A New Thing
by Peggi Tustan
Should I quit, Lord? I ask him regularly. A week or so ago, I asked if I should quit writing. Now before you judge me as a quitter, consider this. Quitting is a spiritual discipline. Of course, it’s not as holy as praying and fasting. But it definitely takes discipline and Holy Spirit power. Because change is not easy. Once an activity gets engrained in our schedules, it can take an act of God to remove it. Which is precisely why I go to him regularly and ask. Lord, do you still want me to do this?
Now is the perfect time to practice the discipline of quitting. Not only is it the start of a New Year, it’s the start of a New World. As the pandemic (God-willing) diminishes, instead of reverting to our old normal, let’s seek the Lord. He may ask us to quit something old so that he can replace it with something shiny and new.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
(Isaiah 43:18–19 NIV Emphasis mine)
There is one problem. We often prefer the old. It’s comfy. It’s down pat. The old thing is just fine. Thank you very much, God. But let’s remember whose thing it is. Slowly, subtly, even ministry can become my small group, my class, my writing, my . . . When, in truth, our very breath is his gift. If we call Jesus Lord, let him be Lord. Because he knows us far better than we know ourselves. Not only are his plans good. They are the best, fit perfectly, and blow the lid off anything we conceive!
That’s why it’s a good idea to regularly practice the spiritual discipline of quitting. It begins by laying our activities, responsibilities, and relationships on his altar. We do so with open hands ready to release and receive all he has for us.
- Lord, do you still want me to do _______________________?
- Family and Friends. Should I deepen or diminish any relationships? Approach them in a new way?
- Lord, should I change companies or careers? Work more or less? Further my education?
- Ministry/Interests/Passions. Is there anything I should quit, Lord, to make room for something new? Is there a new ministry you want me to pursue?
- Lord, please reveal any actions or attitudes that displease you. Empower me to quit the old and replace it with your new holy thing.
After asking, remember. His Spirit often whispers. We must look and listen for his answer.
Do you still want me to write, Lord? I asked after learning a magazine I enjoy writing for is taking a sabbatical. The very next day, Jen Robinson asked me to write for this new Women’s Ministry Blog. “Yes! Keep writing, but for something new,” I heard the Lord answer. Out with the old. God is doing a new thing!