In an attempt to reconcile David with his banished son Absalom, the wise woman of Tekoa seized the moment at the conclusion of her parable to craft one of the most insightful word pictures ever expressed to the shepherd turned King: “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). She painted a portrait of God on the inner canvas of the King. If God devised ways for life, would the man after God’s own heart do the same?
We have to ask, “How did David respond to these words about God?” We know David allowed Absalom to return to Jerusalem, though their relationship was strained for the balance of Absalom’s life (2 Samuel 14:23-24, 32-33). However, a snapshot inside David’s heart appears in his words of Psalm 103 where David painted a picture of inhaling God daily.
First, David inhaled God’s breath of life in his soul (nephesh) in worship of Him (Psalm 103:1-17). David penned: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my innermost being, praise his holy name” (Psalm 103:1). He remembered that he was once banished from God, and he had received forgiveness, God’s justice and mercy offered by grace, in order to not be estranged from Him (Psalm 103:3-17).
Second, David inhaled the Word of God (Psalm 103:18-20). David wrote: “Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word” (Psalm 103:20).
Third, David inhaled the works of God: “Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul” (Psalm 103:21-22).
In his familiar psalm, David expressed that only God can renew the breath of life in us when he composed: “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3).
Inhale the breath of life from God. Read Psalm 103. 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 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 norepinephrine and endorphins in your body that offer a relaxed energy throughout the day (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.
When you begin your day by inhaling God’s breath of life through worship, the Word, and working out, God will use you to exhale His breath of life to everyone you encounter.