Don’t you just love New Stuff?
Whether it’s shoes, clothes, books, technology, cars…the ‘ newness’ is special, and we love it!
Occasionally, though, we find a ‘New Thing’ that we didn’t like as much as the ‘Old Thing’ or the former thing.
Sometimes we find ourselves wanting to go back…no matter how bad that ‘thing’ was, we knew it; it was familiar.
That familiarity brings comfort, predictability, security…and those are good things.
However, the hard cold truth is this: If you’re going to move forward, you can’t stay put also. You can’t simultaneously experience the fresh promise of the New while hanging onto the predictability of the Old.
The people of Israel learned this. They had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. They had cried out to the LORD to rescue them, but then when He sent Moses to come and do so, they often complained in the process. They had seen God send the plagues on the Egyptians, and deliver them in a miraculous way. They had walked through the Red Sea on dry ground, as the Lord held back the waters. They had seen God provide Manna from Heaven, Quail and water from a rock. In all these ways, God had shown Himself faithful, powerful, and attentive.
Yet, when it came time to go into the Promised Land, and there were people there who would oppose them, they got hysterical!
“Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” (Numbers 14:1-4)
They could either move forward or go back. Despite all God’s promises and work on their behalf, they now wanted to go back (like many of us do, they’d already forgotten how bad it was)!
In the New Testament, we read this:
“One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast[f] like we do and the Pharisees do?”
“Jesus answered… no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” (Matthew 9: 14-17)
He was essentially saying that, when God was ready to do something new (as Jesus was teaching, modeling and describing every day), He’s not going to do it in the same ways as before.
I don’t know about you, but for me, when God is moving and His Spirit is stirring me up in a new way, I want to go with it!
In our lives, in our day, even in our Church, if we are going to move forward in a new direction with God, we have to be ready, willing and able to put some of the old ways behind us! That will mean different things for different people, but I, for one, want to be open to it!
I want to move forward with the Lord…and I’m excited about what He’s doing in me personally, and in our church! Let’s be ready…