This past Sunday at Northshore Community Church, we launched a series called New Beginnings. Over four weeks, we’re looking at four different passages from Isaiah 40-66. On Sunday, we explored Isaiah 42:18-21
18 “Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
19 “Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
20 “The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
21 “The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise.
If we want to experience a new beginning, Isaiah shows us the way:
1. Watch. “Behold, I will do something new… Will you not be aware of it?” God loves and wants to do new things in our lives, but we have to be on the lookout for those new beginnings. Sometimes the “watching” is paying attention to the things in our lives that hold us back from experiencing those new beginning—our tendency to live in the past or our self-reliance, believing that we can figure it out ourselves or patterns of sin and rebellion that we fall into. Sometimes “watching” is being on the lookout for the new ways in which God wants to move in our lives. Maybe you’ve tried to fix a relationship, what feels like a hundred times. But now, perhaps God is saying, “Let’s try something new. Let’s try it My way.” If we want to experience a new beginning, we have to be attentive.
2. Walk. God makes possible the new beginning and even shows us the “roadway” to walk down, but now we have to choose to walk down the road He shows us. There are times that God shows us the new beginning, but we choose not to step out in faith and obedience. When we don’t, we miss out on a new beginning. There are times when we’re struggling with a sin pattern or an addiction in our lives, and God shows us what recovery can look like. He impresses upon us to go see a counselor or to join a support group. But we don’t want anyone else to find out, so we choose not to walk into that new beginning. Or we know that our marriage is struggling, and God paints a picture of hope and a new beginning in our relationship with our spouse. But we’re not quite sure that we want to go through what it’s going to take to get healthy because we know that we’re going to have to do some work on ourselves. We’re going to have to press into some unhealthy patterns in our marriage. God shows us the “roadway in the wilderness.” In faith, obedience, courage, and even discipline, we have to walk down that roadway He’s provided us.
3. Worship. Notice this final step in the process of experiencing a new beginning in v. 21. God says, “The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.” This is living a life of gratitude toward God. This is the choice to declare and proclaim your trust in Him before, during, and after the new beginnings He brings about. When we’re watching for those new beginnings, when we’re walking into the new beginnings He brings about, worship keeps our head and our heart focused on Him. Worship reminds us that He formed us for relationship with Him—a relationship of love. Sometimes that worship looks like singing songs about God, whether individually or together as a church. Sometimes that worship takes place in our prayers to God as we begin with gratitude and realizing His incredible love toward us. Sometimes that worship takes the form of serving others in Jesus’ name because we realize how much God has actually served us through loving us back to life. Sometimes that worship finds expression in sharing our hope in Jesus with a friend or a family member who hasn’t yet made that decision to follow Jesus. We experience new beginnings through the act and lifestyle of worship.
What new beginning is God doing in your life?