Most people in the church today want to see God’s power and walk in God’s presence. They want to see more life in the church and more of God in the services of worship held in the Church. They want to see God do something new and so they are praying a biblical prayer – asking God for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, revival, renewal, or whatever you may be calling it.
But, one of our fundamental spiritual problems is this: we want God to do something new while we keep doing the same old thing. We want God to change our circumstances without us having to change at all. But if we are asking God for ‘new wine,’ we will need a new wineskin.
Change is a two-sided coin. Out with the old is one side. In with the new is the other side. Most of us get stuck spiritually because we keep doing the same thing while expecting different results. Spiritual routines are a critical part of spiritual growth, but when the routine becomes routine, you need to change it. What got you to where you are may not get you to where God wants you to go nest.
God said to Jacob, “Seek Me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba… Seek the LORD and live.
Bethel is the place where Jacob had his life-changing dream. He built an altar and made a vow. Gilgal is the place where the Israelites camped after God miraculously parted the Jordan River and they stepped foot into the Promised Land for the first time. Beersheba is the place where Abraham made a treaty with Abimelek and called on the Lord. His son Isaac dug a well and built an altar there.
All three places held special significance. They were sacred landmarks in Israel’s spiritual journey. So why would God tell them NOT to seek Him there? The answer is simple: You won’t find God in the past. His name is not I was. His name is I am. He is an ever-present help. And when we cling too tightly to what God did last, we often miss what God wants to do next.
God is always doing a new thing. So, go ahead and build altars to mark holy moments in the past, but the purpose of altars is to remind us of God’s faithfulness in the past so that we have the faith to believe Him for the future.
I’m looking forward, not backwards. I am ready to move into the future. Join with me, please!