Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
The Lord is doing a new thing. Each day waking up to a body filled with breath is a sign that there is more to life than what was experienced yesterday yet to be fulfilled. Even on those days that seem ordinary, plain or repetitive, there is the possibility for something new to happen and change to occur. Change is uncomfortable. A life of faith is difficult for our flesh that is suspect of all things based on life’s experiences. It’s hard to trust a God who cannot be reached with any of the five human senses. But every day there is the possibility of new life, new love, new purpose, new things and becoming a new creation in spite of ourselves.
When the idea of moving began to circle in our minds as the Holy Spirit nudged our hearts, my husband made the comment “wouldn’t it be great if we could pick up our house here and move it to there.” I have to laugh because God loves my husband. When he expresses a desire, the Lord always finds a way to grant it to this humble man who would do anything for his family. We bought a house in the next county that is the same floorplan as the old one. Crazy, I know. There are some subtle differences between the old house and new. Changes that I would have made in the other are already made. Our new house needs some love and attention which we are glad to give. It would be easy to try to make this house just like the old one since the structure is the same but it seems that in every room something has turned out a little bit different.
We are called to be a new creation in Jesus Christ. To be a new creation requires uncomfortable change. Moving was not fun. It was exhausting and overwhelming. The enemy definitely tried to deter us from following God’s Plan and I would be a liar to say that I did not try to give up about three times in the process. It was the Holy Spirit reminding me that God wanted to do a new thing and in fact was doing it that kept me fighting the good fight of faith. What about you? Are you determined to be transformed into a new creation today? Do you want what God wants and predestined for your life? Isaiah tells us that to do so, “forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
The Lord is doing a new thing. Our life from salvation to redemption is marked by perpetual change. We decide what change will look like in our life. It is called freedom. God has created us and called us to become righteous and walk in His Glory until we meet Him face-to-face. But if we choose not to take advantage of His Love, Mercy and Grace by becoming reconciled to Christ – it will not happen. New life is a choice lived every day.
Isaiah 42:6-9 (NIV) “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
Isaiah 42 begins with a description of Jesus. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the new covenant and call to righteousness that allows us to have a new life. In verse 9, the Lord declares “new things” to come. We have a purpose. (Psalm 139:13-18) There is a plan in place with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) We are called to righteousness. God’s Grace given to us in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus allows its dispensation. We are granted freedom to choose to love and live for the Lord or go our separate way. Covenant is partnership. It is relational. We cannot have a new covenant with Jesus and maintain our old partnership and bondage to sin. The two are not conducive to one another. The Lord allows us to choose who we will serve. The only catch is that unlike the world that allows compromise, the Lord requires commitment. New life is in the New Covenant. New things come to those who commit their way to Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:6-10 (NIV) He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.
Does the Glory of God shine in your life? Are you prospering body, mind and spirit? Physically, mentally, spiritually and financially? Not only do we live in a new covenant with the Lord, but we are called to be ministers of the new covenant. How glorious is your life? Does your countenance reflect a change that has penetrated your heart, changed your mind and renewed your spirit? If not, it can! Righteousness allows the Glory of God greater than Moses ever knew to be expressed in our life. What is righteousness? Right standing with God. The ability to come into the Presence of God again through the grace provided by Jesus Christ. To pursue righteousness is our willingness to obey God and submit our life to the Lord so that we can be reconciled to Jesus every day.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
We have this natural inclination that coming to Christ should cause a drastic and immediate change in our condition and circumstances. When everything is not immediate, the enemy rushes in to tell us that God is not real. His Love is conditional. His Grace runs out. His Mercy does not come each day. The new creation has come. Creation is a process. It took the God of the Universe seven days to create the world we know. If we look at 2 Peter 3:8, maybe it will change our perspective on creation just a bit. It says that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. Well according to this scripture, “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Humanity impatiently puts a timeline on the work of God in their life when His Idea of time is much different. God knows the plans that He has for us and is in no hurry to rush the process for our convenience but rather will wait until it is complete lacking no good thing.
What is the process of becoming a new creation? Does it magically happen? Do I have to do anything? According to 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, we must reconcile our life to Christ. Every single layer of our existence submitting to His Lordship and surrendered to His Love. It is a commitment to righteousness that allows nothing to come between us and Jesus. It is a swift consumption of the new mercy that He provides every new day. (Lamentations 3:20-26) How can I a wrecked human being full of imperfect traits and flawed character ever be one with Jesus Christ? His Grace is enough for me.
Ezekiel 36:25-30 (NIV) I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” In our submission and surrender to the Lord, we are given His Grace and Mercy. The sacrifice that Jesus Christ made allows us to have God’s Glory in our life but will never force us to reach out and take it. The Lord will give you a new heart in exchange for the hard one. He will give you a new spirit but you must be willing to crucify your flesh. It is not a matter of can God but will you today?
The blessings of God are predetermined for our life. It is simply our willingness to follow Jesus and do what His Word says that gives us access to the prosperity preordained for us. The blessing of a new heart and new spirit is a new life. You will become a new creation. It doesn’t mean that every condition or circumstance in your life will change. You were born with a purpose. God ordered your life to fulfill that same purpose. Your potential did not hinge of salvation but is released by it. God loved you when He made you. He had big plans for you in your mother’s womb. He loves us first. By reconciling our life to Christ, we open ever door and window to the contents of Heaven so it will pour out on our life in His Glory as God always intended but sin stopped up.
Luke 5:36-39 (NIV) He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”
Although we live in a house that looks just like our old one, it is different. The floorplan is flipped. I find that when I go to open the refrigerator, I am actually walking into the pantry. I will reach for light switches that are not in the same place anymore. When we come to Jesus Christ, He makes His Home in our life. He prepares us for the new thing that He is doing in us. We want the Glory of God to fill our life, but first our life must be prepared to receive it. We tend to search for the Lord yet try to maintain our old way of life. New life and new levels in the Lord will always require movement on our part. Our human condition requires a process to be fully redeemed. We cannot contain all that the Lord is doing in us and through us from the start. If we want new wine, we need new wineskin.
The process of change that God provides is transformation. It is the daily submission of us to His Plan, His Purpose, and His Process that releases the Glory of God in our life. If the Lord were to fill us right now with all His Love, Grace and Goodness for us – it would completely consume us. We would burst on the inside. The Lord will not force His Affections or it would not be love at all. Love cannot be forced it must grow. Jesus renews us day by day so more and more of His Glory can fill us and be expressed from our life. He changes us. He lives in us.
Do you want a new life? Do you desire to become a new creation? Do you need a change of heart or renewed spirit today? It has already been decreed over your life, you must simply learn to walk in it. It requires leaving the past behind including religion, tradition, guilt, shame and every other thing that links us to the past. Sin must also be left in the sea of forgetfulness washed in His Blood. We must move closer to God and learn to live in His Love. It is a process because His Love is greater than anything that a human being has ever experienced. When the Lord prospers our life, no part is left untouched. As our soul prospers, it produces a fruitful life. The wilderness always has a way. The wastelands have hidden waterfalls. The Lord will lead you to them if you are committed wholeheartedly in pursuing Him. Nowhere in the Word of God do I find solace that pursuing Jesus and living for the Lord is easy but I can testify that it is always worth it.
Revelation 21:3-5 (NIV) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”