God Is Into New Things!

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18, 19

It was on one of my evening runs that I noticed this tree in Bishan Park. It looked a little odd with the leafless branches sticking out on one side; and on the other side, a small bunch of green leaves sprouting. Quite immediately, Isaiah 43:18-19 came to mind!

Yes, at times, we may go through dry and seemingly barren seasons. There may be no leaves, no flowers, no fruit for a while. Does it mean that nothing is happening? Not at all! This could just be a time of recuperating, of resting and of realigning. God may appear silent but He continues to work in the background of our lives.

It’s easy to see the branches but no one sees the roots. Yet, that’s where the action is. Our part is not to focus on the outward but to continue to draw from the Source. There may have been disappointments and discouragements, mistakes and mess ups. That’s ok. Keep drawing to keep growing. All these, like the old leaves, will soon fall off and the winds will carry it far away. If we hold on to the past, we will not allow these to make way for new leaves, for new things, to come.

God is always into new things and we are to move forward with Him. How tempting it is to remember the former things, and that’s why the prophet Isaiah declares, “Do not remember the former things!” Let it go! Stop looking back with regrets! Keep doing that and we will miss what’s ahead. God does not wait for us to stop looking back before He begins a new work in our lives. It’s already started, He says! Do you not see it? Shall you not know it?

This is so exciting as I sense this is a personal word to me! The new season has already begun! A new wave has emerged in my life and ministry, and God is inviting me to jump on and ride it with Him that I may experience the abundance He has for me, my family and ministry.

Perhaps He is saying the same to you?

Hungering for the Things of God

One night at prayer meeting, an impression came into my mind.  I saw many people kneeling at the altar crying out to God with a deep hunger and desire.  The Spirit spoke into my heart saying, “These are hungering for the things of God.”  Then the Spirit spoke again, “And these will be different from those who merely hunger for the things of God.”  The message hit home immediately and I understood the significance of what God was showing me.

There are those who simply love the things of God – promises, prosperity, provision and possessions.  It is not difficult to walk into any church today and hear a sermon that emphasises the entitlement of believers.  Similarly, Christian bookshops carry many attractive titles containing the buzzwords of success, blessing, abundance, breakthrough and victory.  Is this necessarily wrong?  Well, not exactly.  After all, Scripture does attest to the abundance of these for the one who comes to God.  When God called Abram, He promised to bless him that he would be a blessing to the nations (Gen 12:1-3).  Standing on this, armed with the understanding that we “who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Gal 3:9) and “heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29), should we expect any less?  What a wonderful promise to the glory of God, and yet, when viewed with the wrong perspective, this has led to many who come to God only for the things He can give to them.  Like the children of Israel, these keep the law not because they love God, but only that they would not miss out on His blessings.  A sister was so burdened with the need to tithe that she felt trapped and condemned.  When I told her that God is not going to club her over the head should she give one-cent less than the “mandated” 10%, she asked in fear, “What if I lose my blessings?”

Are we hungry for the things of God, or are we hungry for the things of God?  Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day, saying, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.” (Matt 23:23)  I believe that in these final days, God is looking for those who are hungry for Him and everything He stands for – righteousness, justice, mercy, holiness and godliness.  Not many like to talk about these things of God.  We acknowledge them, yes, but are also quick to avoid them.  We rationalise that Jesus has done it all and righteousness has been imputed upon each of us.  As such, these things are not important anymore.  Instead, since these have all been taken care of, we might as well focus on the other things of God and be blessed, blessed and blessed!

Make no mistake, God is calling and rallying His people, and these are those who are hungry for the things of God and His Kingdom.  These are ones who are exercising towards godliness (1 Tim 4:7) that they might be raised up as trees of righteousness (Isa 61:3).  These are not afraid of the testing by fire that the genuineness of their faith might be proven (1 Peter 1:7).  These will do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God (Mic 6:8).  Are these short-changed in any way then given the high cost of living in Singapore and the present economic uncertainty?  Not at all!  Matt 6:33 boldy declares, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”

May you be one who will be hungry for the things of God and not just the things of God.