Summary: Getting ready for change
God has been speeking to us about change.
Moses my servant is dead; Your territory will extend; As I was with Moses so will I be with you.
God has given me a vision, which will usher in a number of changes
Why does there have to be change?
Is 43:18-25. Relevant passage
The question that this passage asks is not “Why” but rather “Do you want it?”
God is doing a new thing … do we want it
1) Do we want it? (18)
18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past
a) The past is good … Can’t climb a ladder by going straight to the top rung …
b) The past is familiar
c) The past is comfortable
i) What are our comfort zones?
ii) We limit our growth potential by staying in our comfort zone
iii) Are you comfortable with
(1) Attending church 2ce a week?
(2) Giving 10%
(3) Reading Bible daily …. SNAP out of it! Do something different. When was the last time you did something for the first time?
(4) Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity
(5) Doing the same thing over and over again and being happy with the same results is backsliding …….. Smith Wigglesworth: to remain on the same spiritual level for two consecutive days is backsliding.
iv) Like a mighty tortoise
moves the church of God
Brothers we are treading
where we’ve always trod
2) Can we see it?
19 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. 20 The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. 22 "Yet you have not called upon me,
a) God puts a little stream and Joe Christian is walking around in the desert and doesn’t see it
b) The wild animals see it, but God’s children don’t.
WHY? … The wet blanket anointing
c) See only the negative … dot on white page
d) Even –ve in a spiritual way: Pastor “are people getting saved? …”
e) To have a negative attitude is to have no faith
Romans 14:23 . . . for whatever is not from faith is sin.
f) “Look at others, and be distressed. Look at yourself, and be depressed. Look to God, and you’ll be blessed!”
g) Fanny Crosby’s first poem (age 8)
Oh what a happy child I am
Although I can not see
I am resolved that in this world
contented I will be
How many blessings I enjoy
that other people don’t!
So don’t weep or sigh because I’m blind
I cannot, nor won’t
h) Someone has defined “circumstances” as “those nasty things you see when you get your eyes off of God.” If you look at God through your circumstances, He will seem small and very far away; but if by faith you look at your circumstances through God, He will draw very near and reveal His greatness to you.
i) God is doing a new thing, if we are negative we won’t see it.
3) Are we willing to pay for it?
22 "Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel. 23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honoured me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands for incense. 24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offences. 25 "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more
a) Pay the price of earnest prayer
i) Ps 69:3 I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched my eyes fail, looking for my God.
ii) Jeremy Taylor 17C Anglican “if you want to enlarge your religion, do it by enlarging your ordinary devotions rather than the extraordinary.”
b) Pay the price of burnt offerings …
i) total dedication
ii) Benghu … the world is yet to see…..
c) Pay the price financially
i) Calamus ingredient in most precious perfumes
ii) Imported from Arabia or India … expensive
d) Pay the price of repentance
i) A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hands of God (Ravenhill?)
ii) God uses clean vessels
God is doing a new thing! Do we want it?
We can respond in only one of two ways. We can choose the comfortable way … to stay where we are …. Or we can choose to embrace all that God has for us … and take the trouble that comes with that.