Behold! The Lord Is Doing A New Thing

Behold! The Lord Is Doing A New Thing

Sister Miki Terayama - 7 August 2022

Weekend Devotion: Behold! God Is Doing A New Thing

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Brothers and sisters, why do we often sink and remain in despair when we fail or make mistakes? It is largely because we do not receive new convictions and we do not move on with new guidance from the Lord. Sometimes, when a person gets into a broken relationship, it may not be that he is lacking love from others , but that he is unable to see the love of the Lord that is presently with him. Or some parents might feel a sense of lack when nurturing their kids, but it may not be an issue of methodology but that they did not use the wisdom from the knowledge of God to guide them timely. Thus, embittering their child instead. And maybe in serving, someone keeps meeting roadblocks, but it could be that they themselves did not continue to be led actively by the Lord or receive renewal from the Word themselves. How about yourself? Do you often fall into these patterns when mistakes, failures or inabilities hit you?

Now Isaiah 43:18-21 says, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

Here in the verses, it tells us not to remember the former, old things, because God is doing a new thing. Is it because God is changing His mind or that He is fickle-minded? Definitely not so. The Lord never changes His plans. However, it is His people that are always unable to understand His will and intentions, remaining in the things of old or the former self. And just like Prophet Isaiah is saying these verses, the people follow the laws but do not know that God renews us daily and reveals Himself in different ways to us.
So what is this new thing mentioned here?

Now for the background of these verses, prior to this, it talks about the spiritual deafness and blindness of the Israelites. Even though the Lord sent Prophets to speak to them day and night, yet they still cannot follow the Lord’s way. Therefore, God disciplines them, allowing them to be held captive by another nation. However, God’s discipline is not long standing. He ultimately wants His children to gather back together, all the despaired ones to come back and see that the Lord is indeed doing a new thing. That He can give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 

Then, God also wants to reveal His plans to save the Gentiles. As He says, “the wild bests, jackals and ostriches will honour me”, these are all referring to the unclean Gentiles in the eyes of the Israelites. Perhaps right now, we would think nothing much of it, but back then, to the Israelites, this is a hard pill to swallow, a tough idea to fathom. Yet when the disciples of Jesus went around to share the gospel all over the world, these Gentiles accepted the truth. These cause the Israelites to humbly repent and understood that they were part of God’s elected people. And even until today, it is still happening. So the Lord is indeed doing new things.

So let us take away a few things from these verses today.

  1. Firstly, when we are going through a rough patch or tough time, remember God is doing a new thing. Nothing that you are struggling with is out of God’s hand. Even if you are often pacing up and down between your lousy feelings, be it due to self or circumstances, not being able to find hope in things, God is not limited by your emotions of lack or despair. Many times, God has shown that He sees more value in our weaknesses than our gifts. It is through the weaknesses of God’s people that His glory is all the more amplified. And through it, we can emphasise and understand the woes of those the Lord place around us. And from there, we can give them the comfort that we have ourselves experience through the Lord alone.
    Also, God’s grace does not allow us to continue remaining in guilt, shame and distress. Perhaps we have indeed made some mistakes and is taking in the fruits we have bore, but the grace of God calls us out of this crippling state, into repentance and renewal such that we can taste His new grace upon us. Therefore, we should go on hoping on the Lord, walk a submissive faith journey, so that we can see more and more clearly what God is fulfilling through us—  “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20), giving us new purpose, direction and outcomes. 
  2. And as we are taking in God’s new grace, let us not become narrow-minded or self righteous. What may seems undesirable can honour God as well. The verse above also tells us to “remember” and “behold”, not to let the same attitude and thoughts of the Israelites invade us. Often times, we may be critical or judgmental on someone else based on their outward appearance, their way of handling things or just a vibe they give us. We may even categorise people in our minds and think, this person might not be able to receive the gospel or they probably would not sustain their faith walk. When we start to think like that, we are unconsciously limiting the power of the gospel. If the unclean wild beasts, jackals and ostriches are capable of honouring the Lord, why are we quick to underestimate God’s possible works on a person?
  3. And finally, for the sake of the gospel, we have to interact and understand people, so that we may be able to understand them in a new light. Only then can we have the right heart, concern and platform to share this saving gospel with another. Men’s falleness, “ugly” nature are all the result of their hurts and wounds. They are being shaped by a culture and background that pushes us to disbelieve in God or do not see a need in Him above ourselves. But if you have understood the Lord and His every word, when you see that you yourself are indebted to the gospel, then may we interact and understand people with a renewed perspective, seeing that people need the Lord and those called by Him will surely respond in His time. Brothers and sisters, may we all experience the new grace given by God to see that He is doing a new thing in your life, daily. Amen.
Miki Terayama
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Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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