I try every year to find a word. Sometimes it doesn’t come till half-way through the year but I’ve experienced that certain words pop up in my life in a repetitive fashion during particular years and cause me to believe they are from the Lord.
There was the year of “surrender” where white flags kept popping up everywhere and I could not get the hymn “I Surrender All” out of my head.
The year of “abide” when Jesus beckoned me and I realized that His Presence in my minutes, hours and days was all I needed to comfort and strengthen my heart.
This year it’s “new.” At the end of last year I got hungry for something new. I couldn’t look at the old things and be happy. Mainly myself being the “old” thing. My energy seemed to be waning, my skin sagging, my initiative lagging. I was lost in thoughts about what I used to be rather than living in the reality of who I am now and looking for a vision of what God by His grace has for my future.
I refuse to believe it is just a coincidence that this word started popping up. In a Christmas gift from someone I love and respect and know has a close relationship with God. In a sermon I listened to on the internet. In a long-forgotten, unread book my eyes fell on while looking for something else.
I have found that in order to please most people, you stay the same. They know you that way and there is comfort in the known. But God never intended us to be that way. With each new day, month and year, we are to keep growing and learning and becoming all He planned for us to be. I am not commanded to settle for the “me” of my past.
When I was saved, I became a new creation in Christ. I knew there was a difference in the old me and the new me. The old me no longer defined who I was, the new me had Jesus, the hope of heaven and in the meantime a Friend that sticks closer than a brother and never leaves.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
But the newness doesn’t have to stop there, and shouldn’t.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
If I want something new in my life, I need to do some pressing-in to what He has for me in my future, and dwell less on what my past holds. My past has no hold on me if I am pressing forward.
Imagine with me a race where, at the finish line the runners press forward with their upper bodies to be the first one to touch the tape. The last kick of their energy aimed at the finish line. That’s the vision for my future, and the future of every believer serious about finishing well.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
But the Scripture that I have found so rich with the “new” word is Isaiah 43. The Lord is speaking to “every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (vs. 7) “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.“ (vs. 11-12) “Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (vs. 19)
What this tells me is that God made me, saved me and I am to be a witness for Him. I am to hate sin and never make anything this world has to offer a false god to me. And He makes the way for this to happen. He will even clear the wilderness in my life and water the dry places when I thirst for His living water. That He is doing new things for me and for you dear sister. Just press-in to His Word and let go of the past and press on to the new things He wants to do in your life. I’m so ready, how about you?