Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statute and be careful to observe my ordinances.
Once upon a time, the sun and the wind saw an opportunity to show off their powers. A man was traveling down the road. The sun and wind agreed to a contest to see who was more powerful. They would exert their power and the one who made the traveler shed his coat would be declared the most powerful.
The wind blew, but the traveler just clutched his coat. Then the wind blew with all its might, the traveler clutched his coat as tightly as he could. Next the sun exerted its power and the traveler opened his coat but still wore it. Then the sun shone as brightly as it could, and the traveler became very warm. Finally, the traveler removed his coat and hung it over his arm as continued his journey.
I will put my spirit within you and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. We see how this verse is reflected in Edwin Hatch’s text for Breathe on Me, Breath of God. This time the wind winds!
Breath on me, breath of God, until my heart is pure. Until with thee I will one will, to do and to endure. Breath on me, breath of God, till I am wholly thine. Until this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine.
O God, we have had the wind knocked out of us or we have exerted ourselves so much that we have trouble catching our breath. From these experiences we know how vital our breath is to life. Fill us with your spirit so that our obedience to your will makes us shining witnesses of your grace and mercy, for Christ’s sake. Amen.