God is up to something new, and He’s doing it now.
Spring is the best time of year. Prophetically, it illustrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Naturally, it reminds us that dormancy is only temporary. For each spring, flowers bloom, green grass re-emerges, and the daylight lengthens.
Spring is not the best time of year simply because it is a relief from the cold winters we endure, but because it is a sign that the opportunity for productivity has returned. Yes, it is true that we can be productive in the winter months—and some are—but the spring not only buzzes with bees, it also buzzes with the desire to be better and build better.
Winter locks us down and locks us in. We become captives to the harsh elements of the brutal cold and disruptive snow. Our plans for movement and productivity are dashed by forces and elements beyond our control. COVID has been our winter. It still seeks to keep us captive, but the season has shifted, and our state of dormancy is over.
The children of Israel found themselves captive to the imperial forces of Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. God had reached His limit of looking the other way and left them to the tyrannical power of history’s most dominant empire. Yet, their captivity was only for a season—seventy years to be exact.
Approximately one hundred years before Judah’s captivity, Isaiah prophesied better for a people that would be demoralized by dormancy: “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert” (Isa. 43:19, NASB).
Four Principles of Prophetic Productivity
There are four jewels packed into this one verse that speak prophetically to what God is doing for us in this season of movement and productivity.
1. God is doing something new. Previously God had brought Israel out of bondage through the Red Sea. This time, He was going to bring them out of captivity through the desert. There are two possibilities for the word “new.” On the one hand, new can refer to something being repaired or rebuilt. On the other hand, it can refer to what has never been seen before. What God is doing in this season is not a refurbishing of something old, but a revealing of something never seen before. He is releasing a spirit of creativity and innovation to elevate the level of our thinking, so we can elevate the level of our productivity.
Not only is God’s new thing something never seen before, but it is also imminent. In other words, it’s not something that we have to wait for, because it is right before our eyes. When Isaiah gave this prophecy, it was a promise being spoken to a future generation. When the Jew’s in captivity read this prophecy, it was not their prophetic future, but their prophetic present. As we look backwards to the fulfillment of this prophecy, we recognize its present implications in our day an age as we breakout of the spiritual Babylon’s that have kept us captive long enough.
2. God is doing something now. What God is doing is imminent, and it is springing forth “now.” In one clause God shifts from near to now, and from something dormant to something springing forth. He didn’t want to leave any ambiguity for Israel as to what He was up to, so He clarified that His next move was so imminent, it was already in progress. Please understand that God operates in the eternal present. That is, He operates in our past, present, and future as His present. His existence is always now; and whatever He does is always now—even if it is something He has declared in the past for the future.
This is a source of encouragement to God’s people because it assures us that whatever our “now” is, God is always working in it. From our perspective, it may seem that things are out of control and God is remote from our experiences, but His message to Israel demonstrates that nothing catches Him by surprise and His providence in governing the affairs of our lives is meticulously planned out.
3. God is doing something noticeable. The new thing God is doing is recognizable and perceivable. When the buds of our shrubs spring forth, they are noticeable. We can’t help but see growth and life where there was dormancy. This suggests the process starts on the inside of the shrub before we ever see the fruit on the outside. That is, the productivity of the shrub starts when the season shifts, its fruit is imminent as the season progresses, and what springs forth is what we all see and admire.
During this period of pandemic and shutdown, God has been at work in our lives, operating in us and on us in our state of dormancy. And what He has been doing on the inside is now becoming recognizable on the outside. In our two years of captivity, we have learned how to build, plant, produce, and pray. We have learned how to adapt to a changing landscape, and the new “us” is ready to be put on public display.
4. God is doing something nonexistent. The new thing God is doing will happen where you would not expect it. God is not restricted to the laws of nature or the rules of man. He is the all-powerful Creator, who can make something out of nothing. He told Israel that He was making a road and streams of water in the desert. His never-seen-before new was God turning the most unlikely place for pilgrimage and refreshment into a traveling oasis.
God does not want us limiting Him to what He’s done before and how He did them. He is birthing in us the vision to see the impossible and imagine the unthinkable. He is reminding us that He is God and besides Him there is none other. He is calling us in this season to expand our expectations and prepare for an unprecedented harvest as He builds things in places we never dreamed possible. So, who cares if it’s never been done before? The never-been-done before is God’s playground.
Done with Dormancy
As we encroach upon the second half of this year, remember God has instructed us to run like winners in our new environment. The period of dormancy is done. What God has placed in us these past two years is springing forth. It is those of us who are willing to see roadways in the wilderness and rivers in the desert that will experience the new thing God is doing in this season. So, I speak to your spirit and call you to spring forth.
Rev. Isaac Hayes is the president of Healing of the Soul Ministries. He is also an Assistant Pastor at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, Illinois, and a doctoral student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Follow Rev. Hayes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @RevIsaacHayes.
 Carl Philip Weber, “613 חָדַשׁ,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 265.  Christo Van der Merwe et al., A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar, electronic ed. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), 162.