Do you pull the lost toward God or push them away from Him? God devises ways for the lost to find life: “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). 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. Consequently, left to our flawed nature, we push people away from God. In fact, the Hebrew word for estranged means literally “to push away.” In order to pull, we must: (1) inhale the breath of life from God and (2) exhale the breath of life to others through worship, the Word, and working out our restoration in Him. Let’s look at how to exhale.
First, we worship God by communicating His character to others. The Hebrew word yadah is often translated as confess, meaning “to exhale” to God. Our first step to reconciling the banished is not toward them, but toward God. Exhaling is how we remove waste both physically and spiritually. As a result, we must be willing to confess our sins to God and appropriately to others, demonstrating our yielding to God’s justice, mercy, and grace. When we worship God, we exhale the breath of life to others who will be drawn to Him (1 Corinthians 14:24).
Second, we communicate the Word of God to others. The more we get into God’s Word, the more His Word gets into us. Consequently, His Word appears in our words. When we humbly and wisely share His Word with others, they draw nearer to Him (1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Colossians 4:5-6; 2 Timothy 3:16). The writer of Hebrews taught: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Third, we workout God’s redemptive and restorative breath of life in us by living out our salvation. Paul wrote: “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13). God devises ways in us for others to find life when we inhale and exhale the breath of life by serving them in our daily encounters. The New Testament church was even called, the Way (Acts 9:2).
When we exhale the breath of life to others that we inhale from God, we are used by Him to pull them toward Him. This week, exhale worship, the Word, and the working out of your restoration in Christ. God will use you to make others new again.