“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”
(Isaiah 43:19 ESV).
In the Old Testament Book of Exodus, God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt. He did so through a series of mighty displays of power culminating in turning the Red Sea into a highway for his people, parting the waters and allowing them to walk across dry land before overwhelming Israel’s chasing enemy. Many years later, God’s people found themselves again exiled in a foreign land - this time, Babylon.
The original exodus was not a one-time event. God didn’t exhaust his power in delivering his people the first time. Rather, he provided a new pattern of rescue. Isaiah’s words to the exiled people of God was a reminder to not live in the past, but instead actively look for God to return them home through another exodus event. As the ESV Study Bible notes, “where there is no clear path forward, God creates one” and “where there is no natural relief or refreshment, God provides it.”
While we might not find ourselves exiled in a foreign land, the past year was probably filled with its own distractions and hardships. But, for those who look for them, a new year can bring about new opportunities - even if they don’t readily appear in front of us.
God desires to do a new thing this year - in our church and in our lives. Will we have the courage to follow him on a new path? Will we have the courage to follow him in the change he promises? When Jesus matters most, transformation follows.
Action: This week listen to the song “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation Worship then take some time to reflect on your past year. Then think about the new year. What are some goals you have for following Jesus? What are some changes you’d like to see in 2023? Write these down and share them with a close friend or family member. Will you allow God to do a new thing in your life this year? Pray that God would give you the courage to follow him in the new thing he wants to do in your life.