Newton’s third law of motion:
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
This means that for every force there is a reaction force that is equal in size, but opposite in direction. That is to say that whenever an object pushes another object it gets pushed back in the opposite direction equally hard. If you picture a rocket, the first thing you see is the powerful engines exploding with a downward force against the ground. Since the ground does not move, the reaction is that the ground pushes back with an equal force, causing the rocket to take flight.
We see this law of physics in action everywhere we go in life. Here are a few more examples:
–You are stepping off a boat onto the bank of a lake. (Action) As you move in the direction of the shore, the boat tends to move in the opposite direction away front the shore. (Reaction) If we’re not paying attention and accommodate for Newton’s third law, we find ourselves lying face down in the water.
–You swing your leg in the direction of a ball, placing your foot in direct contact with that ball. (Action) The ball, in turn, goes soaring off into the air away from your foot and leg. (Reaction)
–For every breath we take in we use our muscles to expand our chest and allow air to move in. (Action) At the end of each breath, our muscles relax and our chest returns back to its original state, causing air to rush out of our body. (Reaction)
It really is amazing to see this law put into action in our daily lives, all around us. But I have to ask, is this law truly active in all aspects of our lives? Let’s revisit the last example I gave…….the breathing example.
“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
When we take in a breath of air, there is an exchange that takes place at the cellular level in our bodies. Our lungs exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. Then, when we exhale, we release the carbon dioxide that was exchanged for the oxygen…….action and reaction.
Thinking about the act of breathing, I started thinking about the act of breathing in our spiritual lives. God created us and made us in His perfect image. (Gen1:27) He gave us and gives us life. When we breath in the life-breath that God gives us, what are we exhaling? What is the REACTION from us in response to God’s ACTION in our lives? What is the EVIDENCE in our lives of God’s PRESENCE in our lives?
Do any of you ever remember watching old cartoons on Saturday mornings as kids. That was one of my favorite things to do. I remember that whenever one of the cartoon characters would burp, a green fog would always billow from their mouth. Hilarious at the time; but is this what our spiritual exhale, reaction, looks like?
“By their fruit you will recognize them.”
The fruits that our lives produce are the indicators of our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. That fruit is the evidence of living out your faith with the life that God blesses you with. Can the people in your life recognize Christ in your life based on your “spiritual exhale?” Does the fruit of your life point towards Christ or somewhere else? (Matt6:21)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he WILL bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…..This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
After reading this verse, maybe the action-reaction law that Newton came up with still holds true in our spiritual lives. Our lives bear fruit in all that we do. We are spiritually exhaling every moment. It could be that we need to pay attention to what we are breathing IN with each of our spiritual breaths.
Apart from Christ we cannot produce the fruit that glorifies His Father. That would look like us exhaling that green cartoon fog. But if we are inhaling Christ as passionate followers and disciples, our lives will reflect Christ’s ACTION by the fruit that we produce……..showing love for others, peace in the midst of any storm, acts of kind service, and most importantly, making more disciples.
Make no mistake. The fruit of a true Christ follower is not a perfect attendance record at church. The Pharisees had that, and they plotted and schemed and murdered Christ. The fruit that really glorifies God most is a disciple who follows after Him passionatley, taking the commands that Jesus gave us, and passing them along to another person……who then puts them into practice by following Christ and reproducing another disciple. That is the holy and glorifying, aromatic and pleasing, exhale of a Christ follower. That is the exquisitely glorifying REACTION to Christ’s ACTION in our lives, going out and living Christ’s commands and teaching others how to do the same.
What does your spiritual exhale look like?
BeGoDo courageously and GLY!