“Breath of God” is a common term in the Bible and churches. It is often used to show the essence of the Holy Spirit. The original Greek word for Breath, Pneuma, means wind or spirit. We first see an example of the breath of God in Genesis 2:7 “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.” Later on in the Old Testament, we see God instruct Ezekiel to prophesy over the dead bones in the wilderness, and He will breathe life into them again.
The New Testament reveals more use of the term. In John 20:21-22 we get another vivid demonstration: 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” As I researched, I found many examples of how God’s breath can bring life or death. He can also empower, enlighten and regenerate anything with just one breath.
Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Recently, a pastor gave a different perspective on this subject that I had not considered. Since the Holy Spirit dwells within us, once we accept Christ, then the breath of God fills our lungs. We use that air to offer praise and worship back to our Father in heaven. This thought left me with a beautiful picture of God’s circle of life. He breathes life into me, and I breathe worship and praise back to Him. I loved the imagery of this flow of air between creator and created.
Isaiah 42:5 “God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth. And it is he who says,”
After reflecting on these words for several more days, I started to think about how I wrongly use the Holy air within my lungs. The words I breathe out speak good and evil. One minute, I offer God’s words of encouragement to a friend in need, and with the next breath, I curse the guy that cut me off in traffic. I sing hymns at church to glorify God, and then I yell at my husband for something insignificant. I must grieve God with all my improper use of His breath within my lungs. Just like God uses His breath to give life, to empower people and to comfort people, we are called to do the same. I think it is time for me to reexamine my words before I speak them to make sure they follow the example set for us in the Bible.
Yvonne, Blogger, speaker, and author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”