“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.”
The Lord is always at work. He is a dynamic God. That means he is always doing, and about to do, something new, fresh, unseen before. He is on the edge, on the cusp; creative, forward thinking. He goes before.
It is therefore hard for us to predict what he will do next. Sometimes, as in Scripture, he gives prophetic indications of what he is about to do. But it is usually so far out of our box, that we don’t fully grasp his intentions. For us it is often therefore a case of preparing for something, but we don’t know precisely what it will be. This makes life both exciting and terribly uncertain. God is not under our control. He is sovereign.
We know that, in his trustworthiness, he will make a “way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” – in our wilderness and wasteland of our lives and our circumstances, our culture and our society. But we don’t, and the Jewish exiles, whom Isaiah was addressing, didn’t know, exactly how he will do it – what means he will employ; who he will accomplish his will through. We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5.7).
We can rely on his faithfulness; he is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2.13). But this deep mystery, of God’s actions in our lives, in history, means we need to exercise deep trust in him. So, we have to adopt a posture of waiting, even when we do not know exactly what we are waiting for. The next move of God, in our lives, or in the world, will require of us a response that is ready and willing, whenever he acts, and whatever he decides to do.
Sometimes this may mean holding on, even while things seems to keep getting worse all around us, when the visible evidence appears to contradict God’s promises. But we also need to avoid prescribing, dictating, to him, just what he should do, as if we’re God not him.
So, what should we do, if we are to be ready for God’s new move, whatever it may be? First, be aware of the great adventure you are in. Look for opportunities to serve him, and to serve others. Be alive to the possibilities for action around you. God has put people and situations in your path for you to act in (Ephesians 2.10). Sometimes you will get a chance to share your faith in Jesus with words; use them.
This requires that we are constant in prayer, not just asking for things, though this is good; but also presenting ourselves to him, waiting on him, to receive his guidance; and being conscious of his presence as we go through each day, open to the people he places along our way.
Pastor Steve Latham