It was in the late 1940s. My father was the pastor of a small Armenian Brethren congregation in Detroit, Michigan, USA. As my father arose from his chair to start his sermon by the reading of Scripture, he opened his Bible and in Armenian said, "This is the Breath of God." This phrase made an enormous impact on me; it seemed as though the very breath of God were inspiring me as he read.
Further research into why my father would say what he did revealed that the Armenian theologians, who translated the Bible in the fourth century from early Greek and Syriac manuscripts, called the Bible "Astvatzashountz" which literally means "God's Breath". In 2 Timothy 3:16, it says, "All Scripture is God-breathed" (NIV). In 2 Peter 1:21 it says that the Bible writers "were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (NIV). The Hebrew word translated "spirit" means "breath" or "wind".
The evidence of God's breath, the Holy Spirit, permeates the Scriptures from the very beginning of the Bible.
Genesis 1:2 – Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (NIV)
After Jesus' resurrection, He appeared to His disciples. "He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" (John 20:22 ESV)
When we receive Christ into our hearts, we receive the Holy Spirit. He lives as a permanent resident in our bodies.
1 Corinthians 3:16 – Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (NIV)
To advance the Holy Spirit's power in our lives, we need to allow Him time to work in and through us by:
- Reading His Word – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)
- Praying in the Holy Spirit – But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Jude 1:20 NLT)
- Witnessing in His name – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8 NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We pray that Your Spirit will come upon us in a new and fresh way in our hearts and lives. Help us to take the time to listen to His voice. Support us with the Holy Spirit's power as we witness to others today. This we ask in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.