How many times do we liken a new experience to a similar experience? One could be driving past a place they have never seen and rather than saying, “this is a new place…” and go on to describe what is special about it, they say, “Doesn’t this remind you of?…”
Is there something within us that constantly reaches back into the past to define the future? Can a new experience be new all on it’s own? I have been pondering how we can do this in our walk with God. I have heard people say, “I am so disappointed that I am no longer where I used to be. I want to get back to how on fire for God I once was.” What about going beyond that? Beyond what is familiar. Beyond what was considered greatness in the past.
For example, although I have seen a double rainbow before, this one was new. That day God opened up the skies and drew this gorgeous bow of colors just for us to observe and remember. Sure I could have compared it to other rainbows but this one was different. I had never driven down that street, at that date and at that time with Brendan to witness such beauty. And it would never happen again.
My point is that every experience is new all on it’s own. I want to celebrate living in the now.
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
I will never forget Pastor Michael Torres preaching at our church in 2011 and exhorting us that “the power of now is in our hands.” In that same service, Pastor Dennis Mantooth called our church to a high place. He challenged us and cautioned us about going back. We limit our experiences in God. We fail to live in the power of now. What is happening now? What is God speaking now? What is He showing us now? I am guilty of doing this. What is happening right now is relevant right now. This is new. This moment, right now; it has never taken place before.
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
There is much power in looking back in thanksgiving and gratitude for all that the Lord has done. However, the Lord wants us to be looking toward new things; greater things in Him. I want new experiences. New dreams. New visions. New souls. New bible studies. New songs.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Philippians 3:13-15)