Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you (Psalms 51:12).
Jackie had been a Christian for several years, yet she was frustrated.
"I feel like I am on a spiritual roller coaster," she said. "For awhile I feel close to the Lord and excited about serving Him; then I give in to temptation and sin, and then I feel complacent and distant from God."
Jackie was describing a problem that plagues many Christians today -- how to live a more consistent, victorious life for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me ask you: Have you been troubled by inconsistency, discouragement and defeat in your Christian life? Well, I have good news for you. You can get off that spiritual roller coaster and enjoy a victorious, consistent walk with the Lord Jesus.
Here is the secret: Keep short accounts with God through an exercise I call "spiritual breathing."
Think for a moment on how your body needs to breathe. When you exhale, you are ridding your lungs of carbon dioxide and other impurities that would cause disease if they stayed in your system. Then, when you inhale, you breathe in the oxygen that is crucial to maintaining a healthy body.
So it is with spiritual life. When we sin, our fellowship with God is broken. That is why we feel distant from God, and become complacent and discouraged.
Several days after Jackie learned how to breathe spiritually, she experienced hateful thoughts toward a neighbor. As soon as she realized what she was doing, Jackie "exhaled" by praying, "Lord Jesus, I have taken over the throne of my life through sin. I acknowledge to you my hatefulness for my neighbor. Thank you that you died for my sin. I repent of it and I give back to you the control of the throne of my life. Fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit of love."
Then, by faith, she "inhaled" a fresh infilling of the Holt Spirit. And by keeping a short account with God, Jackie's joy was restored within moments.
From the beginning of my Christian life, God gave me a strong desire to live a holy life and become a fruitful witness for our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, the harder I tried the more frustrated I became.
One day God graciously showed me the answer. It was through this concept of spiritual breathing. I know from many years of experience -- it works.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.