Ansell: God gives water in the wilderness; put your faith in new things God is doing
God tells us in Isaiah 43:18-21, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”
Did you hear about the lady — that every time she cooked a whole chicken she would cut the tail of the chicken before she put it in the pot.
One day someone asked her why she did that … she said, “Well, that’s how grandma did it. Grandma always cut the tail off the chicken before she threw it in the pot.”
Later they found out that grandma cut the tail off the chicken because grandma’s pot was not big enough for the chicken UNLESS she cut the tail off … so for all of those years this lady was doing something that was NOT necessary. This lady was remembering the things of old and not considering the new, according to our Scripture text, “could she not perceive it?”
They asked somebody, “Which is worse — ignorance or complacency?” To which they replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” In other words, “Both … or are they are equal.” So what is it with us that when it comes to the NEW things that God is doing in our lives that we fail to take notice, is it ignorance or is it complacency? Or — and I want you to listen, is it that to respond to the NEW things that God is doing we have to change … and change is hard, can I get an amen on that? Change is hard (in my business we call it transformation, and transformation is always good)!
2 Kings 20:10 says, “The shadow always moves forward, so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backwards instead.” The sun moving forward, that’s easy, but make the sun go a different direction. That’s hard! They say, “It is easier to cuss the darkness than to light a candle.” Oh man, that’s us way too often!
Listen, it is so easy to keep living in the past, it does not require a thing to live in the past, to keep doing the same thing you have always been doing … the past is comfortable, the past is familiar … but God tells us in Ecclesiastes 7:10, “‘Don’t long for the good old days.’ This is not wise.”
So many churches are worshipping the god of nostalgia, the god of “glory days.” When we do that it shows a lack of faith in the Lord (it’s also called idolatry) for the present and the future — in other words we don’t trust God, the NEW thing that God is doing … look again at our Scripture text, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old, Behold I am doing a new thing;” God is telling these people and He is telling us to put our faith in the new thing that He is doing.
Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.” Go ahead, be perfect and start today. Embrace what God is doing with faith. He told me to tell you that.