Isaiah 43:18,19

“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.” Isaiah 43:18,19 NIV

Do you perceive a new thing?

Message Bible presents this passage like this:
“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?”

God has done many extraordinary things in our lives. But, don’t cling to them like barnacles on a ship. Barnacles looking for food attaches themselves to a ship and slows the ship down.The ship then may have to go into dry dock to have their bottoms scraped. Likewise; looking backwards, seeking to find solace in the comfort of the past one may lose sight of the new.

Don’t you perceive the new!

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29 thoughts on “Isaiah 43:18,19

  1. Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and strain forward toward the goal of the high calling…the Prize CHRIST JESUS.
    In another version of Philippians 3:13 Paul says, ” I do not consider that Iam perfected,yet. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,”
    We’ll never know what lies ahead if we don’t “go” for it. Jesus said that once you put your hand to the plow, DON’T LOOK BACK!
    “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”
    That’s what Sara taught this morning. That if you want something made clear to you you will have to sit still and listen and seek and HE will make it clear.

  2. Looking back to find comfort or happiness or to just procrastinate going forward into unknown territory may slow us down to the point that we get stuck and can’t move forward. This happened in the case of Lot’s wife in Genesis 19:26 because she looked back and turned into as pillar of salt as God was dealing with her hometown of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    And as MG mentioned about plowing…if you have ever tried operating a hand plow, rototiller or driving a tractor without a GPS system to make straight furrows, you know that if you look back to see if the furrow is straight, sure enough it will be crooked because you have to keep focused ahead.

  3. If we aren’t alert and present, how can we perceive the new? How can we forget the past? And can we become complacent?

  4. Most likely we can’t? Staying busy is a good way not to see or perceive anything but the same old same old……..

  5. Yes, having an awareness of The Holy Spirit and discerning His voice. 2 Samuel 22:29, says, “O Lord, you are my light; yes, Lord, you light up my darkness.”

  6. Dear Lord, help us to “be still” for a moment. Help us to choose to pull down the awning of our business store front, lock up that front door to the pedestrians clamoring at the front door for more, more, more, for service, service, for one more project, one more sale, one more order, one more, one more.
    And in the sanctuary of Your Holy Spirit let us be still for a moment.
    Sara talked about “white space” in our lives….white space in the journal of our lives. Help us to to make way for the King of Kings and Lord of lords. Make way!! Bow the knee!! kneel in His presence. And for God’s sake and our own….BE STILL!

  7. When Needles asked the question, ‘How can we forget the past?’, a memory of something Oswald Chambers had said in his devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest’ regarding leave it on the ‘bosom of Christ’ came to mind. Here’s a portion of it from his Dec 31 entry.
    “Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him. “

  8. How many times have we heard this but still do this? “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, but expecting different results.”

  9. Do you think we do the same things over and over again, because it is somewhat a “comfort zone” for us? I must admit that it can be uncomfortable to do something new or “perceive the new”. Sara, I believe you told me one time to try things a little different, like: “if you always put your right leg in you pants first, then put your left leg in first”, or “brush your teeth with your left hand, if you normally brush with you right hand”, etc.
    I wonder if Noah felt uncomfortable, when he was building that “mansion boat”? How about Esther, when she had to go before the king, without being summoned by him? How about Moses, when God told him to lead His people, out of Egypt? Or maybe David, when he went before the giant, Goliath?

    And yet, they all did, as they were instructed to.

  10. Needles asked, “…can we become complacent?” I think we can and do and where many of us stay. Complacent means ‘smug and self-satisfied’ And, if that is not clear enough let me help a little more… Smug…having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements.”

    Also, the question was asked, “… how can we perceive the new?” Whatever it is we want to gain must be something we can measure. If we cannot measure our goal, how will we know if we are making any progress? As we have mentioned many times here and other blogs , the Apostle Paul has some insight to help us from his life.” I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning me onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Philippians Message

    By the way Needles, which hand did you use to brush your teeth today?

  11. Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)” No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

    Many times we want to think on good things, happy times and make them alive in our minds again. Like unto, ‘when my children were young, when I was young, the way my parents did it, how I looked, where I worked, where I went to school, awards I won, etc. etc. Life is full of happy memories and I think it should be. But, live and stay there day in and day out? Even man’s traditions get stale after awhile.

    I believe we should hold on to and measure our gains and goals by the ‘fruit of the Spirit.” Love, joy, peace and….they are forever renewing themselves. They are always growing and gaining speed. They are way out front on the cutting edge of technology. How do I know this? Because they are the fruit of God’s Spirit and they are limitless. Why don’t we all try setting our alarm by their time.

    God says, “I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” O, yes, I do, fruit is beautiful! Peace is mine and a goal of mine, Dear God bring peace to the Middle East and our world. Love is in my heart and it is spread abroad (the salvation story) that all will love you and understand, John 3:16. Joy is gladness and good tidings in my thoughts and actions and I give to all that passes by me. Yes, a savior is born and He is living and giving life to all that take the time to stop by and drink from His cup of blessings.

  12. God is never stale, so heeding His wisdom daily should take us out of complacency. If we stay complacent, Proverbs 1: 32 says we will be destroyed by our own foolish doing. But listening to and perceiving Him will yield peace.

    “For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the Lord. They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes. For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” Prov 1:29-33

  13. Debi’s comment and scripture gives an insight to bitter fruit vs. sweet fruit. Complacency is an animal to run from. Proverbs 1: 32,22 Message, “Carelessness kills; complacency is murder.”

    “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit”
    (Proverbs 18:21, (NIV) “Words can bring death or life! Talk too much, and you will eat everything you say.” Proverbs 18:21 (CEV)

    We are back to Gary’s thought, “take the barnacles off your words.” I had a discussion with Chris V on the action of barnacles and he gave me some knowledge of the life of ‘Barnacles and the death of the ship”

    Blogging and learning may serve as a dry dock for my action (words) but l want to get the bottom of my ship (tongue) scraped and clean and sailing once again. Needles brushed her teeth with her right hand and I will try my left.

    But, most importantly; Let’s send our words (ship) out in the direction we want our life to go.

  14. Sara, I used my left hand to brush my teeth this morning, and I even tried eating my cereal with my left hand….(what a chore!) Now, if I can just “send my words out in the direction I want my life to go”??????

  15. For from your words you shall be declared righteous, and from your words you shal be declared unrighteous.
    I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every thoughtless word they have uttered,
    Although the sin may be confessed and forgiven, the trouble or confusion or chaos they caused will still be manifest, as Sara taught.
    That old adage, “you might have to eat those words” is truly grounded in Scripture. SO, our words had better be seasoned with salt seeing that we might have to eat them.

    ‘Matt 12:36-7

  16. One of my notes from the reading from Spurgeon says, “Israel went into Egypt poor, but came out with jewels of silver and gold.” God did something new. Therefor
    from bondage to freedom came the israelites who were now enriched by all their tribulation. Of course we know the story does not stop here. Why? Perhaps what others have said above.

  17. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. ” Proverbs 25:11. That sounds as good as having jewls of silver and gold. Plus they can nourish and bring health.

  18. On Rena’s thoughts above I don’t think we have to think,” perhaps….”The Israelites were a murmuring and complaining lot (group) of people. Exodus 16: 2 “The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.” Also, Read Psalm 106…vs. 25 says, ‘they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord….”

    As we keep reading through the Word of God we will see this unbelievable repeats and right into our own homes, families and churches.

    Debi quotes Proverbs 25:11. how does one know the right words so they can be fitly spoken? Reading God’s Word and taking counsel may give us the right words or ways but then we don’t speak or do, therefore, the fitly spoken comes into play. One knows to do right but just plainly decides not to do it.

  19. Have you heard from your parents or others, good words spoken in an empty or messed up head is a mess. Maybe we should be more careful where we speak our words and give the thoughts of our heart.

    I think this is an interesting experiment:

    Reuel Howe, a professor at Virginia Theological Seminary, ran a lab in Berkeley in the 1960s. He did “people experiments.” He set people in specially created situations, to see how they would respond. Their response became their learning.
    At this particular lab, the group was given a piece of wood, and told to reach some agreement about its length, without measuring it in any way – purely an eyeball estimate. Then they were to gather as many others as possible who agreed.
    One person had been told beforehand the exact length, but he was not allowed to reveal the source of his knowledge. As far as the rest were concerned, he was guessing just as much as they were.
    The estimates varied widely.
    The only agreement was that no one agreed with the one person who had the correct answer. He tried to gather several groups but couldn’t get other people to agree with him.
    So eventually, he joined a group who advocated the wrong answer. When he was asked, at the end of the exercise, why he would throw his lot in with a wrong answer, when he knew the right one, he replied, “I’d rather be wrong than alone.”
    Without proof the person with the right answer went along with a wrong answer.

  20. “So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
    Looks from Reuel Howe’s lab that peer pressure, acceptance and companionship is more comfortable to people than doing right.

  21. Maybe we better watch the company we hang with. Their words spoken gives you a cold chill and how do you get rid of the ugly tongue of another that just attached itself to you.

    People say foolish things and try to get you to believe it. I wonder if they believe what they are saying? It sure takes patience to deal with words that others speak to try and hurt another. I guess we need discernment to know when to drop them from our list of fellowship.

  22. If ‘bad company corrupts good character’ as I Cor 15:33 says than why would we choose to stay in that crowd knowing we would be adversely affected…unless we already share the same bad character traits and just want reinforcement.
    Proverbs 12:26 (NKJ) tells us that, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
    And Proverbs 13:20 (Message)”Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”

  23. In reading Debi’s scripture, ‘bad company corrupts good character” I thought
    about how God is a consuming fire which is in Malachi 3:3 which says in the
    New International Version
    He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.
    God heats us up with situations in our lives to skim off worldly ways of thinking which are just plain sinful. He thus transforms us into His character which is good. We strive, run for and desire this character of Jesus with all our hearts.
    If we choose not to go through this refining process and let sin or others who choose to sin infect us the character of Jesus or His face will not be seen in us.

    Dear God, Please help up this day to make wise choices, choices to take on your character and not the world’s character. May your Holy Spirit work within us to know the difference with people we are in relationship with. May you continue to refine us skimming off that which is not of you so that we may become more and more like Jesus. May you look into the pot of our lives oh God and see a humble servant one day who has the character of your son Jesus Christ. Lord thank you for all the work you do in our lives to create a clear, reflective life lived out for Jesus. A fire, a light for Jesus.

  24. When we live in the past, we go no where. We accomplish nothing. We waste time and energy day dreaming of how our life was. Yes, we must learn from past experience to help us in the present, but we must move on. Time doesn’t stand still and neither should we. When ever I think of looking back at the past, like Debi, I think of Lot’s wife. Gen. 19:16-17 “When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!” verses 24-26 Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other sities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.”
    This scripture reminds me that God doesn’t play around with His words. If God speaks it we better pay attention to every word. If we are told not to look back, we better keep looking forward.

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