“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands” (Isaiah 43:18-19, MES).
The greatest enemy of our future is our past. Many believers in the body of Christ have experienced a year they would love to just to forget. A big part of that is making the decision to perceive, believe, and expect that God has something great for us down the road – that He has a powerful and exciting “new thing” for us and our families. The ability to push past the current challenging season in life and embrace that new thing is a fundamental indicator of spiritual growth and health. In fact, the perception of a new thing in our lives can be the difference between falling deeper into a hole of disillusionment and rising up from the ground to experience new levels in God and corresponding victories. I have discerned through the years of ministry that human beings are extremely resilient in mind and body, but far too often, people experience soul fractures in their emotions that seem to take much longer than a typical bone fracture to heal. God’s new thing for your life is His way of helping to speed up the healing process in your soul.
The Scripture in Isaiah 43:18-19 admonishes the believer to let go of the past and stop dwelling on what has been and instead focus on the new. We all have memories of frustration or failure, but the Lord wants to help us make new memories. This prophetic word says to each of us that our best days are ahead of us, that there are great adventures for us right around the corner, that we have amazing breakthroughs ahead, that our turn around is imminent, and that He longs to place a compelling dream and bright horizon in our hearts once again. Now we have a choice. We can choose to live in the pain and disappointment of the past or we can let go of the former things and run full throttle into the future He has ordained for each one of us. No believer should ever believe the lie of the devil that God only has a powerful and significant future and hope for certain special people.
We all can effectively leave behind the old and press in for the new but we need to be aware of what I call the “enemies of the new” or tendencies in our lives that limit us and prevent us from walking in all that the Lord has for us. Hosea 4:6 declares, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” I like how Jerry Savelle interprets this powerful Scripture: “My people fail to experience God’s best.” If we want to truly experience God’s best we must (1) reject satisfaction with the status quo and mediocrity, (2) guard our hearts for even a hint of bitterness and hurt, (3) break the habit of pessimism and negativity, (4) reject unscriptural thinking, (5) overcome fear and intimidation, and (6) avoid unhealthy associations and influences. Being a serious Christian in this antagonistic world is hard enough without allowing destructive nominal Christian influences into our lives to discourage us or hold us back. Sometimes you just need to find some new friends to hang out with.
In my post today I want to leave you with some principles for embracing the new in your life:
First, look at the new and take your eyes off the old because your life will move in the direction of your focus (your eyes are the window of your soul).
Second, listen to the new and discipline yourself to be selective in what you hear because faith comes by hearing (but so does doubt and fear).
Third, think on the new rather than on all the old troubles, problems, and failures (our lives tend to follow our most dominant thoughts).
Fourth, speak about the new instead of talking the failures and frustrations of the past (our tongues are the steering wheel of our lives).
Fifth, act on the new because if you want to go somewhere you have never gone you have to do things you have never done (faith without works is dead).