One thing is certain, God never changes. (Malachi 3:6) He is the one constant that we can anchor to, hang our hat on, and take to the bank. It’s true, God never changes, but His methods do. Consider this verse in Isaiah 43:19,
“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.”
I’m getting older. That in itself is not a bad thing, at all. But I’ve noticed that I’m still operating in the past in many ways as it relates to my relationship with God. He’s done incredible things to me, through me and for me in days gone by, and I truly appreciate all of it. Yet, I realize He’s not doing the same things in the same ways anymore, at least not in my life and ministry. Jesus said this,
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.'” Luke 5:37-39
To which I say, “Lord, may it never be that the old is ‘good enough’ for me!” Personally, I don’t want to miss today’s new move of God simply because I’m stuck in the “good enough” of yesterday.
The Good New Days
The wisest man in the world (King Solomon) wrote this about those good old days, “Do not say, ‘Why is it that the former days were better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.’” We must not long for the old days, instead, let’s appreciate them, learn from them and leave them in the past where they belong. The message of Isaiah 43:19 (shown above) is to look forward to the “Good New Days” that are surely ahead for every believer in Jesus Christ!
What impact does the Church at large have on our world, our country, and our culture? How about your local Church, what kind of relate-tionship do you have with your community? Are you exhibiting “signs of life,” by reaching out, asking the Lord for new ways to impact your neighborhood, or connecting with others in the Body of Christ? The old ways of reaching people don’t seem to be working anymore, and If we think about it, even God changes His methods without compromising His message.
Relevance: closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand
If God says He’s doing a new thing, perhaps we need to ask Him to make us aware of what that looks like in our world, so that we can join Him in that new work. This applies to how the Church witnesses to the world, how we interact in our assemblies, and how the Church remains relevant in this generation. When I say relevant, I am NOT saying that we compromise our message, only change our methods. Because the way we reach the people in our culture does hinge, at least somewhat, on how closely we can relate to them in our presentation of the Good News.
The truth is, God isn’t doing the same things He was doing in the 1970s. In fact, as we look at Jesus’ life when He was on this earth, He hardly ever did the same thing in the same way twice! What God is calling us to do, I believe, is to walk by the Spirit so closely through prayer and fellowship (with Him) that we actually hear His voice saying, “…this is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) And while walking by faith in a world of sight can be challenging, it can also be the most exhilarating, fresh, and abundant life we’ve ever experienced!
Old ways, or new ways, there’s nothing wrong with either one. We just need to know where each applies and not try to stuff the new into the old or push the old into the new.
God is doing a completely new thing, and sometimes it’s an old thing in a brand new way; either way, I don’t want to miss a thing!
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