18 “But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
If you know anything about the Israelite people, then you know that one of God’s biggest miracles was bringing them out of slavery in Egypt. They were in bondage for over 400 years, praying to God to save them. And through his servant, Moses, He did. God not only rescued them, but He did so in one of the most epic, memorable ways possible – literally parting an entire ocean so that the people of Israel could escape their enemy on dry land.
But the Israelites often forgot about this miraculous exodus. They had some sort of amnesia regarding God’s blessings, and that amnesia caused them to stray from His Word again and again. Therefore, it was not unusual for prophets to remind the Israelites of God’s previous blessings and miracles; to remind them of the God they serve, what He can do, and His infinite love for them. That reminder often helped snap them back to reality, so to speak.
That is why this particular scripture in Isaiah 43 is so interesting. In verses 16 and 17, God reminds the Israelites of exactly what He has done for them, many years ago:
“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.”
And yet, in verse 18 God instructs them to “forget all that”. Why? Because “it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new.” You see, it’s one thing to remind ourselves of God’s previous blessings in order to renew our faith. It’s good, even, to use our memories of God’s power to comfort us; after all, if He did it before, He can do it again (if you read that in Tye Tribbett’s voice, let’s be friends). The danger, however, is when we allow our memories of God’s previous blessings to limit our belief in the future miracles God can perform. Before we know it, we begin to expect God to move in the same way. We assume that the same doors will open, the same miracles will occur, the same blessings will flow. At worst, we even stop believing that God can do the impossible outside of what we’ve seen.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about the ways God has blessed you in the past, longing for those moments again. Or you’ve been observing the ways He’s been blessing others, and wondering why you aren’t being blessed in the same way. Consider, for a moment, that maybe God wants to do a new thing in your life. YES, He will come thru just as He did before. But it might just be in a new way: a new blessing, a new pathway, a new open door, a new relationship, a new job, a new opportunity, a new you. The Bible says that eyes have not seen and ears have not heard the things that God has in store for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). Today, I encourage you to take the limits off God. Open your eyes and your heart to what He can do.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” – Ephesians 3:20-21
In what areas in my life am I waiting on God to move?
How do I envision that “move” looking? Is it similar to how He has moved in the past?
How might I be limiting my belief and understanding of how big God is?
Thinking back on the past few months, where have I seen God do a new thing in my life or in the lives of others?
Dear God, I’m eternally grateful for the ways that you have delivered me in the past. You’ve shown me, time and time again, that you are capable of doing the miraculous, and that you hear me. Lord, I’m sorry for the ways that I might have been limiting my understanding of what you’re trying to do in my life now. I’m eager to step into whatever is next for me, and eager to see you move in a new way. Open my eyes and heart to whatever “new thing” you might be doing. And thank you for seeing, hearing, and loving me, always.
In Jesus’s name I pray,