The above verse is known by many Christians who are quick to notice and embrace the thought of God doing a New Thing. Do you believe that God is moving and working in our midst in unique ways? Sure, the Covid-19 restrictions and associated challenges in the church may seem to speak otherwise. Nonetheless, God is at work! Do you not perceive it? God wants us to place our attention on what He is speaking and doing, not upon our circumstances. This is easier said than done. So, how can we come to the place of perceiving that New Thing that God is doing?
1) Remember not the former things (Isaiah 43:18)
God has gifted me with a memory that allows for the recall of events and dates that go back as far as my early school days. This has allowed for beautiful times of reflective moments that helps in appreciating God’s faithfulness through the years. It also helps in bringing forth fresh perspective for the day at hand. The key is not in seeking to live in the past or upon past experiences, but to be able to perceive the New Thing that is to come. The disciples of John the Baptist embraced the season of John’s ministry, but were unable to perceive the new thing that Jesus was doing (Matthew 9:14-17). Always be grateful for what God has done, but be careful not to hold onto the past at the expense of the New.
2) Now it Springs Forth (Isaiah 43:19)
Now is the time! How many messages do we need to hear about discerning the times and seasons of the Lord? This New Thing is happening now! Can you not perceive it? Isaiah had a picture of the coming glory that would come upon the earth in the last days. At the same time, he saw a prevailing gross darkness and evil at work (Isaiah 60:1-4). Look at our world today with its sin, violence and hopelessness. The airwaves are saturated with this dreaded news resulting in a sense of despair even amongst God’s people. Isaiah countered by exhorting the people to Arise and Shine, for thy Light has come! There is a glory that is about to shine forth attracting the lost and aimless to its source. This is, but yet another way in how we can be the Light of Christ Everywhere. Now is the time to become saturated in His Word, Prayer and Christian Fellowship as one in the LE church community.
3) A way in the Wilderness, A river in the Desert (Isaiah 43:19).
This is the place where we learn to take God at His Word. He can make a way where there seems to be no way. The early church Restorers featuring Ezra and Nehemiah faced many hurdles in their mission to rebuild the city. The enemy sought to overwhelm them at every turn and in many ways, but they persisted and prevailed. How did they do it? They focused on what God had spoken to them, not on their circumstances. They trusted that God would make a way because they knew it was God’s mandate for them. Consider the following prayer of Nehemiah while in the midst of his rebuilding project.
Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders. So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work (Nehemiah 4:4-6).
Nehemiah did not take the attacks or the challenges personally, but presented them to God because he knew that God had called him to this work and would make a way for him.
What about us? Are we convinced that God has given us the mandate to be the Light of Christ Everywhere? Do we really believe it? Do we perceive that now is the time that God is calling us to something extraordinary? This call is to all Lighters whether you are associated with the church from the beginning or a recent addition to the family. This is my Church! I am honoured and humbled to be a part of the New Thing God is about to do. How about you?
And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising (Isaiah 60:3).