Do not remember the former things, or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.-Isaiah 43:18,19 AMP
It’s a new year, and we’re seeing all the “New Year, New Me,” or “New Year, “… You fill in the blank… types of posts all over social media. Then there’s the posts from those overwhelmed by the events of the past couple of years saying “don’t you dare claim this as your year.” And that’s understandable, but I say, how about we ALL say, New Year, Same Me, but MORE…
More intentional me,
More willing to embrace change me,
More willing to step out in faith me,
More willing to allow my actions to match my words of faith me…
Isaiah 43:19 seems like a pretty obvious choice of verse for the start of a new year, but it’s the one God gave me, so let’s go with it. Put together with verse 18, I really started thinking about the former things, the things of the past, who the “old me” was, that I would like to forget about, but as I studied these verses, I realized Do not remember the former things, or ponder the things of the past, is not meant the way we are inclined to think at all!
If you’re like me, you read these verses and immediately began thinking about the mistakes of the past, the things you did and the way you lived your life before you came into relationship with Christ, and how we should let that all fall away as we move forward… But read the full passage:
This is what the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says, “For your sake I have sent [one] to Babylon, And I will bring down all of them as fugitives, Even the Chaldeans [who reign in Babylon], into the ships over which they rejoiced. I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” This is what the LORD says, He who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters, He who brings out the chariot and the horse, The army and the mighty warrior, (They will lie down together, they will not rise again; They have been extinguished, they have been put out like a lamp’s wick): “Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the dessert. The beasts of the field will honor Me, Jackals and ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. The people whom I formed for Myself Will make known My praise.Isaiah 43:14-21 AMP
As I studied this full passage, it hit me- forget the former things in this passage is not referring to forgetting the bad stuff. Notice how the Lord lays out for the Israelites what He did for their ancestors, before He says “forget the former things.” God is saying, stop looking to the works He performed in the past. Don’t take opportunity to undervalue what He is currently doing by asking, “Where are the signs and wonders we’ve heard of?”
No, don’t look to the past signs, wonders, and testimonies for what you expect the Lord to do, He will not only repeat them in your current day, but He will outdo them! Not that we should disregard the testimonies we’ve already been given, but we serve a God Who loves to show up and show out, demonstrating that He IS the only True and Living God… both the former and the present are all for His Glory- He wants to outdo Himself in your life, for His own glory!
We all know 2020 and 2021 were not great years for most, many have suffered illness, loss, and attacks of fear, anxiety, depression, and so much more that God never intended for us to deal with in the first place (thanks Eve), and many are asking… Where is God? Where are the signs and wonders of old, the miracles we’ve read about, the miracles we hear of others receiving, the testimonies He gave me when I was going through hard times before?
But God is saying to you today, “You have not been forgotten. Don’t look to the past, or to what you see others receiving, for what I will do for you. Cast down your imaginations and the “I thoughts,” put your trust fully in Me, and watch a NEW THING spring forth in your life, something you could not believe even if it were told to you.”
Lean into Him, worship Him, spend more time talking to Him (you know, that holy-sounding word, prayer). Allow Him to prepare you for what He is bringing you into, get ready for a change, take a step of faith towards what He has promised you- You can’t receive something new continuing the same patterns and routines 😉 . Speak words of faith, speak the Word over yourself and that situation… then make your actions line up with it! We walk by faith, not by sight; once we believe we have received and we know our prayer is in line with God’s will, our actions should not be to return to anxiously worrying and wondering about the situation- how does that demonstrate faith?
Be more intentional in your relationship with Him,
Be ready to embrace change, because when He does a new thing, change comes with it,
Be willing to step further out on that path of righteousness in faith, to receive that new thing,
Be sure your actions are matching, not contradicting, your words of faith.
Keep walking your faith walk in the middle of the messy world, and watch God show up and show out in your life, all for His glory this year.
-Walking by Faith into a New Thing, Gerri