Isaiah 43:1-2 (NKJV) But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
This year is ending like a television drama for our family. There has been a huge plot twist followed by a cliff hanger to keep us on our toes. The anticipation of what the next year will hold while clinging to hopeful expectation is intense. The enemy has tried to drain our faith and wrestle away our confident hope but he cannot have it. Though I am not entirely sure what’s next or where this road leads, one thing that I am absolutely certain of is that the winds of change are beginning to stir and that the Lord has lead us into the wilderness with Him. I used to think that the wilderness moments of life where made of our own design. The place where rebellion and wrong choices lead us to some lost place off God’s Trajectory. But that was then…I now know that the wilderness moments of life are designated by the leading of the Holy Spirit into a place of great opportunity. Though it challenges us physically, emotionally, and spiritually, the wilderness is a place of expectancy and heightened awareness that God has decided to do a new thing in us and then through us.
God loves you. He decided to love you before you considered loving Him. He has always pursued you intent on a relationship with you. Giving up His Son as a sacrifice for our sin, He paved the way of righteousness with the Blood of Jesus. When Jesus emerged triumphant over hell, death and the grave – He thrust the keys to the Kingdom in our hand with an open invitation to come. Our Redeemer lives. He lives to love us and show us the way to the rich and satisfying life given to us. This includes some wilderness travel along the way.
The new packaging of Christianity is a false doctrine that really is detrimental. There will be rough patches, bumps in the road, challenges, difficulties, hardships, tragedy, and the unexpected in our Christian life. We must learn to endure. We must become persistent. It is important that our faith be firmly established in Jesus Christ to make a connection with God the Father again. His Grace is sufficient for me. His Power works best in my weakness. There must be situations, circumstances, and conditions that challenge our flesh to make room for God’s Spirit. We all must take up our cross and follow Jesus. Every single one of us.
In the beginning of Isaiah 43, the Lord professes His Love and Devotion for us. “For I am the Lord your God…Your Savior.” (v.3) “Since you are precious in My Sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you.” (v.4) I am created for His Glory. I was made for the Lord. (v.7) God’s Love for us was woven in our creation. His Desire for us evident in His Word. His Intentions toward us always good. His Protection clearly noted. Traveling from 2018 to 2019 may be a journey through the wilderness for you just as it is for us, but please don’t give up.
Isaiah 43:15-19 (NKJV) I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, Your King.” Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters, who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick): “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
While preparing to move from this year to the next, it is time to make certain declarations some may call resolutions. I do not make resolutions anymore. I state my expectations. I claim the Word of God for my next 365 days. I purpose in my heart to walk in His Footsteps knowing full well my flesh will fail and heart grow weak from time to time. It is very common to live in yesterday’s miracle – whether it is God’s Hand of provision, protection, favor or any other blessing bestowed on us. As our expectation grows stagnant, our mouth tells the story of the past with eyes looking backward afraid to peek ahead. The battle won is always more comfortable than the one that lies ahead. Hind sight is indeed 20/20 but we do not live in the past or the moment but from grace to grace, glory to glory and victory to victory.
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?” The New Year is filled with new hope and new possibilities. It really doesn’t matter how well you performed last year or what your plans are for the coming twelve months because the Faithfulness of God and His Unchangeability means that every detail will work together into the wonderful masterpiece that He planned. It doesn’t matter how messy or messed up it seems – He will do a new thing. As a Child of God no step is wasted and no amount of faith worthless – if you pursue the Lord every good thing that He has for you will come to you. We must dwell on the former things if a new miracle is what we want. Expectation must broaden to the Creator and not be restricted in creation. The Lord says if you stay current with me, I will do a new thing. Is your relationship with Jesus Christ, tight? Do you talk everyday sometimes twice a day? Do you listen for His Voice? Do you do what He says? A relationship requires such things in the natural to nurture intimacy and so does our spiritual relationship with the Lord?
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
I have seen God do the miraculous in our life too many times to recount. I have seen Him make a way where there was no way. I have seen the impossible become our reality in an instant. It’s crazy what God can do with just a little bit of faith for those who wrangle forth just enough energy to believe. He moves mountains. He flattens valleys. He prepares a table in the presence of our enemy. This is all His Plan from the beginning. Jesus secured such a life for us becoming our Overcomer and Victory. All of this belongs to us. So what is missing? “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Ahh, perhaps this is the missing ingredient? We must seek the Lord with our heart. As I prepare for 2019 it is with this mindset. I really don’t know how God is going to make the current circumstances turn in our favor. I know that He will because His Word has confirmed it. However, in these precious few moments of 2018, the most important thing for me to do is to be certain that my heart is set on the Lord and Him alone. Nothing in this world can satisfy me like the Love of God and His Son – Jesus. He is better than life. It profits me nothing to gain the whole world and lose my soul. Thank you Lord for another year. Thank you for the successes and failures of 2018. Thank you for your incredible kindness, goodness and grace. Stepping into 2019 – I declare – “God, You are My God!” That’s it. You are my expectation. My faith, trust and confidence is in You – Jesus!
Isaiah 43:21 (NKJV) This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.