Posted by: dhkrause | October 14, 2018

The Breath of God

Creation of Man

The Hebrew word “ruach” often translated “spirit” has the root meaning, “breath”.  In Genesis 1:2, the Spirit is seen “hovering” or “brooding” over the face of the waters.  The image evoked is that of a mother bird brooding over her eggs until they hatch.  From this very first reference, the Spirit is seen as the giver of life.

Genesis 1 (NKJV)
The History of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

We see that on the sixth day of the Creation week, Adam became a living being when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life:

Genesis 2:7
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Like Adam, each of us became a living being when the Spirit of God breathed into us, giving us life.  Like Job, we can all truly say:

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4 NKJV)

Not only did we receive physical life by the Spirit of God, but we also become spiritually alive when we are born again of the Spirit.  In John 3, Jesus teaches Nicodemus about being born again of the Spirit.

John 3_7

John 3 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The anointing of the Holy Spirit brings fruitfulness in life and ministry.  When the risen Lord commissioned the Apostles in John 20, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20 (NKJV)
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

John 3_7

The disciples became spiritually ready to fulfill their calling when they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2 (NKJV)
Coming of the Holy Spirit
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Those who give themselves fully to God are no longer are being conformed to this world, but are being transformed by the renewing of their minds.

Romans 12 (NKJV)
Living Sacrifices to God
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Holy Spirit, the breath of God, is drawing us to fully give ourselves to God, to be transformed “in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord,” “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:2-4)

Breathe on me, breath of God (3)

The key to becoming all that God created us to be is to pray from our hearts for the Holy Spirit to breathe on us and make us wholly His.  This is the theme of the following hymn by Edwin Hatch, 1835-1889.

  1. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what thou dost love,
    And do what thou wouldst do.

  2. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Until my heart is pure,
    Until with thee I will one will,
    to do and to endure.

  3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Till I am wholly thine,
    Till all this earthly part of me
    Glows with thy fire divine.

  4. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    So shall I never die,
    But live with thee the perfect life
    Of thine eternity.

       (For an excellent rendition of this song, see:

Abiding in Jesus through the Holy Spirit, we are made clean by His words and fruitful for God’s glory.

John 15 (NKJV)
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

David Krause,,10/14/2018,

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