“The Breath of God; The Breath of Life”
“The Breath of God; The Breath of Life”
Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
Just like every other human being, pastors have their struggles. We have ups and downs. We have times when life looks and smells like roses, and we have times when it…well we will just say there are times when it doesn’t.
So, in the ups and the downs we have to find ways to cope with the less than wonderful times.
I was dealing with some stuff here awhile back and had been praying, but something was still missing. I knew that I needed to worship my way out of the “mullygrubs,” so I did what any good 40 something year old should do…I reached out to my 20 something year old daughter who helps lead worship at her church and ask her for some good music suggestions.
I think it took her less than a few seconds to start firing off what she has been listening to lately.
After she had sent me full albums, she started to suggest some songs that were her favorites. Before she could get to that point, I was already immersed in what is currently my favorite song.
It is SO good I want to share it with y’all tonight and then I am going to share some thoughts…
Play Breathe by Maverick City
I read it earlier, but I’ll say it again, “Let everything that has breath, PRAISE THE LORD.”
Tonight, I want to talk about this idea of breath. The idea that we are given something special from God that we can CHOOSE to use for His glory.
The fact is that every living thing has breath.
The trees breathe and a result of their breath, we have oxygen. God has facilitated nature to work towards our favor, so that we can accomplish His purposes.
So, while every living thing has Breath, we are unique in that we are first created in His image and after His likeness, but additionally, of all creation, Humans are the only part of creation that Scripture specifically shows God “breathing” life into.
To be clear, everything in creation was given life through the “breath” of God. HE SPOKE, everything into existence using His Word or breath, but mankind was different.
While in creation He said, “let there be light, firmament, grass, cows, etc.” when He got to mankind, He didn’t say, “Let there be a creature like me.”
Genesis 1:26 “Let us make in OUR image…”
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
If you skip over to Genesis 2:7 it says He formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
It should go without saying that none of us becomes truly alive until we are Born Again at salvation, but even at birth we are alive even if it is just in form and not function.
I’ll come back to that!!!!
In the physical we measure life most often by the ability to breathe. Jokes have been made over the years regarding a persons qualifications to do menial jobs.
Someone might ask, what qualifications does a person have to have to say, hold a sign advertising a sale.
The person needing someone to hold the sign might say, “can they fog a mirror.”
So life is marked at the first breath, and ends shortly after they take their last breath. The heart and the brain cannot function without oxygen and we only get oxygen through breathing.
Here’s an interesting note.
The Hebrew word for “God” is most often referred to as “Yahweh”
In reality the name does not have vowels and is known as the tetragrammaton.
The actual word in the Hebrew is YHWH
4 letters with no vowels, which for us as English speakers is impossible.
HOW CAN YOU HAVE A WORD WITH NO VOWELS…
But look at what many scholars say about the tetragrammaton.
They say that the name is actually sounded out with every breath.
For just a moment sit still and quiet and listen to your breath.
Even exaggerate it a little so you can hear it.
With that said, from the first breath, a child is saying the Name of God.
In like manner, every persons last breath is saying the Name of God.
I did some math…
Google says the average respiration rate of a resting man is between 12 and 16 breaths per minute
For the sake of simplicity, I used 15 breaths per minute.
900 Breaths per hour
21600 Breaths per day
151,200 Breaths per week
648,000 Breaths per month (30 day month)
7, 884,000 Breaths per year (non-leap year)
591,300,000 Breaths per lifetime (75 year average)
The unfortunate part of that is HOW MANY OF THOSE BREATHS ARE WASTED BY NOT USING THEM FOR HIS GLORY!!!
I said earlier that when we are born, we are born in FORM only.
In John 3:3 Jesus told Nicodemus, “most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
He didn’t say you cannot ENTER the Kingdom of God….HE SAID YOU CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Until we get to a place where we don’t just whisper the name of God with every breath, but we CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD, we are wasting our time, treasure, and talent on trivial pursuits!
But the hope and reassurance that we have is that God WILL GIVE US NEW LIFE!!!
He will restore our place where we can live not only in FORM, but in the FUNCTION He has purposed for us for eternity!
It starts when God Breathes Into Us
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Ruach and Pneuma are used interchangeably in the OT and NT respectively to mean wind, breath, or Spirit.
Genesis 1:2 The Spirit (ruach wind or breath) was hovering over the deep…
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
In John 20:21-22 Jesus Breathes on the disciples and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1-4 on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came in like a sound of a mighty rushing wind…
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
GOD WAS BREATHING LIFE INTO THE CHURCH.
He was putting Power into the sails of the earthly agency that would effect change for the rest of the age until Jesus returns to take His Bride home.
When we are changed there are expected changes!!!
As always, I emphasize that this is not a religion of salvation by works.
There is nothing you can do, there are not enough good deeds to be done, to save you from eternal death.
Salvation is through grace by faith ALONE, BUT the following verse to that statement in Ephesians 2:10 says that we are “His workmanship created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them!”
We DO Good Works because we are saved!
We DO Good Works because of what God has done for us
We DO Good Works, because our breath, our hearts, our spirits are different!
What does this look like?
Tonight I just want to talk about how it starts with how we talk!!!
How do we use the “BREATH” God has given us?
CONTROL WHAT WE SAY
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
James 3:7-12 BUT GOD
James 3:7–12 (ESV)
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
but not human can tame the tongue...BUT GOD CAN
Submission to Him
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
What it looks like when it happens
Do all things without grumbling or disputing,
Proverbs 6:16-19 lists 7 things that are an abomination to God… 3 of those are things that proceed form our mouth…literally using the breath that God has given us to sin against other people, “A lying tongue, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord.
Paul warns against the sins of the tongue as well in
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Corrupt communication, evil speaking, angry words, foolish talking, and coarse jesting…
BUT… Paul doesn’t just leave us with what not to do...
Here is where it all turns.
We can talk about what not to do all day, but it’s far better to talk about what TO DO!!!
The story about the grass and the weeds….FEED THE GRASS!!!
Ephesians 4:29–5:4 (ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
What if instead of lying, gossiping, complaining, wallowing in self-pity, and doubt, WHAT IF INSTEAD OF BEING ANXIOUS ABOUT TOMORROW, WE JUST PRAISED GOD FOR TODAY???
What if we took the breath He has given us, and we turned it back to Him in the form of worship.
What if we believed His Word and chose to act accordingly?
What if we did this, and taught others to do the same?
The Lord has chosen to not only save us, and give us power to accomplish His purpose, BUT He has also given us gifts...
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
At Least Half of those gifts are SPOKEN!!!
Tongues, Interpretation, Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, and Prophecy.
ALL of the instances of the Great Commission require Speech empowered by the Spirit of God
Speaking in New tongues
So whatever you are going through, or whatever you have been through, KNOW TONIGHT, that you can turn that all around with positive speech.
You can turn your situation around by speaking life to the problem