“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 desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isa. 43:18-19 NIV)
God’s promise to the Israelites here is amazing. He is the Lord their Redeemer. He is their King, which owns them as His people and dwells among them. He reminds them of the great things He did for their fathers when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. For the encouragement of our faith and hope, it is good for us often to remember what God has done formerly.
For me it’s my pride that keeps me from moving into the fresh and the new at times and grieves His Spirit. I want to be in charge of my life because it seems safe! The truth is, I don’t know what my tomorrow will bring. But I know this that God can use us in a dramatic, unexpected way if we allow Him. He can lead us into a season of life and ministry beyond anything we’ve ever experienced. Who is the limiting factor here? Is it God? Or are we closing our hearts to what God wants to do in and through our life?
Ruth’s story speaks to us of God’s ways with people. Ruth was a woman who came to a new time and to a new place. The Lord is calling each of us to a new time and a new place. And how we respond to His call is crucial for it will determine our destiny.
This is how Paul describes God’s ways in Romans 11:33-36. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” God’s ways or mine? We’re to find what pleases the LORD (Eph. 5:10). Only then will we find our fulfillment as His children. Even when there’s famine, dry seasons in our lives, we’re to rest our hope in Him alone rather than rushing to figure out our own solutions.
God’s promise to us is He will faithfully deal with the people who stand firmly with Him relying on His promises alone—even when we are lacking what our hearts desire! We hunger in different ways….We hunger for acceptance, vocational fulfillment, for recognition, for sufficiency, adequacy and etc. We long for a change of scene or circumstances. Often times we think external changes like a new car, home or clothes will help our inner peace but it’s a lie! Only God can bring about the true change and fulfillment. He changes us from inside out! Only He can satisfy a restless heart but, He cannot bless us when we disobey His word and chase after our own dreams! It leads us to even a deeper sense of emptiness and frustration instead of the satisfaction. Christ wants to make our joy complete: John 15:11; 17:13! But Satan tries to steal that joy and peace in Christ by telling us we can find them elsewhere (through external things).
God has a new place and a new time for each of us, but only on His terms, not ours. Ruth found it. How about you?