by Keith Fukuyama
“Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
God never changes, but the way in which He decides to perform His work does. That’s the point that Isaiah is trying to make to the Jewish captives in Babylon: “Don’t live expecting God to always work in the same way He has in the past (deliverance through the Red Sea). He will deliver you, but He is going to do it totally differently this time.”
This passage has a two-fold message for our church.
The first message is to us as a church. We, as a church, need to recognize that God is doing a “New Thing” at Evergreen SGV with the transition of leadership from Pastor Cory to Pastor Rocky. When Pastor Cory became the Senior Pastor of Evergreen back in 1977, God began to do a “New Thing.” The church started to grow. The makeup of the church slowly changed. The way worship was conducted changed. The way we did things changed. The challenge to those who were present before Pastor Cory came was to not live in the past and insist that the church function as it had before; instead, they needed to perceive that God was doing a new thing and then go along with what God was doing.
As it was with those who were part of Evergreen in 1977, we now face the same challenge. The way we conduct ministry, the makeup of the church, the way worship sounds, may all change. What will our response be to that change? Will we insist that things be the same way they have always been, or will we perceive that God is doing a new thing at Evergreen SGV and go along with what God is going to do?
Transition/change is never easy nor comfortable, but when we reflect on God’s faithfulness to our church throughout the decades, we can find comfort in knowing that God will continue to be faithful to us as we move forward. We can still look back fondly to the leadership and style of ministry that Pastor Cory had, but we must let that go and embrace the new thing that God is going to do through Pastor Rocky.
The second message is to us as individuals. Is there a “New Thing” that God wants to do through you? So many times we (myself included) get caught up in thinking that God can use us in only one way, in only one type of ministry. We think to ourselves, “My area of ministry has worked well so far, and it will continue to work well in the future.” It gets to be comfortable, almost easy. When He calls us into something new, we dismiss it by saying, “That’s not my gifting,” and we take a pass on the new thing that God has in store for us. God may be calling you to embark on a new ministry, one in which you will probably feel totally inadequate in doing, a ministry in which you are going to have to completely rely on Him. Are you up for it?
Let us not dwell on remembering the former things nor consider the things of old, but realize that God is doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?