As I reflect on Easter this past Sunday along with the springtime, one word keeps coming up in my mind – Renewal. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
The word renewed means to “make new again.” That is much more than getting back to what used to be. It is making something new and improved! And it happens continually – day by day! God wants to do something better in our lives and ministry.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
The Bible says that even though we are growing older on the outside, we can be younger on the inside! Here are three areas we need to seek God to renew.
1. Renewal of our soul!
All renewal starts with the heart. It means to get right with God. We have the promise that if we confess our sins, God will forgive our sins and cleanse our hearts from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
On Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached this as part of the Gospel: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19
As you seek God to renew your soul, ask yourself these questions:
- What unconfessed sin in my life do I need God to forgive and cleanse?
- Do I know God’s peace or do I struggle with anxious thoughts?
- How is my prayer life? Am I daily drawing close to God?
- What temptations and struggles do I need help with? Who can help?
2. Renewal of our relationships.
As we get right with God, we can get right with others. The two Great Commandments are that we fully love God, and then we “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:37-39).
The command to love doesn’t stop with the people we like. Jesus called us to love our enemies. Sadly, COVID and culture have brought bitter rifts between people and even churches. As new-covenant followers of Jesus, we must remember his words to love one another just as He loved us!
As you seek God to renew your relationships, ask yourself these questions:
- Who am I resentful towards in my life? Why?
- What will happen or not happen if I let it go?
- What is God asking me to do in order to restore the relationship?
- How can I love others more?
3. Renewal of our passion!
Passion can’t be mustered up by hype and human willpower. Real renewal requires the power and presence of God.
The prophet Isaiah said, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah. 40:31)
Don’t get ahead of God. Take time to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Rely on his power, not your own.
As you seek God to renew your passion, ask yourself these questions:
- What is causing me to be discouraged?
- What do I need to let go of and let God take control?
- Am I trusting God and asking Him to fill me with His Spirit?
- Who and what can help me regain my passion? Time with a friend? Needed rest? A Retreat?
BEFORE YOU GO
Renewal comes as we allow God to change our hearts and minds. Paul said, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2)
Stay in the Word. Listen to God’s voice. Stay in step with the Spirit. Stay accountable to others. Stay focused on the mission.