“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 you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Do you find yourself trying to relive the past? Maybe re-assessing past behavior or events? Maybe thinking how it would have been, if you acted differently.
Isaiah’s writings to the children of Israel came at a bleak period of their
history. They are in captivity, they have lost everything they thought they
would keep forever, and they were home sick for the land and the blessing God
had promised them.
The children of Israel had a rich history of God giving them victory in their past; Leaving Egypt, Conquering Canaan, but now they find themselves in captivity. All their previous victories would do nothing NOW, to set them free….they needed a new work, new victory, a new miracle. The big question for them wasn’t, what God did in the past, but what was God going to do NOW?
God’s history with them was obvious, He was always faithful, He always came through for them, despite what they were to themselves… the fact was that they had a history of failing God miserably…
God Gave them a Temple….they gave Him idol worship. God gave them Himself, they gave Him rebellion and rejection. In all reality, the children of Israel didn’t deserve to receive anything from God….and yet He earnestly loved them, and wanted to help them to change. God here was giving them a hand of hope, a fresh start, a new opportunity.
The children of Israel had experienced great spiritual blessings throughout
their history. From the first Passover, to the crossing of the Red Sea, to the
conquering of the Land of Canaan, to the building of the temple, the children of
Israel had seen the hand of God at work in and through their lives. Yet their faith in what God had done was doing nothing to deliver them from their present
situation. Their old faith was not sufficient enough to de-liver them from their
present problems. They needed new faith, a new vision for what God could do.
They needed a new portion of the faith that had brought to pass all the
victories from before.
I’ve come to a place where I think there are two kinds of people; some who live in the present, eyes wide opened, not wanting to miss anything, to see what will happen today in their lives; and then there are those who find themselves living in the past, living sheltered, predictable lives, living on past experiences.
If your past experiences of relationships were pleasant and positive, that is how we’ve been ‘programmed’ if you will to think about your future relationships. If the experiences were negative, that is how you are going to visualize your future. It is always seems to be the past recreating your life. We are so influenced by what people around us say, and think about us, and to their credit, some of it may be spot on, others well? Do you ever find yourself thinking about what someone told you, or how someone treated you, how you did this or that? It’s always about something in the past.
This can be a dangerous way of living in this world and walking our spiritual lives with God. If left unchecked, you can let your past captivate you, and influence your behaviour, and especially what and where God may be leading you. Reliving the past is really just recreating something constantly, that blinds you into not letting the necessary changes God is doing in your life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 teaches us that: ” If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.”
This is not to say that it’s not okay to remember things in the past; if it was a good work God did through you, of course; if it brought Him glory, absolutely. But if it leads to dark stretches of our past which no longer exists, it can be harmful to our growth in our relationship with God. “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive’” Luke 20:37-38.
There is a story about two friends traveling by train. One was very nervous, restless and full of complaints the whole trip. He was impatient to reach his destination, and disliked every moment of the trip. He did not pay attention to his surroundings, as his mind was full of impatient, restless and grumpy thoughts.
His friend, on the other hand, enjoyed the scenery, drank a cup of coffee, ate a piece of cake and chatted with the other passengers. He enjoyed every moment the trip. He lived in the present moment and made the most of it. On arrival he was fresh and felt good. His friend, as expected, arrived exhausted, tired and unhappy.
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old…..”
God doesn’t want us to be backward looking, going through life looking in the rear vision mirror. But we so often can’t help ourselves. We remember the hurts of the past and the mistakes we made. There comes a time when NOW becomes the time we start looking ahead at all God has already prepared for us, all that lies before us…But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him“
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?’ It’s time for us to rise up to our full potential in Christ, because hasn’t He called us to do a mighty work in our lives?
The children of Israel had a choice. They could view their past and the
prob-lems of their present, or they could focus upon what God wanted to do in
I can still remember how this past year, having what was the most challenging trial and testing of my life, I would find myself dwelling upon the things and events that would hold me captive to them, obscuring the future hope that was present in the Word of God, that held out a promise of a bright future ahead.
The idea of me having cancer, and the images my mind would paint of me, desperately holding on to something that no longer had any real meaning of my life in Christ. My new life, as a new creation in Christ was being held out as the prize, with the past, seen as a cancer of old things, no longer needed in my new life. God promised that He would ‘restore all that the cankerworm had eaten away’ and that He would make all things new‘. My challenge was no longer straining to reach back to times way back that are now hidden in Christ, but simply to take the hand of my Saviour, and walk ahead.
Last Friday was a Marker-stone for me in the new thing that God promises shall spring forth… I had my colonoscopy to determine whether or not all the chemo I had done the job of destroying active cancer cells. I’ve got to tell you that the week going into it, I found myself looking behind, wondering out loud, IF that past was long dead.
As I was wheeled out, the results by my doctor were given and God has kept His promise, once again! Everything ‘looked excellent, no cancer, not even one polyp’. I can’t begin to tell you just how excited and relieved I was, truly God kept His promise to me, and I marveled out loud, if He kept His promise in this, then my future in Him looks bright! I am looking forward to all the new things He has in store for Patty and I. We have to keep moving forward now. It’s only moving forward that we are ever going to accomplish what God has called us to do. No staying where we’re at, no going backwards. The only direction is forward.
What is God doing in your life right now?
What do you see when you view your life? Do you see possi-bilities or problems?
Notice what God said: “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
The children of Israel felt as though they were getting just what they deserved because of the way they had lived. Some even believed that God would never have
anything more to do with them. Boy were they ever wrong!!! There are times when i feel like my past has made my life a wasteland…..but God! I’m reminded that my new life in Christ can become a stream of life. Jesus said in John 7:38 that: “Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
God is able to transform the desert areas of your life into fields of blessing
and abundance. God can take a dried up useless life and trans-form it into a
life of purpose and grace:
2 Corinthians 3:17,18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the
Lord, who is the Spirit.
God had already set into motion the events and people who would lead Israel out
of captivity and back into the land of blessing. But it was still up to them to
decide if they wanted what God was offering. If they refused God’s plan, if they
refused to follow where God was leading, then they would be doomed to remain in
“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 you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
And so, here we are, leaving January 2014, speeding towards February. God has wonderous wonders and miracles awaiting you this year. Some could be trials and testing, but wait, on the Lord before you cry out disaster! What may look like disaster most likely is God at work, making preparation for the new thing He is raising up! Be on the lookout, ‘shall you not know it?’. I don’t know about you, but Patty and I are taking our God at His promise, and with all the strength and faith we have, He has free rightaway to accomplish all of the New Things He has in store for this year.
Here’s Today’s Video, Enjoy!