I’d like to share with you about a morning when the Lord spoke profoundly in a “wake-up” call to me. I believe the Holy Spirit speaks in special ways to each of us to get our attention and uses that to draw us into the eternal Word of God. It is the power of prophecy—the Holy Spirit speaking to His people—linked to the changeless truth of His revealed Word. When it is received with understanding, it opens possibilities for us to participate in the newness of God’s purpose for our lives.
I believe that God has ultimately and conclusively revealed His eternal Word on the pages of Holy Scripture, and I can find myself there; but I also believe that God speaks to all people—to you and me. The Bible Shows at least five ways.
First and foremost,
God speaks in the Scriptures and in His Son Jesus, who is the incarnate Word. The Word has been declared in God’s Son and in the Scriptures.
However, the Bible also says that the Lord speaks in other ways:
The Lord speaks in creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). You can’t look up into the night sky without something stirring in your heart that says, “God is mighty.” You can’t hold a baby in your arms without sensing the marvel of His creative dynamic.
God speaks to our heart. Our conscience “bears witness” (Romans 2:15). There’s not a person in the world who, at some time or another, has not sensed within themselves that there is something to which, Someone to whom, they are accountable.
God speaks through circumstances. By the very nature of circumstances we face in our lives—whether beautiful or frightening—there comes a revelation of our dependence upon God.
God speaks by His Voice. The conclusive revelation is in the Scriptures, but the Scriptures are filled with God speaking to people.
On that great day of Pentecost, the day the Church was born, Peter rises to preach and interprets what God had said 800 years earlier through the prophet Joel:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.” – Acts 2:17-18
God’s goal in coming to work in, upon, and through human beings is to fill people with His Holy Spirit and enable them to prophesy. Still, we must always be careful to differentiate between what God has said in His Word, and whether there is a biblical basis to what a person shares as prophecy.
“I am preparing to do a new thing in the Earth.”
I was awakened early that morning, very clearly aware that my awakening was by the prompting of the Holy Spirit and not by the sunrise or the alarm going off. As I rose, putting on my bathrobe and going into the other room so as not to bother Anna, the word of the Lord came clearly to my heart. He said: “I am preparing to do a new thing in the Earth.”
The instant those words were spoken to me, two things happened. First, I felt frightened. Things are at such a flashpoint in our world, I wondered if God’s “new thing” was in relationship to some horrible event that might take place. I had a sense of fear—not of panic but of caution—of bracing myself at the thought, “God’s going to do a new thing.”
This world deserves judgment, so does the nation where I live, and so do every single one of us for our sins, but in the mercies of God, He offers so much other than that. And yet, there are prophecies in His Word about times like ours that are very much descriptive of Last Times. There comes the awareness in our spirits that we may be living today in the very last moments of human history.
My concern was answered not in words but by a clear impression that came with a tremendous sense of peace:
I’m preparing to do a new thing in the midst of your world, and irrespective of what it generates, My hope will always outweigh the horror.”
“Shall you not know it?”
The second thing that happened that morning was that I was drawn immediately to the Word of God. I went into the living room, flipped on the light, and sat down in a very restful place where I usually have my devotions and spend time in worship and prayer. That morning, however, I opened my Bible and went directly to the Scriptures. I wanted to see God’s abiding Word undergirding this idea of “a new thing.” I was drawn with a heightened sensitivity of and reverence for God’s awesome hand of potential judgment in the Word of the Lord given through the prophet Isaiah:
“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?” – Isaiah 43:18-19
When the Lord asks, “Shall you not know it?” He is saying, “Do you want to open yourself to My new thing? Are you willing to embrace it?”
This verb “know” in the Hebrew language is far more than cerebral awareness of insight. It has to do with the total giving of yourself, as in the husband-wife relationship within marriage. This “knowing” is a total receptivity, a total embrace. The Lord is saying, “I’m going to do a new thing. Will you embrace it? Will you receive it into your life?”
Although I didn’t know what the “new thing” was, my heart immediately responded:
Yes, Lord. I want to be open to whatever You do. I want to be available to Your time for me. If, in my world, You’re going to do something new, then there’s every reason for me to believe there’s something new You want to do in me to prepare me for such a time.
I believe that if God says He’s going to do a new thing, then it’s going to have a relationship to His people—to you and to me. It’s not for us to watch as spectators. The Lord wants to imprint it on our lives. He wants to take the “new thing” and work it in us, and it will be far more than just sensation or novelty. It will be abiding, durable, engendered in our life and thought. It will be something that is workable and practical for us.
When the Lord said to me, “I’m going to do a new thing in the Earth,” I knew that it involved not just planet Earth, but the soul of this human being—me—fashioned from the dust of the ground, as were each of us.
The setting for God’s “new thing”
Let me give you a little of the background of this passage. There is mixed scholarly opinion as to what the setting was in Isaiah 43: whether Israel was in captivity in Babylon, or whether it took place during a particular pressure point in their history.
My personal view is that this passage takes place at a time preceding Babylonian captivity, yet they were captive to the politics and power of their circumstance. The Lord was addressing a people in exile, at a time of intense difficulty. Though not the same as Egyptian captivity and slavery, Israel was distanced from the confidence of their home setting and under the duress of a foreign power.
These things happen to all of us. Perhaps you are distanced from the place that God made for you, not enjoying the blessing of what He intended for your life. Never accept the things that are tormenting in life as though they were predestined for you—they weren’t. God’s intended place for you, as announced over and over in His Word, is benevolently planned, with high promise and purpose.
There was also the threat of an invasion from foreign powers. The engines of war were set up and ready to besiege the city. It was not only military warfare, it was also warfare of the soul. There are circumstances in our lives in which we feel besieged. It’s wearying. You live in the insecurity of never knowing when the problem will erupt that will eventuate in the crashing defeat of something you’d hoped for. Finances have a way of doing this to us—the uncertainty of being able to make it from here to there. Relationships have that same kind of quality when things become stressed to the breakpoint.
The people were also guilty. They had a sense that their miserable situation was what they deserved. Their circumstances were either a result of their own doing, or they had been born into them. We “arrive into” circumstances: we may not have created or produced them, but nevertheless we’re in the middle of them. Whatever the reason you’re in a problematic situation, the Lord says He’s set Himself to do something new anyway.
This was the setting in which God said to His people, “I am going to do a new thing.” Looking at the setting is important because we see how parallel it is to circumstances we face in our world today. Regardless of what may be speculated about current events and an uncertain future, if God can fashion what He wants to in us, we’ll be ready for our place in whatever happens next in the world. That’s why I’m most concerned about how God’s “new thing” applies to you and me.
God reminds us of His role and His works
“I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters, who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick). – Isaiah 43:15-17
God’s call for us to prepare for a new thing reminds us that it is He who, in His redemptive grace, comes in His holiness to make people whole. He reminds us of the kinds of things He can do:
As our Creator—the Source of all being. The best things in you are God’s idea.
As our King—a proven and benevolent Ruler bigger than your circumstance.
As our complete Deliverer—making a way where there is none. He’s the Vanquisher of the retaliator against you.
Sometimes it seems like as soon as God does a good thing, the Adversary comes back to get even, just as Pharaoh pursued Israel after they’d been delivered from Egypt. As Israel approaches the Red Sea and begins to break through to victory, they look back and see Pharaoh’s army is coming. The very path of their deliverance has become their enemy’s path of pursuit!
God says, “Just you wait and see. This is gonna be good.” The Israelites passed through the Red Sea, and the waters closed in on their enemy. God is our complete Deliverer; He will not take us halfway there.
“Do not remember the former things…”
God no sooner reminds us of the mighty new thing He did at the Red Sea, then His next words are, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old” (v. 18). He’s not saying that they’re unimportant, but He’s admonishing us not to confine Him to what He’s already done. Moses could have never dreamed what was going to happen when he took an obedient stance, holding out the rod and speaking the words the Lord had told him to speak. He was probably just as amazed at what happened as was everybody else.
The miracle at the Red Sea was beyond anyone’s ability to speculate or guess, and there are new things God wants to do for us that are beyond anything we can fathom, invent, ask, or imagine. Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Perhaps you are reading this right now and facing a situation so overwhelming that unless God does something that transcends human imagination, you don’t know of any way that it will work out. Maybe what the Lord’s getting ready to change is you rather than the circumstance. Nevertheless He promises that He’s going to do “a new thing.”
Why doesn’t God tell us what His “new thing” is?
Why does God project to do a new thing without giving us an indication of what it’s going to be, or even that it’s approaching?
First, He withholds telling us in order to keep us from trying to anticipate His ways and thereby limit Him. Our part in His new thing is to let Him work in us a readiness to respond. When God says that He’s going to do a new thing, there’s something very reassuring about the fact that it will be done right.
Second, He doesn’t tell us in order to free us from attempting to drum up faith. If God told us the new thing He was going to do, we’d try to help Him, and all we’d be doing is getting in the way.
Third, God wants to demonstrate His exhaustless resource of wisdom and power. As a father delights to do things that rejoice his children, or a husband would love to bring home a gift for his wife that demonstrates his love for her as a total and complete surprise, so God desires to show us something wonderful of Himself that we haven’t even figured out yet. It doesn’t matter if we know what the “new thing” is or not. Our hearts can be filled with hope knowing that God is going to do it; and we know that when He does, it will be enough to handle the situation, no matter how impossible it seems to us.
There is never a time in human experience that God is not ready to invade the human dilemma with something of a divine visitation of His newness that defies analysis until He does it. God does a “new thing” in order to produce new themes for our praise unto His glory: “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise” (Isaiah 43:21).
“Now it shall spring forth.”
Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it hasn’t started. Right now, the Bible says, it’s going to spring forth. It isn’t something in the future.
That was a puzzle to me until I went to the Hebrew text and was pleasantly surprised to make a discovery. The Hebrew word “spring” here in verse 19 is the word for “sprout.” The problem I had was that the word “now” suggests that if God’s going to do a new thing, I ought to be seeing it “right now.”
However what this text actually says is: “now it shall sprout.” Jesus, in speaking of the entry of His kingdom, said, “First the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head” (Mark 4:28). In other words, preliminary to even the visibility of the blade above the ground, there is the sprout beneath it.
What the Lord wants us to understand when He says He’s going to do a new thing is that it is in process already. You can’t see it yet, but it’s set in motion; just like after a long, cold winter, there’s a change going on inside the Earth underground, preparing to bring the approach of spring. Beyond what has perhaps been the cold, bitter winter of your soul—or the drought of a long dry spell—the Lord says He’s set in motion that which will bring about deliverance unto a time of growth, development, refreshing, and fruitfulness. When God’s “new thing” sprouts in you, it will be with the fragrance and beauty of the springtime of His purpose in you.
When the Scriptures speak of that life springing forth, picture a slab of concrete that cannot resist the breaking power of the tiniest root of a blade of grass that pushes itself up through. God could not give us a more graphic picture than to say:
“Your world is one in which I want to do a new thing, but I want you to recognize, it’s a new thing in you, and a new thing for you. It isn’t novelty or sensation, but it’s the richness of My working that will crack through any obstacles that would hinder the fulfillment of My glorious purpose in you.”
Open to God’s new thing in your life
There is something so sweet and tender, yet so mighty, about God telling us He wants to do a “new thing.” I believe the Lord is wanting us to hear Him at a personal level:
Be reminded of the kinds of things I can do and My exhaustless resource of wisdom and power.
Don’t confine Me to what I’ve already done or try to anticipate what I will do next.
Though you may be captive, exiled, or guilty, My “new thing” is still for you.
I am your complete Deliverer, making a way for you where there is no way. I come in My holiness to make you whole.
My “new thing” will prepare you for whatever is to come, and out of it, you will find new themes for your praise unto Me.
How can we open to God’s “new thing”? Walk in simple obedience. Keep on loving Jesus, praising the Lord every day. Feed on His Word. Manage your money God’s way.
Make a mental commitment to do the right thing, and then say, “Lord, work it in me.” God’s called you to His terms, not that He might manipulate you, but that He might bless you; because all of His ways are righteousness and peace.
The Lord is calling us to open to “a new God-thing” because it’s sprouting—even now! He wants each of us to embrace it in our humanness, our personal life, our family, and our relationships. He’s declared He will do it in His eternal Word, and He’s whispering it today by His powerful Holy Spirit. As He does, our response becomes pivotal. God may be doing a new thing, but it can blow right by us—not because He’s indifferent about our experiencing, knowing, and being transformed by it, but because it calls for our participation, and He will never force that on anyone.
Join me in drawing nearer to the heart of God and inviting Him to do a new thing in you today. Don’t try to make it happen, but stand in expectancy. Because God’s doing a new thing in the Earth, and it’s coming your way.
Copyright 2002, 2015 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries
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