Breathe in

Early this morning I had a great moment with God… and it was because I was out of breath.  As I was running the laps that were a part of my workout of the day, I became (as usual) breathless.

The word “inspire” means to breathe in, while the word “expire” means to breathe out.  During my workout, I felt like I was about to expire!  As I slowed my pace down, I felt my chest heaving at an almost violent level.  My heart was racing, yet I was most definitely not excited!  I didn’t want to keep on.  In all honesty, I wanted to quit, go home, sit down, and say “phooey” on all this hard work to get and stay healthy.  My breath was so far gone from me that I needed to be inspired.

I feel like we sometimes get to that same place of breathlessness as followers of Jesus, and even as a church.  “Denying yourself” and “taking up your cross” can wear us out!  Doing the good works that God prepared for us in advance can bring us to the point of exhaustion.  The danger is that this goes unaddressed and people just drop out of church fellowship, then eventually, out of their relationship with Jesus.  There is also the danger that, as churches run the race of life and get short of breath, they tend to just quit running, sit down, and say “phooey” on all this hard work to get and stay healthy.  The breath of God within feels so far gone that we need to be inspired.

My prayers are currently for inspiration – not for more creative sermon illustrations, and not for another unique way we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to the families in our community – but for the breath of God to blow on me and in me!  For the breath of God to blow on us and in us!  I am refusing to go home, sit down, and say “phooey” on all this hard work to get and stay healthy!  I will keep running!  Church, we are a team that must keep running!  Would you join me in this prayer for God to inspire His church and revive us again?

In my morning workout, just as I was sure I couldn’t take one more step, the instructor shouted out, “Go Steve!” That’s all it took.  Not only did I finish the run, but the entire workout… and 2 minutes faster than ever before!

And I say to the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. -2 Thessalonians 3:13

Finish strong!

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