Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Daring to ask for the new thing

During Lent, I’m participating in a study by author Max LucadoHe Chose the Nails.

An instruction Lucado gave to be used in our daily quiet time was to ask ourselves several questions. “Where in my life am I falling short, feeling defeated, or growing cold to God? What new thing do I hope God might do in me?”

To me, the question that takes the most courage to ask is the last one.

A new thing is at first appealing, but new things involve change, which is often challenging.

I’ll never forget sitting in a prayer group years ago, and a friend asked for prayer about her move. Her family was renovating a beautiful vintage home in a lovely part of town, but she had two small children at the time. “It’s a blessing. . . ” she said with tears streaming down her face. “. . .  but I’m so overwhelmed.”

God was giving her a new home, but in time, He also did something fresh in her, increasing her trust in Him as she walked with Him through this transition.  

If there’s a geographical, relational, vocational, or any other kind of change, it will always come with a spiritual implication.

When we ask God to do a new thing in us, sometimes there can be an unraveling of sorts. He may take things apart before he puts them back together.

It often feels easier just to be satisfied with the status quo, but clinging to our comfort zone and our past can cause us to miss the incredible future God has. We’ll miss the stretching and strengthening. We’ll miss the wonder of how the new work can shake us from our yesterdays to establish different opportunities. The new thing can cause us to think of ourselves in ways we never have beforesee ourselves more as God sees us.

Eugene Peterson translated Isaiah 43:19 this way, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”

In the original language the word new has a connotation of renew or repair as if the something brand-new is closer to God’s original intent.

As I’m praying for God to show me the new thing He wants to do in me, and I’m also praying He would give me the courage and tenacity to embrace it.

This Lenten season, join with me in asking the questions above. In doing so, when we celebrate the rolled away stone on Easter morning, our Hallelujahs may resound even more.

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