Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year ~ New Thing!

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19

I love reality TV shows that are about people cleaning out their clutter. Two favorites were always, "Clean House" and "Clean Sweep". These were shows where a team of experts come into the homes of people with hoarding issues and help them clean and organize their space.  Often their attachment to clutter has become so extreme it is holding them back in life ~ in jobs, relationships, health, overall quality of life. They cannot move forward emotionally because they cannot see to take the next step. Their clutter is holding them captive.

One thing the experts always make the participants do on every episode is to sort their stuff. 

In Isaiah, the Jews were being held captive in Babylon. The people wanted their life back. They wanted their land, their customs, their familiar surroundings. Their stuff. Their clutter? Isaiah comes to them and says, "Forget all that stuff. God is about to do something new, but you are so focused on the past you can't see it."

Maybe 2012 was a fabulous year for you. Maybe it was the worst year of your life. Maybe it was just a BUSY year. Whatever it was, it ends tomorrow and we will have the proverbial clean slate of a new year. What will we do with it?  What new thing does God want to do IN you in 2013? What new thing does He want to do THROUGH you in 2013?

Paul says in Philippians 3:13 we are to "forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead." Maybe that means we just need to sort our clutter. We need to examine those things in our lives that are holding us back ~ in our job, relationships, health, quality of life...and most of all our relationship with our Creator. He is always up to something new and if we don't sort the clutter we may not perceive it. 

So I challenge you to create piles for sorting:

KEEP = Those things that are positively influencing your life and deepening your relationship with God. Those things that you feel God has called you to do without a doubt. 

SELL/DONATE = Those things that are good, but maybe need to be delegated to someone else because it is just not your time to do them. Sometimes when we do something we are not intended to do, we not only stress out ourselves, but we prevent someone else from receiving a blessing as well. When you pass the mantle on to someone else, they receive their intended blessing and you receive the blessing of less stress, too!

TRASH = Negative attitudes, words, things that are negatively affecting your life, your relationship with God, and your relationship with others. They just need to go!

The New Year is upon us and it is chock full of potential and new adventures. The Israelites wanted their old life back, but for the time being, God told them no. He was directing them to a different path. Maybe this year you will walk a different path, too.
  • Walk it with a positive outlook, not filled with regret.
  • Don't let the enemy keep you trapped in the past. Remember God's mercies are new EVERY morning (Lam. 3:22-23). He does not want you trapped, He wants to bring you out into a spacious place (Ps 18:19)
  • Walk in trust and faith, not fear and doubt.
Every day wake up and say, "This is the day the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

What new thing is God up to in your life this year?

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