RAP SHEET 1/24/21
ICE BREAKER: Describe your dream vacation!
This week, we looked at the end of Exile for the Israelites in Babylon. Isaiah wrote to them to prepare them to RENEW their lives a they headed back to their homeland.
To RENEW is to RESUME with RESOLVE.
What are some things that you STOPPED doing in 2020 that you need to Renew your commitment to?
What are some areas of your life that you feel are stuck that you need to ask God for Renewal in?
The Lord spoke through Isaiah and reminded the captives of the signature story in their history - the escape from Egypt. This moment fully displayed God's power and might, as well as his justice when he defeated the Egyptian army! God was anchoring their hope in the remembrance of a former escape from Exile.
Just as soon as God reminded them of their storied past, he then said, "Forget the past events, do not remember the former things!" God was using a play-on-words, not to convince them to actually wipe these memories from their minds, but to compare the past events to what he was getting ready to do in their future!
Next, God said three things:
"I am about to do something new"
God moves from talking about their past, to talking about their future. God is getting ready to orchestrate events that will open up the opportunity to escape exile. This was a challenge for Israel to not get stuck in their past! Sometimes we can get so comfortable with how God worked in our past, that we run the risk of missing how he is working in our future!
"It has already begun"
After giving a future promise to do something new, God now turns his attention to their present. God lets them in on a secret - the big thing coming in the future, is already at work right now! It takes a lot of faith to believe that God is working in your life before you actually see the finished product. True faith is choosing to believe that God is using and redeeming every part of your life, even the hardest parts!
"do you not see it?"
God ends with a question that is as applicable today as it was back then. Are we living in a way where we see evidence of God's work around us? Are we so stuck in the past, or so worried about the future, that we miss what God is trying to do RIGHT now.
God was rescuing His people from a 70 year interruption. 70 years in Babylon took a lot out of the nation. It was time for Renewal, and God had a promise that it was coming soon. Not only that, but God was already working to make this happen.
How do we live a life of Renewal? We finished Sunday's message by quoting the apostle Paul:
"Do not be conformed to this age,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2)
To Reboot, we must Renew - and Renewal begins in the mind!
In the Present we must Renew our Resolve to believe that God is working all things for good. In the past we must Renew our perspective by trusting that God will use all that we have been through to instill and expound our purpose. We must Renew our belief that what God has for our future will be something new and significant - even if it does not look exactly like what He has done before.
HERE IS YOUR APPLICATION QUESTION FOR THE WEEK:
What is ONE WAY you can practically begin to Renew Your Mind this week?
In other words, what is one way you can Shift how you are thinking, judging, perceiving, deciding, etc. about the events in you and around you?
If you can Renew Your Mind, you can Reboot Your Life!
Ask God to show you the things that are keeping you stuck in your past, scared of your present, and uncertain about your future. Seek the Holy Spirit's help to begin to see how God is working in your life, even the hard parts. Take time to remember how God has kept you and brought you to this moment. Anchor your hope in how God has loved you enough to sustain you through the toughest year imaginable. Tell God, "I trust that you have something new for me." and ask His help, for you to truly believe it!