Isaiah 48:18-19 NIV
18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be blotted out nor destroyed from before me.”
The key verse that we have been focusing on these 21 days has been about the glory of new beginnings. We can see how God gives us new beginnings not only with the new year, but in every aspect of our lives. Often times in our human nature, we take for granted what God has promised us and the verse that we have today reminds us of how fulfilling our lives could be if we just slow down, take a minute and pay attention to the new beginnings that God places throughout our lives.
When we think about new beginnings, we often think about a clean slate or starting something brand new. Now this is true in some instances, but new beginnings can also mean stripping something from ourselves or refining ourselves in order for us to walk into something new with God without hindrance, baggage, or limitations. The passage in Isaiah 48:18-19 showed me that harsh reality but promising truth of God’s promises for our lives. In this chapter, God invited the Israelites to return to Him and keep their covenants. He promised scattered Israel that He had not forgotten them and that He would restore them to their covenant blessings and gather them back to their lands of inheritance through the efforts of his servants. When he says in verse 18, “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea”. It reminds me of all the times, when I was younger, that my dad told me something and now I look back and wish I had listened to him because it would have made my life a whole lot easier.
God has plans for us to prosper in life and he cares for our well-being. Sometimes we can get it confused and say, “God put something hard for me to overcome in my life and when I overcome it, I can have a fresh start”, when in reality we made it hard for ourselves and delayed our blessings by not listening to God in the first place.
With the new year here, let us keep in mind how we can continue this feeling of starting fresh by being servants of God and our neighbors. Take time to listen to God intently so that we can live in peace with one another and not delay what the Lord has in store for you.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for all the blessings in our lives, seen and unseen. As we begin this new year, help us to be more patient and thoughtful with You and our neighbors. Allow us to see new beginnings in our friends, family, community, and be intentional when listening to Your word. As we go through this new year, we pray for Your helpful, healing hand over our friends and families and we lift this up in your Son’s precious name we pray, Amen.