Isaiah 43:18-19 Do not remember the former things nor consider the things of old.
19 See, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not be aware of it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
In the past, God, through the prophet Isaiah warns His chosen people, the nation of Israel, that He was going to punish them for their unfaithfulness to Him. He will cause them to be defeated and taken captive by their enemies and they will be exiles in a foreign land away from home for years.
In the midst of separation from God (so they thought) and separation from the their homeland and the temple in Jerusalem where they believed God dwelt, God now in the midst of Israel's despair and discouragement, gives them a promise of hope through the Prophet Isaiah.
In this text, God is speaking to His people concerning a new thing that He is going to do for them. In other words, things will change in the future. No, they will no longer be the same because God is including them in His future plans.
It is now time to get their minds set in motion to let go and forget the past for the Lord their God is going to do a new thing in the lives of His people. Yes, a new beginning for the people of God.
Do not think on the past anymore, but instead, TRUST GOD to do what we have never allowed Him to do in our lives before.
Our past experiences often shape and even create our future expectations and often times causes us to miss out on what God is doing now or wants to do in and through us in the future.
Today, God is sending forth a promise of hope that can only be received when we choose to let go and forget the past and receive what He has now has in store for us.
We can reflect on the past from time to time to see where God has brought us from and what He has done for us, but, we must not allow the former things to hinder us from seeing the right now and the future promises that God has in store for us.
Yes, we can be tempted to reflect back on past hurts, pains, disappointments, sufferings, etc., but on today God call us to pay no more attention to those former things for He is willing and is able to do a new thing in us with our cooperation.
God's Word declares this on today concerning His people in Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Israel is called in this text to remember the former things no more and God is saying the same to you and I on today.
The past has many great testimonies of God and His mighty acts, but our lives can't stop there.
Our question to be answered is "are we willing to listen and follow God's" instructions? Are we willing to let go and forget the past in order to receive what God has for us now and in the future?
The Apostle Paul makes this declaration concerning the past in Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
What is the new thing that God promises to do for His people? What are His plans for His people? They are the impossible things that He alone can do.
God had brought israel out of Egyptian bondage and made a road through the red sea and He now promises to do something greater and bigger than that for His people.
God promises to make a road in the wilderness and a river in the desert. A road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert is a reference to Israel's exit from Egypt in the past and the future return of the exiles from Babylon captivity back to Jerusalem. Restoration indeed in a new and different way!
For us today, the release from the bondage of sin that held us captive to freedom and restoration by God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Forgetting the former things does not happen immediately, but is a minute by minute, hour by hour process all the days of our lives as we daily put our faith, hope and trust in God alone.
When we have made up our minds and purpose in our heart that God's plans for us are greater than anything we could imagine for ourselves, then and only then will we realize that God is Great, Good and Mighty in Power.
What do you see when you view your life? Do you see God's promises or problems?
God's Word promises that He is making a way in the desert and rivers. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is clearing and making a way in our deserts and opening rivers for us to cross over that leads to our eternal destination in heaven with Him.
Just like the children of Israel, we too have a choice. We could view our past and our present problems, or, we could focus upon what God wants to do in and through our lives now and in the future.
In order to discover what God wants for you us, we must first see ourselves as God sees us. That is only done through the Word of God. It is in the scriptures alone where our true identity is revealed.
God is able to transform the desert areas of your life into fields of blessing and abundance.
God can take a dried up useless life and transform it into a life of purpose and grace if we are willing to do as He commands us in letting go and forgetting the past.
People of God, the Lord our God declares to us on today that "NEW" is coming in 2018.
How will we respond to God's promise concerning our future?
Will our response be one of faith and obedience or doubt and rebellion?
The promises of God are received from God and through Him according to His plans alone.
Let go and forget the past in order to receive the promise! Is this where you are mentally and spiritually on today?