“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” (Isaiah 43:19 NKJV).
Who would have believed we would be fourteen years into the 21st century already. Thirteen years after the life changing events of 911. Fourteen years ago we were wondering if Y2K was going to in fact be a reality (it wasn’t, but unseen changes did occur for sure).
The divine prophetic time clock began ticking down the hours to the return of Jesus Christ on May 14, 1948, one year before the date of my birth, when Israel was declared a Nation after 1900 years of exile. Nineteen years later, Jerusalem was again in the hands of the Jewish Nation for the first time since AD 70. It was a massive fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. Prophetic events have indeed increased as “birth pains” since that time, looking more and more like the time is “nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11).
New Year–New Thing
I always begin a time of reflection at the beginning of the New Year. Always, just a day before the New Year, I begin to sort of mourn in my spirit over the conditions of the world and it seems that God begins to prepare my heart for a time of prayer as midnight approaches and whether I feel like it; whether I am in the mood or not—He burdens my heart, weighing it down with many things that I know are approaching and He prays, with me only as a vessel. This has been my experience since I became a believer for real in 1989. In those early days I would leave my house and drive through the city as He prayed through me.
The New Thing is Coming
This year His word to me was twofold: From Isaiah 43:19 “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” (NKJV). This was the second part of a message that John and I both received two years before he died. The verse God gave to him was Isaiah 43:18: “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.” I didn’t know that he had heard this verse, and at the time, in his state of dementia, I didn’t pay too much attention to it, until I realized that the verse He had given me was the very next verse and then I became alert and paid close attention. What did this mean? A new thing? Roads in the wilderness and rivers in the desert—roads and rivers/wilderness and desert. Something to contemplate. That was in 2006. Now, seven years later, He startled me with this verse again, bringing it before my eyes again and again everywhere I looked it seemed—there it was “I am doing a new thing!” NOW, it shall spring forth!
The King James Bible translates it: “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Going back to the original Hebrew of the words “remember; former things; consider; things of old; new thing; spring forth; a way; wilderness; rivers and desert” it might look something like this (I am taking literary license in my translation I know, but this is how it sounds to me):
“Don’t mark, or be mindful of the past. Don’t discern or try to mentally understand the ancient things that went before. Listen! I will do a fresh new thing—I will rebuild and renew and repair. Now it’s going to bud and sprout and grow up again—shall you not know it? I will even make a road, a journey for you in the open field and will declare and pronounce sparkling rivers in the middle of the deserts of desolation.”
Well, I am ready for that. The year 2013 was difficult in many ways, but also a season of joy—the “fruit of the spirit” joy (Galations 5:23). Not just “circumstances going well” joy; not just a “feeling of well-being” joy; but something that comes from outside of myself. It was a request I made of God awhile back because the fruit of the Spirit joy is supernatural and I could only have it if He imparted it to me.
My own joy? It’s all over the chart—soaring one day, plunging the next. I can’t trust it. His joy? Wow, I didn’t realize what that meant, but I am getting a taste of it, and believe me it has nothing to do with my circumstances or my emotions.
What I do understand, at least at the tip of the iceberg kind of understanding, is that this joy manifests every time I choose to thank Him, even when it seems like the craziest thing to do. When my mind gets flooded with the inundating flood of bad reports and bad moods, trying to take me into a pit, if I make the choice to give Him praise and thanksgiving for Who He is and what he has done in my own past, and I speak it out loud, something very strange and supernatural happens deep within me. I don’t have to think or conjure up something to thank Him for—He brings it into my mind—and my depression, despair, hopelessness, fear, panic—all of it—starts to melt away and joy comes. Another way I have experienced this joy is when I choose to leave behind my own problems and go out to serve someone else who might be going through a rough patch. Or when I teach a Bible study. Or when I meet for prayer with a group. The joy during those times bubbles up in me and I smile the rest of the day. When I get up early, before sunrise and with the lights still off I turn on worship music and sit quietly worshipping my Creator—joy bubbles up and my day is off to the right start.
But that is still the tip of the iceberg. I am feeling as though 2014 is going to pack some punches economically, morally, demographically, geographically and spiritually, as prophetic events begin to increase like birth pains and this joy—this peace—His peace, not mine, is going to be more important than I can imagine. So I welcome it, and I say to You Lord, “I don’t know what this year is going to bring and I am weary from trying to figure out the things of the past. You are bringing a new thing. You are going to rebuild and renew and repair. This thing is going to bud and sprout up and grow. You have already made a road in this journey and You will bring sparkling rivers into my desolate desert places.”
So, bring 2014 on in; My God is going on before us and if we let Him—if we stop trying to get it all straightened out and fixed emotionally, He will repair and rebuild and renew everything that has happened in our past and create sparkling rivers into our desolate, desert places. Amen.