Sunday, January 1, 2006

A New Thing

A New Thing


Key Scriptures: Isaiah 43

18 Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.

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)

Long before 1905 and the first Times Square New Years celebration in New York;

Long before AD45 and the adoption of the Julian Calendar which made January 1st the beginning day of each new year since;

Long before the birth of Christ; the times of the prophets, the reigns of King Saul, King David or King Solomon;

Back before the Judges in Israel

All the way back to God giving the Law to Moses and the children of Israel at Mount Horeb

There have been divine instructions for the observance and celebration of a New Year.

God commanded His children to observe each new year by first

* ridding themselves of the past evils, failures, sins and disappointments, and

* then by pledging themselves to a greater, more Godly and productive new year ahead.

We first see this New Year Observance spoken of in Exodus the 12th chapter and then on throughout both the Old and New Testaments from Leviticus to the book of Hebrews.

Exodus 12:2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

God is the original author of a New Year mentality.

He understands the value and the benefits of a New Beginning, A Clean Start, A Fresh Chance and God set His children up to have a New Beginning at least once each year. In fact:

The whole bible is nothing but a book of new beginnings and new beginning opportunities.

The New Year that God wants for His children does not happen just because the date rolls over from one calendar year to another.

New beginnings happen on purpose because someone is paying attention and making an effort not to have a repeat of the same old thing.

In Isaiah 43 the prophet is telling the people about the past goodness of God. How He had led them through past trials and given them victory after victory.

From the Egyptian deliverance to the defeat of the Babylonians and Chaldeans. From Ethiopia to Seba, and as Psalms 72 reminds, even the islands of the seas give way to the children of the Lord.

This was all great in the people’s minds. What great things God had done for His children.

However, Isaiah 43:18 begins: Even though those times were great!

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.”

“Behold, I will do a new thing!”

What new thing?

* A road in the wilderness &

* Rivers in the desert

What does that mean? It means that God will give:

* Direction &

* Provision

Not new to God and not new in the sense that it has never been done before, but new in the sense that it is fresh and abundant, never like this and never before in this magnitude. It’s new direction …

The question of Isaiah 43:19 is not whether God will do it or not, but will we, His children, recognize the opportunity we have to be a part of this new thing. Direction & provision we did not previously have.

“Now it shall spring forth … Shall you not know it?”

This indicates that it is an available, anytime opportunity for those who will recognize it.

What does it take on our part to participate in this New Thing?

Like I said earlier: From the beginning of God’s word to the end, the story is the same … God requires only that we:

#1: Rid ourselves of past evils

#2: Pledge ourselves to a more Godly future

The Apostle Paul declared this in:

Philippians 3 (NLT)

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all of my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.

Today let this be your New Year’s Resolution Motto: “I will”

Isaiah 1:16&17 “… Stop doing wrong, learn to do right …” (NIV)

Sometimes we need just a little help getting over the hump.

Sometimes we may want to stop doing wrong, to forget the past, to begin a new day or make a fresh commitment, but somehow we just can’t quite take the step.

Sometimes it seems like something is holding us back … like a yoke around our necks, keeping us in the same old rut of life.

I believe that God has given us a remedy for that breakthrough.

It’s called anointing!

You know what some Jalapeno peppers and Mazal Tov Cocktails have in common? They both come packed in oil!

Oil has a distinct quality. If it gets on you, you can’t hardly get it off. You can rub it around and even rub it in, but it is hard to rub off.

This is what this word anointing means. To rub with oil.

Isaiah 10:27 It shall come to pass in that day, that the burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and the yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. (NKJV)

This morning we have prepared and set aside time at the close of the service to anoint with oil those who desire a breakthrough into this New Thing God is doing.

Just as the Priests of God have done for thousands of years, we too are going touch you with the oil of anointing which will break the yoke of yesterdays off of your shoulders and from around your neck.

All you need do is be willing to stop doing wrong and start doing right. God and the anointing will do the rest and you will receive new and abundant direction and new and abundant provision for your New Year. Won’t you come!