1. A new year. New years often impress upon us the possibility of a new beginning. You may identify a deep yearning for a new beginning with other occasions too or even with life’s pressure-filled circumstances demanding your entrance into the fray, ready or not. The experiences that drive our thinking will vary, but for all of us who ever have wanted a do-over of any sort, there is one vital lesson before us—God will use occasions and circumstances to make us more aware of our need of Him.

In the study Bible I once used, I wrote the following on a blank page:

Oct. 30, 1991 Decision—Lord, I want a new beginning.

Nothing else was ever written on that page.

That autumn, my father asked me to read a two-volume biography of Hudson Taylor. Through reading the biography (and noting especially, its highlighting of the “exchanged life”) and through an in-depth study of Galatians and Ephesians, the concept of grace would explode in my understanding. God began to open my eyes to the futility of the flesh and the necessity of the Spirit; the futility of flesh-dependence and the necessity of God-dependence; the futility of a flesh-filled life and the necessity of a Spirit-filled life, and this led to a watershed moment in February 1993. It was a new beginning for sure that launched me on a revival journey that has not yet ceased. Over the years there have been more times of crying out to God for divine guidance and deliverance, and more new beginnings in a variety of ways.

Are you in need of a new beginning? God knows your need. Why not express to Him that you are desirous of a new beginning. God is the God of new beginnings. He is the God of revival. He is the God who is able to do abundantly above all we could ever ask or think.

“Behold, I will do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19).

John Van Gelderen

John Van Gelderen

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