“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” (Isaiah 43:18-19a, NIV)?
If God does something new every day, then why don't I perceive it? Perhaps it is because I'm “stuck in the muck” of my life. A friend once told me, “I look at muck as something that is thick and heavy and keeps you in one place where you can't move—a place where I continue to believe the enemy's lies.” Whatever the stronghold that keeps me from perceiving and believing in God’s promises—that stronghold is muck in my life. It is the very thing that paralyzes me and keeps me from moving forward in faith. What is sad is that this muck can become my way of life.
Some synonyms for muck are mire, mud, filth, dirt, and slime. It sounds disgusting, but when that is what defines my life, it is disgusting. When I'm stuck in that muck of sin or fear or stubbornness or complacency or whatever holds me captive, any hope for greater faith is sucked out of me. My muck speaks death to my faith. It reeks of the enemy's ability to keep me from freedom. But, if I will allow God to reach down and help me, He has newness of life for me. “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire,” the psalmist wrote. “He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2, NIV). If I reach up, He will grab my trembling hand, and with amazing strength of purpose, pull me out of that slime. Lifting me in His redeeming love, He will hold me safely and securely.
How do I get to the place where I am willing to admit the muck has me stuck, and I need God's help? If my muck is sin, then that is when I realize that it destroying my soul, and God is slipping further and further away. When it is complacency, then it is usually when something horrible happens to shake me to the core. When it is a stubborn spirit, then it is when I drown in the muck of my own making, because my need to control has had to have everything its own way. When it is from fear, then it is when my fear has utterly consumed and paralyzed me. Whatever it takes to admit that I am stuck in the muck that bounds my soul—whatever it takes to bring me to the point where I reach for His Hand—that is what needs to happen to make me desperate enough to let go and reach up for Him.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants'" (Exodus 33:1, NIV). He longs for me to leave the muck I'm stuck in and move on to His “new thing”—that Promised Land He has for me. I choose to reach up, and grab His hand. I choose to leave the muck of the “former things” behind. When I allow Him to rescue me from what I have been, known, done, perceived, controlled, and feared, I discover He does do a “new thing”. I actually perceive His amazing “newness” for my life!
“See,” He declares, “if you will let go and forget all the muck that has defined your life, I will do something new!” I know that with His power and my surrender, this “new thing” will spring up. It will be His truth in my spirit claiming my soul for victory. I will know His spiritual perception alive and powerfully real wiping out the muck of the enemy’s lies. This “new thing” is my promised land.