The BIG IDEA
Spiritual breathing helps us stay close to God.
Our sin gets in the way of what God wants to do in our lives.
Turn from our sin and back to God through spiritual breathing.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: How to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- EXPERIENCE: What it means to live with the Holy Spirit in control.
- DO: Learn to “breathe spiritually.”
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Our relationship with God is a lot like Breathing.
- Take a deep breath.
Have everyone take a deep breath together.
- What is happening when you breathe in?
Get them to talk about the oxygen or good air.
- What is happening when you breathe out?
Get them to talk about the carbon dioxide and how it is harmful to your body if you don’t exhale it.
- Our relationship with God is a lot like breathing. There is good that you need to take into your life spiritually, and bad that you need to get out of your life spiritually. Today we’re going to talk about that – we call it SPIRITUAL BREATHING.
*WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
*1. Read Ephesians 5:18. What two things does the writer talk about in this verse?
Getting drunk and being filled with the Spirit.
2. How does being drunk affect a person’s thinking, speech, and actions?
Allow the group to discuss. Being drunk influences people to think, say, and do things they normally wouldn’t because of the influence of the alcohol. Some Bible translations say it’s “debauchery” or “dissipation.” No normal teenager knows what these mean, so you may need to explain it to them. The basic idea is that getting drunk ruins your life.
*3. Just as we think, say, and do things we normally wouldn’t when drunk, we think, say, and do things we normally wouldn’t when we’re filled with the Spirit.
- Read Galatians 5:22–23, and Acts 1:8.
- What are some of the things we should expect to see in our lives when we’re filled with the Spirit?
Allow the group to discuss. Some of the things we should expect include God-centered conversation, hearts and voices that praise God, giving thanks to God, character qualities like love and joy, and talking to others about how Jesus has changed our lives and how they can know him.
*HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
We all get off track with God every day. Spiritual Breathing is a practice that can help us keep Jesus at the center of our lives. Here’s how it works…
Leader, read through these 4 points with your students, then discuss them in the next few questions.
When you recognize that you’ve sinned, immediately confess your sins to God. This is like breathing out the bad air that could poison you. You could pray something like this…
“God, I __(lied, stole, etc)__. That was sin. I’m sorry. Thank you for forgiving me.”
Next, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and help you to live the way God wants you to live. You can’t live like that on your own, it’s just too hard. We all need the Holy Spirit’s power to do it. You could pray something like this…
“Please give me your power to not do it again. Fill me with your Spirit and help me know that I am forgiven.”
Trust that God has forgiven your sins and is filling you with his Holy Spirit. Saying the words of a prayer isn’t the important part. Your faith that God has forgiven you and gives you his power is what really matters.
We sin multiple times a day. Practice Spiritual Breathing whenever you recognize that you’ve sinned.
4. So, how do you EXHALE?
Ask the group to come up with an answer. If they are confused you can remind them that confess means to agree with God about what you have done that does not please him.
5. How do you INHALE?
After confessing your sins you ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and give you power to live by faith and please him.
6. How often do you think you should Spiritually Breathe?
Whenever you recognize that you’ve sinned, that is when you want to spiritually breathe. Immediately confess your sin and ask God to fill you. The more you spiritually breathe, the more you will recognize your sins and your spiritual breathing will bring you closer and closer to God.
*7. How do you think the simple act of “Spiritual Breathing” can help us stay on the right path with Jesus?
Allow the group to discuss. Spiritual Breathing helps us keep a close connection with God by reducing the time we spend on the throne of our lives and making the Spirit-filled life more of a lifestyle.
*8. Take a minute for silent prayer. If you’d like to have Jesus in control of your life, ask him to fill you with his Spirit right now.
Leader, consider modeling this for your students out loud. Think of a sin that you struggle with or that you have recently committed (like telling a lie or talking about someone behind their back) and genuinely practice spiritual breathing out loud as an example to your students. Then have them practice it quietly. When they are done, ask them how it went.
Leader’s Challenge – Encourage your students to practice spiritual breathing this week whenever they remember it. Text them every so often this week reminding them to spiritually breathe or asking them how it’s going.
One last thought about being filled with the Holy Spirit:
Sometimes you feel it, Sometimes you don’t.
If we are flying in a plane we need to place our faith in the trustworthiness of the plane and pilot. Our feelings of confidence or fear don’t affect the ability of the plane to transport us, but they do affect how much we enjoy the flight. In the same way, we don’t depend on feelings or emotions to tell us if we’re filled with the Spirit; we place our faith or trust in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of his Word. Whether or not you feel anything, we can be confident that God has forgiven us and is filling us with his Spirit if we ask him.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.