““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.” -Isaiah 43:18-19
God wants to do a new thing in your life. More than that, He delights in and finds great pleasure in doing new things!
Did you ever stop to think about the power and joy of that reality? We hear and use the word “new” all the time, but take a moment to let the definition of the word “new” sink into your spirit in a fresh way. The word new speaks of bringing into existence something that has not existed before, or that is discovered for the first time.
We all know the feeling. Newlyweds. A newborn baby. A new car. A new house. A new job. A new ministry. A new beginning. Seeing the ocean for the first time. Discovering something you never saw before. Experiencing something completely new to your experience.
With anything new in our lives, our emotions are heightened. Completely new memories are created. While there can be a simultaneous sense of excitement and nervousness, or joy and dread, there is no denying anything new is not a boring experience!
But just pause to reflect on the power and awe of something coming into existence that has never existed before. Or something discovered or seen for the first time. It is a remarkable dynamic.
All throughout the Bible are situations where we find God doing a “new” thing. From creation itself, to a worldwide flood, to the unique in scope plagues in Egypt, to the miracles in the wilderness, God was often doing a “new” thing.
Just think, never before had a people enslaved for hundreds of years been delivered in such a dramatic way. Never before had waters been parted for his people to pass safely through on dry ground. Never before had He led his people with a cloud by day and fire by night. When they needed water in the desert, he brought forth water from a rock. When they had no food, manna came daily from heaven.
These miracles never happened before and they also never would happen in the exact same way again. Every situation in life is a situation in which God does a new thing or works in a new way. Even many of Jesus miracles were done in different ways for different people even if they were similar problems.
God wants, he delights, to do new things in our lives. He loves to bring about something that has never existed before, or show us something we have never seen prior. He is not a boring God!
But here’s the deal. There are a few keys we need to use to experience or not miss the new thing he wants to do or is doing. The verse quoted at the beginning of this chapter begins with God calling on us to do something very critical, “forget the former things…and see the new thing I am doing.”
So often we get stuck in the past. We get comfortable in what we are familiar with, have grown accustomed too, or even what has worked for us in the past. Habits, mindsets, and routines are formed that become hard to break.
Or we are so weighed down by regret, disappointment, pain, guilt or shame, that we become stuck. We dwell on the past and the pain and can’t move forward or see that God is working in a new way and making “all things new.”
We must forget (not dwell on or get stuck in) the past. And we must “see” the new thing he is doing. When I was growing up, there were these books where you had to train your eyes to look at the pages a certain way in order to see an imagine that was there all along, “pop out” of the page in a 3D type way. If you didn’t look at the page a certain way you wouldn’t see, or you would miss, what was actually there the whole time. So often we miss what is right in front of us, because we either aren’t looking for it, are focused on the wrong thing, or we don’t look at the situation with the eyes of God.
We also must recognize that God’s ways are simply not our ways. Many situations that cause frustration in our lives are because we don’t take a step back and see them from God’s perspective and allow Him to be the Sovereign God that He is. He does things in ways that have never been done before! He does things we can’t humanly do or conceive of. He can bring forth something out of nothing and make a way where there is no way. He makes a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland!
So what is He looking for from us? It’s simple. He wants us to look to him with anticipation. He wants us to bring our situations to him where we feel “stuck.” He wants us to wait upon Him in faith. He wants us to let go of our need for control and surrender those areas to Him. He wants us to admit that some things we can’t change in our strength, but we trust that He can in His power. He wants us to not look at what is behind, but what He is doing in the present and wants to do now.
He is the living God and He is at work! He makes all things new and beautiful in His time. And He is doing a new thing. Can you not perceive it? Ask him to open your eyes!
To listen to a recent sermon I preached on this click here: A New Thing.