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June 2023 – Choosing to Breathe the Holy Spirit

I Had a Choice

In a recent dream, I was working with some others in space, where we needed to wear oxygen masks to live. In a conference room, someone with great authority warned me about the dire consequences of breathing from the wrong mask: The only way to live was to breathe from the right mask.

Sometimes God uses unusual dreams to focus my attention on a message. And I recognized this dream as an important invitation from God. But what did it mean? What was the actual waking choice I was being so strongly urged to make?


The word pneuma, which appears many times in the Bible, is a word for spirit and for breath or wind.

I was being urged to choose to breathe the Holy Spirit.

(Remember a worship song from years ago about breathing God’s presence? Michael W. Smith sang Breathe.)

So, what does it mean, in practical terms, to breathe the Spirit of God?

When I asked God that question, he began speaking invitations, in his beautiful way, about how I could do that. I share them here, as invitations for you, too.
Surrendering and Soaring

While walking outdoors one day, I noticed a large soaring bird. It circled up higher and higher—and even altered direction—all without appearing to move a muscle.

I noticed the alignment of the creature’s body to the air current, and its complete surrender to the wind. It was the wind that was directing its path, lifting it ever higher, and even noticeably changing its course once, mid-ascent.

I realized this was a reminder that I could align and surrender in order to be carried and steered by the Spirit of God. It was also the very picture of being raised up and renewed, as Isaiah 40:31 describes.

By surrendering to the Holy Spirit, I can soar and be steered.
Staying in Step

Another morning, as I awoke, I immediately sensed in my spirit Jesus telling me, “I am not in a hurry today.” He said it with a smile and with affection in his voice.

Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” I had a long to-do list that day, and I accepted Jesus’s statement as the invitation that it was. I could keep in step with the Spirit of God that day by not being in a hurry, either.

I intentionally kept in step with God that day, doing my work with the peace and calm and joy that I had heard in Jesus’ voice.

I can match the stride of God’s Spirit by listening to whatever he says to me, and by intentionally matching my thoughts and actions to his words.
More Scriptures I’ve Been Thinking About

The Words Jesus Speaks

John 6:63

Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 NKJV).

The dream I shared above was about drawing my life breath from the Spirit. This Scripture makes clear that the words Jesus speaks are spirit and life.

Peter got it:

Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68 (NKJV)

I can breathe the Spirit—and life—by taking in Jesus’s words.

“What Spirit You Are Of”

Luke 9:54-56

In Luke 9:54-56, some of Jesus’ disciples voiced an idea for his approval, but Jesus warned them: “You don’t know what spirit you are of.”

They had breathed out a plan of action that wasn’t pleasing to Jesus—even though they were his disciples!

The “spirit I am of” will influence my ideas, words, and action plans.

My words reveal “what spirit I am of.”

All Scripture

2 Timothy 3:16

“All Scripture is God-breathed…” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV).

A reading of 2 Timothy 3:16 in multiple translations, and a look at the definition of the Greek word theopneustos… 

… lead me to the takeaway that all Scripture is breathed out by God, is full of the Spirit of God, and is life-giving.

Jesus Breathed on Them
John 20:22

Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22 NLT).

Parting Words

I thought about what that soaring bird’s flight might have looked like if, instead of aligning with and being carried by the current, it had begun madly flapping its wings.

The result would probably not have been anything like the graceful ascent I saw.

As I watched, the bird finally soared so high, it soared out of sight.

It was an encouraging picture.

As you know, right now I’m working on a brand-new Christian fiction book. The plan is that it will be a standalone book, not part of a series. (Have you finished reading my Valley of Artisans series? Now is a great time to order at the links below!)

I’d love to speak a blessing over you:

May you set your mind on the Spirit and receive life and peace. May you receive the words and life that Jesus speaks. May you continually choose to breathe the Holy Spirit.

To your freedom, health, and wholeness,

P.S. Below you’ll find links to each of my Christian fiction and Christian nonfiction books, including the brand new How to Journal with God. Thank you for ordering!

P.P.S. Thank you for posting your reviews of my books on Amazon and Goodreads, and for recommending my books on social media and in your reader groups.
Headline: Books That Build Faith. Graphic: Book covers of 4 fiction books by AmyLu Riley, all in the Valley of Artisans Series: Remembering, Open for Miracles, A Winter Wedding in the Valley of Artisans, Ordinary Miracles. Amazon logo at lower right corner.
Christian Fiction to Build Your Faith

Remembering: Valley of Artisans – Book 1

Open for Miracles: Valley of Artisans – Book 2

A Winter Wedding in the Valley of Artisans: Valley of Artisans – Book 3

Ordinary Miracles: Valley of Artisans – Book 4

Buy Now

Headline: Books that Build Faith Graphic: Covers of 3 nonfiction books by AmyLu Riley with ocean and soaring bird background. Ebook covers shown of Faith with Wings, Jesus as Healer, and Stay. Amazon logo in lower corner.
Christian Nonfiction to Build Your Faith

Faith with Wings

Jesus as Healer: Miracles and Meditations in Luke

Stay: Why I’m Still Here, A Spiritual Memoir

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New: How to Journal with God

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming” (Psalm 27:8 NLT).

How to Journal with God is an open-door invitation to deepening intimacy with God.

Order your copy in paperback or ebook on Amazon.

Buy Now