Welcome to August! A new month and a new study. We step from the number 7, God's completion, into the number 8, New Beginnings. We can't step into the new until we've completed the old. After an ending, comes a beginning because God has no end! What a glorious thought - God's goodness, His Kingdom, His majesty have NO end! What a beautiful reality! All month long we will be looking at the number 8 in scripture, studying God's new beginnings, how to apply His ways to our life, and how to step into something new. It will be another rich study that brings us closer to the Lord! If you want how/why the number 8 stands for new beginnings in the Bible, listen to the podcast and come to church on Wednesday nights, live streaming over YouTube.
Each one of us loves the idea of a new beginning - that's why January 1st is so popular! It's the feeling that we can start fresh, leave the old behind, step into a new habit... and yet the reality is, its just the next day; like going from a normal Tuesday to a Wednesday. Nothing actually remarkable happens, it's all in the mind. It's all a perception.
Perception can be a scary thing, especially in today's world. We tend to believe what we perceive to be true instead of actual and factual truth. Why? Because perception is wrapped around emotions and many times our emotions are not healthy. In American culture, it is acceptable to allow our emotions to control our thoughts and actions. What we don't realize is that in many other cultures this is NOT acceptable. Whether the culture in which we live finds overblown emotions acceptable or not, the gospel is for every person in every culture. We need to be mature enough to look to our bible for the answer so that God's truth becomes both our perception and reality.
Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people]
As we walk carefully, and are intentional in our walk, our perception gets to focus on what God is doing. And God is always doing something new. God is always moving forward; that's why time doesn't go backwards. Time is really God in motion, never stopping, completely unending. And because God is always good, ultra-creative, and at work, we are given countless opportunities to step into the new beginning of the new thing that He is doing. When we wake up, we are given a new day. We don't relive a previous day and God doesn't allow us a chance to go back and re-do a day from our past. It's ALWAYS a new day. It's constantly a new chance to do a new thing. We should treat every single day as if it's January 1st! That needs to be our perception because that is our reality of what God offers.
That is sooooo glorious! What an amazing God we serve to always offer us something new!
Too many times, when we find ourselves in a place or a season that we don't want to be, we treat our life as if it's "Groundhog Day." Do you remember that movie with Bill Murray? He would wake up day after day, reliving the same day, where the same things happened in the same order with the same people every single day. And Bill's character ends up getting bored and frustrated by living this out time after time. (I'm exhausted just thinking about it... ha ha ha) Praise God that is NOT what we have to do! But too many times that is our mindset, "Another day, another dollar" and a sigh. Our perception can be that it's the same old thing but our reality is that it's very different and we can either partner with God's newness or trick ourselves into thinking it's the same. The choice is ours, we must choose wisely.
Both old and new testaments speak about God always doing a new thing. I love how these scriptures support one another, yet were said years and years apart:
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.
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].”
God's word will always confirm His word which then confirms His character. God in all of His creativity, in the boundless ways that He works, is ALWAYS doing a new thing. He's doing something new in the world and doing something new in your life. I pray this month that you will partner with Him and the new thing that He has in store for you!
If you are woman, looking to step into all things new, join our ministry school this fall! It will transform so many things about your life and prepare you to step into what God has for you!