I have to remind myself daily that just as he promises to make us new, he promises to renew the earth itself.
We've had lots of conversations lately about why we can't always have something "new." When your kids get to the age that they notice what other friends have, the shiny pretty things in stores, and when they can read the pop up ads showcasing the newest, greatest "thing" on their Fire tablet, the struggle for new becomes real!
For the love, it's real for me too. When I run into Target for some milk, eggs, and shampoo, I have to just whisper to myself, "stay clear of the left, remain on mission."
The sweetness of it all is that it's provided lots of room for conversation about God's Word and that it has to be the authority for how we choose to live, spend our time, and spend our money. This promise of new that we're to always pursue means new in quality in its original Greek text. Different than before... better.
I like to think of our Father as the ultimate salvage artist. He loves to restore things to their intended state and make them even better. The definition of the word redeem means to buy back or buy free. The point of our redemption in Christ is not to just return us to the original form we were meant to live in, but to set us free from bondage forever... make us better and to give back what was once enjoyed! Unhindered, absolute, 100% free access to God.
If we're always pursuing what others are telling us to instead of what we know is true, how is that better? That's the conversation we've had lately that has this mama oh, so aware of my own sin and wholeheartedly desiring to point my children in a different direction. When we live simply- simply for His fame, simply for His glory, simply for His good, then we are so much better off. I think my seven year old is seeing that it's hard to feel like you're the only one trying to live an obedient life. Sometimes the fruit from that obedience, to a child, has to be tangible- like a prize for cleaning your room or a treat for being kind to your brother! (Can I just say I love prizes too?!!)
But ultimately, the life truth we want them to learn is that our obedient lives have already been rewarded with the promise of new. God's goodness & faithfulness can be seen always, not just in the tangible. And if we hold fast to our assurance to the end, living simply for Him and not the stuff of the world, the reward is so much greater than our comprehension of things here in the natural realm.
Father, please guard our hearts and minds from the temptation to allow our feelings be our Holy Spirit! Move in our children's hearts as well as our own to steer our thoughts on things above, and not of this world. May our desires and feelings be indicators and not dictators and may your Word always be the authority and ruler of our lives!
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, and not on the things that are of this earth. Colossians 3:1-2