• Steve Derenge

Spiritual Breathing

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’" Matthew 16:19 ESV

Binding and commanding out sickness or demons is only 50% of healing or deliverance. The other 50% is replacing the work of the evil spirits with the work of the Holy Spirit. (1) Both exhaling and inhaling are necessary for a complete breathing cycle. In the natural, we exhale impurities with carbon dioxide. Then we inhale oxygen to supply life to our bloodstream. So in any problem or trial,

  1. Identify what is evil, wrong, or not the way it is in heaven. (2) e.g. sickness, confusion, injustice, racism, poverty, starvation, addiction, mental disorder, chaos, death, depression, suicide, fear, shame, guilt, unforgiveness, anger, lust, greed, hate, witchcraft, idolatry, sexual perversion, sexual immorality, drunkenness, orgies, etc.

  2. Bind that spirit of whatever you don't find in heaven (see partial list above). That's the first 50% of the prayer--the exhaling.

  3. Loose from heaven its resources, inviting the infinitely superior Holy Spirit to drive out whatever is evil and to fill in the vacancy with Himself.  This is the other 50%--the inhaling.

The Holy Spirit has many different names throughout the Scripture that show how He's an infinitely better replacement for evil spirits inside people. Here are just a few of His names and characteristics:

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2 ESV

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:19‭-‬23 ESV

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 ESV

Thus, for example, if a person is afflicted with a spirit of death, such that suicide attempts, accidents, or other circumstances lead a person to death's door--maybe they're mostly dead or all dead--this overly-simplistic process of spiritual breathing would by faith 1) bind the spirit of death and 2) and loose from heaven the Spirit of life into that person to give life to their mortal body. c.f. Romans 8:11

This is overly-simplistic because we are not to rely upon fail-proof formulas like this, but upon the Person of the Holy Spirit. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’" John 3:8 ESV

The Holy Spirit does have unchangeable characteristics such that His Love identity is constant, but He's always up to something new and different. Just as Jesus moved from place to place and told people to follow Him, so also in every situation the follower of Jesus must be sensitive to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit, “[f]or all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 ESV. c.f. Galatians 5:25

That said, practicing “spiritual breathing” throughout the day whenever we encounter a situation on earth that isn't as it is in heaven is a practical way to live the Spirit-filled life. (3) This can change the way we pray with and for others with greater effectiveness in a way that increases our confidence and dependency on God. By acknowledging who the Holy Spirit is and His superiority over every evil spirit, our intimate relationship with Him throughout the day can increase as we see His power at work in and through us.

If you don't yet have this Spirit of God in your life through a relationship with Jesus (or even if you do), I recommend my article here.

  1. c.f. Luke 11:24-26; Matthew 12:43-45. When an evil spirit leaves a body, it leaves a vacancy that must be replaced with God the Holy Spirit. Otherwise the problem will return with a vengeance.

  2. “Pray then like this:  ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9‭-‬10 ESV

  3. This word-picture of “spiritual breathing” I learned from the work of Dr. Bill Bright. "Exhaling" is defined as confessing one's sins and "inhaling" as trusting the Holy Spirit to fill us on the basis of God's command and promise in Ephesians 5:18 and 1 John 5:14-15. This is most true and applicable when it comes to this overly-simplistic article, for confessing one's sins is necessary to remove the legal right of demons to remain in a child of God (if the demon entered the person due to the commission of that sin).


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