September 18, 2017

His Breath

Devotion for the Week...

There's a song I love called "Great Are You, Lord", and the chorus says:

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only.

In an interview, one of the writers of the song said that the song was inspired in part by Ezekial 37:4-10, where Ezekial sees a valley full of dry bones and God asks Him if those bones could live. Ezekial responds by saying, "I have no idea! Only you know that, God!" (in the Devoted Quilter translation, anyway), and then we have the verses that inspired the song:

"Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army."

It's a beautiful picture, isn't it? God gives us the breath in our lungs and we then use that breath to praise Him, but when I was singing this song recently, I couldn't help thinking about all the other ways we use the breath He gives us.

What comes out of our mouths doesn't always sound like praise, does it? In fact, James 3:7-10 says, "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

Now, most of us probably aren't calling down curses on the people who annoy us, but just think about the things we say when we talk about them. Actually, just think about the fact that we talk about the ways they annoy us. That in itself probably isn't speech that could be considered praise!

And what about when we're frustrated because something isn't the way we want it to be? This could be anything from the weather that's not cooperating with our plans to the bank account that won't grow the way we want to the toddler who just will not listen. No matter what our words may be in those situations, the tone of voice certainly doesn't convey praise, does it? And I'm sure we all know that tone of voice is at least as important as the actual words being said.

If we want to use the breath God gives us to pour out our praise, then we need to be aware of what we're saying (and how we're saying it) all the time, not only when we're actively focused on God. What we say matters. After all, "the mouth speaks what the heart is full of" (Luke 6:45). 
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #christian #devotion
Paying attention to what we say may reveal attitudes that need fixing, so our whole lives can become expressions of praise to God.

1 comment:

  1. God is certainly trying to get the attention of His people! I'm seeing the story of the valley of dry bones being talked about (it seems) everywhere I turn lately. I love your point about how praising God with the breath He's given us should be something we're continually doing. Reminds me of Philippians 4:8. We should not be fault finders or discouragers, but love the people around us so much that they can't help but feel it.

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