Tag Archives: god is doing a new thing

Change = Growth

I once heard the story of a newly wed couple who were hosting all of their family in their home for the first time. The young lady was so excited to be cooking for her mom and grandmother. While she was preparing the meal, her husband noticed she cut off about a third of the roast and put it away before starting. Her husband asked her why she did that. She replied, “I don’t know. That’s how my mom always did it.” They found the mom and asked her why they cut off a third of the roast. She replied, “I don’t know. That’s how my mom always did it.” All of them went to where the grandmother was and asked her why she cut off a third of the roast. She replied, “Because I never had a pot big enough for an entire roast.”

For over 40 years, the next two generations had been doing what was previously done just because it had always been done that way. They didn’t even know why. How many things do we do in life without knowing why and just because that’s how it’s always been done? How much have we wasted because we were so resistant to change that we never questioned the way we do things? That’s really what the problem is. We don’t like change so we never question why things are done a certain way.

God isn’t opposed to change. In fact, He’s all for it. In Isaiah 43:18-19, God said, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new” (MSG). God understands that change is how we grow. He wants to do something brand new in our lives, but we’re too busy going over the past and how things have always been. God said to get your mind out of the past and into the present. He understands that change is a part of creation. He just wants us to be willing to go through that change so He can do something new in our life.

What changes has God been trying to make in your life, but you’ve been too caught up in the past to allow Him to do it? Why have you really been opposed to the changes He wants to make in your life? Change is His way of keeping you close to Him. When you get caught up in doing things the way you’ve always done them, you remove yourself from a life of walking by faith. Instead, you are walking by routine. God wants to challenge you and to grow you. He can only do that through change. He can only get you to walk by faith if He can get you out of the past. What can you do today to embrace the change God wants to do in your life?

Photo by Peggy Sue Zinn on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Life In The Desert

In the mid 1990’s, I moved to Cairo, Egypt. As the plane landed, I looked out the window. I was shocked to see that there wasn’t any grass on the medians between the runway. On the drive to my new home, I was overwhelmed by the sea of tan dirt all around me. The Sahara Desert was my first culture shock having lived in a lush green area of East Texas my whole life. However, over time, I grew used to living in the desert and the lack of green vegetation. Then, early the year after I moved there, I decided to take a bus to Israel. We drove for hours through the desert until we came to the border. As I got out to walk across, I saw the strangest thing ever. All along the border there was a line of grass and flowers in the middle of this desert and it extended into Israel. It was an incredible sight to see life growing in the middle of a barren land.

The reason deserts lack life is because they lack water. Over 90% of Egyptians live along the Nile river because that’s the only way they can sustain life. Sure, there are people who live in the desert, but life is better and more easily sustained where there is water. Even along the Nile, I hadn’t seen what I saw at the border that day. Things were thriving at the border. It reminded me that God is able to do the impossible. He can grow life in the middle of nowhere and in the harshest environments. He is able to take our roughest, driest patches in life and spring up new life. He is able to take what looks like an end and create a new beginning. The desert we’re temporarily living in has the potential for life.

In Isaiah 43:18-19 God says, “Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert” (AMP). I believe God is still speaking to us through these verses. The desert you’ve been in is about to burst forth with life. It starts with us forgetting the things of the past that led us into the desert. We need to focus our attention on what God is doing right now in this dry season. He’s creating a pathway forward for you and bringing a river of life to your situation. What has been a barren time for you is about to be teeming with life. God does not abandon us in the desert and He’s able to make a way where there seems to be no way. Trust in Him, don’t lean on your own understanding, acknowledge what He’s doing and He will direct your path through this time (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Photo by danial Sol on Unsplash

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Stuck In Your Story

My friend tells people, “Don’t get stuck in your story,” when someone is constantly living in the past. You’re stuck in your story when you allow your past pain to rob you of your present. Yes, it happened. Yes, it was and is painful, but if you allow it to consume you, it will rob you of a life that God wants to give you. I spent a lot of time living in the pain of the past instead of in the present. I couldn’t seem to get unstuck. The pain was becoming my identity, so I grew to need it. What I didn’t realize was that it had caused me to quit paying attention to my present and stopped all my progress. I didn’t get unstuck until a friend looked me in the eye and said, “You’ve given up and you’re in a rut. This isn’t who you are, and I don’t want to see you like this.” All of a sudden I saw that I was stuck and I decided to make changes to get unstuck.

In Isaiah 43:18-19, God says, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present” (MSG). If we keep living in past pains, we will miss what God is trying to do now. I can tell you that the pain of your past can be used for good once you allow yourself to heal. I don’t know why we have to go through painful times that feel like they’re going to crush us. I do know that it’s part of God’s process in getting us to His promise. Just like a grape that’s crushed can never become wine unless it’s moved from the press to the vat, you and I can never fulfill our purpose until we move from the pain to the next part of the process.

Everyone has a past. Everyone. But everyone also has a present. Everyone. If you’re stuck in your story, you can’t move on to the next part of the process that God is trying to do in your life. Acknowledge your pain. It’s real. It happened, but if you live there going over it over and over, you will never heal. Change your routine. Change your habits. Stop dwelling on what happened. You can’t change that. You can change your future though if you will be present in this moment and ask God to help you move to the next part of the process. Everything that’s happened in your life can be used for your good. God wants to do a new thing in your life, but you have to get unstuck and be present for Him to do it. He will make rivers in your desert and bring new life to the dry places of your life.

Photo by Christopher Windus on Unsplash

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Change = Growth

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I once heard the story of a newly wed couple who were hosting all of their family in their home for the first time. The young lady was so excited to be cooking for her mom and grandmother. While she was preparing the meal, her husband noticed she cut off about a third of the roast and put it away before starting. Her husband asked her why she did that. She replied, “I don’t know. That’s how my mom always did it.” They found the mom and asked her why they cut off a third of the roast. She replied, “I don’t know. That’s how my mom always did it.” All of them went to where the grandmother was and asked her why she cut off a third of the roast. She replied, “Because I never had a pot big enough for an entire roast.”

For over 40 years, the next two generations had been doing what was previously done just because it had always been done that way. They didn’t even know why. How many things do we do in life without knowing why and just because that’s how it’s always been done? How much have we wasted because we were so resistant to change that we never questioned the way we do things? That’s really what the problem is. We don’t like change so we never question why things are done a certain way.

When life gets flipped upside down, we get unexpected surprises, job changes, life changes or whatever, we fight them. We don’t do it because we’re opposed to that particular thing. We do it because we’re opposed to change. We like to know what tomorrow will bring. There’s security in doing things the way we’ve always done them. We know exactly what we’ll get because we’re only doing what we’ve always done. The problem is that things change. Times change. Life changes. We can be open to what God is trying to do or we can fight Him and try to hold onto our routine of doing life how we’ve always done it.

God isn’t opposed to change. In fact, He’s all for it. In Isaiah 43:18-19, God said, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new.” God understands that change is how we grow. He wants to do something brand new in our lives, but we’re too busy going over the past and how things have always been. God said to get your mind out if the past and into the present. He understands that change is a part of creation. He just wants us to be willing to go through that change so He can do something new in your life.

What changes has God been trying to make in your life, but you’ve been to caught up in the past to allow Him to do it? Why have you really been opposed to the changes He wants to make in your life? Change is His way of keeping you close to Him. When you get caught up in doing things the way you’ve always done them, you remove yourself from a life of walking by faith. Instead, you are walking by routine. God wants to challenge you and to grow you. He can only do that through change. He can only get you to walk by faith if He can get you out of the past. What can you do today to embrace the change God wants to do in your life?

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