“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150:6
Renowned poet Maya Angelou once said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
It’s true; each of us will only experience a handful of moments that leave us breathless. When they occur, we should treasure them for all they’re worth.
But what about the rest of our breaths?
We take roughly 20,000 breaths a day, around 8 million or so per year. By the time we’re 50, approximately 400 million.
What are we to do with these everyday, routine respirations?
The Bible says that we should, “praise the Lord.”
“Praise” is mentioned thirteen times in the six verses of Psalm 150. What does it mean to “praise?” Author Chuck Swindoll explains, “Praise is all about Him. You are out of the picture. You express words of adoration to Him for what He does and for who He is.”
With every lungful of oxygen, we are to exhale praise to our Creator, the One who gave us breath in the first place. In the Garden of Eden, we are told, “The Lord breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
Every breath we take is graciously given to us by God. Even as you read this sentence, He is sustaining your life. It sounds so obvious, but we take each breath for granted, don’t we?
Maybe less obvious, however, is that breathing can serve as a powerful reminder of our life in Jesus. Apart from Christ, all of us are 100% spiritually dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1).
That’s the bad news.
But here’s the good news:
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ Jesus, even when we were dead in our transgressions.” (Ephesians 2:5)
Spiritually speaking, we only start “breathing” because of Jesus. Through faith in Him, we are “born again” and filled with His life-giving Spirit (John 3:3; Ephesians 1:13,14).
So, both physical and spiritual breathing are manifestations of life given to us by God. And the psalmist is calling, “everything that has breath,” to join in a magnificent symphony of praise. He can’t force us, but he is inviting us to not stand idly by. He wants us to grab a “trumpet,” pick up a “harp” and start tapping our feet. (Psalm 150:3,4)
We are, in other words, to be participants of praise, not spectators.
Think about this: One day, there will come a moment that will quite literally leave you breathless. You will have reached your God-ordained quota of your allotted number of breaths on earth.
Until that final breath, don’t you want to spend your days making every breath count for Him, participating in the great chorus of praise?
You can start right now.
Humbly come before the Lord in an attitude of prayer and fill in the blank.
“Lord, I praise You because __________________.”
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH