Isaiah 30:21– This is the way, walk in it!

Isaiah 30:21– This is the way, walk in it!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
July 19, 2015

During the time of Isaiah the Prophet, the Israelites had continually turned from following God. When they did, they suffered the consequences of their disobedience. God reminded them through Isaiah that if they would remain in him, he would stay close to them. In our world today we have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we trust Jesus as our Savior and Lord. He remains with us no matter what, and because of this we often take following God for granted. We begin to think that it does not matter what we do in our lives since God loves us there will be no consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth.

LifeWay’s VBS 2015, Journey Off The Map™, is based on Isaiah 30:21. Children will explore uncharted territory where they will begin to understand that obedience to God can lead them beyond the expected. So, toss the map, stick close to your guide, and prepare to listen for God’s direction on this journey that is unknown to us, but known to him as this morning we take a closer look at our journey with God. This is the way, walk in it! God tells Isaiah…

READ: Isaiah 30:21

One of the most wonderful stories is one of a missionary whose mother loved him so much that she was almost convinced not to allow him to go to the mission field. This was a time before phones, Internet, Skype or other such things. In fact it took weeks if not months to get even a letter. Her heart was changed when she realized that no matter where her son was, not only would she be there in prayer and in her love of him, but God would go before him. The one beautiful truth found throughout Scripture is the fact that…

I. It does not matter where you are, God is with you!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)

1. Jesus comforted his disciples by teaching them, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV) And the Apostle John would reiterate what Jesus said by reminding us, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:3-4 NIV) Our trust in Christ overcomes anything the world may throw at us! God told Isaiah to remind the people that it did not matter where they turned, left or right, God was with them! Often they forgot this fact and began to depend upon themselves or false gods of the regions they lived in. The early church began to suffer because of their faith and some began to lose confidence in God’s ability to keep them, so Paul wrote, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 38-39 NIV) Sadly, the Jewish people had lost sight of this spiritual truth and began to depend solely on what they felt, saw, or experienced. In our day we can forget that King David sang, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4 NIV) If God is our shepherd, the keeper of our soul, why would we fear anything in this world? God is with those who trust him! It does not matter where you are, God is with you!

EXAMPLE: Sometimes as believers we begin to think of God as a talisman rather than our Creator Holy God. When we do we reduce him to an idol we bring out only when we think we need him. He is safely tucked away when we want to have our fun, or we want to live our lives our way, or when in fact we are more at home being ungodly rather than the holy people of God he has called us to be. However, we would do well to remember that God is everywhere all the time. He is not bound by time, space, or our own personal pleasure. Rather than a fearful thing, this is a comfort for those who love him and follow him, but for those who are desperately trying to fool others into thinking they are Christian when in fact they are not, it can be a frightening thing. However God is the God of all comfort simply because it does not matter where we are, God is with us!

We can realize God is with us but the knowledge is only knowledge until we use it and absolutely trust him wherever he leads us. And this is the final truth of this promise of Isaiah that…

II. Because God is with us, we can journey anywhere!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)

1. The Prophet Job in the midst of his trials knowingly lamented about the grace of God in his life, “Does he not see my ways and count my every step?” (Job 31:4 NIV) And of course the answer is “Yes he does.” Hagar, the slave of Abraham who was tossed out into the wilderness after giving birth to his illegitimate son Ishmael was comforted by God and as a result “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'” (Genesis 16:13 NIV) Hagar learned firsthand that it did not matter where she was, God was already there! We are reminded, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a NIV) and David remarked, “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” (Psalms 139:1-5 NIV) God hems us in like a mother hen who wraps its wings around her chicks. And in fact we know that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV) Before we breathe our first breath or take our first wobbly step God is right there with us! There is nowhere we can go that the Creator of the Universe is not already there with us! One of the very last things Jesus shared with his followers was the fact, “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20 NIV) It is because of this wonderful truth that missionaries, preachers, disciples, and followers of Jesus have journeyed to the ends of the earth sharing the good news. All you have to do is hear his “voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” It is a testimony to the fact that because God is with us, we can journey anywhere!

EXAMPLE: One of my favorite books of all time is the journals of Lewis and Clark. Here in their own words are the firsthand accounts of things never seen, animals, natives, and natural wonders no white American had seen before. They are filled with humor, wonder, archaic ideas, and the words of men who depended upon their faith many times to see them through to the next day. They firmly felt that although they were trekking through the wilderness, God was right there with them. Yesterday some of us climbed Beacon Rock, named by the Lewis and Clark Expedition because this stone monolith stood out like a beacon before them. God is our beacon, guiding us through life. As we look and listen to him, we never have to fear where we are. Here in Isaiah we have learned that because God is with us, we can journey anywhere!

Conclusion:
It does not matter where you are, God is with you! Because God is with us, we can journey anywhere!

This article is copyrighted © 2015 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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