The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being.
You can’t breathe. The pressure begins to build deep inside of your chest. You can feel your lungs desperately searching for oxygen. They try to pump but they can’t; stagnant air fills their cavities.
It’s amazing what goes through your mind while stuck under six feet of water and deprived of its normal amounts of oxygen. It was exactly a time like this that I first understood a very basic law of nature. My body isn’t so much concerned with the air I breathe as it is with the oxygen found within that air. My lungs had the same amount of air inside of them then as they did a couple of minutes beforehand, when I first took the plunge. Now, however, my body had used the full capacity of oxygen and left me with only a stagnant remain of that what once existed.
“The spirit of the man” in ancient cultures was often associated with breath. It makes sense, too. Once a person stops breathing, he or she is considered dead. Both the Hebrew and the Greek languages of the Bible use the same word for breath and spirit. It is with this knowledge that I find Proverbs 20:27 so profound. The [breath] of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being.
As a child of God, our Lord is continually searching our hearts and minds, convicting us of our sins and encouraging us in our needs. When I am involved in a compromising situation, it is the lamp of the Lord that reaches into my innermost being and instructs me to live a life of purity rather than sin. It is the lamp of the Lord that heals my broken heart and shows me the way in which to go.
Just as my lungs are in need of fresh air, containing the life-giving presence of oxygen, it is essential to my spirit that the Lord’s presence in my life never becomes stagnant, filling a void, yet serving no purpose.
My relationship with the Father depends greatly on the process of growth. I am in continual need of fresh breath from the Word of God. Without it, both my convictions and my encouragement from God’s Holy Spirit, His life giving breath, will greatly dim. In much the same way as I was in desperate want of oxygen under water, my spirit will begin to suffer.
The consequences are amazingly similar. Spiritually, you can’t breathe. The pressure begins to build deep inside of your soul. You can feel your spirit desperately searching for God. You try to pray, but you can’t, a stagnant faith is all that fills the cavity of your soul.
Have you allowed the lamp of the Lord to go stagnant in your own life? I ask you to pick up your Bible and bring the life-giving breath of God back into your innermost being. Do it today!