Sunday Sermon 1.15.22
Fear has a tendency to control us, it freezes us, paralyzes us, and will eat us up if we let it. This issue of fear is the heart of today’s message, but the body of the message is much bigger and more powerful than fear.
As we continue to look at a chapter that I feel encapsulates the challenge for us in 2022, let’s flip to Isaiah 51:4-8 and glean from it 6 relative points to help you through this day, this month and this year.
” Listen to me, my people; pay attention to me, my nation.”Isaiah 51:4a TPT
Point 1- My Nation
Here, we hear the voice of God calling to His nation, Israel, and because all scripture is useful for teaching and happened as examples to us, (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 10:6), we can understand that God is calling to our nation as well. Because I live in and love America, I realize that God is saying to His nation, America, “Listen to me, my people… my nation”.
The first point that we must remember and contend for is this – America was founded on a covenant with God. The Mayflower Compact, signed on 11.11.1620, aboard the ship, Mayflower by the Separatists and the Strangers (Pilgrims), stunningly stated this –
” Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith… a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and of one another, Covenant and combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic…”excerpt The Mayflower Compact, 1620
The intended purpose of this journey across the Atlantic by these separatists, was to establish religious freedoms in a new nation, dedicated to the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith. May we never forget this or allow this founding intention to be stolen, rebranded, or destroyed. America began on a covenant with God, we are indeed His nation.
God is calling to His nation, America – Give Attention to Me; turn your focus, choose to listen, intentionally pay attention, harken to me. “America, give ME your eyes and your ears“.
Oh, that we heed His call.
Point 2- My Power
” For I release my teaching to the nations, and I will cause the light of justice to rest on them. My righteousness is coming closer, and my salvation has gone out. My mighty arms will govern the people. The islands will trust in me and put their hope in the unveiling of my might.”Isaiah 51:4b-5 TPT
When we choose to pay attention to God, here’s what we are focusing on, looking to and recognizing:
- my law will go out from me
- my justice will be a light to the people
- my righteousness comes near
- my salvation has gone out
- my arms will judge the people
- the coasts and islands hope for me
- and the are waiting for my arm
We are focusing on the power of God, the might of His arm, the justice of His law, His right (as opposed to wrong) that is coming close, his ability to save, and bring hope.
Our God is powerful, His ways are right, His law is truth and He is our focus. His ability. His power. It is in His strong arm that this nation will find law and order, justice, right living, and true judgement. His strong arm is what we hope and wait for.
Point 3- My Reign
“Lift up your eyes to the heavenly realm and look at the Earth far below. Though the heavens disappear like smoke, though the Earth wears our like a garment, and though all the people die like gnats, my salvation will endure forever and my righteousness will never end!”Isaiah 51:6 TPT
Lift up you eyes, dear reader, to see Earth from from heaven’s realm, from God’s perspective. From there we understand that Earth and the skies will vanish and people will die. What we see will not last, it is temporary; things will dissipate like smoke and wear out like your old, comfy hoodie.
So, LIFT UP YOUR EYES. Shift where you are looking. Lift up your head, look up to God in the heavens. See things from His point of view, from heavens perspective, from the eternal. Don’t be Earth bound and driven by what you see – Look up! Earthly things are temporary.
“My salvation will be forever“. The word “salvation” here means, “welfare, prosperity, & victory” God’s wellbeing, and God’s prosperity will lead to His lasting and eternal victory!
“My righteousness will never be dismayed“. Although we don’t use the word dismayed anymore, here it means – “be abolished, break down by violence, confusion and fear”. Debbie’s translation – God’s right ways will never be abolished by any amount of violence, confusion or fear.
God’s kingdom will reign forever and ever, hallelujah…. (Revelation 19) Of His kingdom there will be no end. (Isa. 9:7) God will reign forever!
“He is the Head of every kingdom and authority in the universe.” Colossians 2:10
When we look up, we see things from an eternal point of view.
Point 4- My People
“So listen to me, you who care for that which is right, who treasure my teaching in your hearts…”Isaiah 51:7a TPT
You who have the Word in your hearts, you who care about right and wrong… Listen to the whispers of your conscience, listen to the truth pounding in your heart. Listen to my voice within you, my people. I am speaking to you from your heart and through your thoughts. Listen, my people.
Most of the time the truth that we seek, is already in our hearts and mind. God has embed it there. He has set eternity in the hearts of His people. It is in our DNA.
Point 5- DO NOT FEAR
“Do not fear the insults of others; do not be dismayed when they revile you. They are nothing for you to fear, for the moth will eat them up like a shirt and the worm will consume them like wool… ”Isaiah 51:7b-8a TPT
Holy schmokes, doesn’t this fit these days? We believers, but not only believers, tend to fear the insults of leaders. Revilings too… because revilings are “criticisms, and verbal abuse”. We hate being made fun of, canceled, shut down, and disrespected. We may even fear what “they” can do to us. We fear their terrible acts and the impacts on our belief systems.
Do not be “dismayed” in this sentence actually means, “don’t be shattered, broken or scared by their reviling”. Their insults and abuses are not to be feared, or revered. Colossians 2:8, tells us, “Beware that no one distracts you or intimidates you…”
Why? Because they are also temporary! And to prove it, we are given a picture of a moth eating a shirt. In the same way that “they” are eating at us, with insults and abuses, the Lord will send a simple, little moth, who also loves dark places too, and stays away from the light, and that hungry, winged instrument of God will eat away at them! The ones hurling insults, abuses, criticisms, and judgment will themselves be consumed.
And to strengthen this point about the moths – I learned that there are 2 kinds of moths.
- the webbing moth
- the casemaking moth
Similiarily, there are voices who create webs of lies and voices who make cases of falsehoods! God’s moths will eat up the webs that have been spun and the cases that have been made, and His justice will prevail.
My friend, we are charged to not fear these voices, to not be shattered by them or scared of their rantings. God will send His moths to eat away at the fabric of their falsehoods and destroy the caseload of evil intentions.
Colossians 1:13 reminds us, “He has rescued us from the tyrannical rule of darkness…” God knows what’s planned in the secret places of darkness, and His powerful, kingdom reign will always bring victory and light.
God says to His people, His nation – that His power is forever, so DO NOT FEAR. (what man can do to you.) God will fight for you, if you do your part. (Exodus 14:14-15)
Point 6- My Salvation
“ BUT my righteousness will last forever and my salvation from generation to generation.”Isaiah 51:8b TPT
(Or as The Message paraphrase puts it, “my salvation will last forever, my setting-things right will never be obsolete.”)
I love the BUTS of the Bible!
Criticism, insults, verbal abuses, yes.. BUT. Wham! That big “but” just turned everything around!
While all this mouthy abuse is happening, we are reminded that God’s setting-things right will never be obsolete and His salvation from knuckleheads with loud and big mouths will last forever. His answers and saving power is for us, our kids and their kids. Every generation has access to His saving power and Kingdom reign.
So, let’s wrap this up –
God’s nation, His people are being called on to focus their attention on His power, His kingdom reign, and to NOT FEAR what man can do to them, because His salvation and setting-things right is for today, this year and forever.
“Do not fear, people who care about what is right. Do not fear, my nation. Do not fear, my people”.
“This is a year of my powerful arm being displayed and My kingdom reign on Earth as it already is in heaven. So look up, change your perspective, look to me and listen to my Words, and do not fear the insults and criticisms, which are temporary.”
You see, fear is not the real issue. The coming of the powerful, Kingdom of God into this nation, through His people who have heaven’s perspective is the real issue. They will not fear the abuses of man because their allegiance is to the King of Kings, who reigns forever and whose salvation is enough for them and their kids, and their grandkids.
Wow! What a promise. Are you in?
Have a fearless day.