A New Normal

January 26, 2017
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross"1 (Lyrics)

Deuteronomy 2:3 – You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north. (NLT)

Monday morning arrived, and I couldn't remember what I needed to do first.

For the last four years, I've had the same morning routine. My profession as a school teacher required me to arrive at school by 7:30 a.m. Now things are different. While I will keep office hours at my new employment, the hours are variable, which gives me more flexibility. My first morning was slightly confusing. Should I do things in the same order that I once did, or could I rearrange them? I chose the latter but found myself confused about what to do first. I also forgot to do some things that I had been doing with predictability for the last four years.

The trip from Egypt to the Promised Land was brief — or at least, it should have been. Stubborn rebellion by the Israelites caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years until the rebels died. That's when God gave them a new normal. No more wilderness. Now it was time for them to enter the Promised Land.

New norms can bring anxiety. The Israelites would immediately pass through territory belonging to the Edomites. While they were relatives, they weren't friendly relatives. God reminded them that He had been with them in the past and that He would be with them on this new normal journey as well. God never forsakes His children when He leads them into new norms. His indwelling Spirit has the power to soothe our anxieties, regardless of how intense they may seem.

Along with the anxiety of new norms can come unprecedented victories. With a new fighting force, God would lead His children to capture land belonging to Sihon the Amorite and Og, king of Bashan. God doesn't lead me to a new normal just so that I'll have some place fresh to go. He has plans that will involve me in His kingdom advancement.

New norms invite the enemy's attention. Moses had experienced victory, but because of falling earlier into disobedience, he couldn't enter the Promised Land. God has plans for victory by leading us to the new norms, but as always, the believers' enemy is at work, trying to bring defeat. Honing my faith in my new normal keeps me from falling into the enemy's traps.

Rather than being overwhelmed by anxiety, let's enjoy the new norms into which God brings us.

Prayer: Father, help us to trust You when You bring us into new norms. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word Martin.

    Amen indeed. Great meditation Martin as we are in a world of constant change.

    Martin – thanks for sharing your experience. Change is difficult for a lot of people but God has a plan and purpose for every season of our lives.
    God Bless.

    Good morning Martin, and thank you for this devotional. It’s a lesson I need to learn over, and over, and over again. How wonderful that you’ve provided this biblical basis for the lesson.

    Hello Martin,
    Your devotional is an encouragement to one also going through “new norms” for the past year or so. Thank you for sharing your message and the Scripture which spoke to you.

    Thanks Martin!
    The hymn of today says:
    “Near the cross, a trampling soul; Love and mercy found me;
    There the bright and morning Star Shed its beams around me!”
    Praise the Lord walking us from day to day in this changing world!

    Good morning Martin. Your devotional gave me a chuckle because I’m experiencing some sleepless nights as I come to terms with a new norm. I’ve been thinking pretty much the same thing.
    God works in mysterious ways! Thank you for allowing Him to use you as his messenger. Blessings.

    Dear Martin Wiles,
    In the years when I first entered the teaching profession, teacher training institutions were known as Normal Schools. They were supposed to establish “norms,” or standards for grade levels, also teaching methods, etc.
    Thanks for:
    God doesn’t lead me to a new normal just so that I’ll have some place fresh to go. He has plans that will involve me in His kingdom advancement.
    May God keep all Christians pressing forward into new and greater norms.
    Keep writing.

    Thank you for this devotion as it made me think about our little congregation.
    From people leaving town, passing on and people leaving our church due to lack of a minister. I really enjoyed your devotion.
    Often I have felt that we should close, yet I have a feeling that this is just what the dark side would like to see here in our town. Several churches have come to closure. Myself and another Elder enjoy leading worship. Our attitude is up, we have collected a generous amount surpassing our PWSD and Sharing allocation.
    A real miracle , We pray for folks who seem to recover to a point of healing. So why do I worry as to what the world thinks?
    Will this be our new norm. am I to stop worrying and letting peoples comments go over my head. Just keep on doing the work of the church in our community. At times getting discouraged. New Norm gives me something to pray about and think about.

    Hi Martin
    Thank you for your devotional.


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