[00:00:12] Speaker A: Hello and welcome to another episode of Worldwide Wonderful Women. I am your host, Paula Harris, and this podcast is for women who are all about learning how to live in God’s divine power. It is produced on behalf of Transformed Worldwide Ministries. Thank you so much for being here.
[00:00:39] Speaker B: Happy new year. This is episode number 358, and it’s entitled looking forward to new things. When a new year is about to break forth, many of us look at the new year with great expectation. It’s almost as if you’re an artist and you’ve been given a brand new canvas to paint upon.
Anyone who has breath in their body is always in a state between the past and the future.
Now realize this doesn’t just happen at the end of the year. For example, yesterday is past, and the day in front of you holds the future.
Your last five heartbeats are in the past, and the next two are in the future.
The Israelites knew what it was to be in a state of being between the past and the future. They were in Babylonian captivity and could remember the past glorious days of being in their homeland. As for the future, there was not much hope, for they were captives living in exile.
Yet Yahweh, the one true God, their true God, spoke through the prophet Isaiah, proclaiming a future deliverance that would make their past, deliverance from Egypt, along with the crossing of the Red Sea look pathetic in comparison.
Here in Babylon, they were stuck between the past and the future.
Isaiah, chapter 43, verses 18 to 19, records some of God’s words that were spoken through Isaiah. This is what those verses said:
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.
Now wait a minute. Weren’t they in captivity because they forgot what God had said to them?
Why is it that He’s telling them to forget former things now?
Maybe He wanted them to forget the negativity of the past.
You know, that could be a reason. However, is it most likely that Yahweh wanted them to forget the past so that they could focus on the future.
Satan has a way of deceiving you into believing a lie, that your best days are behind you, or that your joy is a thing of the past, or that there’s no hope for your future.
Remember, Satan is the father of lies. Take a moment and read John, chapter eight, verse 44.
Satan cannot tell the truth if he wanted to. So Isaiah prophesied that God is doing a new thing, and that it is definitely going to happen or spring forth.
But they could not keep their focus on the past if they were to know what He was about to do in the future. And what was He about to do had nothing to do with their being worthy of it or being good.
Look at verse 19 again. It says, “I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
God promises that they were going to experience another exodus as a nation. It would not be from the Egyptians but from the Babylonians. It would not be a road through the sea, but through the wilderness. Where He dried up the Red Sea to provide a path, He would now provide rivers in the desert to provide a path for them. He was not going to repeat the same thing. It was going to be something new.
The issue is, could they perceive it? Could they look beyond their present situations and the lies Satan was bombarding them with to believe God even when they could not see.
Upon entrance of a new year and you’re being caught between your past and your future, can you perceive that God is doing a new thing? Can you believe even though you do not see it? Can you not remember the former things nor consider the things of old, whatever they may be for you? Are you willing to behold that God will (not can) but will do a new thing in, through, and for you?
The only way that you can do this is to trust Him. You must focus on the future, knowing that He will be there.
He is the one who has the authority to speak life into any dead area of your life.
He can indeed bring springs of rivers into those desert places of your life.
There are numerous precious promises regarding Christ’s return in the future, and there are numerous precious promises regarding living in the here and now. We do not see them at the moment, so it’s going to require faith on our part. We must look forward to a new thing, something He has not done before.
Your journey has not ended yet. Will you walk by faith and not by sight, as recorded in 2 Corinthians chapter five, verse seven? Your God of mercy and grace will send streams of living water into your life as you yield in faith to Him.
Peace and true prosperity will flow, not because you deserve it, but because He loves you and desires for you to know and praise Him with your life.
Now you may be listening to this podcast and thinking, my past has been nothing but prosperous. Why would I want to forget it and not remember my accomplishments?
In response to anyone that may be thinking like this, I would like to point you to what Paul said. After listing all of his accomplishments and accolades, he states in Philippians chapter three, verse 7 to 15; and I’m going to read it out of the New Living Translation.
“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all garbage so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law. Rather, I became righteous through faith in Christ.
For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death so that one way or another, I will experience the resurrection from the dead. I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it. But I focus on this one thing, forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
Now let me read that verse again. “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
So, did you hear what Paul said? Paul said even he had to, at one point in his life, forget the past and look forward to what lie ahead.
And then in verse 15 it says, “Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.”
So whether your past has been gloomy or glorious, I trust you are looking forward to new things. You serve a God who is more than able to do things that you cannot even ask or think. He is doing a new thing even now.
The issue again is, are you perceiving it?
Will you join Him in faith? May you keep your focus on the Author and Finisher of your faith so that you will be able to run the race that He has set before you. Will you praise Him now as you wait for this new thing to unfold before your eyes?
Only you can answer that question.
Please share this podcast with others and make it a point to join me again next month and smile; Jesus loves you.
[00:11:23] Speaker A: Thank you for listening. To make sure you do not miss any future episodes, please subscribe to our podcast. We want all to be able to live in God’s divine power. Also, sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website twmforjesus.org. Please do share our podcast with others; and Lord willing, we’ll be together next month.