Growing up in a charismatic church, I spent a lot of time listening to prophecies and words of knowledge. I was always so enamored with the idea that God still spoke to his people in such a direct manner. But I also believe that God will speak directly to your heart if you ask him to, and over the last several years my goal has been to know his voice so clearly that I don't question it's him.
I'm still working on that.
Over the course of all those years, I can't tell you how many times I heard the words "God is doing a new thing." This declaration was met by cheers and applause and the person with the mic (or not) would fist pump the air to excite the crowd.
"God is doing a new thing!" He'd shout it now, to seal it in, to make sure the magnitude of the words were understood.
More cheers. More applause. More excitement.
I've heard this phrase so many times that it's gotten to the point that the words have kind of lost their meaning.
In my experience, they aren't the kind of words that should necessarily elicit cheers, applause or excitement.
In the last three or so years of my life, I've only known "a new thing." It's exciting right? To be on the precipice of something new. New. But I can tell you in no uncertain terms that "new" is never, ever "easy."
You beg for that change you've been seeking, and on the backside of it, it looks shiny and pretty (because it is) and you see why you had to make that change even clearer than when you were getting ready to go through it in the first place...
But let me explain something..."new" is "hard." If God is going to do a new thing, he's going to use it to teach you something...and I hate to say it, but it probably won't be easy.
What you try not to let yourself think about is how you had to sell and/or rent homes, get ripped off by the moving company, tell bosses you were leaving, spend extra money on things like dumpsters and moving vans and gas to get across the country (twice). You pretend you didn't mind leaving your family (and later your new friends) or the home that you worked so hard to remodel...and that none of this had any affect on your kids.
You look at where you are right in this moment and you know it was God doing a new thing...and you've all gotten to the point where everything has turned out better than you could imagine... because you and the rest of your family are really, truly happy and thankful.
You drive through town--a town where you've put down roots--and you get excited about being back. You're thrilled to see someone you know in the grocery store because for two years, that never ever happened to you.
It's clear that God's new thing was the right thing for you.
But was it easy?
Not a chance.
Not for a second.
My point is this...God is always doing a new thing...and he's always willing to teach us, but my friends, if you celebrate and ask for it and want it...you have to be ready for what's coming.
Because there is nothing about "new" that's easy.
All that said, on this side of it, the other side, the side where the ugly stuff is mostly behind me, I can tell you, I wouldn't trade one bit of it for anything in the word.
New may not be easy, but when God's in it, it's definitely right.
My advice? Celebrate cautiously when you realize God's doing a new thing. Instead, spend your time gearing up for battle...it just might be a bumpy ride.
A Question for you: Do you welcome change or do you fight it tooth and nail? I'd love to hear how you handle the "new things" in your life...