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Walking in the Way of Holiness (isaiah 35:8-10)

Isaiah 35:8-10

And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come upon it;
They shall not be found there,
But the redeemed shall walk there
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing;
Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
They shall obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

This scripture talks about walking in the way of Holiness. We as children of God, saved by His Grace are called to walk in holiness. This is an important aspect of our life in Jesus Christ. In this passage in Isaiah, the prophet concentrates on one highway, with a most exalted name. It is called the “Way of Holiness”, because its goal is the Holy city of Zion. Not only that, but the intention of this highway is particularly for those who are “holy”. Israel’s highways were intended for pilgrimage, as people went up them at the feasts to meet the Lord in His holy temple. The highway that we want to focus on today, is a moral understanding of the “Way” not just a ceremonial one that Israel was used to.

We can identify some keys about those who walk in the way of Holiness. Firstly, there is a highway. There is a path that needs to be taken. There is a choice to be made, to take this path. In fact, God gave the Israelites this very choice in Deuteronomy 30:15-18 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.”

So, what is this Highway? How do we know which way to take, how do we identify “the Way of Holiness”? Jesus has given us clear instruction as to finding this Way. John 14:6 says “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Amen! You see if you want to make the decision of taking this highway, called the “Way of Holiness”, the route has been given clearly to the entire world. The only way is Jesus Christ and there is no other way. If you reject Jesus you will find yourself on the highway leading to death and destruction. The choice is before you, which highway are you going to take?

If you choose any other way, other than Jesus Christ it’s result will be death. Without Jesus you are unrighteous. Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthian 6:9-10 saying “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Whereas if you walk in the way of Holiness, Jesus Christ, then our key passage in Isaiah says we have the following benefits.

Firstly Isaiah 35:8 says the unclean shall not pass over it, only the redeemed shall walk there.

There is a pre-condition to walk in this Way of Holiness. The scripture tells us that the “unclean” shall not pass over it. So, who are the unclean and who are the redeemed? Quite simply these are those who have received salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the unsaved are those who have rejected Jesus Christ. This rejection is a rejection of the Way, it is a rejection of the one who said, I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me.

Often people say that all I need to do is to live a good life. If I do my best, it should be good enough for me. Friends, this is a great deception from the devil. To a Holy God, even the smallest of sin is big enough to separate you from God. No sin can enter His presence. He is pure and perfect. Therefore, Jesus had to come and make a way for us. Without Him, we would have been lost forever. The only way you can be good enough is to receive the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He was the perfect sacrifice who died in your place to take your sin (however big or small) in order that His righteousness is imputed upon you. Remember that is it not your righteousness but it is His alone. It is these who are the redeemed. Anyone else is still dead in their sin and deemed “unclean” before a Holy God.      

Being saved does not just mean that you have said a few words to accept Christ. What it means is that you are changed and transformed. No longer a slave to sin, but a slave to righteousness. That is why it tells us in 1 John 1:7 saying “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all unrighteousness.”

Secondly, it shall belong to those who walk on the way and even fools shall not go astray (Isaiah 35:8b).

Joshua tells the people of Israel in Joshua 22:5 “Only be very careful to observe the commandment and law that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

 

When you cling to the LORD and when you serve him with all your heart and soul and when you love all His commandments and law, then this way shall belong to you. This is why the LORD said to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:9 “The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and will in his ways.” The Lord will establish you as a holy to Himself and the way shall belong to you.

Not only that, but this passage says that even fools shall not go astray. What a promise. What this shows us is that those who are on this way of Holiness, it is impossible for them to loose the way. It is impossible to get lost. It is impossible to go astray. It is so because we walk in the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. We do not do it on our own merit or wisdom or strength. In fact, Jesus told us that He was going to send us a helper who will ensure we remain in the Way of Holiness, leading to His Kingdom. John 14:26 says “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you.”

You see, the Holy Spirit has been sent to teach us, lead us and guide us to do the things that glorify Jesus Christ. When you have the Spirit of Christ in you, even in all your weakness you will not go astray because you depend on Him. The prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 30:20-21 “…yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Amen!! What a wonderful promise of God.

Trust in Him and do that which glorifies Him. Then you will not be shaken and He Himself will lead you and guide you, ensuring you remain on the path of Holiness until you reach the promised land, the place of rest, in the presence of the Almighty God Jehovah. Amen!

Thirdly, no lion shall be there, nor ravenous beasts

When you walk in the way of Holiness, there shall be no lions or ravenous beast to harm you on the way. You see when Jehovah is with you, you do not need to worry about the dangers that surround you, because the Bible says in 1 John 4:4 “…for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Amen! When you walk in the way of Holiness, the one who is in you is the Holy Spirit as we just discussed earlier. He not only teaches you and guides you but He also protects you.

In-fact we see a great example of this in the book of Judges, in the story of Samson. Judges 14:6 says “Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed on him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat.” What a picture this passage paints. You see when the Spirit of God dwells in you, remember that He is far more powerful than any adversity you will face in your life.

Brother and sisters in Christ, you need to have a confidence in you that when you walk in the way of Holiness, in the way of Jesus Christ, you can be confident of who you are and that there is nothing that can come against you. This is the confidence that King David had in His God. 1 Samuel 17:37 says “…The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” It is the LORD who delivers. Hallelujah!

This does not mean that you do not need to do anything along this path. You still need to be watchful; you still need to have your eyes fixed solely on Jesus Christ. A stern warning is given to us in 1 Peter 5:8 saying “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” He seeks to derail you from this highway that leads to eternal life. So, to keep you from this put on the full armour God. Ephesians 6:11-12 says “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, and against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

When you walk in the way of Holiness, doing the things that glorify God, then you have put on the armour, then no lion or ravenous beast can touch you, then He who is in you will strengthen you to tear the devil apart in every situation. Amen!

Fourthly, there shall be everlasting joy.

This is a wonderful promise, a great promise in which we must all have hope. Psalm 5:11-12 “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favour as with a shield.”

There is great joy when you take refuge in the LORD. There is a great joy for those who walk in the way of holiness because it is there that the Lord spreads His protection over you. The scripture tells us that the Lord blesses the righteous; in other words, those who walk in the way of holiness and so God covers them with favour as with a shield. When you think about a shield, it is something that protects you from the darts of the enemy. It is something that protects you from getting hurt. Likewise, when God covers you with “favour” it means that it is set in concrete.

Therefore, in Revelations 3:8 it says “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Jesus spoke these words to the Church in Philadelphia. What a testimony to have. You see this is a picture of someone who walks in the way of holiness. They are the ones that “keep the word of God” and “do not deny His name”. When you do this, there is a favour of the Lord as with a shield, meaning that there is a door that is open by the Lord that no can shut.

Conclusion

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is a picture of a victorious Christian. A truly born-again Christian, who has been baptised into the body of Christ will have these characteristics. He or she is the one who walks in the Way of Holiness. The way shall belong to them and it is impossible for them to go astray. There shall be lion there, not shall any ravenous beast come upon them, because it is the redeemed that walk there. It is in those that are redeemed, that the power of the Holy Spirit dwells making them the temple of the Holy Spirit. Their daily walk with the LORD will be one of joy, gladness and every sorrow and sighing shall flee away with the hope of reaching Zion, our everlasting dwelling place with God. Amen.

In closing let us read Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.” In contrast, the next verse goes on to describe those who do not walk in the Way of Holiness, saying in verse 15 “Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practised falsehood.”

So, examine yourself that you may determine if you are walking in the Way of Holiness. Take this moment to seek Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into your life and to lead you along the path of righteousness. Not by your works, but by the grace of God and His awesome power, leading to salvation. Amen and God bless.

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