It may not seem like it at first, but Ezekiel is talking about the Holy Spirit here. The word in Hebrew that is used for breath is also used for Spirit, meaning “breath of life.” Our life force comes from God. It’s the spark that God places in us at birth which starts our life journey drawing us towards him if we choose to follow it. In our Methodist tradition, we call that prevenient grace or the grace that goes before. When God created man in Geneses 2:7 he breathed the breath of life into him.
The Holy Spirit carries great power, yet he only acts when we ask him to. If he worked without our permission, then he would possess us. God doesn’t take us over and turn us into puppets. He dwells with us so that we can live life in community with God, having a personal relationship with him and overcome whatever life throws our way. All we must do is call upon him and ask for his guidance and power, and he will act.
It is important to note that the Holy Spirit isn’t a magic genie in a lamp. He doesn’t do whatever we say. He is God and has a mind. Therefore he will only act in our best interest. Our responsibility though is to seek his presence, focused on his guidance, and awaken to his ability to grow our spiritual lives. When we live into the power of the Spirit, God’s work through us will be unfathomable.