The adventure of living with Jesus is a life controlled by the Holy Spirit.
At the moment you believe in Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you are spiritually born again, and the Holy Spirit is given to you as God’s promise of all that is and will be yours in Christ.
Now the Holy Spirit dwells in you and is the source of your new life in Christ (John 7:37-39). What makes you unique and different as a Christian is the Holy Spirit in you. You live by the Spirit.
Now, “if we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). When we are in step with the Holy Spirit, our life results in purpose, power, peace, and hope. To keep in step with the Spirit is to maintain being filled by the Spirit moment by moment.
You can cultivate a Spirit-filled lifestyle in which you habitually trust Jesus and submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Word of God. This is also the way to experience spiritual growth and transformation of your life. One of the key Biblical concepts to help you keep in step with the Spirit is called spiritual breathing.
It is a practice of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure.
If you sin by committing a deliberate act of disobedience, practice spiritual breathing.
Exhale by Confession
To confess in the New Testament means “to agree with” or “to say along with”. So, confession is more than to acknowledge your sins. It means to agree with God on everything he has to say about anything.
First, you agree with God that what you have just done – name it specifically to God – is indeed a sin out of your willful disobedience.
Second, you give thanks and praise, by faith, to God for his forgiveness through Christ’s death on the cross.
Third, you repent. To repent in the New Testament means to “change one’s mind”. It is more than to say or even feel sorry. By repenting, you change your mind, heart, action, and attitude. Instead of depending on your own strength to please the Lord in all respects (Colossians 1:10), you choose to depend on the Holy Spirit.
Inhale by Faith
Then you inhale by surrendering the control of your life to Christ and appropriate by faith the fullness (influence) of the Spirit in your life to direct and empower you. It also means to embrace God’s truth instead of false or sinful beliefs of the flesh and adopt Christ-like thought, action, feeling, or attitude instead of the carnal ones.
Even though every believer in Jesus is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all believers are filled (influenced) by the Holy Spirit. That is why God through the Apostle Paul commands us to be filled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
“And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
According to the promise in the above verses, God always answers our requests that are according to his will. Because being filled by the Spirit is God’s command, he will certainly answer you if you ask to be filled by the Spirit.
A Spirit-filled life is not a problem-free life. Jesus was the perfect example of a Spirit-filled person. If even Jesus faced misunderstanding, oppositions, persecutions, and other challenges of life, Spirit-filled believers are not free from problems of life.
There are two types of problems we face. Some difficulties in life are created by our own selfish actions. Spirit-filled individuals will be able to avoid these problems. The second type of difficulties are simply the result of living in this fallen world. Spiritual persons can face these challenges with peace and confidence in God and His goodness, depending solely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Walking in the Spirit, practicing spiritual breathing can be summarized by the words of the Apostle Paul:
“I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20