Greetings World! I’m at a Pastor’s Retreat this week at the beautiful Maranatha Bible Camp (http://maranathacamp.org/) in Nebraska. It is has been a great time for me to hit pause on my weekly routine and get alone with God. It has also been a great time of fellowship with other pastors and leaders from the Berean Fellowship (http://www.weareberean.org/). The speaker this week is Pastor John Stone from North Platte Berean Church (http://npberean.org/). He shared in the first session a lesson he learned from Neil Cole called Spiritual Breathing. It is based upon the command in John 15 to “Abide in Christ.” I wanted to briefly share it with you in hopes that it would be a blessing.
James 1:21 says “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (NASB).
Not surprising, spiritual breathing has two components: Inhaling and exhaling.
Inhaling is where we “receive the word” which is able to “save your souls.” This means reading God’s Word, meditating on God’s Word, and soaking our life with God’s Word. This also means listening to good Bible teachers (Bryan Clark from Lincoln Berean is one of the best preachers I’ve heard: http://www.lincolnberean.org/). There are many ways to practically apply this. I like to start my day in God’s Word, reading at least a chapter a day, if not more. It allows me to focus my thoughts on God first thing. I try to do this before I do anything else because I know the minute I turn on my phone or computer, I’m going to be lost in social media, youtube, or the news for at least an hour. I am then distracted the rest of my day. Start your day in the Word of God and see if you don’t inhale better throughout the day. Another practical way is to download good sermons and worship songs and redeem your commute to work. Better yet is an audio Bible!
Exhaling is when we put away all filthiness and wickedness. This is the spiritual discipline of CONFESSION. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So we are to confess our sins to God and ask for forgiveness. We are also to confess our sins to others: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” I’m going to attach what I use in my personal time of confession. It has been adapted from Gil Stieglitz (http://www.ptlb.com/).
My prayer is that this week you will find some time to practice spiritual breathing. Inhale God’s Word and exhale your sin! A simple yet profound spiritual discipline.