The New Normal Week 1
Have you been wondering about when things will get back to normal? Are you ready for things to get back to normal? What if they don’t? Maybe they shouldn’t.
Everyone is talking about the “New Normal” which, I guess, means physically distancing from each other, wearing masks, and even washing our hands regularly. Who knew that was a thing we should do? I’m just kidding!
What is normal? Is there such a thing as normal? Was normal ever that great to begin with? I’ve heard someone say, “Normal is just a setting on your dryer!” The good news is: “God has something better for you than a normal life and you can experience it for yourself!”
Many times, we choose normal over the new normal because it is familiar to us, even though it was never working for us in the first place.
But, we’re not the only ones who get stuck in our past. This happened with the Israelites back in Exodus. They were enslaved in Egypt. That was their normal, and it wasn’t a good place to be.
You can see a picture of their normal in Exodus 3:7:
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7-8, 10
They moved from the Normal into the Abnormal of wandering around in the wilderness. You’d think they’d be happy to be free, but instead, they whined and complained about the abnormal. You see this in Numbers 14:3
Why is the LORD bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our children will be taken by force. Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” So, they said to each other, “Let’s pick a leader and let’s go back to Egypt.” Numbers 14:3-4
They didn’t want God’s promise that was ahead of them. They wanted normal, because it was what they knew.
But they were moving toward a New Normal, that was going to be much better than their old normal.
Discoveries in the Desert
Look at what they Discovered in the Desert. They had to learn some lessons in the abnormal before they could get to the new normal. And the longer it takes to discover these lessons, the longer they had to wander around in the wilderness. it takes longer than you think to get to the Promised Land.
1. They Discovered their Deliverer
God is the only one who could deliver them.
“You (God) brought Israel out of Egypt with mighty signs and wonders, with a strong hand and powerful arm, and with overwhelming terror.” Jeremiah 32:21
Let God use this abnormal time of change to set you free from addictions, and the things that have kept you trapped in your past. Choose to be a part of Celebrate Recovery.
Even though they were free, they still saw themselves as slaves.
First, God removed the Israelites from Egypt, and then God removed Egypt from the Israelites.
2. They Discovered their New Direction.
Look at what God did in Exodus 13:17
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17
He led them down an unexpected road. We might want to go back, but the only way forward is through! We need to learn to look to him every day for our marching orders and for direction. He led His people through the wilderness with a cloud by day and a fire at night. He leads you today with His Holy Spirit and through His Word. He may be putting Divine Appointments in your path for today. Ask Him, “God, what direction do you want me to go today?”
3. They Discovered their Dependency.
They needed God to meet their needs every day in the wilderness.
“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Exodus 16:3
God hears their cries and in verse 4 says,
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. Exodus 16:4
What do you think they did? We see their response:
Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” 20 But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them. Exodus 16:19
They did what everyone is doing today! They were hoarders! It all spoiled and was rotten!
God wants us to discover how to depend on Him. We’re so used to getting whatever we want when we want it, that we don’t feel like we need to fully depend on God. God promises He will take care of you.
4. They Discovered their Destiny.
God was leading them somewhere. They weren’t going to be wandering around in the desert forever. God was leading them to a new normal that was far better than they ever imagined.
I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey… Exodus 3:17
God had a plan for His people through the desert. He was leading them just like He is leading us today. But in the meantime, there are lessons we need to learn so we can experience all that He has planned for us. He is growing you in the desert toward your destiny. New experiences will lead to a new normal. You grow through what you go through! Yes, I know it’s difficult to live in the Abnormal, but remember, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.“
This leads us to a point of Decision!
You get to decide during this time if you’re going to whine and complain and push back against what God wants to do in your life. If you decide to do that, you will get stuck and keep looking back at the normal of your past. Or, you can embrace the abnormal during this season and allow God to have His way in your life to prepare you for what He has prepared for you. He wants to lead you to a New Normal that is far better than what you had in your past. You will be more closely connected with Him. You can make the decision to follow Him through the wilderness and trust that God is leading you to a New Normal.