The Breath of Life

The Breath of Life

The Breath of LifeThis Advent season I hope you’re not running around like crazy. You know, abundant life is not found in shopping extravaganzas or perfect decorations. Spending money will not bring your peace or happiness. You get bankruptcy and hollowness instead. Because you become what you embrace. If you go after false idols, you become false.

They despised his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and the warnings which he gave them. They went after false idols, and became false, and they followed the nations that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them.(2 Kings 17:15, RSV, emphasis added)

The Hebrew word usesd here as false idols/false is hebel which means ‘breath’ or ‘vapor’ or ‘vanity’. (The same word is used also in Ecclesiastes that proclaims there’s no meaning without God.) This kind of breath does not give life. This kind of breath sucks the meaning out of life. This kind of breath is insubstantial and misleading. Make sure you’re not running after hebel. Because the breath of life is ruah (not hebel) in Hebrew.

The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. (1 Samuel 10:6, NIV, where Samuel anoints Saul)

Ruah is God’s Spirit that still creates, inspires, and makes order out of chaos like in Genesis. Ruah, the Spirit of the Lord, breaths life and more life into us. Ruah energizes, empowers and transforms us. Ruah is the true author of abundant life.

Make sure you’re seeking the right breath. Hebel leads into falsehood. Ruah leads into abundant life. How then to know the difference? Hebel wants your money and soul. Ruah feeds you free.

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy grain and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost [simply accept it as a gift from God].
“Why do you spend money for that which is not bread,
And your earnings for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight in abundance.
(Isaiah 55:1-2, AMP)

Make sure you’re not running after hebel this Advent season. Seek God and his ruah. And you will receive abundant life as a gift from God.


Gracious God,
Forgive us for stressing out about things
that are not worthy ofour time.
Forgive us for running after all things hebel.
Draw us back to you and your ruah.
Pour out grace upon grace.
Energize, transform, inspire, empower.
Give us life upon life.
Give us Jesus.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Have you experienced the difference between Hebel and Ruah in your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you seek the Breath of Life!

Image courtesy of  Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Some parts of this post are refurbished. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

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