BREATHE ON ME, BREATH OF GOD
Edwin Hatch, 1835–1889
As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you. And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21, 22)
The good news of the gospel relates not only to what Christ once did—His death, resurrection, ascension—but to what He presently offers: Forgiveness of sin, the reuniting of our eternal fellowship with the Creator, an advocate with the heavenly Father, and the energizing indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit.
When a person becomes a Christian, he or she receives the Holy Spirit within. Often, however, the Holy Spirit does not have control of that life even though He resides there. The Scriptures teach that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we are to live overcoming lives. This is not some emotional, mystical event. To be “filled with the Spirit of God” means in a very practical way that a believer has surrendered completely to the Lordship of Christ and sincerely desires to be directed by the Holy Spirit in order to worthily exalt Christ and be an effective representative for God. One of the most compelling evidences of a Spirit-filled life is our consistent, Christ-like daily living.
The author of this choice text, Edwin Hatch, was an Anglican minister. He also served for a time as a professor of the classics at Trinity College in Canada. Dr. Hatch was widely known for his scholarship and lectures in early church history. Despite his scholarly attainments, Hatch was said to have possessed a faith as “simple and unaffected as a child’s.”
This prayer to the Holy Spirit desiring a unity between our earthly will and God’s divine will first appeared in 1878 in a pamphlet titled “Between Doubt and Prayer.” The hymn in its present form appeared later in the Psalmist Hymnal, published in 1886.
Breathe on me, Breath of God; fill me with life anew, that I may love what Thou dost love and do what Thou wouldst do.
Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure, until with Thee I will one will—to do and to endure.
Breathe on me, Breath of God, till I am wholly Thine, till all this earthly part of me glows with Thy fire divine.
Breathe on me, Breath of God, so shall I never die, but live with Thee the perfect life of Thine eternity.
For Today: John 3:5–7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:5; 1 John 4:13
Invite the Holy Spirit to have a greater control of your life—to empower you to be an even more effective representative for God. Sing this prayer as you go—