Summary: Sermon that challenges believers to look within themselves and make sure that their worship matches their walk

Around the turn of the century, Kathryn Scott sang a song entitled “Breathe”. Here is a taste of some of the lyrics:

“This is the air I breathe, Your Holy presence living in me”

“This is my daily bread, Your very word spoken to me”

“And I I’m desperate for you, and I’m lost without you”

Today, I am preaching on the subject – “Help! I Can’t Breathe!”

“Let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord” – Unfortunately, in today’s church, culture and world, the church is on life support. Christians are barely breathing. Lost folks are smothering.

I believe that we are struggling on the four prongs of worship:

1. Are you desperate to PRAISE God each week/day/minute/second?

Psalm 150:1-5

2. Do you have a hunger for God’s Word?

Psalm 19:7-14

3. Do you have a desire to GIVE back to God as He has blessed you?

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

4. Are you desperate enough to PRAY for your every need?

Philippians 4:6

What holds us back in the Church today?

I. No Relationship with God

- Not Saved

- Name may be on a church roll

- May have a title or a position in church

- Constantly complaining/griping/moaning if things don’t go your way (miserable)

You’re not desperate for God – you’re longing for what you desire

You’re not hungry for God to work – You’re not thirsty to drink of His living water.

You don’t want His church/Kingdom to grow – especially if the people are not like you.

In God’s Word, Matthew 25:31-46 explains this “lack” of a relationship with God

You can’t breathe – You need Jesus

You can’t praise the Lord – because you can’t breathe

II. Saved, but Sin is Present

- You’re a Christian – you know that you are!

o Sin is present in your life

 You WILL struggle until you confess and repent

• You will have to reach a point of desperation

o Cry out to God (HELP)

o Ask God to Forgive (HELP)

o Walk away in Repentance (HELP

Isaiah 55:6

Psalm 6

Psalm 124

• After desperation hits – you cry out, and ask for forgiveness, and repent:

o Be hungry for God’s Word

 Gives guidance, encouragement, admonishment, provision, protection, providence of God

o Be Thirsty for God

Psalm 42:1-2

Isaiah 55:1-2

Matthew 11:28-30

Note these examples:

Person #1

• People around them are miserable; Misery loves company

• Wear masks to church; Normally look like they’ve lost their best friend

• They want everything to go their way – and if it doesn’t – they’ll do anything to shift the current

o Absence of God’s Will/Direction

o Presence of Self Will/Drive/Determination

 “My way or you hit the highway”

Person #2

• Good one minute; On the edge the next

o Ill. Their lives are a constant roller coaster

• Will pray-ask for forgiveness-then fall right back into the sinful pattern

• Represents a majority of the church

o Spiritually weak

 Not into the Word of God

 Pray only when necessary

 Attend Bible Study for the Social Aspect, not for Eternal Impact

III. What would happen if the church could breathe?

• Scripture would be fulfilled

o Change of Atmosphere

 Individual

 Corporate

o Change of Attitude and Altitude

o Lack of Arrogance

o Look of Amazement

• Souls would be Saved

o There would be no limits placed on God

o There would be an attitude present of: “All Jesus, All the Time”

o There would be unity

• Souls would want to see more souls saved

There’s a wall that has been standing since the day that Adam fell. Sin is where it started, sin is why it held. Speaking as a pris’ner who was there and lived to tell, I remember how it felt. I can hear the sound of freedom, like a distant voice it called and beckoned me to follow where I had never gone. Though my heart was willing I just stood there at the wall, praying somehow it would fall. But in a cross I found the doorway and the hand that held the keys. When the chains fell at my feet for the first time I could see.

This is how it feels to be free, this is what it means to know that I am forgiven. This is how it feels to be free to see that life can be more than I imagined. This is how it feels to be free.

There are days when I’m reminded of the prison I was in, like a living nightmare burning deep within. I can feel the voice of evil, I can hear the call of sin, but I won’t go back again. See, once I tasted freedom and the chains could bind no more, mercy gave me wings to fly, like an eagle I can soar.

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