Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Day, A New Year, New Beginnings

First day of school with new pencils and pens and fresh notebooks that have yet to be doodle on.

A new morning after a fresh layer of snow had fallen the night before.

Starting a new job.

Buying your first car or first home.

Relocating to a new city.

New beginnings. I love them. I’m so thankful that God’s mercies are new each and every day giving each day a new beginning (Lam 3:23).

Since this is January 1st, I thought I’d look at beginnings. You know, “In the beginning God…” (Gen 1:1).

At the beginning of every journey, every trial, every phase – GOD. But how often do we look to God first?

He was there before we made a decision to end one journey to start another. He was there before the trial was inflicted upon us. He was there before we entered into any new phase in our life. Maybe we should say, “Before the beginning GOD.”

God chose to create each of us because of His love for us. He knew the sacrifice He’d have to make, and He still chose to create us any way. We get our value, our worth from Him because He is our Creator and the lover of our souls. It pleases Him to maintain a healthy, ongoing relationship with His children, but He is just as thrilled when one of His wayward children returns. He offers us a fresh start over and over – He’s generous that way.

Genesis 1:2, “the Earth was without form and void.” If it didn’t have shape, what did it look like before God got ahold of it? What does your life look like before God gets ahold of it? “During the second and third days of creation, God gave form to the universe, during the next three days, God filled the earth with living beings”(1). Beginning a journey or trek in your life, often times it lacks form. It lacks definition. You don’t know where God is leading. You don’t know what God is doing. You have absolutely no control. You just have to take that first step. That first step of faith that when you put your foot out there you feel ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOTHING, and yet He wants you to put your weight on it. And without fail, when you put your weight on that foot, where there was once nothing there is now the Rock of your Salvation. If we allow Him to, God will give our journey, our trek, our trial, our life definition and form. The definition and shape He wants it to have in order to meet the needs in His Kingdom and the needs in your life.

Not only will He shape your journey, your dreams, but He’s the One who fills them with light. Isaiah 42:16, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These things I will do; I will not forsake them" (NIV). God knows exactly where He wants to lead you in this new year, this journey. Are you willing to follow? He wants to get you off those crooked paths you are on to get you back on a path He has planned for you -- the best path.

God’s Creation had an order. He didn’t make the land animals before solidifying the earth. He didn’t make the plants before He made light. So has He ordained every day of your life (Psalms 139:16). You may not understand the order – that’s okay. It’s not yours to understand. It is yours to obey.

The thing about the Christian journey is that God pours Himself into it, into the person. During the journey from this new beginning, we are to reflect Him, His holiness, and His love. When God made Adam and Eve, He made them to reflect himself.

Not only was there order to His creation, but God provides. God graciously gives us people in our lives to help us along our journey from that new beginning. They aren’t perfect, but neither are we. We should never put those people in our lives ahead of our God. They should not be placed on pedestals because there is to be no other God. You are to follow God alone, and to thank Him for those whom He chooses to add to our lives that help us along our way.

And then God rested – what should that tell us about our journeys, our treks, our trials? If God rests, then we in our weak, frail and sinful form must rest.

I have been so richly blessed with the women God has chosen to put into my life – some for a lifetime, some for a season and some for a reason.

My class has held me accountable whether they realized it or not. Just knowing I would be sitting in front of them on Sunday morning, encouraged and challenged me to go deeper, to grow deeper, to be as prepared as I possibly could be. Thank you for allowing me to the human and transparent.

Now God is calling me and my family to a new beginning. I believe there will be a season of rest and restoration as we search for the place God would have my whole family serve Him.

The women in the class aren’t to follow me, but rather to learn to follow Him, and I pray they’ve learned how to feed themselves from the Bread of Life. The best witness to this effect is when the class continues on and continues to mature in their faith. Make sure you follow your Creator and not a person.

1 Life Application Study Bible King James Version. Tyndale. (Pg 5)

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