January 24th, 2016
Today we were challenged to put our trust in God and walk in His light. As we continue to read through the book of Isaiah, we read that those who walk in the light will be made joyous of the promises that the future holds – where God’s house will be exalted and converts will come from all nations. Rather than staying close to the things that bring darkness in our lives, we can avoid the pitfalls of a barren prosperity by running after and being abundantly filled and blessed by God if we choose to walk in His light.
Isaiah 2:5 (NLT): “Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord!”
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT): “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
Matthew 24:13-14 (NLT): “But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
Listen to hear more from Pastor Dan and come visit our church, The Branch, Sunday at 10 AM in the Long Branch neighbourhood in Etobicoke!
so last week we we started talking about Isaiah you guys remember what we talked about Isaiah chapter six when he had a vision when he was called who will go right so so it’s it is it was it was awesome today I want to talk about something that is even more challenging everyone say challenging okay because this is gonna be challenging I I want to talk to all of us including myself about the fact of walking with God walking with God what does it mean to you to walk with God come on to walk with God it means what follow him yeah follow him that’s awesome yes anyone else to walk with God is to communicate with him really having a relationship with him awesome now to have a relationship with someone it is it means commitment how many of you love commitment whoo okay commitment it’s something like this this world this society is not talking too much about commitment because it it requires work it requires that sometimes you need to say no to some things in your life that’s what commitment requires and then you have to say yes to something because you’ve committed to something I think I’ve told you that when I was a youth pastor I was and we had different fundraisers and stuff and I would I would challenge my youth to to come out to an event and they were just saying oh yes yes pastor then I will be there I will be there unless something else comes up it was like yeah yeah yeah yeah I’m there totally unless I’m like wow guys that’s not commitment right like if you say you’re gonna be there you’re gonna be there and and so so that’s what walking with God is and so we started talking about this this verse I believe that it’s that it’s sort of a theme for this year the second chronicles chapter 7 and verse 14 if my people who are called by my name right well what sorry humble themselves and pray and seek his face and then turn from their wicked ways then he says I will hear from heaven and I will answer their prayers and I will hear the heal their land and I think that we need that how many of these things that we need that you know often we pray for things and the answer we don’t see the answer but the answer is you know the answer is is always there we might sometimes wait the answer might be yes or no or wait right but but we need to also fulfill some of the commitments that we have we need to pray when to seek his face we need to turn from our wicked ways and and then he will hear from heaven it wasn’t there was a guy ok today we’re gonna be we’re gonna be studying Isaiah chapter 2 and verse 1 to 22 we’re not gonna read the whole thing now but throughout the message I will read up portions of that scripture uh but verse 5 says this come descendants of Jacob let us walk in the light of the Lord walk in the light of the of the of the Lord what does it mean to walk in the light of the Lord means to be close to him it means to say no to certain stuff that then brings darkness into our lives where there is light you know that the Bible says the darkness white please it’s gone there was a guy by the name of Aaron Burr how many of you have heard of Aaron Burr before not too many of you okay here’s the thing it was a very popular guy he was uh he was he had a lot of abilities a lot of opportunities in his life and and he he quickly you know and his career quickly rose to the very very top he lived in the United States and the historians tell us that he was a very very ambitious man you know how many of you you don’t have to but how many of you are very very ambitious you want to accomplish a lot of things and so he was a very ambitious men and so his ambition couple with his inability to meet opposition was his ruin’d it proved that just kind of ruined his life and so he had this incredible career in the continental army and then he became one of the leading lawyers in the United in the in New York State and then at some point he even became one of the candidates to be President of the United States and so the vote was tie tied and then the the houses were a House of Representatives had to make a decision so they elected Jefferson how many of you have heard of Jefferson okay but he came like they tied but then they chose Jefferson and so burr became the the vice president they made him vice president and so after you know back then you know they had those duels and they had you know they had the disagreements and stuff and so they would settle them and so he happened to have this this this duel with Alexander Hamilton and so he killed him and after he killed him his reputation plummeted he became a very very bitter man and so after that he he he he became very so bitter that even you know he became bitter with the government and all this stuff and so he wanted to create his own army to conquer the the land of Texas and because of that he was brought to justice he would he was acquitted but he nevertheless he became even more bitter he became lonely and all this stuff ruined his his reputation now the route in his life his route of selfish ambition destroyed him completely so today I want to tell you don’t be bitter and don’t be even more bitterly ambitious because that will ruin you that will ruin your life you’re not gonna get anywhere with that that you will sort of sort of you know walk over people to get some where you want to be it’s not godly it’s not what what God wants us to be and so but all this stuff how did he become like that can be traced to a very early story in his life Aaron Burr and it was when he was a student at Princeton and when he was a student of Princeton his father and grandfather the great Jonathan Edwards they had been both you know presidents and so during that time in Princeton he there was a great revival people wanted to look after the Lord and search and seek him and turn from their wicked ways you see now we talk a lot about revival but we don’t want to turn from our wicked ways we want the blessings but we don’t want to sort of fulfill the criterias what why okay you want the blessings and you’re gonna get the blessing but you need to turn away from some of the stuff and so the story goes on that that he could he was in his room and he was wrestling with God wrestling with him and he said till the end of fill this day is finished I will make a decision whether I will follow God or I will reject him and the story goes that some students could hear him in his room at the end of the day screaming words goodbye God he turned away from God and all this bitterness all this stuff in his life could be traced back to that story could be back it could be traced back to that moment when he said no to God and he depended on his own ambitions and that was a turning point in his life do you know that there there are turning points in your life there are moments that define you there are moments where you will either follow God and just be so a you know gun hole for him or you will turn away from God and you will you will walk in darkness and so and so Aaron Burr and burr he he said farewell to God and to His Holiness he didn’t know what and he did not want to walk with God but but for those who choose to live and walk in the light right this verse says let us walk in the light of the Lord’s for those that choose that choose to walk in the light of the law of the Lord there are blessings everyone say blessings and so today I want to challenge you to walk in the light of the Lord don’t be like don’t be like birth don’t be like the one that is that has turned away from God and so if you choose to walk in the light of the Lord for those who choose to do that they are made joyous by the promises of the future you know that God promises you an amazing future you know that you know maybe there are some people that you know there are that that might be discouraged with with their life and they don’t see hope for the future they they don’t see that there’s something good that is going to happen in their life and and and so there is there’s promises in the Bible and so okay Isaiah chapter 2 and verses 1 to 4 let me just read this so this is what it says this is a vision that Isaiah son of Anna’s saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all the most important place on earth it will be raised above the other hills and people from all over the world will stream there to worship people from many nations will come and say come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of Jacob’s God there he will teach us his ways and we will walk in his path and those just some amazing words check this out let me read this again come to the house of gods of Jacob’s God there he will teach us his ways and we will walk in his path for the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion his word will go out from Jerusalem the Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks nation will no longer fight against nation nor train for war anymore now we see this today all the time tell me tell me of one nation that does not take precautions and prepare themselves for war tell me one nations that does not have an army that nation would be would be would be do you have a nation they have no army no army they’re only on on an island would be too too far to go and attack them I guess way too many beaches and volcanoes look those Thanks those those those countries are those countries are our our you know sometimes it could be dangerous right but the Bible says that there will be time that the Lord Himself will be mediating between the nations between Costa Rica and other nations okay the Lord is protecting Costa Rica yeah and so there is this exaltation of the church inverse a 1 and a 1 through 4 it’s just this beautiful poetic description of of the future of those that that live for God and they are this is what we find this and then the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all it would be the highest of all the most important place on earth listen there is a time coming that his church will be the most important place on earth isn’t that awesome and so it will be raised above all other hills and people from all over the world will stream there to worship now I think this prophecy is just the beginning of the future really exultation of of the church and those that follow that follow him I think the church is destined to rise up and really be a strong strong influence on this neighbourhood on this country the church is powerful how many of you believe that that you you you are the church and together we are powerful for God we are powerful don’t let anyone tell you all you know it’s just Church hey what are you going on I’m just going to church no no church is powerful Church of Jesus Christ has the authority on this earth don’t don’t don’t be trapped in this idea that all it’s just Church it’s just all it’s just you know it’s just a handful of it’s just you know 25 30 of us meeting together and just no no we are powerful in this neighborhood because of our getting together because of our prayers this neighborhood this neighborhood is being influenced by God God influences this neighborhood God influences the GTA Tirana Church has the power to change the neighborhood Church has the power to change the nation converts from all nations I love this the Bible says that people from all nations will come and worship Him as as as one there will be worshipping together it will be worshiping together people from many nations will come and say come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of Jacob’s God there will be he will teach us his ways and walk in his paths for the Lord’s teaching we’ll go out from Zion his word will go out from from Jerusalem okay in Matthew chapter 8 and verse 11 that many shall come down from the east and west and shall sit down in the kingdom of God in the kingdom of heaven that many will come from many nations from all over you know what that tells me tells me that don’t put any limits on the people that you know you don’t what maybe you know and so that’s even more onus on us because you might know that the people that you know are going through some tough times are going are searching for God and I think that we are called right we know that we are called to tell them about Jesus tell them about God then it talks the Peace of God’s eternity people have always hungered for peace right I mean we hear on the news what they call for peace they want peace peace peace peace peace and yet the news channels are filled with what with violence with what’s going on the shooting and it wasn’t in Saskatchewan now okay it violence upon violence upon violence and that’s all we hear the nation’s call for call for peace there’s no peace verse 4 says they will hammer than their swords into plowshares they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks nation will no longer fight against nation no train for war anymore there will be a time like that so it also says in Matthew 24 it says this end here of wars and threats of wars but tune and you will hear of wars and threats of wars but do not panic yes these things must take place these things must take place but the end won’t follow immediately nation will go to war against nation and Kingdom against Kingdom there will be famines and earthquakes in earthquakes in many parts of the world and the good news about the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world so that all nations will hear it and then the end will come now if I understand Jesus’s footnote hear what he’s saying correctly he was really saying that this promise is never to be really experienced until his second coming to this earth his second coming to this which means in other words we should not expect this peace between nations and all this this until until the Millennium until he comes in rules on this earth for a thousand years then there will be no fights between the nations he will the Bible says dispute this international affairs and dispute he will bring peace to those international disputes now so those who walk in the in the ways of the Lord’s for those who walk with the Lord they have successful lives how many of you want to have successful life yes and so then a you can live on this earth and you can have a bright future with Jesus Christ you can have a bright future with Jesus Christ also in eternity so if you are one of those people they avoid the pitfalls of a barren prosperity let me just explain to you what this barren prosperity is chapter 2 verses 6 & 6 to 9 come descendants of Jacob let us walk in the law in the light of the Lord for the Lord has rejected his people that descendants of Jacob because listen to this this is this is incredible because they have filled their land with practices from the east and with sorcerers as the fullest Philistines do they have made alliances with pagans Israel is full of silver and gold there is no end to its treasures their land is full of war horses there is no end to its chariots their land is full of idols the people worship things they have made with their own hands so now they will be humbled and all with and all will be brought low do not forgive them now the speaks of this this barren prosperity this this or someone might might might even say this prosperous a prosperous poverty how does that make even sense right prosperous poverty well I I think that we are encouraged to walk with God number one right to walk with God in the light of God and we we we should not stumble we should not stumble into those pitfalls of barren prosperity and so the people of Isaiah’s times like people that live in this time here today they were falling into pitfalls in their lives something that was perceived as prosperity having things being a lot of things was actually Baran was actually in effective in their lives do you know that things and even in old stars in Hollywood they have absolutely everything the athletes they have everything and there is this perception that having things and having more of those things will fulfill you will make you you know prosperous and it’s so deceiving because prosperity itself alone doesn’t bring fulfillment you can have all the things in the world but if you lose your soul what else like what is what good is that there’s no good to that so in other words they were filled up with goods and philosophies of the East now why why East well it was it was actually where all the the the trade was coming from the philosophies is that the influence was coming and that represents the world today the philosophies the the the influence that creeps into the church that creeps into the lives of our people our lives and takes over and we get full of this stuff have you ever been on the trip and you want to find a motel or something usually multi-thousand says no vacancy if we were honest with our with ourselves and with God today and I hope that we are we need to be you know often we would have to put up low sign hanging around the are our neck and say no vacancy because often we fill ourselves throughout the week through our in our lies with stuff it takes room that is really meaningless and then there is no vacancy there’s no room for the things of God in our lives there’s no room for the things of God in our lives the prosperity the people are pictured as being filled with what the East had to offer right so the the foreign influence that the the caravans were coming from full of silver and gold full of horses full of idols this in effectiveness or the barrenness it seems strange that that that Baroness is often brought on by prosperity the look often that’s that’s what it is people that are prosperous that have everything they often in their lives feel empty isn’t it isn’t it you know sort of like a enlightening and in the revelation that we still run after those things prosperity but we know that prosperity is not going to bring the fulfillment in our lives there are people in countries that have absolutely nothing and they would say I have everything I needed in my life when a person has Jesus in their life they have everything that they need in their in their in their life see this Baroness was not brought on by by drought and famine or financial depression but it was brought by abundance it says that they they they they had you know so much gold and so much silver and horses and and and and and and and all that and all the influence in stuff and yet they were just empty and effective so the most beautiful part of this emptiness Oh Baroness comes from the fact that that God has turned his back on the people Isaiah and verse 6 to 6 for the Lord has rejected his people that descendants of Jacob because they have filled their land listen with practices from the air from the east and with sorcerers as the Philistines do they have made alliances with the pagans it is a costly prosperity listen to me today it is a costly prosperity that achieves the wealth of the world while really losing the the treasures that you can gain in heaven it is very very costly that we would gather for ourselves the treasures here on this earth and yet at the same time lose the treasure in heaven it’s not worth it everyone say it’s not worth it not it’s not let’s gather ourselves some treasures in heaven rather than here on this here on this earth people are in great I think danger when they forsake God but they are without hope when God forsake or sykes them you know that that there is a moment there’s a moment I will talk about it in just a second there’s a moment where we can go too far and then God turns away from us if we don’t talk about that today because it’s not a popular thing because we only talk about in our churches about how God loves you and there is you know second and third and fifth and tenth chances and yes God is a God of second chance God will give you a chance but there’s a moment there is a moment and we read about it in in the Bible when when God here look God rejected them he turned away from them another result of this of a prosperous poverty is that of living by superstition instead of by the faith in the will of God now if I can tell you this I this world is full of superstitions superstitions make people be a little bit better sometimes but they are pitfalls let me tell you this do not do not engage in superstitions engage in the faith that you can have in the will of God because if God’s will is something for your life and you discover it don’t turn into superstitions part of what the people were really full of where the sorceress as the Philistines do right sorcerers and from the east it had come you know account it came astrologers and fortune tellers and the practices of the superstitions magic known to the Philistines that’s what the Philistines did and it’s such a dangerous ground when people of God engage in superstitions calling people find out what is my future what is this and you know what and the devil will come and and and he will tell you all that’s not so bad it’s there and I will read you in a second it’s terrible God absolutely detest set and here in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 18 okay Deuteronomy 18 10 to 12 it absolutely states the truth this is how God feels about this look for example never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering do not let your people practice fortune-telling okay or use sorcery or interpret or omens or engage in witchcraft or cast spells or function as mediums or psychics or call forth the spirits of the dead another who any anyone who does these things is the detestable to the Lord those are some strong words we should not engage in any of that stuff you see the world is full of people there are lost and they want hope for the future or they want to connect with someone that they knew in the past and so they would engage in you know in in some of those things fortune-telling and and and in witchcraft and psychic of activities the programs now are so popular supernaturals or like is the supernatural supernatural or something like that that just those things are dangerous and the Lord says he did tests that there’s only one who is able to guide our destinies you want to know your destiny then trust in the one that created you trust in the one that has your destiny in his hand and that is your heavenly Father don’t go to people they say oh I can tell you the future I can tell you what you’re all about I could this is not from God to attribute such force to anyone else is to really depart from from from faith no I think it’s a really frightful life to live under superstition and so the Baroness was a really it could could be seen in the people that lived without forgiveness because it says so there so now they will be humbled and all will be brought low so humbled right humbled do not forgive them now this describes a kind of departure is that that brings you know those that are rich in those things engaging those things are are enticed by you know how beautiful prosperity is and and all those things do not go there genuine happiness comes from a forgiveness of God you believe that you want to be happy in your life allow God to forgive you come under the forgiveness of God then you’re gonna be happy then you’re gonna be fulfilled you know it’s it’s said in Adam all died in Adam all died in Christ shall all be made alive in Christ when you trust Christ when you come under Christ you will be alive now they those that that follow Jesus that that live according to his laws they are delivered from certain judgment in Isaiah chapter 2 in verse 12 let’s read this for the Lord of heavens armies has a day of reckoning ok Judgment Day he will punish as a proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted he will cut down the tall Cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty Oaks of Bashan and he will level all the high mountains and all the lofty Hills he will break down every high tower and every fortified a wall he will destroy all the great trading trading ships and every magnificent vessel human pride will be humble check this out human pride will be humble and human arrogance will be brought down only the Lord will be exalted exalted on that day of judgment now when we think about it really only God is the one that should be exalted there should be no place for prayer for pride in our lives right no place for pride in our life a proud person not a person that is pleasing to God we should fight against any pride in our lie in our lives if if there’s pride coming into your life fight it don’t think that you are all that and more because if you’re gonna start thinking that you’re all that and more this is the way where we where we where we take off where we derail our lives because we all of a sudden start thinking that I can do it on my own I can do it on my own and the Bible says the only only God can be exalted when the world dies everywhere in the Bible we read that that the world one day will perish and the Bible tells us that that this will be brought on on this world by God God will be instrumental in in that and so and so then everyone will be summoned for this Judgment Day and so when God shakes all things the Bible says that God will shake all things and that’s verse 19 when the Lord rises to shake the earth his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground I love this when he rises to shake the earth his enemies will crawl into any crack any hole that they can find in the ground they will be running away from him when the Lord will shake a dying world now the Hebrews says this once again I will shake not only the earth but I will shake the heavens when people have waited too too long now this this is really really powerful verse 20 of the second chapter on that day of judgment their will they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship they will leave their gods to the rodents and bats now check this out there is a time there is a time and I started saying that that there is a time when we go too far and we never repent of our sins and that’s when God is a just God he’s a loving ever he’s a just God there will be a time when you see here in that judgment it says that he that that then the people will turn away from all the silver and gold and all the things that they have worshipped that they have made in their with their own hands but the Bible says it will be it’ll be too late and then it will be too late Wow Pastor Dan though I can’t believe that you’re talking about that yes there will be a day now we just want things to just kind of make us feel good and sweet and tickle our ears there will be a day that that that people have waited too long maybe you’re here today and you think oh I still have time I still have time to turn away from from those things in my life there is still a time I’m young I am you know in my 30s and 40s and 50s to have time that is I still have time to do all that stuff you know what the Bible says that our life it’s very very fragile we do not know what’s gonna happen tomorrow you know we are plagued with all kinds of stuff in our life sicknesses my family now is sick we didn’t plan on it the boys want to come to church they want to go to school they want to get out of the house because they get this you know fever the the cabin fever fever that they they’re driving us of the wall you know and and because they want to get out well they they got they got sick they had this stomach flu the fountains of not so much joy ill since this it is it is unbelievable but you know what it is a tragic moment when a person is possessed by their possessions it’s a tragic moment in our life when we are possessed by the things that we have we think that we have that we are in possession of those things but in fact our lives are possessed by the thing by it by those things there will be a time when self-sufficiency perishes it will be dead and so there is a time when all people will realize that humans are nothing but nothing apart from God how many of you know that already that we are nothing apart from God but I don’t want us to just say it I want us to know it because there’s too many things that we say just kind of saying those things but look we need to know it and look Isaiah chapter 2 and verse 22 do not put your trust in mere humans do not put your trust in mere humans they are as frail as breath what good are they now show me show me a bank account that can buy you more time that can pro the trumpet that will one day sound show me that there is no such thing we try to prepare ourselves for every emergency we try to buy you know insurance this is you know insure this and sure that and sure you know everything and yet we don’t insure our lives like we should for eternity we put so much trust in humans we should we put so much trust in the things that we can’t see yet we don’t put that much trust in the things that are beyond what we can see the things that are really real that matter now some someday this portrait that God is painting your life he will he will he will put the last brush stroke and that masterpiece will be finished someday in 1937 Evangeline booth who was the daughter of general booth okay she was traveling extensively and when she came back the interviewer asked her what’s wrong with the world he’s seen everything what’s wrong with the world and without waiting any and even the moment she she answered well there’s just one thing wrong with the world and that is this the world is trying to get along without God and it can’t be done the world is trying to get get along without God and it can’t be done see Jesus lived among us and he died he paid the price for us that that that by faith we might we might be born again that we might be born into the presence of God that’s why that first verse come okay it’s a it’s a challenge come let us walk in the light of the of the Lord come let’s walk in the light of the let’s not put our trust in humans and superstitions and in anything that is that that will pass don’t put your trust in it in any of those things put your trust in in God and then you will succeed then you will then you will succeed you want to live a fulfilled meaningful life here it is let’s walk in the light of the Lord