New Beginnings

Updated: Sep 16, 2018

New Beginnings

Isaiah 43: 14-19 “14 Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon, and bring them all down as fugitives-The Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships. 15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” 16 Thus saith the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters, 17 Who brings forth the chariot and horse, The army and the power (They shall lie down together, they shall not rise; They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick): 18 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Hello Mountain View Family,

It is good to be able to communicate with you all from overseas here in this forum. What I mean by that is that it is good FOR ME (and I hope, in the end for you as well) that I am doing this. It stretches me to be used by God in (hopefully) ministering to you in some sort of way.

“New Beginnings”, it sounds so good, positive and promising, however has it ever occurred to us the implication of what the phrase “New Beginnings” means and implies? Think about it with me for a minute. No one whose life is in a great place ever says, “Man… could sure use a new beginning right about now…” or “Wow, life is GREAT right now… how about a new beginning…”

No, usually when we utter the desire for a new beginning it’s within the context of a life that is either spiraling desperately out of control or a life and situations that seem to be in its death throes or in the lesser, not so desperate situations, a dead end job. That’s when we blearily say, “O Lord… can I get a do over… I could use a new beginning right about now…”

New Beginning conjures up visions of hope, change, fresh starts and complete do overs. But what I’ve found is we rarely like to look to our situations, what we are seeking relief from for the answer or the “why”… only on hopes of deliverance.

To illustrate this, look to the story of Jacob and the account of him wrestling with the angel. Jacob’s “chickens” so to speak, had come home to roost. The lies, deceit, the swindling were coming back around and he could no longer run from it. He could no longer avoid it; pretend it didn’t exist or distract and busy himself in the daily activities of life any longer. He had a situation that had tracked him down in the form of a very mad, very manly, strong brother who was less than happy with him. As it would happen he ends up in a wrestling match with “a Man” until the breaking of day. A struggle, back and forth, all night with seemingly no positive progress, until “the Man” seeing that Jacob will not give in, He touches Jacobs hip and says to Jacob, “let me go.”

Jacob rightly knew the answer to his problem lay in this “Man” and therefore would not let Him go unless the “Man” blesses him. This prompted an interesting response from the “Man” to Jacob’s request of blessing, namely… ok, “what is your name?”

There is so much in this that goes back to the observation I had, that in our desperation for deliverance we rarely look to that which we perceive is causing said discomfort for the answer to our problems. Namely, us… or more precisely what God is trying to remove from us.

The “Man” or more precisely, God, asking, “What is your name?”

God says to Jacob, “You want deliverance? You want blessing? A new beginning? What is your name?”

… What is your name? Why are you in this situation? Is there some character flaw or something that I (God) am trying to work out of you that have caused us to be here? Wrestling…

An interesting thing happened. Jacob didn’t respond with an excuse, he didn’t respond with a laundry list of possible explanations… he responds, “My name is Jacob” that is to say, “I am my name-sake… I am a supplanter, a swindler… I have lived my life by my own resource, cunning and it is not enough, I need You.”

It was only when Jacob realized and owned who he was could he then blessed to become who God wanted him to be and all of the spiritual and material blessings that naturally come with it, because as soon as Jacob comes clean and absolutely faces himself in 100% honesty, not trying to run from it could God change his name from “swindler, supplanter, deceiver,” to “Israel,” which means “one who has wrestled with God and man and overcome…”

For clarity, the overcoming spoken of is not that of overcoming God and man but rather in the struggle he had come out on the other side an over comer… What does that mean? How many folks have you known that have gone through a trial but not come out good on the other side? They ended up bitter, backslidden and have forsaken God? They burned up in the fir rather than be refined by the fire?

I included the scripture above because it is God’s promise to Israel to bring them out of bondage and into the land again. In the context of what had happened to Israel it was God saying there is hope for new things, “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

An encouragement not to dwell on the former things (key word “dwell”) or inadvertently use them as a limiting factor on the new thing He was going to do.

And lastly, a reminder of what it really is all about… Him. Our dethroning and His enthroning. Isa 43:21 “This people have I formed for myself; they shall declare my praise…”

A complete and total trust and waiting on Him, which reminded me of something I wrote in my personal blog about 10 years ago en-route to Iraq the first time.

“This just hit me last night as I was falling asleep, it's not about us or what we can do, generate or accomplish, it's about what He has accomplished already for us on the cross or as Max Lucado puts it in the title of his book, what He has done, generated and accomplished "Six hours one Friday" (a very good read by the way). I oft would wonder if this is why God is so pleased at faith. Think on it, there is no merit to the one who decides on faith, no (strenuous) effort... but another thing can be said of the One to whom is the object of that faith, in other words faith completely removes us (the faithors) out of the equation and in a way dethrones us and enthrones God. Faith in HIS goodness, Faith in HIS righteousness, Faith in HIS faithfulness and my coming to terms with that…”

I want to encourage you, with this… “We serve a God who in His love for us can never do enough for us and is not content to leave us where (in the state) He found us…”

God is 100% for you. Let Him take you from where he found you on to new beginnings.

Peace out for now,

Ken Johnson

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