February 14th, 2016
You may have gone through difficult times where life felt completely empty and deserted from anything good. As we go through Isaiah 35, we’re given encouragement to not fear in those times, that our God will come. The lasting joy and happiness so many of us seek to replace the hurt in this world can be found through Christ. Isaiah speaks of a clearly marked way of holiness, where we can bypass the grief and deserted feelings of this world. So be encouraged to get on the way of holiness, commit to it and know that, when the storm’s of life do pass through, you won’t ever be alone.
Isaiah 35:8 (ESV) – “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.” Listen to hear more and come visit our church on Sundays at 10 AM!
I want to continue with our series that’s from Isaiah let’s see what Isaiah has to say and we will we will like we started talking about Isaiah and Isaiah is uh obviously you know he was a prophet right so he was talking not only to the people of his day but he was talking to the people way ahead of his time okay even when when Jesus was supposed to he was prophesying about Jesus and but even today we have we have some things that we can learn from Isaiah right you guys believe that and I and and he’s not fooling around he’s not joking around he’s not you know one of those I just you know let me water things down type of people just to make people feel good and you know fluffy inside and fuzzy and all it’s gonna be no he’s one of those people that will tell you what you need to hear you have an awesome life everyone say awesome life well okay let me ask you how do you how do you can get an awesome life have an awesome life oh well it’s something uh you know yeah money you need money to live he needs money to to move forward in life and so today I want to I want to talk about this well actually Isaiah is talking and I want to just kind of you know tell you my thoughts might you know what’s what’s going on in this the way to life the way to life the way to a better life life that is just you know it’s not it’s not you know sad it’s not you know depressing a life that is that is it is awesome okay a life that is awesome so if you have your Bibles open to Isaiah chapter 35 Isaiah chapter 35 verses one to ten okay first eight is where I really want us to station and and just notice this a highway will be there it will be called the way of what the way of holiness it will be for those who walk on that way the unclean will not journey on it wicked fools will not go about about on it now look I think that we live in the times where there is constant projects of highway building bridge built bridges bridge building just this is the way we kind of go in and out you can fly you’re all back you know out west and whatever but but highways roads we complain about roads you come to Toronto and it’s uh and it’s and you know there’s especially now in the winter there’s so many potholes right if you think this is bad go to Montreal okay you will be absolutely a believer in what’s going on here in Toronto it is I remember when I lived in Montreal I often when I was going to visit someone we were crossing this bridge called Murcia bridge how many of you have heard of Murcia bridge ok Murcia Bridge is one of those bridges that you before you get on the bridge you really test your faith and you pray ok and there’s so much traffic uh half of the bridge like one lane is always closed it takes hours to get across the bridge but there was this one time I remember I was I was driving through and the egg I got on the bridge and I and I couldn’t believe it I’m telling you I was I was stuck in traffic right and so I’m going slow and then I look to the right and you know how you have the you know the road where the cars go and drive and then you have a sidewalk right and then you have a railing so no one will fall over and so I’m driving in I kid you not I look over and on the sidewalk like if you were to like kind of walk and listen to your music and stuff and not pay attention and it was about I don’t know a hundred feet high right the bridge and in the middle of the high of the sidewalk there is this big gaping hole that you could see right through like if you would not you know pay attention you just poof just right into the river but Quebecers I used to it it’s like you gotta pay attention you fall man it’s your fault it’s not our fault and and so bridges okay roads I remember going to a pastors conference in Susan Marie how many of you know where Susan Maria’s and I was driving from way up north I don’t know what the name of that highway was but it was a very narrow and winding road okay and it was right next to the river and the river I I don’t remember what the river was all I remember was my pastor friend was driving and uh and and we were driving in his in his van like an older van and and so the speed limit on that road believe it or not was like 80 kilometers an hour but I think that you are absolutely crazy and suicidal if you were going sixty kilometers an hour I don’t know why they put the sign 80 kilometers an hour because because you can’t you can’t even like this was one times like I’m not gonna obey the speed limit on this road okay I’m not gonna go that fast because it’s just impossible to even to survive it roads of life you may be like your life is a road okay you go faster on it you go slower sometimes you turn left alright life brings you surprises how many of you know that life brings surprises but do you know that many of those surprises are avoidable we can avoid those surprises we can get ourselves ready we can prepare for those things and so here you see none of the roads that I talked about bridges nor and none of them are as important as this way of holiness that Isaiah so poetically described right poetically because it’s the language it’s like we don’t speak that language now but poetically he describes it beautifully and so people have walked on the paths of life they have walked in deep valleys where it’s so dark and it’s so difficult and then they walked in you know the peaks of the mountains or Hills where you can see everything and you know what and and you walk like any in your life you have certain pathways that you take okay you take a certain pathway to school or work and that’s your favorite one but also in life you walk a certain way and you walk a certain path that that that you that your that your feet are on and that you are on all the time and so you see here he talks about the way of holiness and I think if I can tell you I think this is the way to go I think this is the way to go set your life in such a way that will reflect holiness God’s holiness no I’m not here to put anyone down I’m here to encourage every single one of us so turn to the person next to you and say hey the pastor will encourage me today go ahead so here’s a very very vivid picture of what Isaiah is talking about he is forgetting the Assyrian see a siege of of Jerusalem he’s forgetting that because people have been just annihilated by by the Babylonians okay and he sees that and he sees the ruins of the cities and he knows that the Assyrians are coming next and so the people are in a very very difficult spot difficult time you might be in such a spot in your life today you just finished a difficult stretch in your life and all of a sudden you know that there’s something difficult coming and it’s just right ahead of you and so I’m glad you’re here because this is what we need to talk about I think that something that I will say through the Holy Spirit will touch your life and I believe that it will it will it will change your life for good this is what he says in verse 1 the desert are the parched land and the parched land will be glad the wilderness will rejoice and blossom you know sometimes your life will feel like it doesn’t it will feel like a desert where it doesn’t when you when you when you kind of walk around and you feel that there is no water there’s no life there’s nothing around you and you feel like you’re walking through the desert through the desert and your feet are burning it is sort of opposite of what you feel today it’s cold it you know when sometimes your life will feel like a desert it will feel empty in fact it will feel that you know there’s winds blowing and you don’t know you have walked this way before and then the winds blew and there’s so much sand and you don’t know where are you going again you know that you’ve walked through here you know that maybe God has touched your life before and you have walked that path before but now you can’t even find that path because there’s so much sand there’s so much wind that has been blowing and you can’t find that that path that you walked on before life could be like a desert life could be like it and so Isaiah is trying to encourage the people here because he knows and this is what says say to those who are filled with fearful hearts be strong do not fear sometimes we need to tell that to ourselves be strong and do not fear often I think every day you need to tell yourself be strong and do not fear because God is with you because God is walking every step with you so this is what what God says talk to the people with fearful hearts be strong do not fear your God will come he will come with vengeance with the divine retribution he will come to save you now and I said that at the very beginning I as usual Isaiah is not only talking to those people but he’s talking way ahead of his time so he’s not talking his vision is not just about the Bible and about about the the Babylonians but his vision is lifted way beyond that and he’s going way ahead and this is what he says then well then will the eyes okay of the blind be open and the ears of the Deaf unstopped then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert okay again very beautiful language beautiful description but you might say pastor then well I I don’t feel so beautiful and so descriptive in my life now I am in the desert I am my desert is no not a beautiful place if you were in my shoes if you were to walk on the path that I walk you you you maybe you would change your mind about a lot of things well you know what I don’t walk in your path but I have my share or I had my share I have my share I will have my share of difficulties in my life and and Isaiah is speaking to those with fearful hearts if you have fear in your in your life in your heart this is what he says be strong and do not fear be strong and do not fear no matter how young you are no matter how old you are you need to be strong and you pass that fear out of your life say I will not fear I will be strong go ahead say I will be strong you see a lot of things are totally up to us and I think that when this was happening and Isaiah was talking about that I think that Jesus also went back to it in Matthew chapter 11 and verse 1 to 5 where he was proving that he is the Messiah he was coming back to even that passage of Scripture he was talking about and so and so what Christ did for in the healing of the few people that when he was walking here on this earth he was healing some of those those people I believe that he wants to do that this that same thing for you maybe maybe I physically or maybe even emotionally maybe spiritually you feel that you are in the desert and nothing nothing is bringing the life into you and you feel like sort of yeah they’re moments you know of joy you might be with your friends you might be at the wedding there’s moments of joy but then you come back home and there is and you back into the desert see what this world has to offer it’s very very temporary very temporary and then and and and you will not find lasting joy and happiness in this world and so this is what Isaiah is talking about he’s talking about that when Christ came you see even when Christ came people thought that he was a hero he was going to be the king that would rescue them from the Romans and all this stuff and and and Jesus was the Messiah but he didn’t come as a king not King here on on this earth not like that and so even when Christ came he did not come to build a highway to God he did not come to build a highway to God he was the highway to God he is the highway and so and so he stood at the crossroads of of this temporary moment that that was on on the earth and in in in those human trials and tribulations and he stood on Golgotha on that on that hill where he where he died and this is what he says this is where he proclaimed through his death I am the way the truth and the life I am the way the truth and the life and if you want to be strong if you want to if you want your life to be meaningful and there and not just live in the desert and stuff and and in there in the parched place where you were so hot with so and so not comfortable in in your life well you need to look at Jesus because he says look I am the way the truth and the life and first of all there’s a clearly marked way he says a highway will be there it will be called the way of holiness now I know that you might be sitting here and you might be saying saying and thinking pastor that this is a tall order you telling me that I totally just need to walk on the highway of holiness yes but listen listen when we walk on the highway of holiness when we walk on that way that Jesus is is is choosing for us that he wants us to walk listen there will be there will be no you will you will miss so much hurt and so much despair you will miss it you will bypass it last week we talked about bypassing God let’s bypass this let’s bypass that you know the big problems in life let’s let’s bypass the things that will bring you grief and hurt and and and things that it will will make you feel that you live in the desert now holiness it will be for those who walk in that way the unclean will not journey on it wicked foes will not go about on it now it’s God’s Highway and it cannot be easily ignored in fact it cannot be missed I think that people a lot of people know about that highway okay they they walk in their own in their own trails and trails that disappear like I said you walk one trail and then you look back and you can’t even see your footprints it life could be very very confusing and then the winds blow and you walk in the desert and you don’t know where you are it is a very difficult and frustrating place to be and I think that Isaiah says look I want to spare you all this stuff so walk there on the way to holiness on the way of holiness walk in the way that will that will make you holy and will tell you how how to live and Jesus wants to do that for you now even in the desert even in the desert with shifting winds and and blowing sand even you see when you walk with Jesus it is so much better to be in the desert with Jesus and it’s so much better than to be in the desert by yourself now the Bible and the chart okay stand as visible road signs on this earth the Bible is true the church is true people have tried to pull down those signs people have been talking about the Bible to discredit it people have been talking about the church to to discredit the church but but all such efforts have failed the Bible stands strong and the church is strong I was imagining that someone would say yay okay look the church is strong the Bible is strong now now you know people have sought to discredit that but when people are seeking to discredit the church and the Bible they’re seeking to discredit you know what salvation and salvation is so needed all about salvation you know there are some churches that maybe are not so strong okay they’re just like you know faded signs that don’t glow anymore but listen even in those churches that are maybe struggling with something when they preach Jesus they preach the Savior and yet the church and even their sin stands strong the church is an instrument to direct people to salvation how many of you have noticed I new sign yeah okay a new sign outside and I think it’s pretty awesome and so God’s Way of life is easy to find it is hard to miss everyone say it’s easy to find and it is hard to miss okay the unclean will not journey on it and wicked foes will not go about on it it is not that people cannot find this way I think rather is that people hesitate to commit themselves to this way it’s not that people don’t know that the way is there people don’t want to step on it and people don’t want to commit to it because they don’t want to let go of a lot of things there I know what is that way the way is a person it’s Jesus that way is Jesus Christ and he must be accepted he must be accepted as your Lord and Savior and you know what when we accept him he also demands things from us you know what Daniel and uh and I was going to say Daniel and Nancy just got married Daniel and all I just got married right okay now those things those things that day will demand from them a lot of things it’s demanding those of you that are married it is absolutely awesome right yes okay married people help me out here okay those of you that are married marriage is awesome it’s the way to go but but marriage is demanding okay I need to act a certain way right because I’m a husband I need to act a certain way because I’m a father that’s the easiest to be father of four boys that are finding every day do hey you know as if they have you know their meetings every morning before you wake wake up like okay how are we going to turn our parents life into you know just who’s gonna who’s gonna do this who’s gonna do that and they and they go into this planning mode it feels like that on my end I know I’m not not on their end and stuff then she went to the ladies conference yesterday and I was I was I was with my boys I was putting them to sleep last night and all this stuff and I was like ah you know how awesome it was to just kind of just the house was then quiet they were all in bed and I was and then one is crying one day I will I’m sure right now it doesn’t it doesn’t feel like something that I will miss but you know one one day one day I’m sure but listen it’s the way in a Christian way the way with God is demanding just like marriage is demanding it takes something you give and you take so secondly a demanding way this is a demanding way a highway and we just read that 8th verse now verse 10 and those the Lord has rescued will return they will enter Zion with singing everlasting joy will crown their heads gladness and joy will overtake them and sorrow and sigh will flee away sorrow and cyah you know there’ll be no more stuff like that now it’s demanding why well I think that one cannot a person cannot walk or travel the way of life without a faith commitment we can’t say yeah yeah I have faith in Jesus Christ and yet not be committed because then it just kind of contradicts itself when you have faith in Jesus Christ you will you will you you will be committed this this is how the journey is starts okay the Ransom it talks about the ransomed and redeemed then will speak will rejoice and it starts with this this moment when the person gives their life their life to Jesus the person is committed all the guilt goes away all the all the accusations of the devil this is all you’ve done this you’ve done that you can’t be a Christian you can’t do this you can’t do that well yes guess what Jesus paid the price for me yeah and it’s a totally totally different perspective it also demands dedication salvation is not just a past experience it’s not just a you know something that happened in the past not it is a present reality your salvation is at work even right now okay it’s not something that just happened and that’s it and you forget about it it is it continues every single day discipleship it’s a daily experience and there must be no reservation you just kind of you know go in you you can’t say oh you know what I will just kind of hold on to some of the decent sins that you know that I will have some decent you know something not too big not too you know not too obvious and stuff okay we worry about the the growth of the liberal theology where it it cuts things from the Bible you know the Bible is true from the very beginning to the very end liberal theology will cut things out of the Bible well we’ll take all those it may be uncomfortable things and we’ll throw them out okay so there’s just you know things like you know the virgin birth oh we can’t understand that we can’t it’s not rational we need to cut it out snip it out miracles aa kind of you know we don’t know okay let’s cut it out let’s put the scissors through it you know other things the doctrine of of the Resurrection that Jesus really really raised from the dead okay we’re not sure let’s cut it up but let’s keep everything else in there well let’s cut this out okay and and and so how about some some morals you know staying pure before marriage or staying faithful in the marriage right so then you don’t go to the right and to the left but you just stay the course you see the Liberals will just ah yeah well how about some some even you know very very conservative conservative people it talks about the ties the tithe belongs to to the Lord and it says well you know what let’s snip this out let’s ignore it let’s let’s just move on let’s let’s not have compassion snip out compassion from the from the Bible and and then be indifferent whatever happens happens today I’m driving to church it was about seven o’clock in the morning and I I had this moment of indifference I’m just being very transparent not nothing like sinful and it’s like but but he here’s the thing I’m driving it’s so cold okay I’m shivering I’m just and I’m on the highway on the QEW right right before mr. soccer road and stuff and I look to the to the left and it was this big ball of black smoke the house was on fire I mean it was seven o’clock in the morning so cold so I was like aah and then I have those thoughts like well I need to call 911 right and so I need to tell you I broke the law I didn’t have my bluetooth but I just grabbed my phone and i i i i just just like that looking at you know on the road apparently should have pulled over and stuff right oh really no more guilt today whoo so so anyway so I called 911 and I told them I didn’t know exactly how and and and what because it was behind that sound wall and stuff but but then I I was looking around and says you only see white smoke right black smoke is something is burning something is you know so anyway so I was able to call and stuff but but there was this this moment of like not indifference but like like you know do I do it throw out you know maybe someone else has done it it’s just you know it’s like look we need to be people of like okay you know what no matter what I was actually even provided then the more I was thinking during the call and after the call even if they pull me over and I get a ticket for this I’m like okay this is the right thing today right so I need to do it but but indifference will try to creep into your life it will try to rob you of compassion and stuff hi how are you good to have you and so so let’s get rid of this this indifference okay let’s get rid of and be full of compassion how about these things like okay yeah you know the bhavani the Bible talks about you know I will be coming hey have a seat somewhere some FTC’s yeah and so the Bible talks about hey you know what we should not be missing public worships and you know a lot of people say oh yeah you know what pastor day I can worship wherever you know I can worship at home I cry I don’t need to come and well okay you can worship you can pray and I get that a lot you know from people because now we have like I you know prayer prayer ever everyday and stuff and occasionally I will have people’s like oh but pastor then I pray at home I’m like oh that’s awesome that you pray at home you know and and and that is that is that is awesome but it’s not the same thing right it’s not the same thing to come and pray in with your brothers and sisters and and together in the public place there’s just something about it you know what all this stuff I’m talking about it it costs you dedication it costs you know it’s a clearly marked way it’s a demanding way well you know what here’s a here’s another awesome news it’s a joyous way everyone’s a joyous way if you want to be full of joy get on that road okay get on that route and you will be full of joy and those and those the Lord has rescued will return they will enter Zion with what with singing with singing everlasting joy will crown their heads what an awesome thing and there would be no more sorrow inside no one no one will be ah you know that again just you know if you want to live a life of this you know every human life I think every you know this Christian life yearns for this utopia of just always love and always joy right that your life will always and today Valentine’s Day hey love right it’s all about love you know here’s the thing I think that it is possible to be in the place where you light and where your life is filled with love and joy it overflows but there will be some mirages some some some some pictures some something that you will see and you’ll see oh you know this is real so I will go and I will I will do this because this is real you know every Mirage every everything in our life like that that you see something in this world you know how it ends it always ends with the last minute disappointment it looks so amazing it looks so incredible and then the last minute it changes and you always think oh wow I didn’t think that it was going to be this way IIIi thought it would end differently and and see the problem with them is that they always promise you satisfaction it’s gonna be amazing it’s gonna be awesome but they never deliver you know like in the desert you see that the the Mirage that you know something but it’s you go there and it’s not really there but it promises you something’s like oh it’s gonna be awesome when I get there where you get there and it’s not that it’s always a disappointment see the fulfillment always vanishes and at the last moment leaving you frustrated and leaving you sometimes ashamed empty it then you say oh I wish I saw that coming before but you know what on that road of holiness God promises you something and those promises he always delivers on those promises and it talks about verse 7 and again this is very poetic you know language the parched ground shall become a pool you see something that is dry and and and maybe dead in your life will become a pool will become a stream of of water there will be life there God promises not to uh not to that those things will not just disappear on you but they will be a reality now here’s what it says in some 40 he lifted me out of the slimy pit out of the mud and mire and he set my feet on the rock and gave me a firm place to stand he put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to our God many will see and fear the Lord and will put their trust in him let me just finish with this and I’m gonna Robby can I ask you guys to come back and and we’re gonna do you are holy if I if we could there’ll be also the last thing I want to tell you guys is that this is the only way out okay the way of holiness it’s the only way out I don’t know if you see those little pictures those a thumbs up and stuff everyone’s like yeah yeah it’s pretty pathetic when I have to explain my it’s right there okay but it’s just because you can’t see those that were wondering okay thumbs up okay thumbs up the only way out the way of holiness okay found in Jesus Christ is the only way out of that of the dead end and you might be here today and you might feel man my life as a dead end I’ve tried everything I’ve tried walking to the left to the right I’ve tried moving and plowing forward I tried you know my friends the people around and they have failed me I’ve tried everything I’ve tried absolutely everything well friend if you’re here and you are in that spot I want to tell you look this is your way out this is the way that you should get on it is a spiritual spiritual way and it’s open to everyone to every sinner that desires freedom from guilt and freedom from from the ruin we know that storms are coming into our lives if you think that there is that there will be no storms in your life and in the future I think that you’re lying to yourself there will be storms in your life it’s just a way of life but I would rather face my storm with Jesus I would rather know that he’s there with me in the boat with me you know the story when he was in the boat with the with the disciples right and so I would rather have Jesus in my bone boat then then go then go and be be you know for me be it be a fool and think that I can face all my storms on my own it’s not realistic for me no matter how strong I think I am a storm is coming and so this this is just which is passing through if you’ve heard that before but listen it is true we’re just passing through on this earth we’re just passing through you know that you can’t relive yesterday there’s nothing there’s nothing you can do to bring back yesterday nothing but you can change today and you can change tomorrow you can do something about today you can do something about tomorrow and so today I’m here to encourage every single one of you let’s get on the way of holiness not I’m not talking about you know the religious way that just you know the very rigid dry you know concert no I’m talking about a life that is just that is just full of joy full of love full of Jesus that’s what I’m talking about because maybe you’re here and maybe your idea of of a Christian life is a very boring empty dry life and I can tell you when you really give everything to Jesus your life is everything but empty is everything but boring that life is awesome so let’s get on the way of holiness you