What good words to hear for the new year. There’s not anybody living who couldn’t use some "new" things. Many of us are overjoyed to leave behind 2018 for it has been full of too many tests and trials. Yet when the prophet Isaiah offered these words to Israel in Isaiah 43 we need to look at all the dynamics of this utterance.

In a chapter overflowing with promises of deliverance from natural and human disasters, we see these good words, that God is doing a new thing, yet right after that we read the words:

22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel…

24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. Isaiah 43:22,24 (KJV)

The promises of God are all "yea and amen", yet they are not a given – with no qualifications- there is a part we need to play.

As I heard these precious words of "behold I do a new thing" – I also heard

Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (KJV)

If we want the new thing, we have to have a new walk, a new talk, a new order to our days- we have to see our 24 hours in a new light – garnering wisdom for the way we utilize our time; the time we spend in seeking to please us, versus the time we spend seeking the Lord filling Him "with the fat of our sacrifices". Instead of letting the devil wear us out with trials, we need to wear God out with our praise. Instead of always being on the defensive of life, living always in catch up, we need to live on the offensive, "seeking God early", going after the things of God with veracity and passion and waiting before Him for His plan, before we act.

I used to tell my students when I was teaching that every day they were in my class they were making a decision about their future. As they decided whether they were going to open a book and read, or do my work to prepare for class-they were determining their future life. Was my history class that important? Yes, it was, because as they decided whether they were going to apply themselves to the things that would make them successful in my class, they were also developing life skills of discipline, tenacity, and obedience under pressure even without understanding that they were doing that. Those skills come in handy when you’re having to put forth the midnight oil in college, or in the workforce when you have to work until midnight on a multi=million dollar project to ensure completion on the job.

There are things that separate even the child of God – it is said that salvation does not cost you anything –I beg to differ – a wise professor once told me when I was working on my doctorate that opportunity costs – it costs you everything that you could be doing in place of the effort to attain that opportunity.

Salvation is like that – it is giving your life to Christ in such a way that it costs you everything you could be doing in place of living a life holy and committed to Him. To be able to receive the new, you have to have wisdom to be able to reject the old.

From our heart to yours, praying for a Blessed and prosperous New Year for all,

Maria