Spirit of God come and breathe in me

Spirit of God come and breathe in me.

Flow into this tired soul.  Awaken light into my eyes.  Fill me with your dreams and visions.  Unleash my faith.  Awaken my imagination.  Strengthen my hands.  Quicken my feet.  Set my joy free.  Set my heart on fire.  Blaze a trail of hope into every place you send me today.

A few days ago I was driving along a winding, two laned road in the direction of another city where we are planning to open a new Christian school.  I sailed along that road for about four hours, winding my way around the occasional horse drawn cart, enjoying the green rice terraces, the simple villages, the mango trees and coconut palms bursting out of the fertile earth everywhere.  And as I took in the spectacular slopes sweeping upwards toward towering Mount Bromo, I began to reminisce.

When my father was still a teenager studying at Prairie Bible College, his soul was drawn to this exotic Java – this island of earthquakes and volcanic fire.  His fantasy was to travel on a motorcycle from town to town across Java and preach the Gospel among the Javanese peoples.  Instead, he and Mom ended up moving to another island, Irian Jaya, (now Papua) where they gave 16 years of their lives to serve the Sawi people.

Did God misplace my dad’s dream for Java?  It would seem so.  He never did live in Java.  And he recently shared with me that he will never be coming back to Indonesia.

Yet it is truly astounding to quietly ponder how God works.  In fact, it was God who painted a passionate love for Java into the canvas of my dad’s soul.  And, as I recently heard John Piper say in one of his recorded messages, God does not waste even one brush stroke.

Jesus said Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.  (By this he meant the Holy Spirit.) John 7:38.  The Spirit of the Living God flows in and through our souls, planting his dreams and visions along the way.  Then in his own time He overflows, causing those dreams and visions to burst out into a new living, breathing, touchable reality.  And the amazing thing is, sometimes it is not even us who see the ultimate fruition of our own dreams and visions.

In 1999, when Cyndi and I were preparing to go and serve overseas, we really could have gone anywhere.  We were taken with Nepal, India, Pakistan, Russia, or Africa.  We were even fascinated with the idea of starting youth ministries among the lost teenagers living on the streets of Ireland.  Then somehow we ended up getting recruited to Java.  We had no special love for Java at the time.  In fact, when Cyndi and I had led a team of college students to Indonesia in 1996, we spent some time right here in East Java, and in the middle of a blazing hot day I remember telling her, There’s no way I will ever come back to this miserable, dirty, filthy city again.

It astounds me that we now live here.  How great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!

Our very existence in this place is a small yet amazing demonstration of God’s artistic sovereignty.  I have become convinced that when God paints a dream into your soul, we can be assured that He will press that dream through to its fruition.  When we express those dreams and visions verbally, God is listening and God is smiling.  Apostle Paul voiced his dream of seeing the Gospel of Jesus penetrate throughout the city of Rome.  And he purposefully sacrificed his freedom to go to that city in chains and die.  As he was sitting in that prison cell on death row, contemplating what some people might have perceived as a pitiful, wasted ending to an amazing life, could he have imagined the thousands of souls in that very city who in the next generation would surrender their lives for Christ as they were fed to Nero’s lions and burned on Nero’s torches?

My point is, even if it is our physical or spiritual offspring who end up holding in their hands what we have only imagined in our souls, no dream is ever wasted.  Brother, speak out with your dreams!  Voice them over your cup of coffee.  Whisper them to your children as you kiss them goodnight.  Who knows but God?  Those dreams might just be planted deep in the fertile soil of a child’s soul.

Paul Andrew Richardson

East Java, Indonesia


  1. Paul, I so needed to hear this this morning. I too am so amazed at God’s artistic sovereignty. What too is amazing to me how quickly we get caught up in our daily responsibilities that draw our eyes away from the Cross and seem to form a barricade between us and the very dream God has painted into our soul. I’m reminded all to well of the importance of my daily focus on the Cross. I love your opening paragraph!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *