God wants to do a new thing in your life
by Margaret Silvester
I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve after reflecting on the past year and recounting the unchanging faithfulness of our Heavenly Father and the countless blessings that spring from His amazing grace, despite the ups and downs of life.
When you read this seed we will be a little way into the New Year. I believe the words of the above text, which were given to Israel when they were in captivity in Babylon, have much to say to us today. The Israelites had many victories in their past to which they repeatedly looked back. Now they are in captivity. All their previous victories were doing nothing to set them free. They needed a new work, and new victory, a new miracle – a renewed relationship with God. Only by letting go of the past could God do the new thing that was on His heart to do for them.
Past blessings can hold us back. We can want the same again but God is moving on. He is always doing a new thing. Past blessings are for a time gone by. There is new blessing for a new day. If we keep looking back we can’t see where we’re going.
Past failures can hold us back too. We may feel we’ve let God down in some way and we no longer sense His presence. We may feel other people have let us down and bitterness has taken root in our heart. We may even feel God has let us down (which He can never do) and our hearts have grown cold towards Him. We will bypass the new thing that God has for us, and the past will bind us, unless we come to the cross in humility to receive forgiveness for our waywardness and release those who have sinned against us.
Corrie ten Boom said, “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.” We must let go of the past so that God can open the door of our future. For the Israelites the desert meant hardship and danger; the wasteland was barren land where nothing could grow. God had plans for a new future for them and He would make a way where there seemed to be no way. This is the kind of God He is. When we let go of our past He can open the door to our future.
As we move into this New Year the question isn’t what has God done in the past? The question must be what does He want to do in my life right now and am I willing to give to Him unconditional obedience.
The following poem by Helen Mallicoat was given to her in the night. She has never put a copyright on it because she said, “It was a gift from God.” It is appropriate for the New Year.
I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking.
My name is “I am.”
He paused. I waited; He continued –
When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not “I was.”
When you live in the future with its problems and fears,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not “I will be”.
When you live in this moment it is not hard.
I am here. My name is “I am”
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the security I have in You. Thank you for the gift of the Lord Jesus and for the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I bring my past to you and ask that you release me from anything that holds me back from the new thing You desire to do in and through me. I give to you all my yesterdays and all my future days. I pray that you will teach me to live one day at a time and to live every day for You and the work of Your kingdom. I pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
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