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A New Thing: Trusting God Through Change

A small plant growing out of a tree stump with the words of Isaiah 43:19 overlayed

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

Originally posted February 26, 2023

by Pastor Michael Dominick - Lead Pastor at Grace Church of Concord

I am the type of person who generally embraces new things. Especially new things that I choose and instigate. I am not one of those old guys who still has a flip phone and doesn't know how to boot up a computer. One of these days, Lord willing, I am going to have a car with Apple Car Play included.

But truth is, it's much more difficult to embrace change when it is foisted upon us. I understand the strategy Sam's Club uses in moving things around every couple of months to force me to go up and down the aisles looking for the thing that was right there last time I was in. That way I see more stuff in the store I might buy. I understand it - but I don't like it!

God tells His people in Isaiah 43:19, "See, I am doing a new thing!" When our lives are pressed on every side and we don't see a way out of the storm we are in, those are welcome words. The last chapter hasn't been written, yet. God is doing a new thing. It will not always be the same old, same old. God is up to something, and it's big!

But when we just want comfortable and safe and normal, those words can be unsettling and even scary. God means to disrupt the comfortable in order to move us to the miraculous.

Today, in Concord, North Carolina, a fledgling congregation will begin to worship. The only folks in Concord who will take any notice of it are the people involved. But God is doing a new thing. For reasons of conscience and faithfulness to Scripture as we understand it, some folks are coming out of The United Methodist Church and seeking to become part of the newly-formed Global Methodist Church.

This group of faithful, on-fire disciples of Jesus Christ has asked me to be their founding pastor, and I have been assigned by the GM Church to shepherd them from start-up status to becoming a Global Methodist congregation. God is doing a new thing, and I am embracing it with humility, passion and joy.

When God led Israel out of Egypt, the people kept looking back and grumbling about how much better it was in Egypt than in the wilderness. Moses had his hands full with the Back-to-Egypt-Committee! Well Jesus knows I am looking forward to the new thing He is doing. No Back-to-Indiana-Committee meetings in my heart. God is moving. I want to be in the center of what He is doing, even if it is unsafe and uncomfortable. Like Mother Theresa said, "You'll never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have."

Whatever the new thing is that God is doing in your life, trust Jesus and walk forward into it. You cannot safely drive a car only looking in the rear-view mirror. Let's all look ahead to the glorious new thing God is doing, whatever the current circumstances of our lives. He is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. I want to look back and say, "Wow, God! Only you could do what you did!"

Are there challenges ahead. Oh, yes. Will there be some pain in the journey? Undoubtedly. Is there grief mixed in because of what is lost in moving on? Yes. Will God remain faithful through it all? Absolutely!

Here's to what lies ahead in God's unfolding plans for our lives...


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