I’m a sucker for a fresh start in life and anything related to it or that makes me think of it. Reminders of new beginnings and fresh starts - opportunities for do-overs.
“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” A new order has come. This would include our old identity, our life of sin, the power of Satan, the religious works of trying to please God, our old relationship with the world, and our old mindsets. We are not reformed or simply refurbished, we are made completely new by our union with Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.”
2 Cor 15:17 (AMPC)
"Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me."
Matthew 11:29 TPT
It may seem like we've been pretty silent for a bit, yet there's really quite a bit going on over here. Like most of you, and most of the world, we've been finding a new normal so to speak these days. So many people are experiencing difficult seasons, but it's also been a time to begin anew. Have you been able to see it, sense it? What has the Lord been speaking to your heart during this season?
“My soul dissolves because of grief; renew and strengthen me according to [the promises] of your word.”
Psalms 119:28 AMP
It’s the end of March right now, and the Corona virus is running rampant throughout our country and world. When I look out our window the sun is shining, melting the patches of snow that remain in our front yard. Everything looks pretty normal except for the eerie hush that surrounds our neighborhood. Most of our neighbors are hunkered down inside their homes. Events in our town have all been cancelled. Restaurants are closed. There’s a sense of curiosity, dread, wonderment, fear, peace, hope, all mixed up in the air. Nobody really knows what will happen next, except God.
I know that God knows and for me that brings a sense of peace and hope. Still, it also brings questions. What is going to happen? What is my part and God’s part? How can I keep my family safe? I’ve asked myself all these questions. God does whisper back to me in His familiar comforting voice, “I am your safety, peace, hope, and comfort. I will give you wisdom. I will renew all that is lost, and there will be great celebration!”
“For my thoughts about mercy are not like your thoughts, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so my ways and my thoughts are higher than yours."
Isaiah 55:8-9 TPT
As a creative, there are lots of areas fear and doubt can creep in: ability, finances, competition, market, etc. However, all of those things listed here, are already taken care of by our Heavenly Father. When we listen to that voice of doubt, or come in agreement with those looming thoughts that creep in we are actually in agreement with the enemy, and not the Lord.
Your ability and mine are gifts from the Lord. They can be developed and practiced, but once we turn our gaze on ourselves and take them off of our source, Jesus, we are then trying to work at what the Lord has already promised to do for us - take care of us. It's hard work trying to do something that the Lord intends to do and help us with. It's called striving. I believe it's not a "head" condition but a "heart" condition. It's not just what you think with your thoughts, it's what you believe. When we truly believe God is our provision we won't consider our own efforts to be the final outcome.
God has given us these beautiful gifts to reach others with the love of Christ even in markets, or areas that may not be focused on Him. The love of the Lord and the Light of the world shine brightly through YOU! When we start to doubt what God has given , rather than trusting that what God gave is enough we are opposing Him, and have stepped off track.
You may have heard the scripture that states "
“Look at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they?"
Matthew 6:26 TPT
Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
1 Corinthians 13:6-7 TPT
Recently I heard someone speaking on a topic that hit so close to home, in so many seasons I've walked through. Have you found yourself in a season of life, or maybe a long season of years that look so opposite to what the Lord has promised you. In fact, it doesn't even resemble any of the vision He gave you, or the word He gave you. You may have held onto that word or promise for years, and here you are just barely able to remember what it looked like. All that promise, all those joyful moments that you experienced with the Lord, and all you see is pain and you may not even recognize who you've become after all this time. My friend, I know what that looks like and I've lived that too.
I'm not here to tell you that you aren't supposed to be in those trials, or that we don't go through struggles, because the Bible talks about these. Going through a trial doesn't mean you are doing something wrong, or have missed something, but the Bible talks about how these kinds of trials change us and grow us.
If you can relate, I want to encourage you further.
"And God has made all things new, and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God."
2 Corinthians 5:18 TPT
We are blessed with a new season and for many it stirs up the desire to make new changes, resolutions and begin things afresh. It's been on my mind a lot, especially learning new things, processes and new ideas to share in the Community, but I'm also reminded it's more than replacing the old with something new.
I was reminded of that today actually. When we are made new in Christ, and old things are passed away, that doesn't mean we just replace an old way of thinking with a new way of thinking. We are transformed, as we encounter the God of the universe, and begin a relationship with Him. That is far more than just replacing an idea, or believing something new. That is an entirely new life.
Genesis 32 to 35
Even when you receive amazing promises about your purpose, your business, your ministry like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did, remember your journey will not be without opposition from the enemy or without trials. It is so important to understand the season you are in, being prepared to carry the weight of your calling for His Glory.
Jacob left his uncle Laban with wives, servants and loads of livestock, in those days that was their wealth and he was a very wealthy man. In working hard for Laban, Yahovah / God blessed the work of his hands and he then was instructed to return to his homeland. He was so wealthy that he was prepared to offer his brother Esau, who he feared meeting, 550 different types of animals as a peace offering from goats, to rams to camels to cows, bulls and lots more. He had so much that even when Esau told him not to worry Jacob insisted and said:
"Please take my blessing that is brought to you BECAUSE Elohim / God has FAVOURED me and BECAUSE I have ALL I need. And he urged him and he took it."
Jacob was an Entrepreneur, he first worked very hard and then left his Uncle Laban a very wealthy man but still had to work on his own business thereafter, livestock business and the calling with which Yahovah / God called him.
Now let us look at what happened when Jacob was instructed to go back to his family. Onroute home with his family and blessings he was fearing for his life and that of his families because of his brother Esau.
Esau was angry with Jacob because prior to Jacob being sent to his Uncle Laban, Jacob took Esau's birthright and blessing. Yahovah / God did say that Jacob would carry the blessing in the end.
"And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened."
This morning as I was paging through the Bible the word suddenly stood out to me. I did a little research and discovered that it occurs 87 times in the Bible! It’s fun to think that I could be minding my own business and then, suddenly, an angel appears! Or, like the shepherds who were tending their sheep in the field, suddenly, an angel appeared and then many appeared, whoa! I’d be terribly frightened at first too. There’s no gradual process when angels appear, they just seem to pop up out of nowhere, you know, suddenly. As amazing and fascinating as it is, I am left to ponder the method.
"And just as sin reigned through death, so also this sin-conquering grace will reign as king through righteousness, imparting eternal life through Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!"
Romans 5:21 TPT
What an incredible gift we've been given. We are made new - a new life!
I was reading this week in Romans, and just re-reminded all over again about how I was given such a precious gift, and how I operate in faith vs. the law. God's grace is totally sufficient. He reminds me that I am to believe by faith, and as I do God imparts to my account righteousness. Isn't that incredible? He's done all the work.
I've had days where I don't feel new life, and all I think I see is myself failing. Then I get reminded all over again to have new eyes to see and ears to hear, what the Lord says and keeps saying. We are not that person anymore, we are transformed.
"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive fails and the fields produce no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]."
God promises over and over in His Word that He will strengthen those that trust in Him. He promises to give us confidence that is as sure-footed as a deer, when we live in faith.
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.