Not too long ago, an older gentleman informed my husband about the healing properties of breathing deeply. He said that you don’t need to breathe like this all the time, but taking a few deep breaths periodically throughout the day helps you absorb more oxygen. More oxygen means your body can work better and you’ll feel better both mentally and physically.
The research shows that a steady practice of correct breathing is simply a good way to cope with everyday life: It will increase your energy levels after a tiring day at the office, help you be more alert even without a caffeine fix, and will help you focus better when everything seems to be happening at once. Deep breathing can improve blood circulation so that your bones and muscles get more nutrients, reduce your symptoms of stress, especially when you feel like your heart is racing a mile a minute, and it can relieve pain.
This is some good information, especially for those of us who have a computer at the end of our fingertips for most of the day. We sit crunched over the machine, taking shallow breaths with our diaphragms compacted and our shoulders slumped. But what about the other breathing that is so necessary to our vocation as Christian writers? The Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:25 (NLT) says, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
If we truly are living, working, and communing with the Holy Spirit of God every day, how do we access His power, His comfort, His direction? A few years back, I listened to a speaker talk about Holy Spirit-Breathing. He spoke about the practice of breathing in as we ask the Holy Spirit to take over total control of our lives and then to breathe out all the other things that we’ve placed in that position.
For instance, who makes the decision when you get up in the morning about what you want to accomplish that day? Do you or do you ask the Spirit to direct you or, for those of us who are writers, to direct our words. I love to spend time with my morning devotions before I sit at the computer because I know that the words will flow better and the thought processes will have clarity if I’ve taken a holy breather. However, there are days…
I stumble out of bed, grab a quick cup of coffee, and settle in, even before I’ve gotten dressed. I get bogged down with social networks, bill paying, invoices, and snail mail. The phone rings or the doorbell chimes and I have to scramble to get some clothes on before the caller leaves. That is not a day controlled by the Holy Spirit of God. There is no peace, and certainly no clarity of thought.
Holy Spirit breathing is something we can do no matter where we are. It’s simply acknowledging that the Holy Spirit has the podium. He sits on the throne of your life, not on the footstool. Like breathing deeply, injecting our body with life-saving oxygen, breathing in the Holy Spirit daily, sometimes more than once, refreshes, relaxes and gives us peace beyond our imagination. Let Him lead and the dance will be smoother, more graceful, and your audience will be thrilled.
For further study: Rom.8:14; Gal.5:18; 1 John 3:7