Tuesday, February 21, 2012

See, I'm doing a new thing

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Isaiah 43:16-21

This is what God says,
   the God who builds a road 
right through the ocean,
   who carves a path 
through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses 
and chariots and armies—
   they lie down 
and then can't get up;
   they're snuffed out 
like so many candles:
"Forget about what's happened;
   don't keep going over 
old history.
Be alert, be present. 
I'm about to do something brand-new.
   It's bursting out! 
Don't you see it?
There it is! 
I'm making a road 
through the desert,
   rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say 
'Thank you!'
   —the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided 
water in the desert,
   rivers through 
the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water 
for the people I chose,
   the people I made 
especially for myself,
   a people custom-made 
to praise me. 


Isaiah is speaking to the captive in Babylon. He is reminding them how God took them through the impossible in the past. He reminds them of how God brought them up out of the captivity of Egypt. It is good to look back at what God has done. To remind yourself of his faithfulness, particularly when you find yourself in a place of captivity. In your case you my not be held captive by a foreign nation but there may be addiction, or brokenness, demonic bondage, sickness, depression, guilt, shame. It may look as if things will never change, your situation is hopeless and seemingly impossible.
Our passage today is speaking to a group of people who from every angle were in a impossible bondage with no hope of release. They needed a redeemer. A redeemer according to Wikipedia "The English word redemption means 'repurchase' or 'buy back', and in the Old Testament referred to the ransom of slaves (Exodus 21:8). In the New Testament the redemption word group is used to refer both to deliverance from sin and freedom from captivity."

You may find yourself in a place where you need Jesus to repurchase or buy back or to deliver you from sin and grant you freedom from captivity.  Start by remembering what God has done for you before. If you don't really have a before with God to look back upon then you can look at stories of deliverance in the Bible. It is full of stories of people facing impossible odds but that God stepped in and changed how the story ended.  Your story is not over yet. I talked to a friend who had been estranged from her daughter for a very long time. Nothing she could say or do would change things, so she has prayed and cried out to the Lord. Yesterday she received a call from her daughter and they had a wonderful conversation. God's "suddenly's" dont' usually come suddenly the instant we want them to come but most often after a long time of waiting, trusting, hoping, believing, suddenly things change and what was impossible yesterday is possible today.

I need to keep this one short today so if you take one thing away from this post - don't give up. Remember what God has done to redeem and deliver you from other situations, remember the stories from the bible of others who he delivered. Remember but don't dwell in the past, thinking oh those were the good o'l days when God was with us.  The verse goes on to say. "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I a making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." When God redeems you from something - your new life will not look just like your old life. He is doing a new thing - its time to embrace the changes and to take those steps of faith to move along the path to freedom that God is cutting through the barren desert of the impossible. Look to Him he will lead you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

Prayer: 
Dear Lord, Help us set aside the comfort of familiarity and the predictable. Help us to look to you to know a way through to freedom from the things that have held us in captivity and in bondage.  Help us to take those steps of faith to begin to make the changes you have already told us we need to make. Help us do more then just give you lip service but help us to begin to take action. Help us to see the new thing you are doing and to trust you to lead us along un familiar and un predictable paths as we find our security in you and not in our circumstances. 

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