In 2010 I embarked upon my first-ever forty day fast. Why? Within a three week period I had major surgery, married off a daughter and watched her move to Australia, and then recorded a live album. By the end of that period I was emotional and mental toast. The Lord softly called me to reboot my system with a fast. I received a song a day over those forty days. This song came on day two...when I felt I needed to simply catch my spiritual breath, as it were. Breathe deeply...
As I began the fast, I knew I was to meditate on Psalm 40 and Isaiah 40 - and the promise from God that He would give me a song a day to get me through the entire fast. This is the story behind one of those songs. To be completely honest with you, I didn’t even know exactly what I needed to regain my strength. All I knew is that the Answer would be found in my relationship with Jesus. On May 25, 2010 that was how the day’s prayer and a new song began…me simply saying to him that if I knew nothing else, I knew I needed Him. As the fast began and physical hunger set in, I found the most amazing thing begin to happen. My physical hunger began to be replaced with spiritual hunger. Like a man in the desert who thrust after that next drink of water, I found myself thirsting for God’s presence in that same way. Like child needing the validation of his father, I began to seek my validation in Father God;
One of the underlying themes of the song for me personally is the fact that I had allowed the darkness of the world cloud to my vision. That I had allowed the busyness of life to choke out the life-giving relationship with Jesus. As I began the fast, I discovered that I could see more clearly when I cut off the other voices and that I could hear more clearly as I began to simply breathe in God’s presence.
This reminded me that the number one rule for a scuba diver is to keep breathing…that the number one rule for staying alive is to keep breathing…that I needed Jesus more than the physical air I breathe. As the fast began, rather than allowing the physical hunger to overwhelm me, I reminded myself to just keep breathing. Sounds simple, right? But how often do we forget to take time to breathe in the simple truth of God’s presence in our lives?
The more I sought God in the fast, the more specific my prayer became. The chorus of the song sums it up quite succinctly:
Lean so close that I feel You breathe.
Lean so close You quench this thirst in me!
Lean so close You loose these chains in me!
Set me free so I can breathe!
As you listen to this song (a link to The Dennis Jernigan Podcast is below), shut out the other voices vying for your attention. Focus on leaning in to God’s presence to such a degree that you can hear Him breathing next to you…in you…through you. Allow Him and His presence to satisfy your deepest hunger and to quench your deepest thirst. Give Him the freedom to loosen the chains of any lies you are believing. Simply breathe in His presence…take in a good long deep breath….just breathe.
The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4 NASB
24 "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all [people] life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one [man] every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined [their] appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist…” Acts 17:24-28 NASB
To listen to The Dennis Jernigan Podcast detailing the story behind the song, Breathe, simply go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/breathe-1531851359/
To purchase the mp3 of the song, Breathe, simply go to https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3515