Psalm 121:1-2 ESV– I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 27:6 ESV– And now my head shall be liftedup above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord .
Psalm 24:7-10 KJV– Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
PHYSICALLY LOOKING UP
David tells us all over the Psalms to simply LOOK UP. Here I want you to pause… take a moment to stop all that you are doing, lift your eyes, and literally look up…
You might have noticed that you instinctively felt the need to breathe in deeply. This is actually based on a physiological response where pulling your eyes upward triggers you to inflate your lungs with air. If looking up fills you with breath, what do you think looking down does? Mhmmm….
SPIRITUALLY LOOKING UP
Don’t think it coincidental that God made a physiological connection between your vision and your breathing. In our spiritual bodies, He did the same. If we look up with our spiritual eyes, we are showing God that we are inviting Him in and seeking His direction, guidance, and help. In return, He grants us with the Breath of Life…that help that lifts us up and keeps us lifted up (Psalm 24:7-10 KJV, Psalm 121:1-2 ESV).
God has been breathing this Breath of Life into us since the Beginning. It is refreshing,giving us that daily renewal to endure (2 Cor. 4:16-17 ESV). It is cleansing, shoving out the impurities and making room for more of Him (2 Kings 4:32-35 ESV). It is awakening, calling forth life to dead situations Ezekiel 37:4-10, 14 ESV). It is organizing, causing understanding even unto dust to formulate and operate as a complex system of cells, tissues, and organs (Job 32:8). It is a reminder that we are not yet dead, nor defeated, because we are still living and ….inhale, exhale…breathing.
Genesis 2:7–Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
LOOKING DOWN IS SELF-DEFEAT
Now we know that a head which is lifted up brings forth life. Instead, imagine yourself at some time when you were stressed and/or depressed. What did your body physically look like? How was your posture? Without even noticing it, you were probably flexed forward and slumped down with your head hung low, assuming the “posture of defeat.” This “posture of defeat” seems to be the instinctive pattern we resort to when we are going through difficult and stressful times, but why? We are making it easier for life to defeat us, because we are literally closing down on our lungs and encroaching upon the muscles of respiration. We are literally smothering ourselves.
The Devil knows about the power that comes with the Breath of Life. He knows that we cannot speak if we cannot breathe. He knows that we cannot testify if we cannot breathe. He knows that we cannot rejoice if we cannot breath. And he most certainly knows that we cannot live if we cannot breathe. So since he can’t take away this Breath of Life, he instead endeavors to limit our access to it. The Devil will convince us to take on the flexed forward and slumped posture of defeat. Why? Because no Breath= no life, making his job so much easier (Genesis 7:22 ESV). (So lazy and predictable isn’t he)? So instead of him having to expend the energy to actually fight, he can just sit back and relax as we hang our heads and spiritually smother ourselves. Mhmmm…
With the hurried pace of society and living, sometimes it’s hard to just stop and catch your breath. Stress and negative emotions have a way of infiltrating all parts of our lives, both spiritual and physical. However, as David shared, God’s counter to this is for us to simply look up. So when you’re at the point where you feel like there is absolutely nothing else that you can do, you’re probably right. But the only one who has control over your access to that refreshing, cleansing, awakening, organizing, reminding Breath of Life is YOU. So muster just enough strength spiritually and physically to lift your eyes and look up! Like Job said in his moments of despair, “…as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils…” (Job 12:10 ESV). My, my, my, what POWER there is in simply looking up!