just like breathing

Have you ever had your breath taken away? It’s one thing to inhale and exhale on your own, but to have the wind knocked out of you is something completely other. In my life I think I’ve had my breath taken away in every conceivable way. An unexpected kick to the chest (as only roughhousing boys will know), the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains suddenly appearing along the distant horizon, the unparalleled beauty of your future bride walking down the aisle toward you. They take your breath away. Even if you are expecting it, it can still come as a surprise and surpass your wildest expectations.

Enjoying the closing chapters of Isaiah I was tapped in the chest with 65.1: “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Look at Me, behold Me,’ to a nation that was not called by My name.” I had to stop and worship. What glory! What grandeur! What grace! I should have seen the round house kick that was coming when I got to chapter 66 verse 18, but no matter how many times I’ve read these words they laid me flat for “the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory.”

Gasping for breath at the greatness of our God, His revealed word to Isaiah continues as He promises to send out His people to the nations, to the lost and unreached, “to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations,” (v.19).

Our family vision is to be “A Personal Link from the Local Church to the Unreached” and in these verses the Lord confirms for us that He is calling to the unreached nations. He is crying out to the unreached peoples through His people, the Body of Christ, “Look at Me, Behold Me!”

The truth is, when we inhale we have to exhale. I’ve known Annabonese fishermen who could hold their breath for five minutes underwater, but even they have to give in and exhale. We will either breathe out or pass out, and this natural truth is spiritual truth as well. We were never intended to hold in the breath of God for ourselves alone. As we breath in His Spirit, His presence, His beauty, Jesus fills our lungs with praise and proclamation.

If we refuse to breath out, as a Church, we will pass out. We will pass out of our purpose, pass out of our calling, and like the audience of Isaiah, pass out of our place in the Kingdom. And knowing that we will pass out seeking to contain the uncontainable, the merciful Lord we serve takes our breath away. He knocks the wind out of us, and calls out to the nations through our exhaling. To borrow the words of John Baschieri, the Pastor of New Life AG in Lehigh Acres, “The longer a church exists the more they must fight the tendency to invest their resources in personal comfort and preservation rather than outreach and evangelism.” How is God taking your breath away today?

Thank you so much for lifting up your voices for the unreached, exhaling the praise of His glorious Name and renown over the unreached people of Senegal!