You may be wondering by now what it means to live the “NEW NORMAL” life after this global pandemic. Hmmmm …
Yes, we all have our own opinions, ideas and insights about this in which we are all entitled to and be respected well. I, too, have been thinking about this and realized what would be the “New Normal” for me.
“And He gave them this illustration: “No one rips up a new garment to make patches for an old, worn-out one. If you tear up the new to make a patch for the old, it will not match the old garment. And who pours new wine into an old wineskin? If someone did, the old wineskin would burst and the new wine would be lost. New wine must always be poured into new wineskins. Yet you say, ‘The old ways are better,’ and you refuse to even taste the new that I bring.” (Luke 5:36-39 TPT)
God looks at our hearts. He knows us more than the ones closest to us, even more than we know ourselves. He knows our needs before we even ask. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows our gifts and our callings. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knows when we sleep or when we get up. He knows our thoughts and intentions of our every doing. Not a fiber within us is hidden from Him, yet He deeply loves us. But the best thing about the truth of His love for us is that He will never allow us to stay the same. He has much more in store for us. He has much more prepared and made ready for us than we can ever think of.
“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
what God has arranged for those who love him.” (2 Corinthians 2:10 MSG)
He loves us so dearly that He desires to be with us, to come in union with us. He longs to talk to us, walk with us, eat with us, drink with us, commune with us, fellowship with us, rejoice with singing over us, quiet us in His love and lead us in the way we should go, for He knows the divine highway in which we are to take. Our life is an open book to Him and He knows the end of our lives from the beginning and sees it glorious.
For this reason He gave His only beloved and begotten Son Jesus Christ to the world that this intimate communion be made possible.
Our God is a holy God. The only possible way for a man to come into the presence of a Holy God is when we become holy, all by His grace and not of our works, lest we may boast. “It was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in Him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ!” (Ephesians 2:8 TPT)
“He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
The wonderful thing about God our Father is that when He called us to be holy, He never left us helpless nor hopeless to become one. He always speaks the language of redemptive solutions. All we need to do is tap into His thoughts and ways that are higher, way beyond our minds can ever comprehend, yet possibly accessible by faith in our hearts.
It is He that chooses us, not vice versa. It is our response to His invitation in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has prepared and bestowed for us is what make our lives come alive and full of life. It is one thing to live because we are still breathing, but it is another thing to have and enjoy life in abundance, to the full till it overflows, because we have willingly responded to His invitation.
When we hear, believe and receive Jesus Christ and His finished work, in an instant we are supernaturally spiritually reconciled back to Him. When He said, “It is FINISHED!” at the cross and gave up His Spirit, the veil of the temple which is said to be four inches thick, was torn in two from top to bottom. Such veil separated man from the Holy of Holies where the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence was. That part of the temple was only accessible by the high priest once a year on behalf of all Israel for the atonement of their sins for that particular year. But when Jesus, our High Priest forever at the same time the Perfect Sacrifice Who shed His own blood for the forgiveness of sins ONCE AND FOR ALL, the way into the Holy of Holies was open for all people, for all time.
“It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, He did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.” (Hebrews 10:14 MSG)
This is the very reason why Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). We were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from our aimless conduct received by tradition from our fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:18).
The torn veil of the temple signified Jesus’ flesh being torn that we may have full access into the presence of God whenever and wherever. With what Jesus accomplished at the cross, we can confidently and boldly come into the presence of God, with no ounce of guilt and condemnation. This is His NEW covenant with us with better promises.
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
When the Blood of Jesus washed our sins away, He remembers them NO MORE! Who are we to remember them? We may fall short of His glory every now and then, but we are to be quick to switch our mindset into our divine redemption and restoration by the power of His Blood. His word says, “Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted” (Isaiah 43:26). This is our new and living way of cultivating and nourishing our intimate relationship with Him. Putting Jesus and His finished work constantly and consistently in our minds makes our sin consciousness grow dim in the light of what He did.
“And now we are brothers and sisters in God’s family because of the blood of Jesus, and He welcomes us to come right into the most holy sanctuary in the heavenly realm—boldly and with no hesitation. For He has dedicated a NEW, life-giving way for us to approach God. For just as the veil was torn in two, Jesus’ body was torn open to give us free and fresh access to Him!
And since we now have a magnificent King-Priest to welcome us into God’s house, we come closer to God and approach Him with an open heart, fully convinced by faith that nothing will keep us at a distance from Him. For our hearts have been sprinkled with blood to remove impurity and we have been freed from an accusing conscience and now we are clean, unstained, and presentable to God inside and out!” (Hebrews 10:19-22 TPT)
Our God is a God of more than enough. In addition to our ever-uninterrupted access to God’s presence, He desires to make His home in us in the presence of the Holy Spirit. With the torn veil at the temple, God moved out of the Holy of Holies, never again to dwell in the temple made with human hands, but this time dwell in the temple made with His hands (Acts 17:24).
You and I are called to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, the holy habitation of His presence here on the earth.
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
We have entered a NEW SEASON! He is doing a NEW THING. He is posturing us to adjust our perception according to who He called us to be in such a time as this. There will be NEW opportunities that He will open that may seem to be impossible to open. But with God, ALL things are possible.
Behold, I will do a NEW thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
God is making us NEW wineskins for us to be able to carry and contain the NEW wine that He is depositing into us. God is pouring His Spirit upon ALL flesh that many will dream dreams and see visions. Many will prophesy. Many will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Many will declare a thing and it shall be established. Many will walk manifesting the goodness of God in their lives. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14) These are His promises that as “YES and AMEN!” and He is faithful to perform them. He promised to work with us, confirming His Word with signs following. But a NEW mindset is a necessity. We are to get rid of our old mentality of living just an “ordinary” life. In Him, we are NEW CREATIONS! This good news is too good to be true for those who do not believe. But for us who do, it is indeed GOOD and it is TRUE!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become NEW.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When Jesus came to powerfully demonstrate our Heavenly Father’s love for us, our value became priceless. The price that He paid for you and me by His precious blood was delightfully matchless, extremely precious that its value could never be determined. And this made us supernatural beings. Did we earn it? No! Did we deserve it? No! It came because His love is abounding, His mercy is rich and His grace is amazingly incomparable. In Christ alone can we become NEW CREATIONS, with His divine nature deposited in us. Truly the old is gone and the new has come and we have all the reasons to rejoice having this NEW NORMAL LIFE IN CHRIST.
“And He has taught you to let go of the lifestyle of the ancient man, the old self – life, which was corrupted by sinful and deceitful desires that spring from delusions. Now it’s time to be made NEW by every revelation that’s been given to you. And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your NEW LIFE and live in union with Him! For God has re-created you all over again in His perfect righteousness, and you now belong to Him in the realm of true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 TPT)
The New Normal is living a life without fear as we put our trust in God. He loves us dearly and deeply that He longs to see us fearless in the midst of this minute invisible virus, and gave us this antidote, the vaccine of His Perfect Love, that was fully and powerfully demonstrated by Jesus Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.
“There is NO FEAR IN LOVE; but PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
He longs to see us fearless, fully persuaded that the power of the Blood of Jesus is our hedge of protection that no virus can come near us because He said so in His word. We rest our case believing in His Word that He Who is in us is greater than the virus that is against us.
He longs to see us fearless, fully trusting Him that He will manifest His financial provision for us because He loves us. If it means for Him to create new companies for new sources of income, so be it. He is the God of more than enough. There is no scarcity in His kingdom.
Let our hope, our confident expectation to see His goodness in our everyday lives, be anchored in His perfect love. His love never fails, never runs out and never gives up.
“Now HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT, because the Love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I HAVE HOPE: The STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES; His MERCIES NEVER COME TO AN END; they are NEW every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)
To be able to grasp God’s love, His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, His grace, His favor and all that He is, expressed tangibly by the presence and power of His Spirit, we need our own spirits where He dwells to expand and enlarge. To be filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we need to be new wineskins that do not break when they are stretched to their limits.
We may think that old wineskins are considered useless for they cannot withstand let alone contain the new wine. But with God, there is always a way. There is always hope. There is always a redemptive solution. For the old wineskin to be made like NEW is for it to be soaked in OIL. Its preservation and transformation, making it pliable and adjustable are made possible when it is submerged in OIL. Oil is the symbol of God, the Holy Spirit.
Hmmmm … When God is making new wineskins out of us, we need to intentionally and purposely spend time in His presence. We need to meditate His Word day and night, and night and day, and not allow it to depart from our mouths, that we may observe to do all that is written in it, for then it shall make our way prosperous, and then we will have good success (Joshua 1:8). We need the Holy Spirit to breathe into the Word that we are meditating on that they become spirit and life, laid out to be partaken beyond the letter of the word that we may benefit from them.
Abiding in the Word is what takes off the limitations for us to believe who God called us to be by how we think. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). Therefore, we are to renew our thinking according to the Word of God. We are to incline our ears to what He is saying for man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We live because He speaks. And if we are not hearing and hearing His word, and not meditating His word, we deprive ourselves from the knowledge of His will, let alone see them coming to pass in our lives. We strip ourselves from exploring and experiencing a “heaven-on-earth” life that He originally intended for us to have.
“My son, GIVE ATTENTION TO MY WORDS;
Incline your EAR to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your EYES;
Keep them in the midst of your HEART;
For they are LIFE to those who find them,
And HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH.
Keep your HEART with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of LIFE.” (Proverbs 4:20-23)
Every time God speaks, He is filling us. He is stretching us to believe what He is saying. “God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
Personally, my “New Normal” is to be more attentive to the words that He is speaking and walk it out. He is the Bread of Life. He is the Living Water. “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
Responding continually to His invitation day in and day out should be our “New Normal”. It is NOT by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God Who is living inside of us. It is by the grace of God that He empowers us to respond to His invitation as He sees us willful, humble, open, obedient, faithful and teachable. It is not our ability to do it that pleases Him. It is our availability and dependency on Him that is a pleasing aroma into His nostrils and this becomes a portal of God’s power to flow in and through us.
“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes.” (Romans 12:1-2 TPT)
Our “New Normal” is to be fully persuaded that we can cast all our cares and worries into God’s hands, and SEE HOW HE CARES FOR US AFFECTIONATELY AND WATCHFULLY (1 Peter 5:7).
Our “New Normal” is to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding; In all our ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-)
When our heavenly identity of being His beloveds is established because of the finished work Jesus Christ, our activity follows. Our being always precedes our doing. Our fruit is always determined by our roots. Where our roots are sent to draw nourishment from will always be justified by the fruit that we bear in our lives. Our “right believing” will always bear “right living”. His divine influence in our hearts will always be reflected in the way we live our lives. It is our intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that begets fruitfulness. It is never in and of our own ability, but by His ability and reliability.
This way, we live our lives complete in His love, joyful and peaceful in His presence and empowered to prosper by the Holy Spirit. This is the “New Normal”.
“It is NOT in our own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in us [energizing and creating in us the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” (Philippians 2:13 AMPC)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for making us NEW CREATIONS in Christ that we can live our “New Normal” lives. Thank You for giving us HOPE, a joyful and confident expectation, that we will see Your goodness day in and day out because You so love us. Thank You, Jesus, for your torn flesh that ripped the veil at the temple in two when You said, “It is Finished!”, so that Your earthly presence can live in our own bodies as Your temples made by Your hands at the same time giving us access to boldly come into Your presence to obtain mercy and find grace in time of need. Thank You, Holy Spirit, that it is You Who leads us, strengthens us, empowers us, comforts us, heals us, encourages us and makes manifest the full provision that pertains to our life and godliness. Indeed, it is not by might nor by power, but by Your Spirit. Thank You that You are making ALL THINGS NEW and because we are IN YOU and YOU ARE IN US, we find rest as we yield to Your lordship in the newness of our everyday life in Jesus’ Name. Amen!