"You Can't Live on Yesterday's Water".
If I wanted to get you excited about something, what would that something be? Recently, friends of ours decided to do something very exciting. We watched a video of Duane & Jenn telling their three boys that the family was going to Walt Disney World!!! What should have been a very exciting moment with lots of screaming and jumping up and down turned quickly into nervous thoughts of flying in a plane for the first time, and confusion about when this was going to happen. It almost seemed that the parents were more excited than the kids (don't worry, they went and had an incredible time...as I'm sure you guessed).
Can you think of exciting moments in your life? Perhaps from childhood or maybe more recently. I came across this quote from John Maxwell, "When your memories excite you more than the future, you're done." Hmm. What do you think? Is that true? I thought of the church, and how so often we get more excited about the past than the future. Isaiah 43:18-21 says,
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
If you read a few verses before verse 18, Isaiah reminds the reader of how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt. As always, we read scripture with the balance of all of scripture. And you wouldn't have to read much to know God doesn't intend the people to not remember the mighty things He has done for them in the past (in fact, there were many yearly festivals to remind the people of the past). I think it comes to that word "dwell". We remember the past, but we don't live there. And then Isaiah goes on to talk about providing "water in the wilderness". You can't live on yesterday's water. The water I drank yesterday gave me strength to live...yesterday. I need to drink more water to give me strength...today. Are you excited about how God is going to provide for you today? God has done wonderful things; throughout history, in our church, in our lives...but the following words are for us too, aren't they? "See, I am doing a new thing!" The best is yet to be.
Sunday Sermon Recap
Guardrails. The Consumption Assumption.*
*Sunday's Message is based on teaching from Pastor Andy Stanley at North Point Community Church. I've been asked for my manuscript (what I preached from). If you'd also like me to send or print you a copy, let me know.
Key Verse from Sunday: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." -Matthew 6:24, NIV
God Is Not After Your Money. He's After Your Devotion. And money (our stuff) often gets in the way.
The Ditch on One Side of the Financial Road is "consumption" and the other is "hoarding".
We're either a consumer or hoarder. Spender or saver. The problem is, both ditches assume there's no God.
Greed is simply the assumption that it's all for my consumption.
How to avoid the ditches on the financial road:
(Matthew 6:21, Numbers 18:26, Malachi 3:10).
2. Save (Hoard).
3. Live (Consume).
Do you want financial freedom? Then live by God's principles, and drive within His guardrails.
When we give to God first, it helps us keep our stuff and our relationship to it in check.
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." -Matthew 6:33
Question for Reflection
How does giving to God first (before we save or buy stuff) help us live in financial freedom?
I welcome your comments.