FOR I AM DOING SOMETHING NEW.
SEE I HAVE ALREADY BEGUN!
DO YOU NOT SEE IT?
I WILL MAKE A PATHWAY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS.
I WILL CREATE RIVERS IN THE DRY WASTELAND.
THE TIMES WE ARE LIVING IN
The above scripture of Isaiah 43:19 can help us all, as we search out with God, what exactly is taking place right now in our world. We are living in some pretty crazy times, but we are always invited into the scriptures to help gain the perspectives we need to navigate such uncertainties. We need fresh eyes and fresh perspectives when we see new things happening all around us-and in the world at large. Especially when a lot of what we are seeing may not be so good. In the creation story of Genesis we see God saying that each day's creation was -GOOD.
So what exactly is God doing? What "fresh" thing does he want us to perceive? The word New in this scripture means-fresh, renewed and repaired.
Jesus indeed made all things new at the cross, but what does that mean to us? How do we recognize and partner with his goodness? How do we participate in the greatest of stories, and ways mankind was changed forever?
I think these are questions we must all wrestle with. As disciples we are tasked with learning how to be like him-Son of God, Son of Man. We all get to partner with His Spirit as he leads and guides us-into all truth. We get to learn from each other as well, through the various people he gives us. We get to read the incredible examples of what it means to be truly human as we spend time wrestling with such examples as- Matthew 5:1-11
The Sermon on the Mount
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain and after he sat down, his disciples approached him. And opening his mouth he began to teach them, saying,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the ones who mourn, because they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, because they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are the ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, because they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you, lying on account of me. Rejoice and be glad, because your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you."
These are powerful examples we are given in scripture of what it means to be truly human. We as humans are image bearers. We were made in God's image- but we are still being made into his likeness.
And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image and according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every moving thing that moves upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the likeness of God he created him, male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-28
We know that the decisions Adam and Eve made in the garden changed everything but especially how we see God, others and ourselves. Adam and Eve both knew immediately something they never knew before- they were uncovered. They were naked and afraid and that was not the case before they disobeyed God. BUT we have a redemption story in Jesus as he came into the world, as a human being. and as the One who would repair, reconcile, restore and redeem us and our humanity. He became one of us to redeem all of us. He came to accomplish for us the ability to see God, ourselves and others properly.
But now we have the responsibility in our generation, to recognize this and take his likeness into the world as image bearers and reflect him everywhere we go. Jesus changed everything for creation-his life, death and resurrection, changed everything. He gave us the example of how change can affect everything, big and small. So don't get stuck into thinking you can't be an agent of change in your sphere of influence.
Do small things. Do big things, but do something that reflects who he is. He was good to those he encountered, and we too by his Spirit at work in us can do the same. Maybe not exactly like he did, but we can be at least be kind, be generous with our time and our words; be patient, loving and forgiving; use self control, be tender hearted- just as he was tenderhearted.
Jesus referred to himself in the gospels as Son of Man, more than any other title. Don't you find that to be something we should examine more closely? I believe God is at work in our world inviting us to be more human-more like the greatest human ever-Jesus.
It's easy to isolate. It's easy to point fingers. It's easy to label people, and focus on all that was done wrong to us. What isn't easy is to see those same people as HUMAN BEINGS, made in the image of God.
Our soapboxes have gotten bigger and bigger over the years-especially with unlimited resources at our fingertips- resources such as social media and the internet. Not all progress is beneficial. And in may aspects it has caused us to be shortsighted and thoughtless. Have we lost our way as human beings? Do we view others as made in God's image?
What if part of the new thing God is doing is showing us our need to be truly human-from the gospel's perspective. We can definitely see the push in the opposite direction right now, and many times where we see the fight is exactly the place we need to take a second look and make the shift ourselves.
I think we sometimes forget that God doesn't fight like we do. He overcame evil with good-and we all know that is counter to the way we think nowadays. We need this shift more than I think I have ever realized. We fight so much that it now, externally and internally, that fighting is a part of our way of being and has become our normal. And as we can see-the normal is changing-and so must we.
BEING TRULY HUMAN
We see Jesus at the cross showing us what true humanness looks like. We see obedience, surrender, love, kindness and gentleness at the cross.
I can't even go a day without getting frustrated about something, and yet if I would just fix my eyes, every morning on Jesus, and think on good things, pure things, etc... my every day life would be different. I know this because when i do take the time to fix my eyes on him in prayer and in the scriptures, then I am more like him and more WOKE to truth and what's right. Talk about the need to be woke-Jesus is the answer.
We undervalue and underestimate the ancient paths of renewal-of prayer, solitude and silence. In this fast pace world where we think it's wasting our time-just being with God-we've truly lost our humanness.
We know from scripture that there will be a final return of Jesus in flesh form, RESURRECTED FORM, but until then, we must not fail to recognize that he is always drawing us by his Spirit, and is intimately involved with mankind. God is not far off somewhere waiting for us to get it right. He is the God who came close and stayed with us. His comings and goings, and plan of salvation is still taking place all around us, and we always have the responsibility and opportunity to co-labor with Him.
But in uncertain times, we must be more aware, more alert and more prepared to join in with those plans. As the prophet Isaiah declared in scripture "God is doing a NEW, FRESH thing," we too must stop and ask just what that means to us today.
No, we won't know all the details, but that shouldn't prevent us from agreeing with how he is coming to us.
As we return to the breath he gave us, and to the scriptures' he gave us, and mostly to the Son he gave us, we can remember what it truly means to be human.
We must learn how to live in community again, as human ones, like him, in all of our beautiful diversity; and find ways to love, even when we ardently disagree. We must lay down our swords and pick up our crosses again so we can truly understand what it means to be human and a part of this race-we call mankind. I believe as we take steps towards this truth, we will begin to understand at least in part, new creation.
THE CHALLENGE BEFORE US ALL
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own estimation; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will bring healing to your body, and refreshment to your inner self" Proverbs 3:5-8
This is such an important scripture to fix our attention on this year. As unrest and change continues in our world, causing fear and anxiety in many hearts, we must fix our eyes on Jesus to find peace each day.
One of the things we know according to scripture is that we all see in part, so what is God showing you? Speaking to you? Revealing to you? This is in part how prophetic function works. We were designed to live within the prophetic community, where we help each other see more clearly. Somewhere along the way, we as humans got sidetracked into thinking we don't need each other. We were deceived into believing that we could exist alone and isolated from others. That's a lie.
In the days ahead we will need the security of God's Word hidden in our heart, or our hearts will fail. We must learn to live in community again, we must learn to stay steadfast in prayer and we must learn what it mean to pick up our cross and follow wherever Jesus is going in our world.
God is for us, not against us, but we must allow him to re-order us however he sees fit-after-all he is God and knows what we need. It is time to allow God to shake off of us and out of us every sin, weight, and hindrance standing in the way of his purpose and his divine order. He is present in our world desiring to bring us back to himself, from every way we have wandered, so we can go forth as his human ones.
1 John 4:18-19 AMPC- "There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. We love Him, because He first loved us."
Do not be afraid. Take time daily to allow God to renew your heart and mind.
Make it a priority to take communion with other Christians- remembering the covenant we have with him.
Pray for the leaders in your community, state and especially nationally. This is a time to pray beloved.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14- "If I shut up the sky, so that there is no rain; or if I order locusts to devour the land; or if I send an epidemic of sickness among my people; then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.
The whole earth is groaning in travail awaiting the release of the mature sons and daughters of God- yes people are waiting for you to stand up and take your place in the world. Revival isn't coming, it is here, and as sons and daughters of God we are called to take Jesus into our spheres of influence and show a lost world just how good he is. It is time to arise and shine for the glory of the Lord is arising over us (Isaiah 60:1-2, Romans 8:19-23)
spirit-filled LIFE COACHING
My name is Dana Wade, and I am a Professional Life and Relationship Coach-but I am also a pastor, who loves to train and equip future Christian leaders.
Whether you need help navigating a difficult personal season, having relationship problems, or you want to be better equipped as a servant leader for Jesus- I am here to help you.
Be sure to check out my latest blog posts HERE.
Life & Relationship
I look forward to helping you discover the ancient paths of solitude, silence and prayer. These paths lead us to understanding more faithfully who Jesus is, where he's going and what he's up to in the earth. "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16