Friday, January 1, 2016

Exploring the New

"Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you.”  Genesis 13: 17

 As a child and still to this day I pour over  each issue of the National Geographic magazine fascinated with what mankind is exploring and discovering information about all kinds of things and places in our vast physical universe. There is always something new waiting to be explored and discovered. 

God is raising up explorers in the spiritual realm, too. I am one of His explorers. How about you? Can't you just imagine Him delighting over what we discover? Over the past thirty eight years God has enlarged my territory in ministry among Muslims by introducing new people, experiences, and opportunities to me. It has been an exploration that can only be summarized by the word 'exhilarating'. Sometimes it is better that God does not tell me ahead of time what He wants me to do but nudges me right at the moment to step out and to say or do something. No time to back out or have an internal conversation with experiences can initially be frightening for me. But I have discovered that if I follow the Spirit's nudging by exercising faith something quite thrilling will follow. Often it is my reluctance to embrace something new that keeps me from growing and diminishes my effectiveness. I cannot move forward if I am frozen with fear of the new, whether it be people, a place, customs and traditions, an opportunity to witness, eating unfamiliar food, a public speaking engagement, giving a prophetic word, praying for a Muslim, etc.

Looking back I would say one of the secrets of enjoying a thrilling ministry would be that I have embraced a myriad of new things which is miraculous because, by nature, I am a timid and shy person and am initially afraid of anything new. Each time something new comes my way and I resolve to embrace the situation with God’s help something new happens within me! Ministry would surely be stunted if I held back from meeting new people or refused to embrace new experiences or opportunities.

Perhaps God is telling you, as He did with Abram, "Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you," but you are afraid of stepping out further in engaging with Muslims. God will do some amazing new things in you and through you in 2016  if you embrace and explore the new. He is waiting to give you “new land.” We just have to move our feet in faith to activate God's promises to us and step out.

May 2016 truly prove to be a happy new year exploring the new territory that God is giving you. But more exciting than exploring new territory is discovering more about God Himself!

Dear heavenly Father, please help a reader who is struggling to take hold of new territory being presented to her.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.