This week I was reading Isaiah 43:19 in the AMPC, which says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
When I looked into the context of this scripture, the prophet Isaiah was talking about the process where God’s people, who had struggled to be a nation among other nations, was about to walk into a new destiny. They had been in captivity in Babylon, and now they were about to return through passage of the wilderness, to their own land.
Now of course this prophecy holds a wealth of truth concerning more than just the new, wonderful beginning for this ancient nation. It gives reference to a new life of redemption the Messiah would bring for all sinners. It points to Jesus Christ being the Saviour of the world, making all things new for everyone who believes on and receives Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”
But there’s more! Isaiah prophesied the Lord would make a way in the wilderness. Obviously, for the Israelites of old, the route from Babylon to Jerusalem would cross through some extreme desert terrain that would be treacherous and difficult for the travellers as they journeyed home. But God promised He would make a way for them, implying He would take good care of them along the journey, giving them direction and provision, where there was commonly no path, and where all necessaries were wanting.
Just the same, Isaiah was prophetically referring to a time where the “wilderness” would be a “Gentile” dominated world, where the One true God was not commonly experienced or embraced. God would make a way through Jesus, for both Jews and Gentiles to receive new life in Him. Today, we live in a sin dominated world where it’s foreign to walk in the light and truth and love of God. It’s a spiritual wilderness of lack and barrenness, but He has made a new way of life to all who receive His Son, and has promised to provide everything we need to overcome and live victoriously along the way.
And then comes the part I’m particularly excited about! Isaiah prophesied that God would make rivers in the desert! This is where the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is released into the hearts of every believer, and the life He brings comes directly from the Source of Living water, gushing its vitality and energy and strength in and through us.
This is the part of the New Thing God has done that I want to emphasis. We must embrace our new reality of being born of the Spirit of God and then walk through this life being controlled by the Spirit. We may be living in a modern day wilderness, with all its dangers and hopelessness, but we can successfully live and prosper with supernatural life, gushing and flowing through us. While we are confronted by sickness, poverty, devastation, hatred, abuse of every kind, and every horrible evil under the sun, we have the Spirit of Life, Who speaks truth when we can’t naturally find it. In other words, the life of the Spirit which is in us, and is greater than anything in the world around us, must rise up and be the dominating force through us.
How on earth does this happen? When we daily honour the Word of God, and the life of the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us, it most certainly will.
Having said that, I was reading an article on this very thing on the internet at bornofthespirit.today. I found it highlight wonderful truths about this, a few of which I’ve mentioned in this letter.
Now, let’s take a look at what it means to daily honour both the Word and the Spirit in our lives. This is where we deliberately connect with God as a continual, daily practice. Yes, it’s true we are inseparably connected to Him, 1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us this, but I’m talking about giving Him our devoted attention to clearly hear and receive from Him. I’m talking about communicating with Him, hearing His voice and receiving His practical wisdom. Drawing deeply from His life and peace and comfort and power for our lives - to the point where He becomes the dominating flow of life in and through us, every day!
Look at how the written Word and Holy Spirit work together in this process: I understand that most of you may know the Greek translation for the written Word of God being Logos. The Bible is full of references showing us that when we deliberately meditate on the written, or Logos Word, and treasure it in our hearts, being careful to do what it says, and we don’t become distracted from its truth, we will prosper and be successful in all things, wherever we go. (Joshua 1:7; Isaiah 48:17-18; Psalm 1).
Now, while meditating on the Logos Word, the Holy Spirit is the One Who makes it alive to us. It’s as though certain scriptures leap off the pages and into our hearts. As we spend time thinking about them, the Holy Spirit speaks to us, He sounds like flowing, spontaneous thoughts that light upon our mind. You’ll recognise it being Him, because His words bring peace and joy with them. They are always full of hope, even when He reminds us of things in our lives that need adjusting, like wrong attitudes or things we said or did that were not in line with His will for us (2 Timothy 3:16, John 16:13). He never brings condemnation, only correction in love.
John 7:38-39 says, “He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).” The Holy Spirit is sensed as a river of life and peace, of joy and comfort, which flows up from our spirits, which are intricately and inseparably connected to Him.
The Greek Word for the Holy Spirit’s spontaneous voice to us is called rhema. It’s important to note that the spontaneous rhema Word will always be in agreement with the written Logos Word. That’s because both are God’s voice to us.
Another powerful truth concerning our hearing and receiving daily wisdom and power from God, through His Holy Spirit, is the Hebrew word Paga. It’s translated “intercession” and is really God’s voice leading us in prayer. The article I read mentioned the literal definition being “to strike or light upon by chance,” or “an accidental intersecting.” Spirit-led intercession is sensed as spontaneous thoughts that light upon our mind while we are praying. They really are a form of the rhema Word of God. They are God’s thoughts intersecting ours. So when they come, we pay attention to them while we pray and flow with them, as we are guided by the Holy Spirit.
When we begin to live each day in the spontaneous flow of the Holy Spirit, by daily recognising and honouring Him through meditating on His written Logos Word; recognising and paying attention to His spontaneous rhema Word; and praying being led by His spontaneous thoughts that intercept our own; we begin to live the new life of freedom, provision, protection and abundant blessing God has for us. When we are led by the Holy Spirit we are able to enjoy the “...way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” He has made available for us.