August 23rd, 2017
#iCONVICTION (Sharing the Breath of God): Cape May County Herald

(Actual Column Online) The more I study the Word of God, the faster I come to a humbling realization that I don’t know anything about God. And like Job, when His presence is felt, I can only say, “I am a vile person.”

Who am I to think I’ve done anything favorable in my life?  Who am I to believe that I am capable of accomplishing on my own ability?  Who am I to even attempt to teach other people about God’s heart?  “Oh Lord, we are so caught up in our own agendas, that we never stop to consider yours. Forgive us."

We falsely think that if we are doing good things and attending church functions that we are in God’s will.  Meanwhile, the family in the pew right next to us is drowning in pain, yet because we only came to sit in the pew “in Jesus’ name,” we leave the same way we came in without Jesus’ brain. 

The mind of God.  His heart would not only attend fellowship, but it would reach out to those around Him who are on the verge of abandoning ship. Their lives are taking on water, and their boat is about to capsize. I'm so caught up in my own self-preservation that I miss the very opportunity to offer someone else the Lord's salvation. I call myself a Christian, but so much I seem to be missing.

The truth be told, if I don’t understand the breath of God, which is the Greek meaning of inspiration, I’ll never share His breath with another.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I am incapable of helping anyone else until I understand how Jesus first helped me.  Until I grasp the truth that His air is my ever-present preservation, not to hold onto for selfish reasons, but to help others through their stormy seasons. 

Why is the flight attendant on an airplane so explicit when it comes to instructing the passengers about operating their oxygen masks?  Because “in case of an emergency,” if you don’t know how to safely access the air above that falls from the roof compartment, then you cannot possibly assist the person in the seat next to you.

That’s what inspiration is all about.  Receiving and appreciating the breath of God to offer His breath to the passenger of life in the seat next to you; in the office next to you; the student in the seat next to you;  the family in the next pew.

We think we have life all figured out. But the person who believes that might as well try holding their breath and see how long it takes for them to "let go" of their attempt. 

We can’t even do that on our own, for God is the One who holds the length of our breath in His hands. He gives it to me undeservingly, and if I am a true child of God, I’ll learn to share it with others freely.

ED. NOTE: Matthew Maher is a former professional athlete and author of the books "U MAY B THE ONLY BIBLE SOMEBODY READS: R U LEGIBLE?" & “Imprisoned by Peace.” His “Decisions Determine Destiny” assemblies are funded by State Farm and service youth in the tristate area. He is the President of Soldiers for Faith Ministries and also the Director of Student Ministries at Coastal Christian Ocean City. He served four years and seven months in N.J. State prison and was released August 2014. You can learn more at Follow him on Twitter @mattmaherstory and Instagram @matthewmaher7. 

"Matt Maher was an AWESOME speaker today. Such a powerful message delivered with eloquence, grace, honesty and real emotion. I will be forever moved by his message today. Please let him know I believe he will make a huge difference in this world in a very powerful way so I hope he gets to talk at every high school out there."
Lorraine Concord, California