Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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. - Isaiah 43:18-19

If there is one thing we need to be reminded of regularly as Christ-followers, is that we are not to dwell on (Heb. = “diligently consider”) the past, even when relates to experiences where we have realized/found freedom and breakthrough. This doesn’t mean we are not to reflect and appreciate how God has moved in our lives in the past because we are, it simply means that as a Christ-follower we are to have a living faithone that is consistently and constantly dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Every moment of every day. A living faith. The previous two verses in Isaiah 43 states,

“16This is what the LORD says — He who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:” (NIV)

As David Schneider pointed out Sunday, these profound and miraculous events were never repeated again in Israel’s history even though they faced similar circumstances 40 years later. As Isaiah references in this text, God did miraculously deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians when Moses held up the shepherd’s staff that was in his hand while pressed between the Red Sea & Pharaoh’s Army, and they went through the Red Sea dry-shod. However, when Joshua, came to the Jordan 40 years later and faced a similar circumstance where the Jordan River needed to be parted, there was no shepherd’s staff for Joshua to hold up because God had a different plan, a “New Way For A New Day,” to provide a way for the nation through the waters. This time, unlike in Moses’ day, the Priesthood had to walk into the waters carrying the ark of the covenant trusting that God would part the waters.  It was only when their toes touched the water that the waters split and “piled up like a heap” (Josh 3:16) so the nation could cross into the Promised Land on dry ground. Another miracle that required fresh dependence on the Holy Spirit.

When it comes to faith and religion, there is something in all of us that would rather rely on something that has previously worked rather than cultivating a moment-by-moment dependent lifestyle on the Holy Spirit. A lifestyle that Jesus continuously taught, modeled, and trusted. A lifestyle of dependency upon His Father.

When Paul writes to the Romans and says that we are “transformed” (Gr: metamorphoo – look familiar?) by the “renewing of our mind,” he is describing a continuous and ongoing process where we as Christ-followers are helplessly and hopelessly dependent on the Holy Spirit. A lifestyle where we choose, moment by moment, to “abide,” make our home, in Him and His Word. This is normal Christianity. This is where transformation and freedom are found. This practice of choosing dependency on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word is how we renew our minds.

Exercise: Starting today, please pause for 5-10 minutes and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how & where He is making a way through the wilderness (in your life) and providing streams in the (your) desert (places)?

Prayer: Jesus you said, “when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth,” (John 16:13) and also that through the Holy Spirit “rivers of living water would flow out from our innermost being.” (John 7:38)

We ASK today…we pause today…to ASK you to please “guide” us in YOUR WAY, with our families, in our workplace, in our church, and in this world. Give us YOUR THOUGHTS toward God, ourselves, and others so that we may represent you well. We also ask for YOU Holy Spirit to be poured out on us today, so we are not only refreshed ourselves but can be a refreshing for everyone we meet. We LOVE You!! (edited)