Participants: Ivor and Atonte Myers
Series Code: BOF
Program Code: BOF000030
00:14 Welcome to Battles of Faith, we're your hosts,
00:16 Ivor and Atonte Myers. Today's program is entitled
00:20 "The Art of Deep Breathing". If you've been watching
00:24 the last few programs we have been talking about several
00:26 different arts, and this helps us fight in the battle against
00:30 our enemy. The first one was stillness,
00:33 learning how to be still; silence, learning how to be
00:37 silent; and the last one was focus, learning how to focus,
00:40 and today is the art of deep breathing.
00:43 As you can see, we're kind of forming a thought here,
00:46 a pattern that will at the end, you'll see how this can all work
00:50 together so that we can fight the battle more effectively.
00:53 That's right. We've seen in our previous
00:55 programs that the art of stillness prepares us for
00:58 the art of silence, and then the art of silence prepares us
01:01 for the art of focus, and now we're going to go ahead
01:04 and take a look at the art of deep breathing.
01:07 What does it mean to breathe deep as a spiritual warrior?
01:11 I want to illustrate this with a story found in the book
01:14 of John 20, and in John 20 the disciples gathered together,
01:20 this is right after the resurrection of Christ.
01:22 They're gathered together for fear of the Jews.
01:26 Christ is about to appear to them and empower them to go
01:30 out and to witness to the world. And notice what John 20:21 says:
01:38 "Then said Jesus to them", this is after He had appeared
01:40 to them, "Peace be unto you. As My Father has sent Me, "
01:46 "even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed"
01:51 "upon them, and sayeth unto them, Receive ye the Holy"
01:56 "Ghost. " How is He going to prepare them
01:58 to go out and to do this work, the Bible says He breathed
02:01 upon them, and His breath was likened unto the receiving
02:07 of the Holy Ghost. That lets us know that we're
02:10 talking about deep breathing. If you could just imagine Jesus
02:14 breathing out to the disciples, and the disciples inhaling,
02:18 or breathing in that Spirit. They were to be filled with
02:21 the Spirit to go out and do the work of the Lord.
02:25 In return, so are we supposed to be filled with the Spirit,
02:28 and the deep breathing, if we receive of the Spirit is also
02:32 another way that we can fight.
02:35 That's right. Now, I want to jump to another verse,
02:37 it's Job 32:8, Atonte, I'm going to ask you to read that
02:40 because there is another reason, there is something that Jesus
02:44 wanted the disciples to understand when He did this.
02:46 - So go ahead and read Job 32:8. - It says: "But there is"
02:50 "a Spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty"
02:55 - "giveth them understanding. " - Okay, we know that according
02:58 to this verse the Bible says that a spirit, actually,
03:01 the margin actually says "The breath of the Almighty"
03:04 "giveth understanding", so when Jesus breathed upon these
03:09 disciples, Jesus, He is God, there was something that Jesus
03:13 wanted the disciples to understand, and what was
03:16 that thing? The Bible tells us in
03:19 Zechariah 4: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, "
03:26 "sayeth the Lord. " They were to go out and conquer
03:29 not by might, not by power, but by the indwelling of
03:32 the Spirit of God within their lives. This is how they were
03:36 to go forth and conquer in the name of Christ.
03:38 That's right, and it's interesting, that same verse in
03:41 the Amplified version says "But there is a vital force, "
03:45 "a spirit of intelligence in man, and the breath of"
03:48 "the Almighty gives men understanding. "
03:51 That's right, and we're going to look at another translation,
03:54 the Revised version says "the breath", or "the inspiration"
04:00 "of the Almighty giveth understanding. "
04:03 Now, when we use that word "inspiration", another word
04:09 that we can use in its place is inhalation. When you inhale,
04:13 take deep inspirations of breath, you're saying
04:18 "take a deep breath, inhale deeply". It's interesting that
04:24 as we consider this art of deep breathing, that what God is
04:30 trying to say to us as Christians is that we are
04:33 to be breathing in deep the Spirit of God, and in breathing
04:40 in deep that Spirit, that empowers us to go forward
04:44 and to conquer not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit.
04:50 - And breathing deep is prayer. - That's right, if you take
04:54 a look at the book of Acts 2, and we know what event took
04:58 place, in Acts 2 the Bible says the disciples were gathered
05:02 together, it was on the day of Pentecost, and then there
05:07 fell from heaven the sound of a mighty rushing wind.
05:11 Incredibly enough, that word of "wind" is actually the word
05:16 "breath", so what were the disciples doing on the day
05:20 of Pentecost? They were praying.
05:23 - They were breathing deep. - They were seeking the Spirit
05:29 of God, they were in earnest, and deep prayer, and in answer
05:33 to that earnest and deep prayer the Bible says that the breath
05:36 of God, the Spirit of God, the wind of God fell on
05:41 the disciples and filled them with the Holy Spirit.
05:45 And from this infilling of the Holy Spirit the disciples
05:48 went forth, conquering, and to conquer, they went forth
05:51 to spread the gospel message. In the very same sense,
05:55 as Christian warriors we must understand this art of deep
06:01 breathing. What does it mean to be filled with
06:05 the Spirit of God? As you said, deep breathing
06:08 is really symbolic of prayer, and we, as Christians,
06:11 ought to be taking in the deep Spirit of God, we ought to be
06:16 drinking it in, we ought to be spending that time in prayer
06:19 that takes us deeper than we have been before,
06:23 - and the things of God. - This is not your quick, fast,
06:26 "let me get kinda up late, in a rush, bustle" kind of prayer.
06:32 These other arts prepare you for this type of prayer,
06:36 first you have to be still, you have to learn how to be silent,
06:39 focus, and then you'll be able to have deep breathing,
06:44 prayer that actually connects you to God, where you're not
06:48 just rushing around, not focusing and things like that.
06:52 You know, it's interesting that as you look at Pentecost,
06:55 they were gathered together for 10 days, and the Bible does
07:01 not record any account of preaching per se, going on,
07:06 what were the disciples doing? They were gathered together
07:09 and they were praying, and praying, and praying.
07:12 Now that's what I would call deep breathing, they were
07:15 into deep prayer. Can you imagine what it would
07:18 be like if all the churches were to gather together in their
07:22 various churches for 10 nights to do nothing
07:28 but prayer, even for just 1 hour.
07:30 All the churches around the world, they were gathered
07:33 together and prayed for 10 days, I believe that we would see,
07:40 and we could very well see, the beginnings of that later
07:43 rain, because that deep breathing, the disciples
07:47 gathering together and praying in the way they pray
07:51 is what brought about that incredible revival in the days
07:56 of Pentecost, and that's what will bring about the incredible
07:59 revival in the last days, but the problem is that we are not,
08:03 as Christians, used to deep breathing, so we have no power
08:09 in our fight, we have no power. In fact, if you're breathing is
08:15 shallow, you have poor circulation, you don't have
08:19 a lot of energy, breathing deep gives a person energy,
08:23 and this is what we're talking about when we say the Christian
08:26 must learn the art of breathing deep. Be still, be silent,
08:31 focus and breath deep, allow the Spirit of God to fill us,
08:36 to enter into our lives, to direct our thoughts and this
08:40 is where we begin to really experience the victory
08:45 - in our conflicts. - And again, all of this takes
08:49 time. You're not going to breathe deep in a 5 minute
08:54 prayer session, or even a 10 minute prayer session,
08:57 it takes time, and again, these are lifestyle changes.
09:01 When we're talking about being in a war, and needing to learn
09:04 how to fight, we need to be diligent students and to learn
09:08 of Jesus, so that He can teach so that we can be
09:10 victorious, it is the only way we're going to beat our enemy.
09:14 Because Satan is coming at us at so many different angles,
09:18 and with so many different attacks, we have to have
09:21 this type of power to be able to fight in this way,
09:25 and God is the only one who can teach us how to do it.
09:27 That's right. You know, deep breathing is a sign of life.
09:31 If you're not breathing you're dead, and the same is true
09:34 with prayer, if you're not praying you're spiritually dead.
09:38 Prayer is a vital sign for a Christian warrior, you look
09:45 at the account of Adam. After God had created Adam
09:49 and formed him out of the dust, Adam was not alive, not until
09:53 the Bible says God bent over and breathed into his nostrils
09:59 the breath of life, and that is exactly what prayer is,
10:03 it is the breath of life, filling us with the life
10:07 of Jesus Christ. We receive that life
10:10 through prayer. As we sit, and as we learn to pray,
10:14 and to pray long, and to pray hard, and to pray earnestly,
10:18 to hear the voice of God, something happens in that moment
10:22 of prayer, in that time of prayer, the life of Christ
10:25 is given to us in a very special way, and we are,
10:29 as it were, filled with power. Now, it's interesting that
10:32 in New Age circles they will meditate, and meditate
10:36 for hours to be filled with some kind of spirit.
10:40 I believe that that is a direct counterfeit of what
10:43 the Christian ought to be doing, a direct counterfeit of
10:46 the truth, because God tells us that ought to be praying,
10:50 that we ought to be praying diligently, praying fervently,
10:53 and as we pray we would be filled with the Spirit of God,
10:58 and remember, how are we going to conquer self?
11:00 Not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit.
11:05 We need to learn how to deep breathe. We were just talking
11:10 a short while ago and someone mentioned yawning as sign
11:14 of deep breathing, and how often to you go into prayer and deep
11:18 breath, not in the way we're talking about, but yawning?
11:21 You go down, as soon as you hit the floor, you're deep
11:24 breathing, you're yawning, you're tired.
11:27 That's not the kind of deep breathing that we need to be
11:29 exercising as Christians, we need to be breathing
11:32 in deep the Spirit of God, that means being willing
11:35 to spend that time in prayer, and to go beyond
11:39 the surface. When we breathe shallow, shallow power,
11:43 when we breath deep, deep power.
11:45 I have learned that Satan is hoping that I will not be able
11:50 to spend that quality time with the Lord that day because
11:53 he knows if that happens I'm an easy target, it's like
11:56 "Oh, she's going to be blown away easy today because"
11:58 "she didn't spend the time that she needed to spend. "
12:00 And God has shown us that this is a weapon, or an art,
12:05 in the battle that we have to learn, it is a necessity,
12:10 or the enemy will over come us. Jesus did not come and die
12:14 on the cross for that to happen, everything is available for us
12:19 - to win. - That's right, this point
12:22 is also illustrated in the book of Ezekiel 37, and in this
12:27 particular chapter God has taken Ezekiel to what is called
12:32 "The Valley of Dry Bones", and Ezekiel sees this valley,
12:36 and they're full of dry bones, they're scattered, and God
12:42 asks Ezekiel the question: "Ezekiel, can these bones"
12:45 "live? " And you can imagine in Ezekiel's
12:48 mind, he's looking, he's saying "From what I see, and from"
12:51 "what I know, these bones can't live", but God is asking him,
12:55 and so he says "Lord, You know". Then God says to Ezekiel:
12:58 "Ezekiel, I want you to prophesy to these bones that they"
13:02 "may live. " He says "Prophesy and let these bones"
13:05 "comes together. " The Bible says that Ezekiel
13:07 began to prophesy, and it describes the bones coming
13:13 together to form this army that stands up on its feet,
13:19 but it says that the army was not yet living, and now notice
13:24 what it says in verse 9: "Then He said unto me, "
13:27 "Prophesy unto the wind, prophecy son of man, "
13:31 "and say to the wind, Thus sayeth the Lord God, come from"
13:35 "the 4 winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain"
13:40 "that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded"
13:43 "and the breath came into them, and they lived, stood up on"
13:48 "their feet, an exceeding great army. "
13:51 That is a powerful illustration because we understand that we,
13:54 as Christians, are in a holy war. God wants us to be
13:59 an exceeding great army, but in order for us to be
14:03 an exceeding great army that is alive, that is powerful,
14:08 the wind of God, the breath of God must come upon us.
14:12 We must learn to breathe deep, to breathe this breath in us,
14:17 and it is then that we become a mighty soldier, a mighty warrior
14:20 for Christ. And it may be that there's
14:23 things in your life that are like the dry bones
14:26 that Ezekiel saw, it could be alcoholism, it could be drug
14:30 addiction, it could be a child that you have, a wayward
14:34 child that you just don't think is every going to come back
14:37 to the Lord. The deep breathing can work such a miracle
14:42 in your life, and in that person's life that you can
14:45 - finally have victory. - That's right, there's studies
14:50 being done that show that pollution in the atmosphere
14:54 greatly reduces one's power to breathe correctly.
14:59 Asthma, which I used to have, asthma, but they say asthma
15:04 can be cause by the atmosphere, the air that we breathe in,
15:10 by the pollution in the air. I believe that one of the ways
15:13 the Devil tries to eliminate our breathing capacity, to stop
15:19 this art of deep breathing, is by polluting the spiritual
15:22 environment with the junk of the entertainment industry,
15:27 with the junk of the everyday things of life, so that when
15:35 it comes time to deep breathe, we're not deep breathing,
15:37 we're shallow breathing. Shallow breathing brings about
15:40 shallow Christianity. "I don't want to pray", "Why?"
15:43 "Because it's boring", "how do you pray for more than"
15:47 "5 minutes, or 2 minutes? " And what happens is we get
15:50 into this cycle of shallow breathing, and then when it
15:54 comes time for the battle and we lose, we're wondering
15:58 "Why don't I have enough energy to fight this fight of faith? "
16:01 It's because we're breathing in the Devil's pollutants,
16:05 we're breathing in his lies, we're breathing in his agenda
16:09 for our life, and in so doing we end up not having that real
16:14 spiritual power that we need in order to fight against self.
16:19 Many of us, when we fall we grit our teeth and say
16:22 "I'm never going to do that thing again", but the will power
16:26 alone doesn't work, you have to have the supernatural power
16:28 of God, and these arts that we're talking about, these are
16:32 the steps, these are the practical steps that you can
16:35 take every day. People preach about the Word,
16:38 they preach about what Jesus has done, and we want
16:40 to do those things, we want to overcome in those ways,
16:43 but we never really know practically how to do it.
16:46 Apply these things into your life, and you will have
16:49 - victory. - Right. Now, when we talk about
16:52 breathing deep, we do not want people to think:
16:55 go home, sit down on your floor, or kneel and start
16:58 to inhale and exhale, that's not what we're talking about,
17:02 we're talking about the breathing deep, the spiritual
17:05 breathing of the Holy Spirit, asking the Spirit of God
17:09 to come in, asking God to breath upon you.
17:12 In fact, in "Messages to Young People", page 249,
17:16 powerful statement here, it says: "Prayer is the breath"
17:20 "of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. "
17:24 "No other means of grace can be substituted and the health"
17:29 "of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into"
17:33 "immediate contact with the well spring of life, "
17:37 "and strengthens the sinews, and muscles of the religious"
17:41 - "experience. " - And that's what we need.
17:43 That's what we need, and this is the reason the Devil is happy
17:47 with shallow breathing He does everything that
17:49 he can to cause self to breathe shallow. We have to make
17:55 a determined effort to learn how to pray deep, how to really
18:00 get down, and not 2 minutes: "Dear Lord, watch over me, "
18:05 "amen", but to really get deep into prayer, because it is
18:09 in those deep sessions with God that the mysteries of God,
18:13 the mysteries of the Word, the mysteries of victory
18:17 over sin begin to open up to us, and it is there that we
18:21 come back and say "Man, I cannot believe what the Lord"
18:24 "just shared with me. " It's like an ocean, the top
18:27 of the ocean is beautiful, but the deeper you go into
18:30 the ocean the more treasure there is, and God calls us
18:35 into this deep communication with Him.
18:38 Nobody likes shallow communication: "Hi", "Hi".
18:41 "How you doing?" "Great".
18:43 "Okay, see you. " No, you can't build
18:45 a relationship off of shallow communication, God wants
18:48 us to learn how to deeply communicate with Him so that
18:55 He can deeply communicate with us the deep truths of this
18:59 - war of faith. - And breathing also, we look
19:03 at the body, it purifies the blood.
19:05 That's right. You look at prayer, when we breathe deep
19:09 it's a process of purifying the blood, when we pray
19:12 deep it's a process of purifying our lives, when we breathe
19:17 deep, when we pray deep, that is, the Spirit of God
19:21 can come in and cleanse our lives. The blood brings
19:26 oxygen to every part of the body, so when we breathe deep
19:29 the Spirit of God is moving into every area of our life,
19:33 cleansing us, purifying us, and that's what we need
19:37 the Spirit of God to do. Again, this is be still,
19:42 be silent, focus, and breathe deep because in doing this
19:48 the power of God becomes a reality in your life, and you
19:51 begin to become cleansed, every area of you life
19:55 begins to be cleansed by the Spirit of God.
19:57 And when you're breathing deep then you start to get
20:01 an appetite for the Word, you want to be in God's Word,
20:04 God's Word feeds you where you're more fulfilled by His
20:08 Word then you were when you were just shallow breathing.
20:11 That's right. They say that as you breathe deep it creates,
20:15 or it stimulates your appetite, and a lot of people do not
20:19 have an appetite for the Word of God because they see it
20:21 as boring, they don't have an appetite for the Spirit of God
20:24 because they've never tasted of the Spirit of God,
20:27 but when you begin to breathe deep and have those experiences,
20:31 something incredible happens, prayer becomes more than
20:34 a duty, it's a privilege, it's a desire, you yearn after God
20:39 with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all
20:41 your might, and all this is a result of breathing deep.
20:44 But we will not breathe deep if we do not know how to focus,
20:49 and we will not focus if we won't take the time to be
20:51 silent, and we will not be silent if we're not taking
20:54 the time to be still, these are all arts that are necessary
20:59 - for us to overcome self. - You know, when you're dating,
21:01 when Ivor and I were dating no one had to make me spend
21:05 time with him, I wanted to spend a lot of time with him,
21:08 and that's what God is calling for us. When you're in love
21:11 with someone, you want to spend time, and Jesus is in love with
21:15 us and He wants us to be in return deeply in love with Him,
21:19 and spending that time, the deep breathing will just bring
21:22 us closer and closer to Him, and all of these things will
21:25 - follow. - That's right. When we look
21:27 at prayer, most people consider prayer to be a 1 way
21:32 communication: "I talk to God, and then that's it, "
21:37 "the prayer's arrived, said everything I needed to say",
21:39 but prayer in God's eyes is communication 2 ways.
21:46 Not only does God want to speak, or want us to speak to Him,
21:51 but God wants to speak to us as well.
21:55 Very often, if you had an interview with some famous
22:00 person and you came back and you were telling all your
22:03 friends "Guess what, I had an interview with so-and-so",
22:05 the first question they'd probably ask you is
22:08 "Well, what did he or she say? " And the same is true when
22:11 we pray to God. When we say that we are praying
22:15 to God we are actually saying that we have had communication
22:19 with Him, that God has spoken to us, we've spoke to Him,
22:23 and if you were to ask most people "What did God say? "
22:27 after your prayer time it would be an "Ahhh, I don't know, "
22:33 "I wasn't listening". If you said you'd interviewed
22:36 somebody famous [?], and you came back to me
22:39 and went "I interviewed so-and-so", and I said
22:41 "What did he say? ", and you said "Oh, he didn't say"
22:43 - "anything". - "I wasn't listening".
22:46 I'd say "you didn't even interview the guy, you're just"
22:49 "pulling my leg", or something like that.
22:51 No, God desires to speak to His people, He desires
22:55 to communicate, and when you learn this art of deep breathing
22:59 prayer becomes, as I've said, a privilege.
23:02 It's also interesting that when we breathe deep it soothes
23:11 the nerves, and that's really, really important in this art
23:16 of holy warfare, because you may hear people all the time say
23:20 "so-and-so gets on my nerves, and this gets on my nerves, "
23:23 "that gets on my nerves", and everything makes the person
23:26 angry, or irritated, or whatever it might be.
23:29 Sometimes you say "Man, why don't you just take a deep"
23:32 "breath, and breathe, and relax. "
23:34 Well, God calls us to learn how to breathe deep because
23:37 in so doing we get control over our spirit, we get control
23:44 over the renegade self, the self that wants to do whatever
23:49 he wants to do, and go wherever he wants to go, and say
23:51 whatever he wants to say. We learn how to control self,
23:55 we learn how to be relaxed, and how to be calm.
23:59 Whenever somebody is nervous they say "Breathe deep",
24:03 and in our last program we talked about the importance
24:07 of remaining calm in the midst of a crisis, and how focusing
24:11 upon Christ can help us to remain calm.
24:14 Well, this is one of the ways in which we learn to remain
24:17 calm, it's learning how to breathe in deep of the Spirit
24:21 of God, the deeper we breathe in, the calmer we will be
24:26 - in our crises. - These are lifestyle changes,
24:30 none of this is going to happen if we're not willing to fit
24:36 this into our life, if you will, if this doesn't become a major
24:40 portion of our daily activities, if we just keep going,
24:45 busy, in a hurry, 5 minute prayer here, and a quick little
24:50 1 verse reading, not even really thinking about what it's saying,
24:53 it's not going to happen with that, it's like we regret
24:57 it when we don't spend that time, when we fall,
25:00 and we've done something that we don't want to do,
25:03 but it could be prevented if we spend that time with
25:06 the Lord, and take these arts of war, and really begin to fight,
25:08 because again, this is what I tell my kids: Satan never
25:11 takes a holiday, he never takes a break, we cannot
25:14 afford to not apply these things into our life.
25:17 That's right. One other thing that deep
25:21 breathing does is it gives us sound sleep.
25:27 Jesus invites us as His people, He says "Come unto Me"
25:31 "all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give"
25:35 "you rest. " As we learn to take in
25:39 the Spirit of God and allow the Spirit of God to fill us,
25:42 in fact, as this church, as Christians as a body, learn how
25:48 to breathe deep, just like the disciples did on the day
25:52 of Pentecost, not only must it be a corporate thing,
25:55 but it must also be an individual thing because
25:58 as we learn how to breathe deep the Spirit of God is poured
26:01 out and we are empowered to do the work, not only of winning
26:05 souls, but winning the victory over ourselves.
26:09 We get that rest that we've been looking for.
26:13 God says "When you breathe deep, when you take in"
26:17 "that Spirit and allow it fill you, I will give you that rest",
26:23 "that sound sleep". You'll be like Jesus in the midst of
26:25 the storm while the boat was being rocked to and fro, He was
26:29 able to rest in peace, and that's what we want,
26:34 we want to be able to rest in peace. So many people do not
26:37 have peace. They're saying "Well, I don't know why I don't"
26:40 "have peace, I'm Christian, I'm trying to do right,",
26:44 but part of the problem is shallow breathing.
26:48 Remember, shallow breathing equals shallow Christianity
26:51 - and shallow power. - That's right, and when we
26:54 apply this into our lives, then we can really and truly
26:57 be a light in the world because people will be attracted to us
27:02 and we'll be able to share the Gospel with them, and we can
27:05 evangelize, and soon Jesus can come.
27:08 That's right. So we want to put into practice the art
27:12 of being still, being silent, focusing, and breathing deep.
27:18 When we begin to do these things they will prepare us for
27:21 the further arts of fighting against self.
27:26 These arts are so incredible, so powerful that unless we
27:30 do these things beforehand, when it comes time for
27:33 the actual, face to face, hand-to-hand combat,
27:36 spiritual combat with self, we will not be able to do this,
27:40 it's like the levels in any fighting system, you've got
27:43 to learn the foundation, and then as we continue to move
27:46 on we learn the deeper things, and that's where we move
27:50 - in this war against self. - Amen. We challenge you
27:55 to take some time out of your day, start today, and spend
27:59 that time with the Lord, and He will teach you.
28:02 Well, we're all out of time, until next time, God bless.