Releasing the Old

In his book, When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change, Craig Barnes writes, “It is impossible to follow Jesus and not be led away from something. That journey away from the former place and toward the new place is what converts us. Conversion is not simply the acceptance of a theological formula for eternal salvation. Of course it is that, but it is so much more. It is the discovery of God’s painful, beautiful, ongoing creativity along the way in our lives.” (p. 21)

In order to keep in step with the fresh, ongoing activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives we need to step into the new place God is inviting us into. To do so often require we release our former journey and all the things that got us here in the first place. In our journey with God, there is always more; more than we’ve ever hoped or imagined. However, like Moses, we must be open to a fresh revelation (God had never shown up in a burning bush before), be willing to go to a place we’ve never been, and release any expectations of what that might look like.

The spiritual life is never stagnant…at least it is not meant to be. The tendency for all of us is to clutch white-knuckled to what is familiar and expect God to stay within our “old wine skin.” What God did back then…was then. He has moved on to a new work in our lives beyond any imagined fullness we construct on our own. The biggest mistake would be to go back to where we came from.

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