inspiration

EXpire

            To die, to come to an end, to no longer be valid. All of these things come to mind with the word expire. Rarely do we think of exhaling, the alternate definition. Even further from our minds is creation and life. Our response to the great commission begins with being INspired. The living Word of God is taken into our hearts like a deep breath, fanning the sparks in our hearts to where we are stirred to action.

 

            Just as an exhale follows an inhale, after we are inspired, we EXpire. While we don't die or come to an end, our old self does. “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” Romans 6:11. Sin is that which turns us away from or separates us from running after God and His callings for us with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths. It's letting that fear get in the way of doing more. It's lack of belief in how much God truly loves you or just how BIG His plans for you may be. It's all of the weaknesses and shortcomings we know about ourselves that we let disqualify us. When we let these things die, or expire, we become truly alive. We breathe life out on the world around us.

 

            “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host” Psalm 33:6. This creative breath speaks things into existence that were not there before. That gift of breath is a gift He shared with us, that we may to continue “breathing” on His creation and stewarding the earth. In Ezekiel 37, God asks man to speak His word to dry bones so that they would live again. Dry bones represent something completely devoid of life and hope. As Ezekiel speaks in faith, exhaling the creative words of God, the impossible happens and LIFE comes. We have this same calling. We are charged to bring His word to the driest places so that it would restore life beyond our wildest hopes of restoration. Think right now of a place in your own life or in the world that is a dry valley that seems beyond restoration. Commit to pray about how God is calling you to expire. See what happens when you come alive in Christ Jesus and begin to breathe that same hope you were inspired by on the world around you.

INSPIRE

        Inspire is defined as “filling someone with the URGE or ABILITY to do something creative” or “to breathe in”. When we take up the great commission, we embody the verb inspire. To breathe in carries the scientific picture of intaking something that then will be absorbed and carried throughout the body. When we breathe in God's spirit, it brings spiritual LIFE to all parts of us and to those who we are connected with. “The Spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4). The effects of breathing in His indwelling Spirit do not end there. “But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8). John describes this indwelling Holy Spirit as our “Helper” who will both teach us as well as bring to remembrance that which has already been taught (John 14:26). Just as having any parts of the body be low on or deprived of oxygen risks their health and the strength of the body, having people or nations that go untouched by a life-giving message of the gospel risks their spiritual health and reduces the strength of the global body of Christ.

            You are a carrier of this spiritual oxygen in your connection to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The great commission that sent his disciples (including us as modern-day disciples) to the ends of the earth is a call to help these untouched people and nations breathe in. Just as an inhale is followed by an exhale, an inspiration is followed by creation. Looking at the first part of the definition of “inspire”, we see the effects of sharing the life-giving message of the gospel. When you truly realize the power, freedom, and reality of your identity in Christ, your calling, and your preciousness and importance to the Father and His plans, it stirs a burning urge within the heart. When the two disciples were on the road to Emmaus and the Spirit of the risen Lord came and walked along with them, He appeared as an unfamiliar person. Yet when He left their presence because of the words He imparted, their reaction was to say to one another “Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked to us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures” (Luke 24:32).

            As we open the scriptures to those we touch, the Spirit of God within us causes them to feel that same burning within their own hearts. And anyone who has experienced a burning desire knows that it does not take long for action to follow. Stirring hearts begets the urge. God gives the ability then to do something creative. Creating new disciples, creating new ministries, creating new ways to spread this inspiration even farther. Now, precious carrier of spiritual oxygen to a panting world, how will you inspire the world today?