Westmont Magazine Every Breath
From a chapel talk by Carol Houston
Pastor, Unspeakable Joy Church, Los Angeles, California
I want everyone this morning to take a very deep breath and hold it. Good. When was the last time you thought about the breath you take? As I share this morning, I’m going to talk a little about my life’s experiences, and one day in particular when I just thought about the fact that I was alive and breathing and wondered how that happened.
That day was at a time in my life when I had begun to think about who I am. How did I get here? Why am I alive? Why do I have the parents that I have? Why am I here?
When I realized that I had nothing to do with my being born, it blew me away. How many of you dictated when you were going to be born and who you were going to be born to? How about the color of your skin? Your nationality?
In my search to find out about why I was here, I discovered the prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament. I began to associate myself with him because I grew up in a Christian home, and I began to watch my parents, my relatives, and the Christian community very closely.
I decided I wanted to be a Christian, so I accepted Jesus Christ in my teens, and I tried to lead a Christian life. But I discovered when I read Jeremiah that, as a youth, he got to the point where I was—he needed to get a grip on why he was here. So I started praying like Jeremiah prayed.
Now God said some interesting things to Jeremiah. He said, “ I knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.” When I thought about that I got excited about who I was, because I realized for the first time that I didn’t just pop into life all of a sudden. This God I had learned about through the years is really real. He’s very personal. I’m not just another number in a group of individuals in this whole wide world. I am somebody to the Creator.
To realize this was really something, because our adversary, the devil, absolutely does not want us to know how unique and special we are. But, contrary to everything in our lives that has told us that we’re nobody, we’ll never be anybody, and we might as well forget trying, our Creator said He formed us and shaped us, he sanctifies us and sets us in a place of special use for Him.
Now that was interesting to me, but confusing too. I wondered, “Then why, God, can’t I hear what you say to me? Why is it that I’m having a hard time understanding what direction I should go?”
And so we have to understand that God has ordained our lives to establish intimacy with Him. By doing that, we can understand the purpose of our lives and enjoy every breath we take.
I made up in my mind in college to establish intimacy with Christ no matter what my friends, my parents, my relatives, anyone thought. I wanted to understand this breath that I inhale and exhale. God knows exactly how many of those breaths I will take, and I realized that it is His breath that He has given this body to breathe. And when He is through with me breathing His breath, He’s going to take it and receive it back.
I don’t know when that’s going to be. You don’t when that’s going to be. But don’t let Satan fool you into being preoccupied, thinking that there is another purpose in your living than giving honor and glory to God who created you, called you, formed you, sanctified you, and has ordained what your life should be about.
It’s exciting to establish the peace of life and fulfill the destiny that God has for you. I’ve just begun and it’s exciting. I challenge you to establish deeper intimacy with God. He’s your eternal friend. He’ll never leave you. Like Jeremiah, seek God for your destiny, and He will give it to you—and it will be exciting.