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New Beginnings
by Minoli Haththotuwa
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(Isaiah 43:18 & 19)

"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."

At the beginning of this new year, our eWord contains keys to the beautiful blessings the Lord has in store for us. Things may not have gone the way you expected during 2010. Maybe you made some decisions which were not the best. But we serve a God of multiple chances. This is why Jesus came from Heaven to earth and laid down His life - that our poor choices would not lead to death, but that in Him we would have a second chance! As you step into this year, see it as a new beginning; see it as another chance. Step forward knowing that today is an opportunity God has given you to live for Him and experience more of His mercy and grace. He has good plans for you. He wants you see all His promises fulfilled. This year is filled with potential - reach out and receive!
In this passage of Scripture, God was speaking a word of hope to His people through the prophet Isaiah. It was a time when the people of God had moved away from Him. Their hearts had grown cold towards the Lord who had saved them from their enemies. They had lost their devotion to God and had adopted the rituals and deities of the people around them. Godís people had sinned and fallen from grace. Although they deserved His chastening, God spoke words of hope to them, and encouraged them to start afresh. God was encouraging His people to look ahead to all the good plans He had in store for them! God was promising to do a new thing in their lives and in their nation. Hallelujah!

In verse 10 of the same chapter, God promised 'a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.' God was talking about the impossible becoming possible! Roads do not just happen in desert terrains; sandstorms, winds and the sand itself make it difficult to clear a permanent way. Also, water is scarce and unless it is bubbling up from an inner source, streams do not just appear in the parched desert earth. The relentless desert sun would burn it up. But the Lord is saying here to us that what we thought could never happen in our lives is in fact possible because He will make it happen; God will bring it to pass! What we have yearned to see take place in our lives can actually come to pass before our very eyes, and even during the course of this new year!

There are a two keys in this passage of Scripture, as we step into the new beginning God has for us:-

1) Forget the former things and do not dwell on the past! So many of us live with the regrets, guilt or sorrow that are a residue of our past. You may be blaming yourself or others (or even God) for mistakes and wrong decisions you made, for disappointments you had to face, or the painful, heartbreaking experiences you had to endure. The Lord is asking you today to lay those things at His feet. Forgiving someone who caused you pain is one of the most difficult things to do, but God the Holy Spirit is able to help you if you ask Him; and once you decide to forgive with His help, you are already on the way to winning the battle. Yesterday is gone and cannot be changed. Why would you allow it to tarnish and cripple your tomorrow or today! God wants us to lay aside the pain of yesterday. As you decide that you will not carry yesterday's bitterness into tomorrow, and lay it at the feet of Jesus, you will truly receive inner healing from the Master's hand, and begin to feel a new joy and peace. Remember the Lord is telling us not to 'dwell on the past'! This means that we have to make a decision to refocus, and 'train' ourselves not to keep going back to those past things in our thoughts or our speech - we can truly receive God's help to FORGET those former things and stop meditating on them! Unless you forget the former things, you will never be able to see the new thing God is about to do in your life this year! Remember Lot's wife! When Lot and his family were fleeing from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were asked not to look back; she looked back and became a pillar of salt! (Genesis 19). The things behind us are over and dead; 2010 is in the past. We cannot change yesterday, but we can make a difference for tomorrow and today. What is ahead is alive and full of powerful divine potential to change our lives and bring great glory to our Lord and King!

2) See the new thing! God has a plan and a vision for each of us. In my own life, there have been many times when I have heard from God about something He wanted to do in or through my life, and it may often be something which is still to come to pass; a vision for the future. It is something to pray towards, to believe for, and to anticipate. As we live in faith and in the expectation of the fulfillment of Godís promises, we will begin to see the vision actually take shape in our lives, sometimes step by step, sometimes many years from the time you first received it. But it will surely come to pass as you live towards it. Believe in the vision God has for you. He wants to do a new thing in your life, and as you begin to expect and see it in faith, you will see God's hand unfold the miracle before your eyes!

As we stop dwelling on the past, and as we begin to look towards the promise of God, we will see those roadways where there were no roads; we will see streams bubbling up from the depths of the desert earth; we will see God's miracle-working power exploding into our lives, bringing transformation and great victory, and making the impossible finally possible! He will make a way where there was no way! Healing, deliverance, restoration of relationships, financial burdens lifted, and the hand of the Lord moving supernaturally over our lives! This Word is true even for all those dear ones burdened and praying for the nation; as we continue to pray towards the vision of God, He will bring healing and deliverance to the land. His will is what must come to pass!

So friends, be encouraged today, that your dream will become a reality. We are stepping into a new decade, and a new year and it is going to be special. This year is going to be different, because you are decreeing it to be so. You may have been hindered for many years by your past; but if you receive the Word of the Lord today, God can change your situation and make everything brand new! Remember that everything you need has already been released for you by the Father (Ephesians 1: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ....") He has already blessed you with everything you could ever need! Rise up and step forward to claim what is yours! This is your future! This is your year! And God has decreed goodness and blessing for you.

May this year be filled with the glory of God. May His presence cover everything you do. May He prosper the work of your hands, bless your relationships, and surround you with His favor like a shield. May you love Him, seek Him, and serve Him more than ever before. May Jesus be the center of everything you do and may He take you to higher heights in your walk with Him. I pray health and wholeness and increase for you, in Jesus' mighty name. I declare that the blessing of Almighty God is upon your new year, Amen

Minoli Haththotuwa

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