The Air I Breathe
Let Every Breath You Take Be an Act of Worship. Worship is more than singing on Sunday morning. While that's part of it, worship is the essence of what makes us truly human. God sparked this desire within our...
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Let Every Breath You Take Be an Act of Worship.
Worship is more than singing on Sunday morning. While that's part of it, worship is the essence of what makes us truly human. God sparked this desire within our hearts from the day He first breathed life into Adam and Eve. Since then, every single human who has walked this planet has participated in this God-given ability, and divine quest. While many have squandered their gift, there are those who find the wonder-filled life of communion with God no matter the time or place.
True freedom comes when worship flows through us as naturally as the air we breathe, when the words and actions in our lives resonate with our Creator so deeply that every inhalation is full of meaning. When we understand the holiness of the God who knows the stars by name-and His overwhelming love for each one of us-how can we offer anything less?
In The Air I Breathe, Louie Giglio explains in passionate prose what it means to truly live a life of worship, offering insight and guidance for finding our personal path towards connecting with the God of the Universe.
"At last, Louie Giglio has put into print the message God birthed in him years ago...a message that has shaped a generation of students, a message that has sent shock waves through the church, a message that has the potential to profoundly impact your worship." - Andy Stanley Senior Pastor, North Point Ministries and Author of Next Generation Leader.
"I'm not a worship guy...er, so I thought, but Louie's book nailed me. After reading his book I finally 'get' worship. Louie helped me realize that worship is an all-the-time thing, a life thing. I was encouraged by this book. Mostly I was moved by Louie's obvious passion for God and his gift for making worship make sense."- Michael Yaconelli, Owner, Youth Specialties.
"Some of the most inspiring teaching on worship I've ever heard has come from the mouth of Louie Giglio. Having read The Air I Breathe I can now say the same of Louie's gift to communicate through the written word. This book has inspired me as a worshiper, and as a worship leader." - Matt Redman, Author of The Unquenchable Worshipper and The Heart of Worship.
"Don't read The Air I Breathe unless you want to reexamine your life to see whom or what you are truly worshiping on a daily basis. Louie spells it out in plain language: Learning the real meaning of worship is the most essential element in the spiritual journey of the Christian. In the end, our worship is more about what we do than what we say." - Billy Ray Hearn, Founder, Sparrow Records.
"Louie Giglio explores what God desires most in our worship with clarity and insight. Upon reading The Air I Breathe, you'll be both challenged and liberated to discover that true worship inescapably involves who you are-all the time." - Dr. Charles F. Stanley, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
"Louie Giglio communicates Christian truth in a wonderfully accessible and relevant way. The Air I Breathe is packed full of gems that inspire and encourage. He says everything I would want to say about worship-only he says it much, much better. This is a prophetic and timely book." - Mike Pilivachi, Pastor, Soul Survivor Church, Watford, United Kingdom.
"This book is a challenging reminder that our worship is for God and not for ourselves." - Bill Hearn, President and CEO, EMI Christian Music Group.
:Where Do You Worship?
Not everyone may frequent the church on the corner, but we each have a place of worship. For some, it's at the office. For others, before the mirror. Still others, on the basketball court. You were created to worship! So you naturally find a place to do it. But to worship anything less than God robs both Him and us. It's at the foot of the cross where we reel, trying to comprehend how a holy God could chase us down with kindness and redeem us from an eternity of futile gods. In this newly revised and refreshed edition of the original The Air I Breathe, you'll find your sense of worship increasing beyond church walls or a Sunday routine. Soon all of life becomes your delighted response to God!
Everybody Worships Something
What captures your time and attention?
We are all worshipers…of something. But are we spending our lives and filling our days with what matters most?
Newly revised, The Air I Breathe will awaken you to the reality that worship is more than a service on Sunday. It's every moment reflecting God's glory and grace.
"Some of the most inspiring teaching on worship I've ever heard has come from Louie Giglio. This book has inspired me as a worshiper and as a worship leader."
-Matt Redman, Author of The Unquenchable Worshipper and The Heart of Worship
"It's about time we had a book from Louie Giglio! Read it, and find out why."
-Beth Moore, Bestselling author, speaker, and founder of Living Proof Ministries
"A message that has sent shock waves through the church."
-Andy Stanley, Senior pastor, North Point Community Church
"Don't read The Air I Breathe unless you want to reexamine your life to see whom or what you are truly worshiping on a daily basis."
-Billy Ray Hearn, Founder of Sparrow Records
Louie Giglio was born 30 June 1958, and grew up in a Christian home in Atlanta, Georgia. He was an average college freshman at Georgia State University in 1977, that is, until one night, at 2 a.m., when he decided to devote his life to following Christ, not the college party life. He was inspired to be one of the first people to design a modern style of worship that is geared specifically toward young adults, with casual attire, expressive worship, and low-key, visually driven sermons.
Louie went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Shelley started Choice Ministries, a Bible study at Baylor University that would become hugely popular among the student body. In 1995, when he moved back home to Atlanta, Georgia, due to his father's failing health, Louie founded a national gathering of Christian college students called the Passion Movement. From the first Passion Conference in Austin, Texas, in 1997, nearly a million university students have attended Passion-linked prayer, worship, and teaching events across the US, reaching a peak in the 17-city Passion Tour of 2008.
As part of the Passion Movement, Louie began a recording company, Sixsteps Records, which has signed and produced various Christian worship artists, such as David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Charlie Hall. He also started a Bible study movement, 7:22, aimed at single adults in the Atlanta area, which would attract thousands.
Louie has authored numerous popular books, including The Air I Breathe, I Am Not but I Know I Am, Indescribable, Passion, Wired: For a Life of Worship, Lost in Wonder, and The Comeback.
In 2008, Louie announced the planting of Passion City Church (PCC) in Atlanta, and was joined in the new venture by popular Christian recording artists Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. Prior to this, Louie had attended North Point Community Church for 13 years, Louie and his wife Shelley make their home just outside of Atlanta.
:You, my friend…are a worshiper!
There, I said it.
Every day, all day long, everywhere you go, you worship. It’s what you do. It’s who you are.
So if by chance you have only a few seconds to check out this book, that’s what it’s all about. We all are worshipers, created to bring pleasure and glory to the God who made us.
I don’t know whether or not you consider yourself a “worshiping” kind of person, but you cannot help but worship—something.
It’s what you were made to do.
Should you for some reason choose not to give God what He desires, you’ll still worship something—exchanging the Creator for something He has created.
Think of it this way: Worship is simply about value. The simplest definition I can give is this: Worship is our response to what we value most.
That’s why worship is that thing we all do. It’s what we’re all about on any given day. Because worship is about saying, “This person, this thing, this experience (this whatever) is what matters most to me…it’s the thing I put first in my life.” That “thing” might be a relationship. A dream. Friends. Status. Stuff. A name. Some kind of pleasure. Whatever name you put on it, this thing or person is what you’ve concluded in your heart is worth most to you. And whatever is worth
most to you is—you guessed it—what you worship.
Worship tells us what we value most. As a result, worship determines our actions, becoming the driving force for all we do.
And we’re not just talking about the religious crowd. Christians. The churchgoer among us. We’re talking about everybody on planet earth…a multitude of souls proclaiming with every breath what is worthy of their affection, their attention, their allegiance. Proclaiming with every step what it is they worship.
Some of us attend the church on the corner, professing to worship the Living God above all. Others who rarely step inside the church doors would say worship isn’t a part of their lives because they aren’t “religious.” But everybody has an altar. And every altar has a throne.
So how do you know where and what you worship?
It’s easy. You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection, your energy, your money, and your loyalty. At the end of that trail you’ll find a throne; and whatever, or whomever, is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship.
Sure, not too many of us walk around saying, “I worship my stuff. I worship my Xbox. I worship my job. I worship this pleasure. I worship her. I worship my body. I worship me!”
But the trail never lies. We may say we value this thing or that thing more than any other, but the volume of our actions speaks louder than our words.
In the end, our worship is more about what we do than what we say.
E V E R Y W H E R E — W O R S H I P
Worship is the activity of the human soul.
So not only do all people worship, but they worship all the time. Worship isn’t just a Sunday thing. It’s an all-the-time thing.
Right now, all around you, people of all shapes and sizes, people of every age and purpose are worshiping—continually making decisions based on what they value most. Worship happens everywhere…all day long.
In fact, some of the purest forms of worship are found outside the walls of the church and have no reference to the God of all creation. All you have to do is drop in on a concert at the local arena or go to a sporting event at a nearby stadium to see amazing worship. People are going for it, lift- ing their hands, shouting like crazy, staking their claim, standing in awe, declaring their allegiance. Interestingly, these venues are filled with the same forms of worship mentioned in the pages of God’s Word—the same expressions of worship that God desires and deserves.
A while back, watching an interview Oprah was doing with Michael Jackson in the prime of his career, I was stunned with the reality of this truth. What I witnessed as she showed a video clip of people responding to him in concert settings around the world absolutely floored me. Talk about amazing worship!
In multiple cultures, mobs of people numbering into the hundreds of thousands were glued as one to his every move. On every continent they gathered like an army, waving their hands in the air. Some fell to their knees. Others strained with outstretched hands, hoping for a brief touch from him. Seared in my mind is the image of one young girl with a look on her face of total awe.
I couldn’t believe it. What I was watching was some of the most intense worship I’d ever seen…anywhere. Far more “full-on” than much of what I’d experienced inside the church.
And for what? Granted, Michael Jackson was a legend when it came to entertainment, but he was not a god. Not even close. Yet the worship was phenomenal, demonstrating the God-given capacity for adoration that is rooted in the soul of every man.
And you can see it when your favorite band plays, or your favorite team. People naturally doing the thing it seems we were all created to do.
C O N N E C T I V I T Y,  P R E W I R E D
In the same way, we all (you and me) worship something all the time. And you know what? We’re really good at it.
If you think about it, history has known no shortage of worship. The timeline of mankind is littered with trillions of little idols. Every culture, every corner of earth, every age has had its gods. Just circle the globe and watch for worship. Study the great civilizations and explore their temples.
The compelling question for me is, “Why?” Why do we crave something to worship? Why are we so insatiably drawn from idol to idol, desperately in need of something to champion, something to exalt, something to adore? How do we know for sure that some things are more important than others, more worthy of worship? How do we even know that value, beauty, and worth exist? I think it’s because we were designed that way. We were made for God.
The Bible says it this way: All things were made by Him; and all things were made for Him.
You’ve been created by God. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ve also been created for Him. As a result, there’s an internal homing device riveted deep within your soul that perpetually longs for your Maker. An internal, Godward magnet, pulling your being toward Him.
Stamped in God’s image, we know that there’s something we attach to, something we fit with, someone we belong to, somewhere called home.
That’s why we come from the womb equipped for connectivity with God, prewired to praise. And that’s why, from the youngest age, we begin to worship. We arrive in this world as objects of divine affection, miraculous receptors designed to bring Him pleasure. If only everyone could know we’ve been created by and for God! If only we could all comprehend that we’re precious to Him, housing mirrored souls designed to reflect His glory.
T H E  Q U E S T I O N  T H A T  C A P T I V A T E S  U S  A L L
As I’m writing, my flight home to Atlanta is climbing high above the Chicago night. Staring out across the horizon, I’m captivated by the thousands of tiny lights dotting the landscape as far as I can see. Countless twinkling stars of earth, hundreds of thousands of beacon lights. It’s like a sea of little lights—streetlights, headlights, house lights, neon lights…all kinds of lights.
And I’m thinking, everywhere I see lights, there are people. People everywhere. A sea of humanity. And every single person down there is someone created with amazing potential and purpose. All uniquely fashioned to reflect back to their Creator His beauty and wonder. Each one breathing the air of earth in one accord. Each person given life to give Him praise.
And that’s only the view in one direction, looking out over just one city, in just one state, in one nation, on one continent.
I’m floored. As we jet through the darkened sky, I think of how this earth is home to billions of worshipers, created to light the darkness with stories of who God is…with echoes of all He has done.
But do they know it? Do you know it? Do you know in this moment that you were made by and for God? While we soar over Chicago, our plane is just a little tiny speck to anyone who might look up and see us, a little dot of light blinking its way through the night. Yet on board this flight are even more people. People everywhere.
Across the aisle from me, a middle-aged woman is digging into a well-worn Bible. (No, I’m not making this up!) She’s leaning forward as she reads, as if she knows this Book holds some secret key. I’m thinking how the same God who’s worthy of all the earth’s worship is the Author of the very pages in her hands. She’s holding His autobiography in her hands. There before her eyes is the extension of God’s hand. And she’s devouring it in large chunks, miraculously forgoing another showing of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It’s as if somehow within its pages she has discovered life’s very meaning.
It seems we all are eventually captivated by the question of why. Why are we here? Is there a reason for our lives? Is there something we’re uniquely destined to do?
It’s the age-old dilemma—what’s the purpose of life?
The answer begins and ends with God. Simply put, you and I were made by Him and made for Him. You and I exist for one purpose alone—to reflect back to God His matchless glory. You were made for a unique relationship with Him. And your life was designed to be a mirror that reflects all the best things about Him to the world around you. Finding our Maker and connecting with His purposes is the one thing we are all seeking.
Okay, to be fair, things have changed on board. Forty minutes have passed, and the woman across the aisle is now reading a David Baldacci novel, sending occasional glances toward the movie monitor.
Uh-oh. The headphones are going on. I think she’s being sucked into the movie.
Apparently, she’s seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding a dozen times and is having no difficulty jumping right into the flow. It hasn’t been thirty seconds and she’s already laughing. (Not as loudly as the guy in front of me, mind you, who with headphones on is loudly giving a blow-by-blow commentary of each scene to the stranger trapped beside him.)
I guess tonight won’t see a miracle after all. The “little movie engine that could” wins again. The unstoppable force of My Big Fat Greek Wedding rambles on. But she still gets major credit for her deep dive into the pages of God’s Word. For she—just like the rest of us—is seeking God. And as far as I can tell, finding Him on a plane to Georgia.
(The guy next to me is sound asleep. The lady in front is talking in what sounds like a South African accent. The flight attendant buzzing around is tall and Romanian. A businessman behind me is wide awake and feverishly working.)
And there are people all around you, too. Today as you work out, sit at the lunch table, or study in the library, there are people everywhere.
All these people.
Do they know their lives have an amazing purpose?