Early this morning, before the break of dawn, I suddenly was awake. The bedroom was dark and I hadn’t yet opened my eyes. All I could hear was the familiar steady breathe of my wife Sandy. The sound was so familiar to me that I didn’t need to open my eyes to confirm that she was asleep. So do I also long for the breath of God to be this recognizable to me.
It’s amazing at how young an age this “bonding by sound waves” can occur. This last Wednesday morning I was privileged to dedicate the baby Odehe Zelman Tettey Ayernor (the English translation for “Solomon”) who was just seven days old to the Lord. The women in the family told me the story of how well-behaved the little baby was, and was perfectly quiet for nearly 4 hours ~ until it heard the sound of his mother’s voice. I was amazed with wonder that a baby that young could recognize its mother’s voice from out of a crowd of women relatives. Yes, he could indeed distinguish his mother’s sound.
It is this level of recognition that I desire with the breath of God. Moses and the people of Israel experienced the breath of God in a whole new dimensional experience: “And with the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.” In this cool experience we see the power of the breath of God displayed openly before the people of God (and also the enemies of God).
Jesus shared the importance of this personal mystery and search when He said, “My sheep know My voice.” I have discovered the voice of God can be much gentler than any human language, and as soft as the wind: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof.” It is this sound that resonates so much through every fiber of my body, and I desire to hear it every single day of my life.
C. M. Ward, the international radio speaker for the Assemblies of God, once came to preach a special message to my ministerial staff. I was much younger and was just beginning my journey. He spoke with intensity, much like the king of England did when he addressed the young British Olympians in the movie, Chariots Of Fire: “What motivates you for success,” he proclaimed, “is what will determine how important your existence on earth will be. There are four possibilities:
“1. Money, but this can leave you as dark and lonely as a bank vault; 2. Power, but this can leave you like a king surrounded by security with no one to love; 3. Fame, but like the other two, it leaves you with walls created by appearances, that when penetrated they deflate everything you stood for; 4. Obedience. This word doesn’t even fit into the same category as the other three motivational powers. Over the last 30 years of life in leadership, I have meditated on these motivational powers constantly. I have found undeniably that obedience to the still small voice of God is exclusively the only way to God’s gold medal in the race of life.”
From observing President George Bush Sr. heeding a warning by God to suspend the Iraqi War, to me personally hearing the breath of God tell me to immediately go home so I could witness the passing of my own mother ~ such visits from God’s breath are not lone monuments to be carved in stone and remembered and spoken about because of their rarity ~ but instead should be as common as a daily to-do list.
The sound of Sandy’s breathing is so common in my life, which it resonates with heartwarming familiar reality. So must it be in every Christian’s heart ~ the resident voice of God whispering to us by the breath of His wind and instructing us in our daily life that is filled full of success. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” As you go towards the direction of God’s perfect will, His breath is always at your back propelling you forward.