“New Days” Meditations 5: A New Resource
Isa 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
We have noted in passing the natural tendency to see each day as ‘ordinary’ and therefore not worthy of expectation of something new. I happened to see the following sentence the other day in a book by a modern writer: “Modern people go about their lives according to predictable routines, though, crucially, ceaseless change and discontinuity are part of the routine.” It struck me as an apt description. Predictable days and yet change and discontinuity. Thus it is that which the Lord needs to call to us, “Do you see the new thing I am doing?” else we could miss it.
But now He speaks of this new thing again. We’ve considered Him making paths in the wilderness but now there is something even more wonderful: streams in the wasteland.
Streams in the wasteland? Yesterday we pondered the possibility of new life coming down the path that God is making. Are these channels down which the Lord’s streams or river of life (Ezek 47) will flow (2 Kings 3:16 AV), new ways, attitudes or activities, in what at present is barren wasteland, but which the Holy Spirit will flow down to bring life to the Land? “Lord, please show us if there are things you want us to be doing to prepare the way for your Spirit to flow in a fresh outpouring into whatever areas of the wasteland that is the modern world, you want to touch to bring transforming life.”
But let’s dig a little deeper. ‘Wastelands’? Badlands? Places where there is little vegetation, little life, areas that are inhospitable, areas that are barren, uncultivated, even hostile to human life. This picture of God’s streams flowing into this sort of environment has to be a picture of the most complete transformation. But note it is ‘streams’, not yet rivers. As streams flow together they become rivers, but initially we are talking about small amounts of water. Zechariah warned, “Who dares despise the day of small things,” (Zech 4:10) i.e. who disdains the small new things the Lord starts doing. When John the Baptist turned up as a voice in the wilderness, some would have disparaged this strange character, yet soon the crowds were flocking to him. Jesus’ ministry similarly started in such small quiet ways and who could have foreseen the effect of his ministry on the world. Perhaps we should not be looking for big moves initially, maybe He will come first by prodding some small insignificant people to pray and open the doors, as He has done in some past revivals. We’ll see. Watch.