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TEXT: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
PROPOSITION: To motivate the hearer to seek a new vision and a new in-terest in the things of God.
INTRODUCTION: Isaiah’s writings to the children of Israel came at a bleak period of their history. They are in captivity, they have lost everything they thought they would keep forever, and they were home sick for the land and the blessing God had promised them.
The 1st step to embracing the new thing what God wants to do in your life is to
I. CHANGE YOUR FOCUS -- QUIT LOOKING BEHIND START LOOKING HEAD v.18
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
Application: If you are continually looking behind you cannot see where you are going.
If you are ever going to move on to new things in Christ you must learn that ...
A. You Cannot Depend Upon Past Victories To Sustain You
Forget the former things;
Application: The children of Israel had many victories in their past:
1. Leaving Egypt
2. Conquering the Land of Canaan
3. Fighting of prospective conquerors
4. Survived a split in their country
But now they are in captivity. All their previous victories were doing nothing to set them free. They needed a new work, a new miracle, a new victory.
Application: The question isn’t what has God done –the question must be:
What is God doing in your life right now?
What is it that you want Him to do in your life right now?
Secondly, in order to move on to new things in Christ you must know that ...
B. You Cannot Allow Your Past Failures to Possess You
... do not dwell on the past.
Application: The children of Israel had failed God miserably. Every time He blessed them with good things, they returned to Him evil things:
1. God gave them the Temple - they gave Him idol worship
2. God gave them truth - they lived and proclaimed a lie
3. God gave them His commands - they lived like they were suggestions.
4. God gave them wealth - they used it to abuse the poor
5. God gave them Himself - they gave Him nothing except rejection.
The children of Israel did not deserve to receive anything from God. Yet He still loved them and He earnestly wanted to help them change. Notice God’s Message:
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
God was not condemning them for their past, they could do nothing to change it. Instead God was holding out the hand of hope. He is in effect say-ing: Forget about your past -- I am giving you an opportunity to start over.
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
If you are going to get anywhere in your spiritual life you must understand that...
C. You Cannot Live on Yesterday’s Faith
Application: The children of Israel had experienced great spiritual blessings throughout their history. From the first Passover, to the crossing of the Red Sea, to the conquering of the Land of Canaan, to the building of the temple, the children of Israel had seen the hand of God at work in and through their lives. Yet their
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