New Beginnings (Part II)
Today’s article is the second on the topic of new beginnings. You may recall that we listed four truths that are essential to helping you live 2022 on solid footing. In Part 1 we discussed the first two:
- Believe that new beginnings are possible for your life
Believe that God knows you better than you know yourself
In this writing we’ll address the last two:
Believe that God will guide you on a secure and certain path
Believe that you will become more like Christ if you follow Him faithfully
BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL GUIDE YOU ON A SECURE AND CERTAIN PATH
Uncertainty describes so much of our present world: COVID 19 and its variations, the economy, our environment, the continuance of the freedoms we enjoy in America.
Amid this sea of uncertainty, we have a God who never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
The Lord assures His people that He will guide us. How can He do this? God not only knows the future, but He also holds it. He controls it. He has a plan and purpose for your life. God will not only guide you, but He’ll walk alongside you — every day, all day, all the time.
Your ability to hear and follow God’s guidance improves as you learn to hear His voice. Scripture is the primary means by which He guides us, but there are other ways as well. Prayer is another huge way to receive God’s guidance. Experience can also be a good teacher. Counsel from other Christians can provide effective guidance as well.
The Holy Spirit also guides us. You received God’s Spirit when you committed your life to Jesus. Scripture tells us in many places that the Spirit will guide us. For a starter, He guides us into all truth (John 16:13). The more you get to know God through His Word, the more capable you will become in hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice. It doesn’t mean you will do this perfectly. It takes practice and a willingness to step out in faith when you sense the Spirit is guiding you in a certain direction.
I received a call to full–time ministry while praying at the altar during a Sunday night service. I sensed that the Holy Spirit was directing me to leave active duty in the Army and pursue theological studies at a seminary. There was no audible voice. Believe me, it was a big decision and I wanted to get it right. I had established a good record as an Army Infantry officer, and that seemed like the logical path to follow. I had a family to support and mouths to feed. Resigning my regular Army commission seemed like a bad decision. Over the next few months, I did tons of research, read my Bible, talked with mature Christians, and prayed a lot. By the time Judy and I agreed I should leave the Army and go to seminary, the Holy Spirit had given us peace with this decision. The last forty years have confirmed that we’ve been in the center of God’s will. Thank you, Holy Spirit!
One additional observation. The Holy Spirit is not going to guide you to do anything contrary to God’s Word. He is part of the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In a very real sense, He would be contradicting not only the Father and Son, but Himself as well! Beware of any advice that is contrary to God’s Word.
BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL BECOME MORE LIKE CHRIST IF YOU FOLLOW HIM FAITHFULLY
One of the buzz topics going around these days is risk. More and more, I read and hear that if you want to get ahead in almost any area in life, you must be willing to take risks. I believe that’s true. So many of the great accomplishments in our nation’s history occurred because brave men and women were willing to take risks.
Interestingly, however, I don’t consider myself a huge risk-taker when it comes to following the God of the Bible. In fact, it seems like the opposite. If I believe the Sovereign God of the universe loves me and wants me to abide with Him in heaven for all of eternity, the real risk would be not to follow Him in all areas of my life. For me, the stakes are too high to do anything else.
Let’s apply this thought to new beginnings for your life in 2022. God’s Word is not only true — it’s eternal.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever (Isaiah 40:8).
If God’s Word is both true and eternal, what the Bible says about new beginnings will be true today, tomorrow, and forever. If you want to experience new beginnings and are willing to obey God’s guidance, how could it be any better? Think about it. Which is riskier for 2022—to trust Him or not trust Him?
Fellow pilgrim, new beginnings for you in 2022 are not only possible, but they’re certain if you are faithful to God. You will grow. You will mature. You will be transformed more and more into the image of Christ.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).