“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, He devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him” (2 Samuel 14:14).
Love the Word
Do you devise ways for those outside Christ to find life with God or to remain separated from Him? We all devise ways to either pull people toward God or push them away from Him. The determining factor is how we respond to the life-giving inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Learn the Word
Nephesh is the Hebrew word for life, also translated soul, or breath. God pulls toward those who are separated from Him by breathing life into their souls so that they may turn to Him and experience reconciled relationships. Contrastingly, left to our flawed nature, we push people away from God. In fact, the Hebrew word for estranged means literally “to push away.” Now here’s the question that each of us must ask: “If the Spirit of God dwells in me, do I devise ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from God?” In order to do so, we must: (1) inhale the breath of life from God and (2) exhale the breath of life to others.
Live the Word
Inhale the breath of life from God. Remember that you were once banished, and God devised a way for you not to remain estranged from Him. Christ is the way, and His Spirit devised a unique way for you to find life in Him. Therefore, commit to three spiritual pursuits in order to inhale God each morning: (1) worship, (2) Word, and (3) workout. First, worship God by listening to a style of worship music that speaks to your heart. Music affects the central nervous system, but worship music breathes life into the soul. As you listen, pray to God, praising Him for who He is and thanking Him for forgiving you. Second, read the Word. Begin your morning by reading the Bible. Start with at least one verse. Breathe in and live the day through the oxygen that the Word provides. Third, start your day with a workout. Whether it be walking one hundred steps amidst God’s creation or training for a marathon, release the epinephrine and endorphins in your body that offer a relaxed energy throughout your day (see 1 Timothy 4:8). You might even do all three at the same time by listening to worship music while reading your Bible and climbing on the elliptical machine.
Exhale the breath of life to others. Yield to God’s devising ways in you to help the banished not remain estranged from Him. Worship God by confessing your sin and communicating His identity to those you encounter. Humbly and wisely exhale the Word of God that you inhale in the morning. Workout God’s work in you by living out your redemption and restoration as you serve others through your career, family, and friendships.
When we inhale the breath of life from God and exhale the breath of life to others through our worship, the Word, and our working out, those we serve will begin to inhale and exhale that Divine breath as God devises ways for life. We must remember that we were once banished, and God devised a just, merciful, and gracious way for us to turn and not remain estranged from Him. Then we must yield to God devising ways in us to draw the disenfranchised to Him. People will be pulled toward God, rather than pushed away from Him, when we surrender to God breathing His Spirit through us.