It is inevitable. In fact, you’d probably make way more money if you put your money on this than if you put your money in the Stock Market. Actually, you’d make more money if you put it on this than if you put it on the chance of rain today in the Northwest.
As soon as God starts moving and working, people will come out of the woodwork to complain about it and be negative about it.
There are a number of reasons that this happens:
1.) They have limited God to only move in certain ways.
If God doesn’t move in the only way they think He can move, then they assume it’s not of God. So, when God starts moving in a new way they actually believe that it can’t be God because it’s not the way they think He should move.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
But here’s the thing,
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
We are in the process of working out our salvation. Until we reach Heaven, none of us have arrived as full saved and redeemed children of God. Yes, the Father already sees us that way, but we do not see that yet. We have to be in the process of growing in our salvation. And we have to do it with fear and trembling, that’s because it’s important. Too important to take lightly. Too important to just assume that because you said a prayer you’re good. You have to keep working at it, as God transforms us more and more each day into His image.
Notice how Paul immediately follow this up with “Do everything without grumbling…children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Kinda makes you think that grumbling and arguing, in other words negativity, are still the products of the warped and crooked generation we live in huh? So, grumbling and arguing are the things that actually need to be worked OUT of us all together so that God can work His salvation IN us.
2.) They don’t like the new way God is moving.
This is what the Lord says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
Remember how the Israelites, who had been in captivity actually started to long to be slaves again? They were free, but wandering in the wilderness and running out of food. And they actually started to wish they could go back to being slaves instead of pushing forward to the land that God had promised them.
There will always be those who think that what God did “back in the day” was the pinnacle of God’s movement on the earth. And there will be nothing to compare with that. How sad. God is doing a new thing and they don’t perceive it.
We actually need to forget the former things. Listen to what God is saying here, he actually says to forget about all those thing that He did. I could be wrong, but read the passage again. This is what the Lord says, the Lord who killed the armies, that Lord says forget the former things, don’t dwell on the past because I am doing a new thing that is springing up. Hmm.
3.) They are comfortable where they are and don’t want the pain that comes with new growth.
They want to live on what God did a long time ago and not a new thing.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
It can be uncomfortable to grow. But, in this new and living way that we walk and live, every day is a new day. Every day is a chance for God to do something new in us. In fact, God SHOULD be doing something new in our lives every day. Because, every day we are being transformed into his likeness, with ever increasing glory.
As we are transformed into His likeness, God will have to do something new in us each and every day. If God doesn’t do something new, how will we ever be transformed?
How Do We Respond?
Well, if we respond at all (and that’s a big question, because a lot of times I don’t think it’s even worth responding). We can’t combat negative responses to vision with being negative.
Instead, we have to combat negativity with a hopeful defense of the vision. We see what God is doing, and we see that God is doing a new thing in the lives of others and that God is doing a new thing in us. And because we see the new things God is doing, we have hope for the new things he will continue to do. So, as we follow the vision God has given us, we have hope for the lives that will be changed as God continue to move.
You should be wary of anyone who has had some significant encounter with God and wants to recreate it instead of looking for God to do a new thing. You will never be able to recreate a significant move of God in the past. God wants to do something newer and greater in your life. He did that thing so you’d be in a better place to receive something new from Him tomorrow. He has a progressive plan for you to grow into His image and He needs you to see the things He did in the past as stepping stones into the future He has for you. Not as something to aspire back to. That’s not progression, that’s regression.
We can’t dwell in the faith of yesterday. We have to dwell in the vision of a new thing.