God in His perfect purpose, determined direction and never-changing nature is doing a “new thing” as always among His people this season. In His infinite wisdom and sovereignty, God is taking actions and as expected, some new things will happen; He is the unchangeable changer, the one Who was, Who is and Who is to come; the same yesterday and today and forever more.
Whenever God is going to do a new thing, most of the time, it requires major changes in the lives and circumstances of the beneficiaries. That was the reason prophet Isaiah by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote to the children of Israel at a period in their lives when they were experiencing general discontentment, discouragement, disappointment, disillusion and despondency in Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”. They had lost so much and they were also still far from the land that God had promised them through their fathers – Abraham, Isaac and Israel.
In the midst of the pathetic and seemingly hopeless situation, God in His infinite mercies was working out a good work – “new thing” for the children of Israel. Meanwhile, for the new thing to be made manifest, God wanted His people to forget the former things. From this we realise that the first thing we must do in the anticipation for a new thing is to effect a change of focus – we must quit looking behind and start looking ahead. Verse 18 says forget the former things - don’t dwell on the past.
As you read along, my question to you this hour is - are you ready for God to do a "new thing" in your life? Are you ready for Him to rain on your parched land? Do you want Him to renew your heart and soul and perhaps your vision? I can assure you that He wants to do just that if only you can believe!
The question is - how can we allow God to do "a new thing" in our lives? Let us consider some keys that Apostle Paul highlighted when he says in Philippians 3:13-14 "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" This is what Isaiah meant when he said "Remember ye not the former things".
One of the keys to walking into newness of life from the above scripture when Paul says “this one thing” is in the ability and enablement to remain focused. Simple as it may sound - to be focused if well balanced will bring some glorious values as listed below into our lives:
- Ability to choose only that which is important: Paul said “this one thing I do…”when you focus solely on your goal, your goal will begin to define you and shape your look. It will become the uppermost in your mind. Apostle Paul became so engrossed in his goal.
- Ability to possess a futuristic outlook: Paul says “reaching forward to those things before him…” He channelled all his energies to things ahead and not exerting his energies on things behind him.
- Ability to persevere: Paul says “I press on…” He kept pressing on and kept persisting.
- Ability to remain stable: Paul says “toward the goal for the prize”. He knows what he wanted and he kept at it, not wavering.
If we are ever going to move on to new things in Christ, we must understand that we cannot depend on whatever was in the past. The children of Israel had many victories in the past - the exodus from Egypt, the conquering of the land of Canaan and the numerous wars fought and won. However, these victories in themselves could not bring the much needed “new thing”. The Israelites needed a new work, a new miracle, a new victory from God. Apart from not allowing past benefits, successes and victories to becloud our need for a new thing, we must also not allow our past failures, hurts, sorrow, shame to rub us of future testimonies in Christ. The children of Israel on numerous occasions had failed God miserably but God did condemn them for their past. The past could not be undone. Instead God extended the hand of hope to them. God was in effect saying: Forget about your past -- I am giving you an opportunity to start all over again. Beloved, I strongly believe in my heart that the same applies to us in this generation. Isaiah 55:7 says “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Brethren, you must also realise that having focus is not enough as your focus must be aligned to what God wants you to see and His will for your life. You must see yourself precisely the same way God sees you. What do you see when you view your life, your situation, your circumstance? Do you see possibilities or problems? If you can see the power of God’s possibility you are focusing well and if otherwise, you are focusing wrongly. Like the children of Israel, you can view your past with all its storms, sorrows, regrets, failures; your present and all the problems, pressures or you can focus on the future, taking God at His word for the new thing He has promised you.
You may feel like your past has made your life a wasteland but in Christ, your life can become a stream of life. You may feel you are in a desert you cannot navigate away from, but God in His infinite mercy will make a way and show you the way. God is able to transform the desert areas of your life into fields of blessing and abundance. He can transform a dried and useless life into a life of purpose and grace as He did in the valley of dry bones- Ezekiel 37.
The greatest step into enjoying the new thing God wants to do in your live is for you to be committed to His plan and purpose – Jeremiah 29:11. God has already set in motion a new direction and a new purpose for your life -- will you follow Him? Psalms 95:7-8 says “For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion...Do you know Him and have you surrendered your life to Him. Is He the Lord over your life and does He reign and rule in your life? Make a wise choice and a destiny fulfilling decision – Accept Him today as your personal Lord and Saviour.
Jesus is Lord!