Summary: God says in Isaiah 43:19 “I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don't you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.”
God Is an Agent of Change
In the present world we are perplexed as we are unable to make proper decisions. But when God becomes our guide; the Bible assures us that we will hear the voice behind us saying “this is the way. Walk in it”(Isaiah 30:21)He even instructs and teaches us in the way we should go (psalm 32:8) God says in Isaiah 43:19 “I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don't you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.”
For God to fulfill that promise in Isaiah, He has to bring about change. When God does a new thing that means that there are changes about to happen. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift from God” That's why we call it the "present" Bible says “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it “The Lord did not grant us another day on earth to worry and anxious about what was going to happen next. He gave it to us to rejoice and be glad in Him and be productive in whatever way we could because each day is a gift from God. His promise is that He would never forsake us. God’s grace pours out to all who will trust Him. You don’t have to earn it. You just have to be in relationship with Him to receive His grace. How then do we experience God’s grace? We come to the Lord in our weakness, in our inability, in our sin and in our failure. We choose to believe His love and ability to change us, as we rest in His grace. The result is that we grow.
2 Peter 3:18 says, “We grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul put it like this in Romans 12:2: "Don't be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." What he is saying is repent--don't be like the people around you but be totally changed by thinking new thoughts. We must be transformed--totally changed in the way we live our lives.
The first message Jesus preached was found in Matthew 4:17 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Repent means to change and turn your life around, to put off the "old man" and the ways of the flesh and to put on the "new man" and the character of God. It means to change the way you think, to change the things you say, and to change the way you act. Repentance is the life-long process of conforming our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions to the kingdom of God. Jesus taught us to pray to God, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." and that is nothing less than God's will being done on earth just like it is in Heaven. Now we, as individuals cannot bring the world, or our country, or our city, or our neighborhood, or even our family and friends to do the will or God--but we can begin to do God's will ourselves. That is repentance--to stop doing our will and the will of our society and to begin to do God's will instead.
True repentance is necessary for salvation; not merely sorrow that one's sins are known, but total transformation and knowledge that all sin is detested by a pure and holy God; a knowledge that our sins are against God, as well as others. True repentance causes us such contrition, such Godly sorrow, that we are willing to turn away from our sin, to go in the opposite direction. The most dangerous trend of the twenty first century is the religion without God, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without morals, and Heaven without Hell."
In Matt. 16:24, Jesus said “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Deny himself... not indulge all his earthly desires. Putting aside one's own thoughts, wants, and even needs, to follow Jesus. The message of Jesus addressed the deepest need any person will ever have and that is precisely why Jesus came. He said, in Luke 19:10: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." The greatest need any person ever has is the need for salvation. But there can be no salvation without repentance.
On the cross, Jesus died for our sin, for our badness. We were guilty and He paid for the guilt. When we confess our sins, we are taking care of what is wrong and what the cross already pays for. Being a man or woman of God is a matter of being humble and truthful about our sin and accepting His grace and growing. John Powell said this, “We think we have to change, grow and be good in order to be loved. But rather we are loved and we receive His grace so we can change, grow and be good.” The only limit to healing in our lives is the degree to which we don’t reveal ourselves. To grow we must hold a commitment to what is true. God’s grace gives us the freedom to face God and face the truth about us in the light of God’s Word. Knowing we are fully loved and accepted by Him, He calls us to come to Him with everything so that He can help us experience freedom (John 8:32) and a more abundant life (John 10:10). And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.