Over the past year, many people have wondered when we will return to normal or what the new normal will be, but what does “normal” actually mean? The way things used to be? Common, ordinary, expected? My guess is that if you are reading this article right now, you are probably a Christian. Whether this is true or whether you are simply seeking truth and life from the Christian perspective, I need you to know that when we say “normal”, we are actually talking about our comfort zone. When we say that we are seeking a “new normal”, we are literally saying that we desire a new comfort zone. The truth is that as Christ’s followers we are not called to stay in our comfort zone.
Hear this: "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.” (Isaiah 54:2-3, NIV)
You are called to enlarge, to stretch, and to not hold back. In the process, you will need to make an effort to lengthen and strengthen what you have in order to ensure that you will not fail in the life journey that God has for you. The plan will take you into different directions, further than you may have ever planned for yourself or your family. God has a plan for you and each one of His children to accomplish His purposes. The plan is probably not on your radar or even along the common route. That is why the scripture emphasizes, “'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) Even if the plan does not sound familiar to you, this should give you comfort. Remember, the purpose of the plan is only to prosper you and not to harm you. Keep your hope and it will take you into a future that will not disappoint you.
In Numbers 13, we read about the twelve spies that were sent out from the tribes of Israel to explore the land of Canaan. Two gave a report based on courage and not fear. Their names were Joshua and Caleb. We know their stories and how God looked favorably upon them and today we still use their life stories to encourage one another. How about the other ten? Can you remember anything about them without looking up this passage in the Bible?
Once we become a Christian, we are no longer called to stay in our old life- the life that is offered by the world, the life of those who are living for this world. We are called to be a new creation, new wine, a new image bearer of Christ, a Christ follower, His disciple, His light. These Biblical descriptions of Christians simply mean we are to take the Word of God, His commands, and live it out. He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19a, NIV) So go to all the new places He is sending you! The life of the Christian is never meant to be normal!
Let me leave you with this statement: victorious people never settle for normal! It is time to move forward, fight the good fight, and stop looking back!