12 October, 2010

Your Past Is Not Your Future

Isaiah 43:18-21
18. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
19. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
20. The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.
21. This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Every one of us have three areas of our lives: Past, Present and Future.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what past, present, and future mean.
The past is what it says it is … … PAST – Already over.

The present is what it says it is … … PRESENT – Taking place right now.
The future is what it says it is … … FUTURE – What is to come.

In this life, there is always the possibility of two was to see things. There is always a positive and a negative outlook.
Sometimes it can be a good thing for you to look at the past.
Sometimes it can be a bad thing for you to look at the past.

And while it is true that glancing at the past can often times allow us to use it for a boost, on the other hand Satan can use it to pull you down.

I have people say things like this to me all the time:
“Well, I am trying Pastor D, but I already know how it will end up. It always ends the same. 
No matter how hard I try, the same thing always happens.”
People with that outlook are locked in on their past.
They are so sure of the out-come of future events that they make it happen that way!

For some who are reading this... you’ve had a rough past.
For some of you, your past history is not a good past history.
For some of you, the past is a hindrance  and it keeps you from getting what you want from God.
But regardless of your past you have an assurance that says … “YOUR PAST IS NOT YOUR FUTURE.”

I want you to know that it doesn’t matter what you may have done in your past … 
When you have repented of your sins,
When you have invited Jesus Christ into your life and surrendered your life over to him…
The only thing that you should ever see when you glance at the past is the color red.
RED ??? I'm talking about the shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary. 
That blood was shed for every mistake or failure you’ve ever made.
For the time you messed up and couldn’t recover.
For feeling like you’ve failed.
My friend, don’t base your future on your past mistakes and mishaps … 
Look to Jesus! 
He’s got a way in the wilderness and a river in the middle of you desert!
God’s got everything planned just how He wants it and there is nothing that can stop what God has started.
Again... Your Past Is Not Your Future!

Some of you just need to trust in God to plan your future and stop allowing the devil to rule and reign in your life. There is nobody that can do for you what God can!
He has all authority, all power, all knowledge, and all control of this entire universe. 
There is nothing that escapes his attention. No event is too great… or too insignificant to avoid his presence. There is no one to whom He is accountable. There is no authority with which he must consult. He has no equal, no counterpart, and not even an exact opposite. 
He is the only self-existing one! His plan will be carried out and even when it appears as if evil is triumphing. The reality is God’s plan is being placed into perfection. It is all in His control and He never makes a mistake! You might have experienced some ups and downs and your church hasn’t always been the way it used to be.
The reality is, it doesn’t matter what’s happened in your past, what pain has been caused...  all that really matters is the fact that God has put that stuff in the past!
He’s trying to tell you that YOUR PAST IS NOT YOUR FUTURE!

For some... Life might even seem as if it will never un-fold the way you want it too.
Allow me to tell you something:  If you just trust in God and never doubt the Lord will unfold your life in the way it should go.

Isaiah 35:1-8
1. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
3. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

In this passage, Isaiah is summarizing revival for us. In these few words, he was assuring the divided nation of Israel that God would take them from desert to glory. 

You’ve heard people say, "God works in mysterious ways," and he does. He is Spirit and he is sovereign and he is unfathomable in his holiness. We cannot fully understand him, and nothing limits the way that he works. Even though there is a bit of mystery about our God, can I tell you though, he is not completely unpredictable. He is consistently faithful and he is consistently good and loving toward all that are his. Even if his timing and his methods are unpredictable, his compassion and his love and his initiative are consistent throughout history. His compassion and his love and his initiative will be consistent in your life. By his faithfulness and consistency, I am assured that his compassion and his love and his action can be counted on in the future and for our eternity. 

To understand this template, let me point out four landmarks on the journey from desert to glory.

When God unfolds your life, it will be perfect and just how He made it to be!
If we can just realize that God has a plan for our life and when we totally submit ourselves unto God, He will unfold our lives into the most beautiful thing that we have ever seen.

God will take all the dry spots and the empty spaces of your life and fill them joy and healing and cause the desert of your life to overflow with rivers of living water.

God will make a way for your life to unravel and once we realize that ONLY God can do these things, the Lord will do His wondrous works and perform miracles in your life.

But ... We have to be willing to let go and just let God!

Truth be told, we all have times when we feel like we are lost in the wilderness. 

We have a sense for spiritual things. We believe in God. 
But when we look, we cannot see God. When we listen, we cannot hear him. 
When we try to walk in his ways, we stumble like the lame. And when we try to declare his name, we can make no sound at all. 
Have you ever been there? 
Do you sometimes feel like a man in the wilderness? 
Are you there today?
Let the blood of Calvary set you free from whatever it is that holds you back and keeps you from getting where you want to be with God.

Because … Your past is not your future!

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