“New Days” Meditations 28: Today?
Isa 42:10 “Sing to the Lord a NEW song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea”
As we have been pondering aspects of this NEW song, we noted initially the things that stir songs within us, events that bless us. But then we considered what caused this particular new song and noted that it was because the Lord was doing a new thing. In Isaiah’s day it was a new phase in Israel’s history which would lead on the The big phase of the coming of the Messiah. But when He says it today, it leaves us speculating what that ‘new’ thing could now possibly be. Earlier we had wondered whether it was revival or renewal or maybe even something completely different, something that impacts us and gets us to change, both our way of thinking and maybe even our way of living.
Let’s look at this slightly differently. So why does the Lord announce them to us, these new things? (v.9) Well perhaps it may seem we are going backwards but back in Isa 40 we mentioned that more familiar word, “prepare the way of the Lord”. Why? Because the Lord is coming to do a new thing and like any other king, we need to get ready.
But how? We check out our lives, observe the need, take steps to bring order and availability for the Spirit to come and move and adjust our thinking to realize He wants to make us different people – and that is good! Enough goals there?
Now although all that is well and good, and the Christian life is often just largely responding to the word of God, i.e. us doing things, we have to recognize something more here – the sovereignty of God. God WILL act regardless of how we respond. When Jesus came, he just got on with the business the Father gave him to do – preaching, teaching, healing etc. etc. and it was up to people how they responded to him. Large crowds came and went but regardless Jesus just got on with expressing the kingdom of God. So when God says He is coming to do a new thing, He WILL do it regardless of how we respond.
One of the most terrible things in life, I sometimes think, must be to be alive when God does something spectacular but not to get involved in it, so when it has passed (all revivals, for example, have passed) we are left untouched. I saw this in the so-called Toronto Blessing. Many of us found ourselves drawn into that new thing God was doing – and were mightily blessed and changed – but there are still many people I talk to today, who knew nothing of it. They lived in church communities that were not open to the Holy Spirit and thus they missed out on something most significant. Other came and saw but stood back as spectators, and they too missed out and have a hole in their testimony. How terrible.