By Brittany Kent
New - not existing before: made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time
New year, new resolutions, new goals, new you.
I think in lyrics, so for all you Ben Rector fans...
I feel like for the first time in a long time I am not afraid,
I feel like a kid, I never thought I'd feel like this again.
When I close my eyes and don't even care if anyone sees me dancing.
Like I can fly and I don't even think of touching the ground.
It's the way that I feel when I'm with you
2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation the old has passed away behold the new has come."
As a believer, this verse should bring so much hope! We are made new! The old is no more. Our sin is gone. Our shame is removed. Our identity is changed. We were once not a people, but now we are God’s people! Everyday is a new opportunity to grow closer to our Holy and Loving Dad!
However, if you're like me, you don't necessarily live in this freedom everyday. Lies from my past, fear of the future (or the unknown), and doubt in my identity are kept neatly shoved in a corner. Meanwhile, busyness and social media become my rhythm of life. I turn on autopilot, and I do the same things over and over again to avoid confrontation with the hope that I can live in comfortable “peace.”
Thankfully, God is loving, and His plans are better than mine. However, the truth is this monotony will continue to be reality apart from Christ. I can try to make changes. I can try to pull myself up by my bootstraps, but I will never be satisfied. I will never arrive. The beauty of the gospel though is that in spite of sin (our missing the mark), God stepped into the picture through His Son Jesus. Jesus lived the perfect life, died the death we deserve, and rose to life. It is through Jesus' resurrection power that every believer has new life. (Ephesians 2, 1 Peter 1:3) God gives the official restart and offers it to everyone who would trust in His work and not their own.
I have learned a lot in the past year. I have moved back and forth between two states (8 months in Indiana and 4 in Alabama), transitioned into different ministry roles, switched jobs, traveled to new places, and made new friends. With anything new, it has not existed before. It is made or introduced. Last year, I remember sharing how much I hate change because I can’t control it, but this year is different. I have learned that change brings fresh perspective and a renewed sense of hope.
2 Corinthians 5:17 is a promise that is not dependent on our ability to make ourselves new. The verse says, “if anyone is in Christ, they are.” Not “they will be.” They are a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come. God made me new and is still making me new. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t change. Change is hard. It requires work, and it takes consistency. However, Christ in me provides everything. Every day, God not only provides the opportunity to live out my new living identity, but He also gives me the strength to live in this identity.
Some days I feel like God is doing CPR, and other days I feel like He’s training me for a marathon, but the good news is the breath still comes from Him. God gives His Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him, and “ruah,” the Hebrew word for Spirit literally means breath.