Summary: A sermon that stresses the importance of staying in the word and remaining prayerful. Otherwise, we are weak and then the enemy will try and tear us down and strip us of all our joy.
Text: Ezekiel 37:1-3,7-10 (NIV)
1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry
3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
A valley of dry bones! This sounds like a lot of churches in America today.
1. People are no longer showing up
2. Nothing but strife is being stirred up
3. Everyone has stopped looking up
4. Therefore congregations are giving up
5. Thus Churches are closing up
· We have allowed the enemy to slip in and steal our joy, our peace, and most of all, our faith.
· Just as a vulture preys on weakened animals, so the enemy preys on weakened Christians.
· When something is dried out, it is because it has lost a key element.
· However when something is dried up, it is usually about dead or well on its way. (A Plant)
Show congregation Fire (Demonstration)
· As Christians we become dry because we have lost a key element. (Fire)
1. Show congregation dry sponge (Demonstration)
2. Describe how it is hard & brittle
3. Lacking any life or zeal
· Churches today are simply going through the motions
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
· Although the bones came together, there was still no life
· Just because things come together, don’t mean there is life
· Bones gather together every Sunday, but there is still no life.
9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ’This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army.
· Just as when God breathed into Adam, life was restored.
· The breath represents the power of the Holy Spirit
John 20:22 (NIV)
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
· The church needs to feel that Holy Spirit fire burning once again.
· The infilling of the holy spirit is not a one time thing
· Allow the Lord to breathe in us
· Because we have dried up on the vine
· Is it because we have been without nourishment
Joel 1:12 (KJV)
12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
· When we get dry and wore down, we must be hungry and thirsty for a Holy Spirit experience.
· No can make us receive or seek God
· We must long for a time of refreshing, a time of renewal.
· The number one reason churches are no longer seeing growth, miracles, and healings is because we have stopped longing.
Psalms 107:9 (NKJV)
9 For He satisfies the longing soul,