Isaiah 43:19 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.

As I pray about 2024, I keep sensing the word “newness.” That sounds quite generic as we turn the calendar year, but I believe it is important for us not to assume we will recognize the new things God is doing in the new year.

I love how Isaiah declares that God is doing a “new thing.” The God Isaiah is writing about is the same God today. He never changes, and yet, He is always doing something new. Think about that for a moment.

What is God doing that is new in your life? How is God revealing Himself in a fresh way to you? What does God want you to learn about His character, power, or perspective for the first time this year? How will God reveal Himself to our CF community differently than in the past?

This declaration of God doing a new thing also comes with a warning that we can miss it. Isn’t that sobering? God can be doing something amazing and new in my life, but for various reasons, I can totally miss it and, therefore, not experience it. This happens to me when I focus on a problem in my life more than God’s Presence or when I fill my schedule to the brim and have no space for downtime.

This is a huge reason why we start the year with Withhold to Behold. We want to intentionally be aware of what God is doing (the new things!). Fasting is a gift from God that allows us to slow down, remove distractions, and align our focus so we can become more aware of the God who is always with us.

I’m praying you recognize God throughout this fast and that you will connect with Him in new and powerful ways as we begin 2024.

Derek Harden


Take a few minutes and pray through these questions:

  • Where do I see evidence that God is with me?
  • What is God doing new in my life?
  • How is God freshly revealing Himself?

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