When God does something new, you don't want to be left swimming in old wine. I recently stepped into a new season with God, and I know it can be hard to let go of the old. We have memories and testimonies hoarded in the cupboard of our heart, but we need to make space for more.
We have an excitement for the season ahead, and yet we are already missing the season just past. It is that place where we reflect on the greatness of God's works, while also marvelling at how He has even more to reveal. As I step out into this new season, I remember a couple of important things.
It is ok to remember the old.
Testimonies are powerful. They encourage, strengthen and push us forward in Christ. They are altars in the wilderness that remind us of God's faithfulness, rocks of a foundation that assure us God is real. They are the witness of a life transformed by Christ, and the evidence of our being changed more and more in His image.
Testimonies are precious. They inspire our hearts to worship, to give thanks and to glorify God. They can be built upon and transformed so that our moment with God, once a testimony of perseverance, becomes a testimony of victory.
Moving into a new season does not mean we need to forget the old. Instead, we move on toward the next place God takes us, and we build upon the testimonies He has already given us. We remember, but are not stuck in the old. We move on, and we build.
"Your testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors." (Psalm chapter 119, verse 24)
The first step of a new season is our "Yes".
God will challenge, pursue and encourage us but ultimately, He gives us the choice. Will we follow Him? Yes, or no? A new season can be different, unfamiliar, even a little frightening. When God told me about the season He had in store for me, I wondered if I would be able to steward it well. It was a momentary thought, but it reminded me of my focus. I will seek first the kingdom of heaven and God will take care of the rest.
If God has called us, He will also equip us with all that is necessary to do His will. He will grow us in faith, teach us skills, and give us His strength to persevere in every season. All we need to do is say 'yes'. Yes Lord, I love you. Yes Lord, I trust you. Yes Lord, I will follow you.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew chapter 6, verse 33)
We need to surrender our plans to God.
It is easy to get excited about a new season, especially when God has pre-emptively shown you part of the outcome. I recall multiple occasions when God has shown me a little glimpse of what is to come, and I have acted on my own accord. Sometimes, God shows us things in advance so we can prepare. We learn patience in our waiting, and we practice faith in our longing for what has not yet come. When the promise is finally fulfilled, we know it is done not on our own strength, but on the omnipotence of God, and we give Him all the glory.
We do not enter a new season on our own accord, but it is God who calls us. It is our 'yes' to Him that allows us to step into it, and our willingness to surrender that enables us to experience it.
"Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert."
(Isaiah chapter 43, verse 19)
A new season brings new revelation, new testimonies, new testings and new victories. The old is not forgotten, but built upon; the new waits for us to discover it, and God Himself leads us through it.
Are any of us ready to follow Him?
Kristen Dang is a family doctor, and author of the e-book 'An Internship with Jesus'. She lives with her husband in Adelaide and writes a weekly blog (lostnowfoundk) on loving Jesus and living for Him. Her creative business, Lily of the Valleys, aims to share this love for God through music and art.