“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
Isaiah’s writings to the children of Israel came at a bleak period in their history. They were in captivity, they had lost everything they thought they would keep forever, and they were homesick for the land and the blessing God had promised them.
The children of Israel had many victories in their past -- leaving Egypt, conquering the Land of Canaan, fighting off prospective conquerors, and surviving a split in their country.
But when they find themselves in captivity, all their previous victories were doing nothing to set them free. They needed a new work, a new miracle, a new victory.
God desires to do a new work in your life. But the first step to embracing this new thing God wants to do is to change your focus. Quit looking behind you and start looking ahead. If you are continually looking behind, you cannot see where you are going. If you are ever going to move on to new things in Christ, you must learn that you cannot depend upon past victories to sustain you.
To move on to new things in Christ, you must also know that you cannot allow your past failures to determine your future. The children of Israel had failed God miserably. Every time He blessed them with good things, they returned to Him evil things. They did not deserve to receive anything from God, yet He still loved them and wanted to help them change. God was not condemning them for their past; instead, God was holding out the hand of hope. He was, in effect, saying, “Forget about your past -- I am giving you an opportunity to start over.”
Once you change your focus, the next step is to clarify your focus. Discover what God wants to do in your life. In order to discover what God wants for you, you must see your possibilities as God sees them. God is able to transform the desert areas of your life into abundant fields of blessing. He can take a dried up, useless life and transform it into a life full of purpose. You may feel like your past has made your life a wasteland, but in God, your life can become a stream of life.
God had already set into motion the events and people who would lead Israel out of captivity. But it was still up to them to decide if they wanted what God was offering. If they refused God’s plan, if they refused to follow where God was leading, then they would be doomed to remain in their captivity.
God has already set into motion a new direction and a new purpose for your life -- do you not perceive it? So, forget the former things and don’t dwell on the past; God is doing a new thing! Embrace it and see God make a way!