“I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King. Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will make even a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:15, 18-19 (NASB)
Each New Year enters with the spirit of a new beginning. Regardless of the accomplishments or failures of the past year, the New Year is a challenge within itself to every person. The New Year is pictured as a baby to depict to the world unlimited potentialities.
I have no idea at what time of the year Isaiah wrote the above words, but it could easily have been a New Year’s message to the nation. He tells them to forget the past. I’m sure he did not mean for them to completely wipe out of their memory all the experiences of the past. I believe he meant for them to focus their attention on the things that lay ahead. This nation to which Isaiah was writing had experienced both failures and glories, but he was inspired by God to tell them that the past glories were not sufficient for their accomplishments in the future any more than past failures meant future defeat. Turn your page on the past, and face the future with vision.
Isaiah gives to all Christians a pattern for facing the future. He formulates a plan that includes all of the teachings of Christ. It is so simple; yet, how often we stumble over the simplicity of the Master’s teachings.
Isaiah tells us to put the rightful One in charge of our life. If all Christians would do this, how much easier it would be to bring the Kingdom of God on earth. When a person is going to take an auto trip, he wants his car to be in excellent condition. Regardless of how beautiful the body of the car is or how good the condition of the engine, it will not accomplish its purpose unless all parts are perfectly co-ordinated. This is true in a Christian’s life. When I see a Christian who is aimless in his work, discontented with his church, or “soured by the world,” there immediately comes to my mind the thought that he needs the Master Mechanic to overhaul his life. Things need to be put in their rightful place and the Lord should be his King.
When this part of our plan is in order, then we are looking in the right direction. We will be able to do new things. All young Christians, although they are mature in mind, are only babes in Christ and will have to learn many new things. One of the most interesting experiences I have ever had was to be the teacher of a young couples class and to observe these young Christians learning to do new things for the Master. The average Christian’s assets are reasonable intelligence, wholesome ambition, inherent honesty and truthfulness, and the desire to become a better Christian; but, when they are approached about doing things they have never done before, they immediately begin to minimize their abilities. It takes patience and understanding from older Christians to help younger Christians realize that God can help them do new things…
The next thing Isaiah tells us is that we will be able to make a way in the wilderness. This brings to mind the ability to overcome almost unsurmountable difficulties. Too many Christians face difficulties in their own strength, leaving God out entirely. A friend of mine felt that the Lord wanted him to preach but he had a definite stoppage in his speech. For several years he was certain he had misunderstood the Lord’s call, his reason being from a human standpoint. He was miserable and unhappy. In his heart he wanted to do what the Lord wanted him to do, but he could not see any solution to a problem as big as his. Finally, he came to the conclusion that he would completely surrender his will and do his best, even if it meant suffering the embarrassment of his speech impediment. The first time I heard him preach I had great sympathy for him. I must admit that I had my doubts of his ability to ever become a successful preacher.
It was several years before I heard him again. When I did, I was amazed. He talked more slowly, but not one time did he have to completely stop his message. Later I talked to him about how he had overcome his handicap. He said that by following the instructions of his teachers outside the pulpit and following God’s instructions in the pulpit he was able to “deliver the goods.” This young man is an example of how the Lord can “make a way in the wilderness” by giving a person the ability to overcome staggering difficulties.
Never let any liability stand in your way of serving the Lord, because, if the call is from God, He will give you an asset to overcome any liability…
Isaiah saw multiple visions and yearned in his heart for people to put God as the leader of their life, then He could show them that He “will even make a roadway in the wilderness,” and “rivers in the desert. Myra Daugherty
Archive for December 31, 2013
“Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, ‘You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord.’ But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne; or by the earth, because it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:33-48 (HCSB)