Breathing In–Experiencing the Presence of God

Breathing in the Season

Breathing in His presence - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Are you breathing in the wonderful days of the season? In my world, the trees are displaying dazzling colors of splendor with a new “show” each day. The forest is emitting indescribable, but comforting smells of musk and fir that waft through the crisp air as the flora prepares itself for the upcoming winter. The calls of the wild, sound through the air as animals scurry about making their preparations for leaner times. These are the things I see, hear, smell, and feel as I take my daily hike to the top of the mountain, breathing in life and experiencing the presence of God. Are you experiencing the presence of God in this season of your life?

Sometimes it is challenging to our faith to remember that God is with us when we struggle with difficult times. But it is through the practice of breathing in the presence of God daily that gives us the hope to continue the journey. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.” When we learn to breathe in God’s presence daily, we can build up our immunity to difficult or challenging days and keep our soul singing. The key, however, is to practice this God-breathing regularly so we can hear Him no matter the noise that is around us.

The Importance of Listening

Two friends were walking near Times Square in Manhattan during the lunch hour. The streets were filled with people, cars honking their horns, taxicabs screeching around the corners, and sirens wailing. All the noise was almost deafening. Suddenly, one of the friends turned to the other and said, “Did you hear that cricket? What an interesting place for him to sing.” His friend said, “What? Are you nuts? You can’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!” But the first friend insisted that he heard a cricket while his friend questioned his sanity.

However, the man who thought he heard a cricket listened carefully again and then walked across the street to a large cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He investigated the bushes and there beneath the branches he located the small singing cricket. His friend was amazed and said, “That’s incredible, you must have superhuman ears!” But his friend replied, “No, my ears are no different than yours. It all depends on what you are listening for.” His friend however insisted, “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.” But the man who heard the cricket replied, “Yes, you can, for listening depends on practicing to hear what is really important to you.”

Breathing Practice

And so, it is with learning to see, hear, feel, and experience the presence of God. By practicing breathing in His presence we learn that God is indeed present everywhere. There are many times in our life when we need and want to feel that He is with us. For when we are determined to breathe in His Presence and seek Him, it allows us to know and be known. This experience can get us through a lot of difficult days, complicated questions, and crushing rejections that stand to overwhelm us regularly. For choosing to breathe in His presence and walk with Him regularly builds our confidence and thus our faith that God knows us. It is in this place that we know He walks with us taking the first step as we move forward.

It is important to realize that we are always in the presence of God. It is His nature to always be present. When we attempt the journey of life alone, the tasks before us are clearly beyond us. But with Christ the impossible becomes possible. (Luke 1:37) By breathing in His presence we are asking and declaring that we want Jesus, we need Him, and desire to know how to move forward to complete the task before us that is beyond our ability. It is in this secure place of breathing in His presence that we are filled with His goodness and glory.

The Breath of Assurance

This is the state of being with God. It is the empowering force and blessing that equips us to live as God’s people. It is ok to ask for, desire, and crave the presence of God, for, like Moses, God will bless us too in our asking. Sometimes we all need to see His glory for assurance that His presence is with us. And the great thing is that He desires us to come to Him. He is willing to bless us anytime we breathe in His presence and allow the Spirit to fill us. For God says to us, that when we are filled with His goodness, we can be who He created us to be.

Moses responded, “Then show me Your glorious presence.”

Exodus 33:18 (NLT)

Gaining the assurance of God’s presence means we must build our relationship with Him. It is only then that we can hear, feel, and know He is there. It is not His presence that is missing, however, for He is always there. Instead, the problem lies with our awareness. Richard Rohr said, “We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness. Little do we realize that God’s love is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. As we take another, it means that God is choosing us now and now and now and now.”

Glorify with Relationship

Therefore, building our relationship with Christ is so important. When we make this choice, we give God glory. And as we deepen our relationship, we learn and desire to be more like Him living our life according to Him. Through this, we learn to live and call upon Him learning to both listen and hear Him. It is our praise and worship, but it is more for we can glorify God best by living as He would have us live.

Realizing that God’s glory is revealed in and through His mercy, grace, compassion, faithfulness, forgiveness, and justice is just the start. For it is in this knowledge that we can breathe in His love and mercy that we benefit from. We can respond by giving glory to Him when our character resembles His. When we build upon our relationship with Him daily, we learn to not only lean on Him but listen for Him to speak to us. Sometimes this just means breathing in His goodness by using no words. Most of the time it is not our words that God seeks to hear but our actions through how we live our life. Sometimes it is difficult to hear God’s voice speaking to us. We can however answer His call by simply serving Christ for there are many ways to show our love for God and serve Jesus.

Won’t you take the challenge to practice breathing in God regularly? Allow your convictions to be not only grounded but rooted in His tremendous love for you. Seek your motivation to glorify Him through the way you live your life. And lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of simply breathing in His Presence and security by listening carefully for His call to your heart.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Sometimes I just sit still and enjoy God’s presence.

Joyce Meyer

Extra Study

Exodus 33:20,23

What are your thoughts?

Do you practice breathing in the presence of God regularly? Have you seen, heard, felt, and experienced His presence in your life? Share your thoughts on the importance of building your relationship with Christ through the practice of breathing Him in so you can hear Him call to you.

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