“The promise is there. I’m doing a new thing for you, says God. Don’t you see it? 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 desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43 v 18 – 19
Change your focus,
Stop looking behind!
Start looking up ahead!
Walter Brueggmann writes of this action of God:-
“It is remarkable that Israel is told to forget the old exodus narrative in order to notice the new departure. The ‘new thing’ is not only more contemporary, but also more spectacular and exhibits the power of God in more effective ways. In these verses all the accent is upon the new experience which pushes the old memory aside. It may be worth noting that in the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, in so far as Christians are concerned, the same accent is upon the new at the expense of the old. Our God is doing a new thing.”
Our God is doing a new thing.
The past won’t sustain you. God says, Forget the former things, I am doing a new thing.
The children of Israel had seen God have many victories in their past. It had been a good past. Leaving Egypt. Conquering the Land of Canaan. Fighting off prospective conquerors. Surviving a split in their country. But all their previous victories were doing nothing for them in the present. They needed a new work, a new miracle, a new victory.
So the question isn’t: what has God done? There’s no doubt about that!
The question must be: What new thing is God doing right now?
The children of Israel had a choice to make. They were in exile, looking back at former glories. And looking back wasn’t helping. Yet all they could see in the present was problems, and their own powerlessness. They didn’t like where they were at the moment, and yet they didn’t seem to trust God to change things for them nor to be open to the possibilities He had in mind for them.
And so there is a choice: Israel can continue as they are, nostalgic for what has been, yet not happy in the present, not trusting the Lord. Or they can focus on what God wants to do in their lives. And God wants to do a new thing.
Can I see possibilities if God is in charge of this new thing?
Will you step into the new thing He is doing for you? In you? Through you?
Returning – to a new thing. It’s God’s truest invitation. Challenging limitations, ambitions, diary, finances, relationships and geography. It’s always time to return to God and to the new thing He is doing.