The other day I was feeling short of breath like I wasn’t getting enough air. I was fine but once I started breathing normally I thought about how God wants us to long for him the way we would long for breath if we couldn’t breathe.
If you have never had an experience where you couldn’t breathe consider yourself lucky. It is far from pleasant. It is a feeling of desperation, fear, anxiety, and longing all wrapped into one. You would do just about anything for a breath of air. Words cannot describe it.
We can’t live without having oxygen in our lungs. We can’t live spiritually without having God in our lives. When we don’t have God in our lives He wants us to long for Him the same way we long for air. He wants our relationship with Him to be so close that we feel as if we can’t live without his presence.
Consider this, we were created with the breath of God. The breath of God is within us. Even after Adam and Eve blew it God still wanted us. He wanted us so much that he sent Jesus to die on the cross so that we could once again have complete unobstructed relationship with Him once again. Not only that but we were given the Holy Spirit to guide us and comfort us among other things.
“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 soul.” – Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. – Luke 23:44
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” – John 20:21-22
I don’t want to spend much time here but I want to take a moment to appreciate how much God longs to be in relationship with us. He was willing to come to earth and live in a broken body just like ours. He went as far as being brutally beaten nearly to death followed by enduring the worst torture and death possible by hanging on a cross. He endured the wrath of God the Father that we deserved.
Who does that? Someone who really wants to be with you.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:6-8
Now if you’re anything like me, you don’t always feel like being with God. I don’t have this constant craving for His presence. I don’t always feel his presence when I’m actively seeking Him either. This is normal. God isn’t necessarily looking for us to have a strong emotional response. But they sure are nice when we have them.
God is looking for a relationship. He does want us to long for Him but more at the level of a couple who has been happily married for 50 years. Not that eweey gooey feeling of falling in love. The latter isn’t even love. The former is love because if you do it right you know each other intimately and feel lost without them.
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God? – Psalm 42:1-2
So how do I get to the point where I long for God and desire for Him like my very breath? I know I have talked a lot about this in the last few months but it comes down to spending time with Him. It takes prayer and meditation, Bible reading and study, and praise and worship.
I have had seasons in life where I have been so consistent with being in relationship with God that if I didn’t spend time with Him I didn’t feel quite right all day. As soon as I was able to spend some time with Him I felt right again. I wish I could say that those seasons are often but they’re not.
I compare it to an earthly relationship with a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse. When you are in a committed relationship you want to spend as much time with that person as possible without making them sick of you. When you don’t get to spend time with that person you feel like something is missing in your day or week.
The same thing will start to happen with our relationship with God. The more time we spend with God the more we will want to be with Him. There will be days where we just don’t want to read our Bible, pray or worship. In those times it is important that we do it anyway. At least do something, even if it’s five minutes.
In the long run, we will have a full relationship with God. Eventually, we will want him as much as our very breath. And in turn, we will bring him praise with our mouths and our actions.
I bless God every chance I get;
my lungs expand with his praise.
I live and breathe God;
if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy:
Join me in spreading the news;
Together let’s get the word out. – Psalm 34:1-3 (MSG)