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Coming Up for Air

** I am HONORED to feature a guest blog from my very dear friend, Sophia! As she prepares to turn 16 next month, I have had the delight of watching Sophia grow up into a mighty woman of God who lives the Gospel she preaches powerfully. Sophia is an active student leader at my home church, Overflow Church, and I just KNOW you'll love her as much as we do! - Chuck

Did you know that the leading cause of death for whales is drowning? 

When I first heard this, I was in disbelief. I thought, "What could be more comfortable to a whale than being in water?” It’s kind of their “thing.” That’s when I dug a little deeper and learned that whales can’t actually breathe underwater, but HAVE to swim up to the surface just to stay alive. As mammals, whales live “in” a world they are not “of." There is a life source they require which cannot be found where they reside. 

Whales drown because they swim down too deep and get too comfortable in a world that fails to meet their deepest and most foundational need. In the midst of blissful distraction, they actually forget to come up for air. It’s heartbreaking to consider, but these whales spend their entire existence in an environment that eventually kills them, and they don’t even realize the danger before them until it is too late. 

Do you see where I’m going?

We are also creatures who spend our days in an environment that will never be able to fulfill the deepest longings and needs of our hearts. We are starving for real sustenance, but for some reason, we find ourselves constantly distracted by things of this world…and it’s killing us.

“So above all, constantly seek God's kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.” Matthew 6:33 TPT

The problem is that, if we’re not careful, we will find ourselves more interested and captivated by all of the “less important things” mankind has to say to us, while we run right past the adoration and revelation of God’s Kingdom. We get far too comfortable swimming down into the worries and cares of this world, many of which won’t even matter weeks from now, and we forget about what’s actually eternal. Worst of all, we don’t even see we’re in danger until we suddenly realize we can’t breathe. 

Praise God, this doesn’t have to be our story. Here are three ways you and I can emerge from an ocean of distractions to fill our spiritual lungs with the fresh wind of intimacy with God. 

Swim Up

By “swim up,” I mean, make time for God. We can’t expect to have a deep relationship with God if we aren’t posturing our hearts to pursue or develop intimacy with Him. We can’t expect to hear His voice if we never slow down long enough to stop talking and to simply listen. In our frantic paced lives, we desperately need to make room for Him. As humans, we naturally crave connection. We were designed to want intimacy. But we can’t have connection without communication

And God loves to whisper. 1 Kings 19:12 says, “And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper.” Why would God whisper? Because a whisper is what you do when you want somebody to be quiet and to come close.

Swim Differently

There are currents of conversation and contemplation where lots of other people swim that simply aren’t worthy of who we have become in Christ. Currents of gossip and negativity; currents of offenses and petty fascinations. The God of creation wants a relationship with us, and I can guarantee that He deserves our full attention. We need to limit the things that distract and drain our souls from finding life in Him. 

Let me be practical: we will have a hard time giving Him our gaze if our faces are always buried in our phones, lost in social media and video games. We will likewise struggle to “be still and know He is God” if we refuse to first “be still.” Even good hobbies like going to the gym or time with friends can become dangerous if they remove us from the most important thing. It's time to swim differently. 

Breathe Underwater

Unlike whales, we actually have that ability. If we look closely, we can see that God already has taught us how. 

“Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything, always be giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 TPT

“Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.” Colossians 3:23 TPT

By the miracle of the Holy Spirit coming to live within us, we have been given a new nature that is not of this world. In the truest sense, we are already seated with Christ in heavenly places. Because of the Cross, we live in unbroken union with God, where He is the vine and we simply abide as branches. “In the midst of everything” going on around you, you actually can “make your life a prayer!” At the end of the day, the only thing our Father wants us drowning in is the never ending current of His love and mercy and power, baptized in His Spirit. 

In the midst of a world that can’t breathe, we are being called to “swim up,” to “swim differently,” and to learn how to “breathe underwater.” This is how we experience life to its fullest. This is how we are trained to hear and know how wonderful our Father is. Only He will ever fulfill our needs; not money, not clothes, not a friendship or relationship, not a car or a job. The oxygen He provides cannot be found anywhere else, because no one else possesses it

Where are you distracted or discouraged today? If you’ll look up, you’ll hear Him calling you to come up for air…or maybe, we'd do better calling it “coming up for prayer.”

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1 comentário

Amazing insight! You creatively told a story so common to so many of us. Great application. Thanks for sharing!

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