In with the New

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Change is coming into the hearts of God’s people.  Some of these changes are intense and will lead us into paths we never thought possible. Others are smaller, but they will still produce some type of change in our lives.  However, in recent studies, I have seen a common pattern I never saw before.   This journey started in January while reading Genesis.  At the time, the Lord dropped a small tidbit about one section of Scripture.

Every single one of us sees changes throughout our life.  There is no set schedule or timeframe and yet it always occurs.  We are all aware of that fact and see it every day in some way.  However, what I saw is that with many major changes, the change occurs after a death.   Now that is a sobering fact.  How in the world can death benefit anyone?  Yet as I studied numerous situations in Scriptures, this pattern repeats numerous times.

The first example the Lord showed me was with Abram.  At the end of Genesis 11, we discover that Abram’s father, Terah had passed away.  Then in the first few verses in Genesis 12, the Lord tells Abram it is time to leave his kindred and all that was involved with his father.   Jehovah had plans, but He never asked Abram to take that step of faith until after the death of his father.   Abram caught a glimpse not only of his future, but far beyond to his descendants.  There was a land of hope and promise for the Lord’s chosen people.   The path the Lord had planned for Abraham was waiting for him, but he couldn’t make that first step until the right time.  That time came after his father had passed away.

Then just days ago I saw the same pattern in Joshua.  Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.    Finally, the time had come for Abraham’s descendants to enter into the land promised to their forefather so long ago.  Moses was dead.  Change is coming for Joshua and this vast group of people he is leading into the Promise Land.  Joshua was no longer second in command; he was the leader for all of the Israelites.   The new leader’s had the challenge to leave the desert and cross over into their future home.

Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone has to die, in many cases the old man or our previous way of life has to end as the Lord creates the new in our life.  Think about Saul of Tarsus.  Here is a man intent on killing every person he could find that was serving the Lord.  He hated Christians.  Yet, when the Lord knocked the determined man down, Saul’s old way of life quickly died.  The old man Saul dies and his dramatic change even includes  a name change. Saul became Paul, a man who was totally renewed in his spirit.

Throughout Scriptures, this same pattern is repeated.  Moses and the Israelites were freed and able to leave after the death of the first born of Egypt.  Rahab’s world was turned upside down after the destruction of Jericho; she was free of her past.  Naomi and Ruth returned to Israel after the death of their husbands.   David became king after King Saul’s death.  The same is true in the New Testament; many of the examples there are people who left their old way of life behind to embrace what the Lord offered them.    Peter, Andrew, James and John leave their old fishing boats and begin fishing for men.  Matthew began giving to the people instead of collecting from them.  Each one of Jesus’ disciples left their old of life and became men who wanted to spread the Good News of Jesus.  This continues throughout the New Testament.

The old passes away and the new begins.  Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  Do you feel like you are in a wilderness?  Maybe you are so dry that the Sahara Desert looks like a beautiful, lush garden.  Your change could be just around the corner.  Even now the Lord is moving behind the scene to bring that change into your life.  Your Promise Land is just ahead.  It might be something major or a dying to self, but the outcome will spring forth.  He has promised it and He always keeps His promises.  Yep, change is on the way.  Get ready for it.

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