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God's New Things

Don Miller | March 14, 2020
PaulShipwrecked-editing-500

When Paul sailed to Rome, it wasn’t on a cruise liner. It was on a rugged Roman transport for prisoners. Yet something more wonderful happen to him than has ever happened to anyone pleasure-sailing the seas.

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The tiny ship was battered by a storm so intensely for fourteen days that the passengers ran out of food, couldn’t tell if it was night or day and gave up all hope of being saved. This was one of the fiercest storms to ever hit the Mediterranean and Paul just happened to be “lucky” enough to be on a ship caught exactly in the middle of it.

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This was unfamiliar ground for Paul. He left Philippi and Ephesus where he had many beautiful experiences with many beautiful people. And even when things got tough, God showed up and brought even more beauty. But now was different; it was bad and getting worse.

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But Paul learned not to yearn for the good and the familiar of the past. For him it was always seeking God in the new NOW in front of him. He sought God’s reality in every new now and He let God break through in wholly new ways. God was the stability of his emotions and his life’s circumstances. And God shocked him as He emerged powerfully on the scene of this desperate situation.

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The battered remains of their tiny ship came to rest exactly where God intended. God got his passenger right where He wanted him through supposed random and confusing events and then He began to work in the wildest landing of any ship in history.

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There were profound movements of God’s power and the next thing you see is prisoners and soldiers eating together for happy days of Polynesian-type feasts–all gifts of incredibly grateful islanders who were complete strangers a few days before. You have to try and imagine how the whole bunch of them must have been pinching themselves wondering if the profound beauty they were experiencing was really real.

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And so it is with God. The beauty of the past can become a chain, even an oppressor where we don’t follow God’s way of forgetting what lies behind–even the good– and reaching for wholly new things He has ahead.

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The longing for the past is often hurtful selfishness. God wants to free us from it that He might meet us–and His old and new friends for us–in profound, unexpected ways.

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“Thou knowest me O Lord, Thou seest me…” –Jeremiah 12:3

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God, the Creator of all things, knows us. And, He knows the excellent new plans He has for us…in every detail.  And He has the power to easily pull off all good things exactly as He intends.

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Don Miller, CWS, 2020 // Original Image: https://www.ncregister.com/images/editorial/PaulShipwrecked.jpg

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