[The artwork featured in the graphic above is courtesy of Amy Pak]

We all live within earth’s atmosphere; there’s not much we can do about that. But what we can do is create alternative atmospheres by creating indoor spaces in which we can control the temperature, humidity, lighting, etc. In other words, we can control the atmosphere within confined spaces, and the smaller the space the easier it is to control the atmosphere in it.

The atmosphere of the physical world is non-substantial . . . it is invisible. It is physical, material, yet pneumatic. It is there, but you can’t see it.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.

–John 3:8

Jesus sees this way of describing the atmosphere of the physical world as the perfect metaphor for describing the atmosphere of the spiritual world. Just as the physical world has an atmosphere, the spiritual world has an atmosphere as well.

Your soul is comprised of a mind, a will, and a set of emotions. These correspond to the physical world. But your soul is effected by the spiritual atmosphere as much as your body is effected by the physical atmosphere. When you walk into a place that is spiritually dark, your soul immediately senses the darkness and recoils in the presence of it. When you walk into a place that is filled with the light of the Spirit of God, your soul immediately senses the light and rejoices in the presence of it.

While you cannot control the spiritual atmosphere of the world, you can learn to govern the spiritual atmosphere of your heart! Just as we can build air conditioned buildings in the middle of the desert, we can build Spirit-conditioned hearts in the middle of oppressed places! As we grow in Christ we learn that we don’t have to be effected by the spiritual climate of every place that we enter. We can govern the atmosphere of our hearts so that even if it’s (spiritually) cold outside, we can turn on the heat inside our hearts, and even if scorching winds scrape the ground outside, we can turn on the cool wind of the Spirit inside of our hearts!

And when two or more air conditioned hearts come together in any place, those two hearts begin to create an atmosphere between them that others can feel, that others can access. When two believers stand in the midst of fear with hearts that have been conditioned by the joy and boldness of the Lord, others begin to feel the cool breezes of that joy and boldness.

In that way, collectively, we can begin to govern the spiritual atmosphere–in fact, dominate the spiritual atmosphere–of any place that we go, simply by making the decision to govern the atmosphere of our own hearts!

Today you may walk into some spiritually arid places. If you do, do not fear; just turn your heart towards Jesus and ask him to blow the cool wind of his Spirit upon you. If we begin to do this together, we can change the spiritual climate of cities, of nations . . . of the world!