In Isaiah 43:18-20 God speaks to the Children of Israel and informs them that God is doing “A New Thing.” As I toiled and read over that text I noticed that “The New Thing” was not freedom or liberation, it was God’s forgiveness. God was giving them something that would unlock everything else in God’s divinity and kingdom….but God had to call it “new.” It bothered me until I really began to unpack the text. God was so tired of their unfaithfulness and ungratefulness that God decided to forgive them instead of freeing them from any oppressors. That…had…to…be…called…”A New Thing.” Rectifying this situation God decided to use them to minister to their enemies and move Israel forward. At the same time, there were years where Israel was praying for the wrong thing….God shifts them and shows how tired God was of watching them siting the mediocre. Transition up, out and into.
Have you ever been there? Where God has you moving forward yet you do not recognize you are the issue? Pausing God is truthfully standing at the crossroads of life running in quicksand not accepting the hope, the grace, the mercy and the assistance on a tightrope that God extends on a daily basis. In order to speed up my process, I noticed that God slows us down. God is never at fault for the lack of motion in our lives, we are. Transition to the unknown is a faith filled proposition that forces us to lean over the balcony of life without knowing that it is connected to a bridge to destiny.
Reimagine your life opposed to the loud voices of culture, meals of injustice and tapestry of foolishness that pervades our everyday life. The children of Israel were more consumed in their past victories that they could not forsee “newness” outside of subjective freedom. Truth does set us free, yet when God displays it through God-tivity, we cannot accept it for our finite minds cannot hold onto the divinity of God. Let me say, that is not a bad thing! God is pausing you to transition you to what you do not even know what to pray for! Your persistent faith will propel you because God is seeking to keep you close, not necessarily to bless you with what you want. This is a hard lesson I had to learn.
Many of you in our group are attending School now in the Fall. Transition. How can you see a “New Thing” that God is doing for you? What should we do in seasons of transition? Lets consider the children of Israel.
1. Open your Hands (Isaiah 43:18) The children of Israel were dwelling on past victories only, but the present matters! Now that sounds great, but can I spin it? Love your ambition that was built upon your past! The fact is, not one likes anyone who has Christian ambition, let it shine. Whom ever you are, embrace who you are as a person, but do not live in that past. You are the best student, husband, wife, girlfriend (insert you here) Embrace it, don’t live in it.
2. Open your Ears (Isaiah 43:18) God is speaking. That ought to be a great moment of gratefulness. God is speaking to whom we are as people as where you are. If God is speaking, it means that God is still watching and sees you. God’s voice acknowledges that God sees your strength; it is up to you! Do not negate God’s voice because it is not what you want to hear. For us, transition meant moving some things and people around in our lives. It wasn’t what we wanted to hear, but it has propelled us into a season that we saw coming.
3. Ready your Heart (Isaiah 43:18) God was pushing them to begin ministry to their enemies by first forgiving their own wickedness. Transition requires full surrender, something we did not learn until too late.
Do not miss the movement of God, not because God is not moving, but because the freedom God has for you may not be “freedom” or “liberation” but God forgiving you and giving you “A New Thing” to push you beyond the murky waters of life. Reach up, grab God’s tightrope and hold on. You have been ready to move, let God do the work.