See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
At the ripe old age of 40, I found myself pondering the thought “what was the new and next thing for me?”. I wasn’t sure about what God had next, because my life at that point was beginning to change. Things and circumstance that I had depended on had changed or were no longer existent. And eventually I had to catch up with the changes. At that point, I was left wondering, “God, what’s next for me?”. But before I could find that out, I had to figure out what could be holding me back.
Holding on to the past
One of the reasons why you may not be experiencing the new and next thing is because you are holding on to the past. We get stuck in old dreams, goals and expectations. For me, I had to let go of the notion that I had to be married and have children by a certain age. Once I released myself from that I felt so much freer, happier…and most importantly, whole. I was then open to the new thing God had for me.
I realized that I would never experience the “new” thing, until I released the “old” thing.
So, instead of being consumed with what should have been, I began to focus on what was happening in that moment – which was the voice of God urging me to follow Him.
Fear of Change
New means change. If you say are ready for what’s next and new, you are ALSO saying you are open to change. Unfortunately, change can also breed fear and fear that is allowed to linger for too long will become paralysis. The easiest and most comfortable thing to do is NOT change…to keep up the status quo. Fear will keep you bound in the same place for years. It will have you living aimlessly outside of the will of God.
We were not given a spirit of fear, we have been given the spirit of power…a power that overcomes all fear. As a Christ-follower, you agreed to live a fulfilling yet uncomfortable life.
I love how the Amplified Bible breaks down Luke 9:23 when Jesus says “…If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].”
There is no need to be afraid of the new thing, Christ only asks that you deny the fear and follow Him on the path to purpose.
Not having clarity or certainty about what the next thing is can be confusing. When you don’t know what you should do or where you should go, you can find yourself stuck in the same place for longer than you had anticipated. The reality is that there’s no doubt that God allows things in our lives that can be extremely confusing.
One of my very close friend’s and her husband had prayed about having another baby. Though they initially were on the fence about it, they proceeded because they believed that they had heard a confirming word from the Lord. Shortly after, they were excited that they had become pregnant with their second child.
A few months later, one morning, I received a call from her, I had never heard her in such despair…she was inconsolable. Through her sobs she told me that she was in the hospital because…she had lost the baby.
The period after was a very dark, confusing and uncertain…she was having trouble understanding why God would call her to have another child and then take the child away.
She’s one of the most faithful people that I know. She speaks favor over her life and always has an encouraging Word for me when I need one…but even her faith was shaken. Though she was uncertain, she remained obedient. She listened to the Holy Spirit when He told her to allow her son to wear a t-shirt that says “I’m a big brother” knowing in fact that she was not pregnant and wasn’t sure when she would be. The issue for her wasn’t about whether or not she would have another baby or if she heard right or wrong from God…the issue here is was obedience.
This taught me that in our uncertainty that we must choose obedience. The “new and next thing” in life requires that we follow and adhere to the will of God wherever it takes us. Our obedience is what glorifies God, especially when we’re uncertain.
The New & Next Thing that God has for you is waiting on the other side of your past, your fear, your uncertainty. To begin to experience the GreatBIG Life that He has for you – focus on the goodness He has right now for you, building your faith in Him and exercising obedience regardless of the circumstances.
Are you in a transitional period in your life? What has been like for you? What is God saying to you in the season? I’d love to know your thoughts!