“I am about to do a brand-new thing.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” Isaiah 43:19
Have you ever used the phrase, “It's the same old thing!” Well, for everyone that means one of two things. Either you like where you are and you prefer things don't change or you haven't the courage to leave the safety of your “shore” to discover new oceans. It is a natural pull for us to move toward what is convenient and comfortable. It is a supernatural pull to do things God's way which take us out of that comfort zone.
I find great comfort in doing repetitive things for hours on end. I can relax in the rhythm of whatever project I'm into... like when I had honey bees and parked a lawn chair a few feet from the hive to watch the hard working bees in their everyday activities... or cutting quilt patches for hours and hours... or reading a “can't put down” novel.
I'm grateful for the ability to be fully engaged in what I'm doing or be passive and drift into a place where I am able to wonder about the wonder of it all. Some folks never learned to chill, thinking inactivity some how equates to laziness. But I know for a fact that God sees when we stop and notice what he has done or is doing or is about to do.
Two years ago I signed up for something new. Some ladies from the church and I, spent about two hours learning how to apply acrylic paint and use the proper bushes for the desired effect on a small canvas. I enjoyed it so much, when a fund raiser came up a year later, I went again. It ended with the same two results: another painting that will not hang in an art gallery and having a good time creating it.
Some may tremble at the very thought of getting out of the religious rut they have carved for their life to journey in, but the shame is there is so much more. The Hebrews evaluated what Jesus had to say and struggled with the new faith he spoke of because they were comfortable in the old ways. The writer of Hebrews begins by saying both Judaism and Christianity were revealed by God.
The end result was pointed out to them and to us that it is better if Christ is our focus for life. It's a good thing if you don't open your Bible because once you do, you know what God is doing and that you have an active part in it. At that point, you become responsible for what you have read. Jesus said to learn of me and once you do... you have wisdom and are expected to act upon it.
Did you ever think about what God said to Moses as he prepared him to go toe to toe with Pharaoh? “What is that in your hand?” Or to the woman who was going to allow her son and herself to die, “What do you have in your house?” Or to the fishermen, “Cast your nets.”
In every instance God was going to do something, but the other part is each person had to make available to him what they had and take an active part in whatever he was about to do. For Moses it was a staff that turned into a snake, to the woman in 2 Kings 4, it was oil for her provision, for the fisherman, it was nets so heavy they could not pull them in. For you... only you know what you have that God is asking to use so he can be glorified.
Does scripture win you to God's side with the illustrations of faithful men and women in Israel's history and do you find encouragement and boldness that makes you ask God what he can use that you have? Are you inspired to grasp what God is doing in your daily living to where you are trying new things?
We have as many excuses for not being adventurous with God's power behind us, as those we pull out to use now and again for not attending church. Do we really think we have an original reason that God hasn't heard as to why we are not more involved in Kingdom work?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Romans 12:1-2.
If we are missing or having a problem seeing God moving in our community or in our life, maybe we aren't interested in doing our “reasonable service” and just want to hang out for the final event. The only problem with that is that we rob ourselves of observing God surprising us with his “new” and seeing what he can do with willing vessels.
You never know what you can do unless you try and you will never know how much more you can do if God is involved. The new thing begins when we sacrifice all our other loyalties in life and dare to go where we have never gone before... in the Lord.