Some years ago, I was experiencing serious health issues. Over a period of months I had suffered several Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA’s), sometimes called “mini-strokes”. Eventually, I had an acute stroke before the doctors diagnosed the root cause. I was suffering severe Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. For me, low oxygen levels and high blood pressure were the results.
The remedy was a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. It is a medical device that uses room air delivered through a mask system to keep the airway open for the person using the machine. A CPAP is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea by preventing the airway from collapsing on itself during times of sleep. I have been on CPAP for a number of years now and have not suffered any TIA’s or strokes since I started using the machine.
Many people experience great difficulty in adjusting to the CPAP. This is due in part to the constant pressure blowing into the nostrils, wearing a mask, and the hum of the machine. I was so convinced that the machine could likely save my live that I adjusted in a relative short period of time. I’ve carried my trusty CPAP everywhere. It has been in camp meetings, revivals, and mission conferences across the U.S. and around the world. I have used a variety of adaptors to adjust to various electrical currents. I have even run it on a car battery in the bush of east Africa. I find great comfort hearing the soft ‘white noise’ of my machine. I rest secure without worrying about stoppages in my breathing.
I wonder how many people suffer from a type of ‘spiritual apnea’? They experience interruptions, even stoppages, in the flow of God’s presence and power into their lives. At times, debilitating spiritual weakness and a sense that there are obstructions blocking the life-giving breath from God are experienced. These things are symptomatic of spiritual apnea. What is needed is Continuous Positive Spiritual Airway Pressure (CPSAP) to keep the flow of God’s power and grace into our spiritual bodies. At first, building the habits and disciplines into our lives that can make this happen may seem difficult. But, once we realize that our spiritual well-being is dependent on the free flow of His spirit into us, we can make the necessary adjustments.
What would spiritual CPAP look like? My thoughts are as follows;
- (C) The process starts with the idea of ‘CONSTANT’. Our relationship with the Lord must be steady and continuous. It is an everyday essential.
- (P) Next, the concept of ‘POSITIVE’ comes to bear. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Negative thoughts and attitudes grieve the Holy Spirit.
- (A) Spiritual AIRWAYS are the channels the Lord uses to gain entrance into our spiritual lives. Devotions, listening to gospel preaching, Bible study, and Christian fellowship are a few of the airways to the soul.
- (P) The deep desire to please Him provides the right kind of PRESSURE to keep us growing and maturing in the faith.
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.
~ Brother Roy