From the beginning of creation God reveals Himself as a God actively involved in the affairs of the earth and of His creation. Genesis 1:1-2 says ” In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters”. God Himself was literally sweeping and moving over the water. His movement brought about creation as we know it.
As we continue to watch the creation story unfold, we read in Genesis 2:7 ” And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”.
Before we go any further with more examples of God’s activity, let’s dig a bit deeper into what is actually happening here. The word that describes God breathing life into man in Genesis is the Hebrew word, Nshamah; a puff or wind. I believe that when we meditate long enough on the Word of God, we are able to absorb the full meaning of what God was doing-literally puffing and blowing part of Himself into man. Whoa!
In I Kings 18:41-46 we read the account of God breathing on His creation yet again. This time it is not to bring life in creative form, but to bring life in giving strength to His people. The prophet Elijah had just defeated Jezebel and the false prophets with an unprecedented display of God’s power. Many had witnessed the literal fire of God as it consumed the sacrifice in the verses directly before I Kings 18:41.
In verse 41 we read ” Then Elijah said to Ahab, ” Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, ” Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, ” Go again.” Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, ” Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ” Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah: he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Abab to the entrance of Jezreel.”
No doubt Elijah was experiencing a major adrenaline rush after just defeating the false prophets of Baal, seeing God’s fire fall from Heaven, and after three years without rain, watching the sky grow ominous and let out a deluge of rain on the earth-at the result of his prayers. I do not believe it was adrenaline that caused him to outrun King Ahab’s chariot which for approximately 25 miles. Elijah knew that it was the hand of the Lord.
Earlier we read about the breath of God in Genesis. I believe that we can also apply those words to this situation, even though we do not read the very words, breath of God. I believe that although the Bible says that it was the hand of God upon Elijah, we can safely conclude that God was breathing on Him to do was was impossible on his own. God’s Spirit was enabling Elijah to run and to fulfill His plans.
Fast forward to the New Testament where men and women had the ability to experience the very breath of God in the person of Jesus Christ. The breath of God blew on the earth yet again, as in creation, but this time the Creator is breathing upon us to bring redemption and to see God’s kingdom established.
As Jesus is approaching the time for Him to return to His Father after His resurrection, He has some powerful words for His disciples in John 20:21, ” 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”. Here, Jesus chooses to impart the very breath of God to those who followed Him. He knew that they would need it for the tasks that He had given to them. Can you imagine standing with God Himself and Him blowing His breath on you?
The very breath of God that had breathed on Jesus as “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”, is the same breath that continually empowers those who followed Jesus.
We read in Acts 15:15 “so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them”. This is what Jesus left his disciples with-His presence, His anointing, His breath.
The apostle Paul also experience this power, for we read the account in Acts 19:11 “Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseased left them and the evil spirits went out of them”. The very wind of God was blowing through Paul to touch those in need. This has always been God’s plan!
For much of my Christian life the goal had been to “play it safe” and to be able to control God (although I never would have come out and said it). I wanted everything to make sense before I stepped out in faith and believed God for impossible things. I wanted to be able to figure things out before I committed to what God was leading me to do.
God began setting me free from this type of powerless living almost a decade ago. He allowed some very difficult circumstances (that I could not figure out or that did not make sense) to free me from fear and cause me to soar with Him through faith. Really, this is what He has always been after in me-and in you-faith. He wants all our hearts to trust Him-truly and deeply trust Him. He wants us to read His Word and respond with a “yes!” instead of “let me see if I can figure this out”. He wants us to know Him so intimately and be so deeply rooted and overwhelmed by His love that we live from that place. That is where He breaths on us to do-and be the impossible. God wants us so near to Him that we can sense His presence-His breath in our hearts and on our lives.
How about you today? Are you hungry for this? Are you desperate? Do you find yourself in a situation or a season of your life that you realize the ways you have been trying to cope are failing? Beloved, it is all a divine set up! You are meant to soar with your Creator. You are meant to be carried by the wind of His Spirit. You are meant to be free and unencumbered by the things of this world. Will you let Him in? All you have to do is to tell Him that you want this and will do anything to live like those we read about in the Bible-and like Jesus Himself. I promise, He will not disappoint you! Life works so much better when we follow the master plan, laid out for us from the beginning of time.