May 26, 2020
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
What is the “new thing” spoken of in verse 19? There was a context for when those words were first written, but the question in light of our current reality is also very appropriate.
In Isaiah’s time, the children of Israel were in captivity to Babylon. The people were oppressed, as they had been in Egypt. They were not free to do what they had been doing and all that they wanted to do and even knew they should be doing. They were confined and limited in their activities. They were in a stuck and waiting mode.
The prophet explains that they would cry out to God and He would bring a new exodus through a new wilderness. The past was nothing compared to what God would and will do. You might say that an incredible faith upgrade was on the way, something new.
What is the new thing God is doing in the midst of where we are right now?
At the other end of this season things are going to be different. Once this is all over, will we say “That was weird, let’s get back to normal, back to what life was before” ------or will it be a whole new thing, a fresh way of doing things?
I don’t want to miss what God wants to do that is new by going back to former things.
My computer does updates on occasion, and everything comes to a stop or at least slows down when it does. I wonder, in this season where many things have stopped or slowed down, if God might be doing some upgrades, like from 1.0 to 2.0.
Moving to faith 2.0 in 2020. That seems fitting and even fascinating to think about. Not that everything changes but some things get refreshed and rearranged.
It means new language, “new normal” (if that is even a thing), new harvest fields, new methods of reaching people, new ways to BE the church that take us beyond just "doing" church.
When the “stay home” mandate is over, it would be tempting to go back to 1.0 because we are familiar with it, it was normal. It is hard to leave 1.0 because it was working. But, 2.0 upgrades are almost always better.
These are things I’m thinking about as I reflect on Isaiah’s words. God is doing something in the midst of this, something is springing up. If it is just as simple and profound as people getting more connected with God along with a group of other people, that in itself is the victory of new streams and new things.
God is the Way-maker, bringing fresh water in desert places. Father, help us to perceive it.
Joannie Gregg says (May 28, 2020):
As I have wondered about the “ new normal” of being the church, the Lord by His Spirit convicted me to pray for my pastor and my church leaders and not to find fault with how they are processing through these challenging times. It’s so easy for me to find fault and speak against those the Lord has sovereignly placed in authority over me. I end up complaining to God about who He has chosen! So I pray my pastor and church leaders seek the Lord and follow Him, perceiving His way.