“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; no it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19.
(Photo courtesy of Brian Stearns)
Bringing to a close this week of sharing portions of our mission of love with the teens, my thoughts tend to return to the old. It’s good to remember God’s work among us but there is a time to move forward. This year marks the 43rd year of our camp. In all that time not once did we need to cancel a camp, until this year. Every year God worked among us bringing children and teens into a relationship with Him. I will tell you, I miss this time with the children and leaving them always, with the words, “No matter where you go or what you’re doing always remember, Jesus loves you.”
In tearing down the old shelter and the other changes involving our mission trip and camps, I believe God wants to build something even better among us. I don’t believe this is for just us in our own little area. He wants to do a new thing among His people …another great awakening? A taking us back to Him being our first love? But is it really a new thing? Or a returning to His purpose? Which He tells Israel.
“This people have I formed for myself:
they shall shew forth my praise.”
What needs to take place to take us back to Him so we can go forward with Him?
“But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob;
but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.”
To the church He answers through James’ letter:
“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:
ye fight and war, yet ye have not,
because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Simply, we have not asked Him. We tired of the same ole, same ole. We have not learned well the lessons of Israel. When living in the Holy Land they adopted the ways of the nations around them. God brought them into captivity.
In Sheila Walsh’s book, “Praying Women”, she quotes Warren Wiersbe, who describes what is happening around us. He said, “God would rather have His people living in shameful captivity in a pagan land than living like pagans in the Holy Land and disgracing His name.”
Jesus Christ ushered in the “new thing” that does not grow old. But His church treats the grace of God that brings us salvation and life as a bother instead of a blessing. To His church in America I wonder if He is not speaking to us as He spoke to the church in Ephesus.
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and do the first works:
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent.”
There is no new thing to come. Jesus Christ accomplished the new thing in His death and resurrection. He will complete it when He takes His bride home and all things are finally subdued under His feet. Then all things will be made new.
Repentance and renewal of spirit and mind, a return to loving our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, loving our neighbor as ourselves, these things show forth His praise. They show His kingdom until He returns. Remember,
“ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Which in time past were not a people,
but are now the people of God:
which had not obtained mercy,
but now have obtained mercy.”
My we live like the people of God we are, then we will see His kingdom among us. It must begin with me. May the love of Christ that passes knowledge dwell in our hearts deeply and spread faster and farther than the covid19 virus. May His love be caught by all that come in contact with God’s children.
“Beloved, let us love one another:
for love is of God;
and every one that loveth is born of God,
and knoweth God.”
God brings good to His children those who love Him.
- What good things have you seen God doing in our world through this unusual time?
- How will you show His praises?