The Breath

by Jen Brinton

“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, NASB)
Horses, when properly introducing themselves to each other – or even to a human – will place themselves in such a way that they are nostril to nostril.  They then will breath into each others’ nostrils.  Some say it is so they can get to know each others’ scents.  I say it is an act of protocol – a way of saying, “I want to know you better.”  My brother’s horse did this with me once, and I was very glad he’d explained it to me before then, because I very easily could have passed it off as the horse being friendly and no more than that – and I would have forgotten all about it.
In Genesis 2:7, God formed Adam from the dust and gave him life by breathing into his nostrils.  This was face to face intimacy.  An exchange through the eye gate would have happened.  It would have been pure and holy.  It’s often difficult to hold someone’s gaze for just a moment.  I wonder how long this exchange lasted, and what emotions were going on in God?
Excitement, wonder, joy, love… While He is the Ancient of Days, I can imagine Him having a childlike wonder and awe at this new creation – and I doubt that even covers an inkling of what He felt!
God would have known even then the choices Adam would make, and what terrible price it would cost.  Father counted the cost and made up His mind even then that it was worth it.  That is mind-bogglingly huge.  Philippians 2:5-9 gives us a snapshot of part of the price He paid for us:
“And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us.  Let His mindset become your motivation.  Wasn’t He forever in the form of God, coequal with the Father in every way?  Yes, He was; yet He didn’t hold that as His supreme prize.  Instead He laid aside His outward glory by reducing Himself to the form of a lowly Servant.  He became human – God with us!  He humbled Himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man.  He listened to the Father and was obedient to everything He heard.  He was a perfect example, even in His death – a criminal’s death by crucifixion!  Because of that obedience, God exalted Him and multiplied His greatness!  He has now been given the greatest of all names!” (from The Passion Translation)
I could hold onto that thought forever and ever, and still be awed by it! Seriously!  To every human being that ever has, does, or will exist – God has said, “You are worth it.”  We can choose to be apart from Him, but His deepest desire is for intimacy with each and every one of us.  It is the sole reason why we even exist – not for a mere acquaintance with Him, but for deep friendship and intimacy – covenant.  He wanted someone to love who had the capacity to choose to love back.  The angels don’t have that choice.  They worship because… that’s what they do.  This love between created and Creator is no carnal love.  This is covenant in its truest form!
I’m always finding myself going back to the first few chapters of Genesis – if not in reading, then in thinking of it.  There is a part of me that wants to explore how things were originally intended to be.  Jesus has paid the price to restore it all and more.  Salvation is just the beginning.  We were made to walk the earth with Yahweh and, yes, to be in harmony with nature – all the animals, plants, the weather – Even now, if you have taken Him into your heart, you have Him inside of you!  That is even more amazing than just walking with Him!
Believe it or not, He has given dominion of the earth to the Sons of God.  We have the capacity to permit and prohibit.  I challenge myself – and you – to pursue this.  With Jesus, we can do every miracle that He did – and greater.  Why not get together and intercede for the weather?  Why not speak multiplication and repopulation to the fish in the sea?  Why not branch out and declare rainfall in times and regions of drought?  Why not speak life into desert lands?  Why not speak cleansing to polluted rivers and healing to poisoned lands?  These things can be just as important as healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons – which are all very important.  They come from a place of intimacy with the Lord – time spent in worship, prayer, fasting, and intercession, time spent reading and meditating on the Word, building up our faith, etc., and time spent waiting on the Lord, which is the most important of all.
Without Him, we are nothing.  John 15:4-8 from the Pssion Translation expressed this excellently:
“So step into life-union with Me, for I have stepped into life-union with you.  For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to Mine.  I am the sprouting Vine and you’re My branches.  As you live in union with Me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you, but when you live separated from Me you are powerless.  If  you live separated from Me, you will be discarded like shriveled up branches that are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned.  But if you step into My life in union with Me and if My words live powerfully within you – then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done.  When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify My Father!”
A branch literally cannot live after being cut off from the main plant.  Its source of life is cut off, and it cannot get the nutrients it needs to survive.  So it is with the Lord.
Even when I dance, I am deeply aware that I am incapable of doing it without Him.  Not only does He supply the air that is in my lungs, but He also sustains me while I participate in full body worship – sometimes for far longer than I know my body would otherwise be able to handle.  There is no other explanation for why I sometimes feel exhausted after the first song, but right when there is an outpouring of the Spirit, I twirl for several minutes at a time, non-stop, without feeling any fatigue whatsoever – right after I know I’ve reached my limit!
The same goes for my attitude.  Truth be told, without Jesus, my attitude can be awful (really awful). When I get to the point where I realize that I’m snapping at the little things – never mind the big things – I know that it’s time to step aside with Him.  For the past several months, “I am the Vine and you are the branches…” has been the passage that I’ve clung to during these moments.
Yahweh, the Creator of the universe, the Ancient of Days, is asking us to be intimate with Him – to be face to face, eye to eye, share in His breath, and to live from that place.  Nothing less will get us through the days ahead.