds you. Fear falls away as faith is renewed. You will stand strong not in your strength but by the Power of God that has created a foundation called confident hope. This is all possible because God “will put (His) Spirit in you, and you shall live, and (He) will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that (He), the LORD, (has) spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 37:14)

I Peter 1:3-9 (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

I have the potential to live by the same power that brought Jesus Christ out of the grave. His Spirit is available to me to be breath in my body and bring my spirit back to life. Sin was my downfall. It is detrimental to my life. But avoiding sin is not enough, I need His Grace and Mercy to survive. But God did not create me to merely get by and survive the trials of this earth, He created me to prosper and thrive. It is time to live up to my full potential and stop trying to pad this life. It doesn’t matter what I may face tomorrow, it won’t kill me. It cannot take me out or change my destiny or destination. I am a Child of the Living God. His Spirit gives me breath now so that I can prophesy good things and see them in the land of the living according to His Word. Jesus made it all possible. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I have the ability to come to God my Father because He ripped the temple veil and became my priest. But He didn’t stop there because now He has called me to be a priest as well. I can live in His Presence daily but more importantly His Presence lives inside of me. I can greatly rejoice today because He is risen as a bystander in the crowd like the day of His Triumphant Entry who recognizes that He is Lord but does not know Him personally or intimately. Or I can become His Friend achieving full intimacy through His Spirit or better yet, I can become the Bride of Christ by accepting His Spirit to live inside me and breathe life into the skeleton of my life. Today is Resurrection Sunday. Don’t get all dressed up for nothing. Ask Jesus to be your everything. Then, just start breathing!

Revelation 22:16-17 (NKJV)
“I, Jesus, have sent My Angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”