We were in a lodge near the Appalachian hiking Trail when three Israelis, taking their pre-military excursion, came by and we struck up a conversation. They we not religious, at least one professed atheism. Continuing the topic, I mentioned something about “Yahweh” and was cutoff with a rebuke from my associate saying, “that word for God is not spoken because it is sacred.” I thought, “This guy just said he was an atheist and you think he is too pious to hear the name of God used in the Bible.” My associate was rude to me in order to impress atheists with his Jewish piety though he was Christian, makes one wonder about the impression this made on the young Israelis.
“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? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19) Scripture encourages us to remember God, His commands, and to show love and kindness. “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
(Hebrews 13:2) This is a fascinating scripture, inviting us to embrace spiritual realities as physical possibility. It confronts intellectual rationalization with the miraculous realm of the Spirit. This is the perspective we should recall, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22, 24)
There is a time to forget and disregard certain things. “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:10-14) Is it time to focus on the Spiritual and forget the natural fallen physical matters that are meaningless in the light of God’s truth, purposes, and presence? “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Matt. 15:19) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:6) The Spirit is speaking, ready to give guidance, lead us in paths of joy, freedom, peace and love. Say, Yes, to the new thing that God is doing. He is making plain sense amid confusion and bringing faith where there was nothing but doubt and questions.