“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 desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
That is not my strongest gift. What is not your strongest gift? I have not been very perceptive in life. Why is that true? What has prevented you from being perceptive? That is a question without an easy answer. That is a question that has multiple answers that might offer an explanation as to why I have not been very perceptive in life. Let me hear your answers. I should start by being clear. That is a good place to start. Generally, I have not been very perceptive in life in many regards. But in this case, I am thinking and talking about not being perceptive to your activity in and around me. Maybe what generally causes you to lack perception to other things also negatively impacts your being perceptive to me. I am sure there is some overlap. I suppose I should just start describing my lack of perception and see where we end up. That sounds good to me. Alright then, I tend to be very busy. Busyness has often blinded me to what is going on around me. Focusing narrowly on the task at hand has blinded me to the larger picture. It’s like I can see the individual trees but not the whole forest. How is that for a metaphor? That is a pretty good description of one of your problems. You seldom pause and step back to look around at the larger perspective. Yes, that is true. You would do well to live with a couple questions. What questions would those be? Ask me, “What am I doing in and around you today?” Ask me, “How can I join you in what you are doing today?”
But we have jumped ahead and left your main problem too soon, haven’t we? Yes, I think so. Tell me what is your main problem? What most hinders you from perceiving the new thing I am doing in and around you? I’m often stuck in the past. Many times, I have allowed myself to be dragged down, discouraged, and depressed by my own sins. Frequently, I have failed to fully accept your forgiveness and cleansing. When I am in this mode, it is hard to see anything but myself, and how I have taken missteps, made mistakes, and sinned against you. How will you ever be able to move forward with me if your heart and mind and eyes are not on me? How will you ever be able to perceive and join me in the new thing I am doing if you can’t forget the past, receive your forgiveness, and cleansing, and move forward with me? That is the point, isn’t it? Yes, it is. I want you to live the new life I have given to you. Forget the past. It is gone. It is forgiven. It is forgotten. Keep your heart and mind and life focused me. Perceive and join me in what I am doing. Will you do that? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have allowed former things to drag me down, discourage and depress me. This is, no doubt, a trick of the devil. I will no longer dwell on the past. I will focus my heart, mind, and life on you. Help me to perceive and join you in the new thing you are doing. Amen
Key Question… When have you perceived and joined the Lord in the new thing that He was doing?
Living It Out… Keep your heart and mind and life focused on the Lord so you can perceive and join Him in the new thing He is doing.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that the Lord will help you to perceive and join Him in the new thing He is doing.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how you are perceiving and joining the Lord in what He is doing.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you forget the things of the past so you can perceive what God is doing now.
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