Walking With God!
Isaiah 2:5:"O house of Jacob, come ye, let us walk in the light of the Lord."
Aaron Burr had the opportunity to ascend to the heights in the political life of this nation.
Historians say that his ambition coupled with his inability to deal properly with opposition ruined him.
After an industrious career in the Continental Army, he became one of the leading lawyers
in the state of New York.
At one time, he was a candidate for the presidency of the United States,
but he lost after a tie vote led to the House of Representatives; and they elected Jefferson instead,
and leaving Burr to be Vice President.
After killing Alexander Hamilton, his archenemy in a duel, Burr's reputation plummeted.
Ambition led him to the Southwest where he hoped to raise his own army
and conquer Texas, perhaps establishing a Republic with himself as its head.
For this venture, he was brought to trial.
Though he was acquitted, his reputation was ruined,
and he lived the rest of his life as a lonely, defeated man.
The cause of the selfish ambition which destroyed Arron Burr can be traced
to an event that occurred while he was a student at Princeton,
where his father and his grandfather, the great Jonathan Edwards,
had both been president.
During this time, the entire college was experiencing a great revival.
Burr shut himself up in his room, saying, that before the night was over,
he would settle the matter of his relationship to God.
Tradition tells us that late that night, the students living near him heard him
raise his window and shout, "Good-bye, God"!
This was the turning point of his life.
In our time, the words of Aaron Burr have grown into a chorus of multitudes
who have said good-bye to God and to His grace.
Walking with God is made joyous by the promise of the future. (Isaiah 2:1-4)
Isaiah 2:1-4 presents the most beautiful and poetic descriptions of the future
of the redeemed that you will find anywhere in the Scriptures.
It is apparent that the future exultation of the Church is found in these words:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house
shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills;
and all nations shall flow unto it." (Isaiah 2:2)
The Temple built on Mount Moriah was referred to by the phrase,
"The Mountain of the Lord's House."
This was undoubtedly a prophecy of the future exultation that belongs
to the Church of the redeemed.
The Church is destined to rise up like a veritable mountain so that all eyes shall see it,
and no one will be able to ignore it.
The Church may struggle with many trials during its earthly journey.
And it may be at the point of despair because of the loneliness experienced in a world filled
with ungodliness, but it has a destined glory that no force will be able to deny it.
There is coming a time when the Church will be recognized by all as God's instrument
in bringing in His Kingdom, and in spreading His gospel to a dying world.
We often use the expression, "It's a small world."
Though it is a small world, it is far from being a unified world.
However, the Scriptures affirmed that the time is coming when multitudes will come
from all nations and all walks of life to worship God:
Isaiah 2:3: "And many people shall go and say,
Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;
and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his ways,
and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
Jesus spoke about this when He said, "And many shall come from the east
and the west and sit down in the kingdom of God."
Jesus was describing a world-wide pilgrimage that includes people of all races
in the Kingdom of God.
Man has always hungered for peace, and yet has never been able to achieve it.
The Bible has promised: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks: nations shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:4)
There's something about that promise that quickens the heart of every person who reads it.
This kind of peace will be ours throughout all eternity.
Walking with God will help us to avoid the pitfalls of a barren prosperity. (Isaiah 2:6-9)
Isaiah 2:6-9 speaks of a barren prosperity.
We might call it a prosperous poverty.
We are urged to walk in the light of God lest we stumble into the hidden pitfalls
that a barren prosperity holds for us.
The people of Isaiah's time, like people of our own, seem to have filled their lives
with other things.
He describes them by saying that "God has forsaken them
because they be replenished from the east." (Verse 6)
In other words, their lives were filled up with other things.
It used to be that when a motel was full, you will see the "No Vacancy" sign.
This means there is room for no one else.
There are many people today who, if they were honest,
would put a "No Vacancy" sign around their neck because they have filled their life,
with their own plans and activities, and there is no room for God.
The people are pictured as being filled with what the East has to offer.
Of course, the East was the direction from which the caravans came,
and the tradesmen brought material goods, riches, and foreign ways of life.
Isaiah describes the land as being "full of silver and gold
full of horses
full of idols."
(Isaiah 2:7, 8)
It seems strange but barrenness is often brought about by prosperity.
But history records the proof of that sequence.
This barrenness was not brought on by drought or famine or financial depression.
It was brought on by abundance.
The most frightening part of the barrenness comes from the fact that God had turned His back
on the people: "Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob,
because they be replenished from the east." (Isaiah 2:6)
It is a costly prosperity that achieves the wealth of the world while losing
the treasures of heaven.
Man is in great danger when he forsakes God, but he is really without hope
when God forsakes him.
Another result of a prosperous poverty is living by superstition
instead of by faith in God.
Part of what the people are full of are the "soothsayers like the Philistines." (Isaiah 2:6)
The astrologers and the fortune tellers came from the east.
And they were practicing the same superstitious images which were known by the Philistines.
Again and again, the Old Testament warns the people of God that these kinds of people
are to be looked upon as enemies.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 states firmly: "There shall not be found among you anyone
useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer,
or a consultor with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord."
There is only One who is able to guide our destinies, and that One is the heavenly Father Himself.
To attribute such force to anyone else is to say goodbye to God.
There is not a more frightful way to live life than to live under the influence of superstition
While I was conducting a revival in Seoul South Korea, the pastor, and several members,
and I came to the last visit that we would make while in Seoul.
We entered the compound which had no grass.
It was 18 below zero so there was a fire in the middle of the compound of four dwelling places.
There was a dog playing outside in the dirt.
We entered the home of a lady who lived alone in her one room.
My interpreter spoke to her in Korean, and he read to her from a tract that had English
and Korean side by side.
The tract was the Four Laws which told that are all sinners,
and that God loved us and gave his Son who died for our sins and that all who would
trust in Jesus as their Savior would be forgiven of all their sin and have everlasting life.
My interpreter finished the presentation, and had prayer with the lady.
After the prayer, she rose up with tears and anger on her face.
And I wondered what had made her so mad.
She had paper banners plastered over her door and on her walls,
and she started ripping all the banners off the walls.
Then she took all those banners and placed them in that fire that was burning outside.
Then she came back with a look of joy on her face, and said something to my interpreter.
She was so happy, and I was still puzzled as to what it happened.
When we got outside, my interpreter told me that a witch doctor had given her
the banners to ward off evil spirits.
He went on to tell me that she she came back into her house and said,
"I am now a Christian.
I am now a child of God. I no longer need these things."
She no longer had to live under superstition because God was her God,
He will guide her and protect her.
Now she will be walking with God.
Barrenness is further seen as the people lived without forgiveness:
Isaiah 2:9: "And the mean (lowly) man bowed down,
and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not."
This describes a kind of universal apostasy existing in the poor, as well as the rich,
who bow down before the trinkets of prosperity and worship them.
Man's attempt to live on his own in such a way that he becomes God forsaken,
and that amounts to a kind of "camouflaged suicide."
Only God is able to lead us through life, and will keep us from the dangerous pitfalls
of a barren prosperity.
Walking with God also delivers us from judgment. (Isaiah 2:12-17)
Everywhere in the Bible, we are reminded that this world will perish.
The Bible tells us that this will be brought about by the purpose of God,
and that in that moment, we shall be summoned to the final judgment before the throne of God.
So, when heaven is rolled up like a scroll, and we see the perishing of all things,
we shall know what is meant by the Day of the Lord.
The Scripture vividly tells us that the death of the world is to come about by God's shaking
of a dying world until every earthly thing will be released from its deadly grasp.
Isaiah says in Isaiah 2:19: "And they shall go up into the holes of the rocks,
and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty,
when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."
The writer of the Book of Hebrews mentions the same thing as he says that God has promised:
"yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." (Hebrews 12:26)
The Day of the Lord will be a time when men find themselves shaken loose
from the material abundance for which they have sold their very souls.
"In that day a man shall cast off his idols of silver, and his idols of gold,
which they made each one for himself to worship." (Isaiah 2:20)
In that day it will be too late to do away with that which brought about their downfall.
This pictures men as being cursed by what they possess because they have been
possessed by their possessions.
There is coming in time when all men will realize that man is nothing apart from God:
"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted?"
Where is the blank check that can buy off the trumpet of heaven that shall mark the end of time,
and when the power of God that shall bring every man to account?
We try to prepare for every emergency of life, but there comes a final emergency
for which there is no preparation other than a faith in God.
Man, who is so prone to trust in himself, needs to be reminded that his life is no longer
than the last breath that he breathes.
Death can come at at any moment.
One day, life's portrait will be given its last brush mark.
In 1937, Evangeline Booth, the daughter of the founder of the Salvation Army,
returned to the United States after traveling abroad for three years.
When asked by an interviewer, "What is amiss in the world?"
She quickly answered, "There is just one thing wrong with the world, and it is this
-- the world is trying to get along without God, and it cannot be done."
Jesus Christ lived among us, and died for us, that by faith we might be born spiritually
into His Kingdom and walk in His presence.
"Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord."
"When you walk with God, you can do anything
It doesn't matter what problems life may bring
You may have your days of ups and downs
But if you call out, He'll be around
When you walk with God, your heart will sing
From the love and joy His presence brings
Your path will be clear, for He is the light
But you must walk with faith and not by sight
When you walk with God, you join a Holy Team
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is what I mean
They will shower you with an abiding faith
And fill your heart with love and not with hate."
-- Walk with God by Ellen Bailey
Sermon adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White