Intro by Tawny Nelson:
This is an encouraging and easy-to-read article by Joey LeTourneau, which I hope becomes part of your devotion for the day. Joseph had two sons in Egypt, who are, as Joey explains, representative of the new things God is doing in each of our lives in our time. If you're waiting for a much needed breakthrough or a fresh start and the new to come forward in your life, then you need to read this!
A sneak-peek and key phrase in Joey's article is this: "If we will know the new thing that God is doing among us, it requires a letting go, a forgetting of that which would try and taint the new." Now, read on to find out more and be encouraged and strengthened on your life's journey!
Tawny Nelson, Assistant Editor
The Elijah List
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"Forget" and "Be Fruitful": Two Sons of This Time
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
"Shall You Not Know It?"
This is a popular verse for many of us. It is often we declare that God is doing a new thing, or that new is coming. And, we are right! God is a living, breathing, moving God who is always calling us forward to join Him according to His seasons and timing. But God has taught me not to focus so much on the new thing, as that part is what He is doing. I am instead drawn to the question that follows, "Shall you not know it?" I must put myself, my thinking, and my faith and expectation in position to see, know, and walk in the new that is springing forth.
If anyone has waited for a needed breakthrough, it was Joseph! If anyone longed for a fresh start and for the new to come to life, again, it was Joseph. If anyone persevered in calling with vision, hope and patience, it was Joseph. But for any or all of the above to take place, it first required a letting go. He couldn't see the new season through the eyes of yesterday, nor hear new life's call if listening to the hurts, lies, rejection, or insecurity that the enemy had attempted to tag the past season with. Joseph had to let go of the old before he could grab the new.
Have you ever watched gymnastics or acrobatics? Often you will see someone swinging from one bar with the plan to leap and grab the next. The new bar is impossible to grab while still holding the previous; there is a transition period of letting go and losing the old before there is any chance at the new. It's a true leap of faith, but we cannot hold both swinging bars at once if we wish to move forward and swing into the path of our new season.
Sometimes we want to prove to our past what our future holds by waiting for the two to meet. But stepping-stones are there to be leapt from, not carried to be stacked on the next. If we will know the new thing that God is doing among us, it requires a letting go, a forgetting of that which would try and taint the new. (Photo courtesy: Alamy)
Two Sons of This Time
Joseph had two sons I believe represent what God is reminding us in this time.
Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: "For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house." Genesis 41:51
And the name of the second he called Ephraim: "For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." Genesis 41:52
The naming of his sons shows us Joseph's understanding on how to recognize the new thing that God is doing. Manasseh had to come before Ephraim. Before Joseph could have the past season redeemed, before he could find himself fruitful in the land of his affliction, it required a forgetting!
The past season could not become a life-giving, multiplying testimony until Joseph allowed himself to forget and move on. It's a pretty plain fact that you cannot have your second son without having the first. And we cannot bring the new blessings into our old wineskin of perspective and expectation. Many of us are ready for our Ephraim, but such does not occur until Manasseh is first born in the renewing of our mind.
Grace For "Now"
The verse in Isaiah says, "Now, it springs forth." I believe that "now" is upon us! We have entered into a brand new season. We have seen this unfold much like Joseph, and as I write this, we are personally awaiting our firstborn son to come into the world to join us, and his four older sisters, any hour now! My wife desperately hopes he is here by the time you are reading this, and so do I.
He is our fifth child. My full name is Joseph William LeTourneau IV, so he will be the fifth. He is arriving into our family five years after our youngest daughter, who is five years behind her older sister, who is five years behind our two oldest adopted daughters. Five is the number for grace, and that is five different fives! We don't overly pay attention to such patterns, unless we really hear the Lord speaking through such. He has spoken clearly to us about the new season our firstborn boy represents, the new that is coming, and that this season is marked by grace!
God's grace is more than sufficient and beyond present for our leap from one swinging bar to the next. We can trust Him, and we must trust Him. We must not hold ourselves somewhere that He does not hold us. His grace is there to catch and carry us as we let go and forget, so that we can see, know, and grab onto His new. (Photo courtesy: Augie De Blieck, Jr.)
"Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?" says the Lord... Isaiah 66:9
He will finish what He has started. We cannot give birth to the new or know His delivery unless we first forget the place we have toiled and let our expectation become fresh for today! Ephraim is coming, but first Manasseh is here!
M.A.R.K. 10:14 Family/Heavenly Hope Ministries
Website: bringhishope.org / uncommonvision.org
Joey LeTourneau, his wife Destiny, and their four daughters live near Denver, Colorado. They travel extensively, empowering the Body of Christ to draw near to their First Love and live out the life-giving testimony of Jesus to the world around them. They desire to see the Father's heart fully revealed to the world, and through such see a multiplication of life so abundant the whole world will know the true nature of our Father! Joey has authored three books: Revolutionary Freedom, The Life Giver, and his newest release, The Power of Uncommon Unity.