Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 18, 2015

April 18, 2015 “It’s Only Natural”

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

“And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”(John 20:22)

Good Morning Citizens of the Holy Nation of God!

Having eleven children and twenty-one grandchildren (and another due in October), we celebrate a lot of birthdays in our family…one just yesterday, in fact, as my son Zach celebrated his 26th successful circumnavigation of the great celestial orb…(in laymen’s terms, his birthday). My bride Lydia and I get to sing a lot! Which brings me to the question whose answer should be obvious:  Do you know what song is the most recognized song in the English language and the most sung song in the world? I bet you do! It’s sung multiple times a day by tens of thousands of people. Still don’t know? Here’s a hint. People usually sing it to someone else. Still not sure? Blow out the candles! That’s right…it’s “Happy Birthday To You!”  In thinking of that song and the fact that blowing out candles is part of the celebration, I began to draw some interesting parallels in my mind with our birth celebration customs and what scripture has to say about our coming into this world.  First, there’s this business of how we came to have life. According to Genesis 2:7, human life began with the creative act of God as he “breathed the breath of life, His Spirit, into the nostrils of the man he created from the dust of the ground. This informs us that our true “life” is spiritual in nature. We are more than physical in nature. That which we know of “life” is from God. Just as we cannot survive physically without air, spiritually we die without the Spirit of God dwelling within us. We don’t have to think about breathing. We do it naturally, awake or asleep. It is how we were made to live. Were that not the case, soon we would perish. It is our nature to breathe. We were created to live in God.  Breath and birth are inexorably linked. When we exit the shelter of the womb, the first thing we do is breathe. If we don’t take that first breath, we may be encouraged to do so with a little whack on our tiny bottom to “wake us up” and take that first gasp of the air that sustains us.

Scripture informs us that on the night of his resurrection, Jesus appears to the disciples, cowering in fear for their lives, mourning his crucifixion.. Their hopes having died along with him Miraculously, he appears to them, assures them with the wordsPeace be with you“And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”. Once again, as it was when God created man, the life-giving Spirit of God was breathed into these spiritually dead souls, and the world was forever changed by their rebirth! Fiery preacher Johnathan Edwards, in speaking of the nature of prayer, said… 

“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.”

Life and breath are inseparable… Prayer and faith likewise. They naturally go together. When you pray, pray believing. It is not necessary to make a wish and blow out all the candles as you pray in order to assure that your prayer will be answered. Wishful thinking put into words is not the same thing as praying. Prayer requires faith. It is fortified by faith. Answers come by faith. It’s natural. So as you pray today, don’t just make a wish and blow out the candles. Pray believing. It’s God’s delight to give you every good and perfect gift…and not just on your birthday! Let’s pray!

Mighty Lord God; I come to you in prayer with a believing heart. I know You are a Good and gracious God, full of mercy and compassion. You alone are Holy! My prayer this day is to be filled with more of your Spirit…more of Your love…more of Your life. My prayer is to live the life to which I have been called and for the purposes You have in mind for me this and every day. This is my prayer, made in Jesus’ great Name. Amen!

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