“Behold, I do a new thing”…it comes from Isaiah 43, you know? Verse 19. “Behold, I do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Yeah, that’s like God, isn’t it? Always moving, always creating, always improving things.
But improvement involves change, and sometimes we’re resistant to that. I mean really. The flesh likes everything to stay the same. All the time. The flesh wants to lay around fat and lazy. But getting better, that in itself is change. Because better is different than the same. It’s…better. I know, dud – but it’s a point.
Besides, Jesus said, Follow Me.” That’s His call. To us today as well. Daisy Osborn once said something about this. She said, “Following implies movement. So when Jesus said, ‘follow Me,’ He meant, ‘Go where I’m going’, and He’s always moving.” He’s always leading us onward, upward, into something better.
When Peter first met Jesus, he was a fisherman, and Jesus told him, “Follow me, and I will make you.” TL Osborn, Daisy’s husband, pointed that out, and I love it. And by the way, if you don’t know who TL and Daisy were, you need to find out, because if there were ever missionaries who were world changers, it was them. They followed Jesus, and he took them to wonderful heights.
But back to this, breaking down Jesus’ call to Peter, “Follow Me and I will make you to become fishers of men.” First part? “Follow Me.” Go where Jesus is going. Jesus is leading Peter here, and Jesus will lead us. Into new things. So don’t be afraid of the new things. Why? Because in essence, Jesus promises, “I will make you. Make you to become something better than you are now.” Peter was a fisherman. But becoming a fisher of men was something better, and that’s what Jesus made Peter.
Now think about what Jesus did with Peter. If Peter hadn’t followed Jesus, he would have lived and died a fisherman on the shores of Lake Galilee. But Peter did follow, and he became the first founder of the Christian Church, (that’s in Acts 3), and was its de facto leader for its first fifteen years of existence.
Jesus really did “make” Peter, but Peter had to be willing to leave the status quo for that to happen. He even had to change his name, from Simon to Peter, which means a rock. And today, we even name our kids after him.
Yeah, Jesus really made him to become something, and that’s what He wants to do for us too. And He will, as long as we don’t stop following Him by getting stuck in our own unwillingness to change. I had a temptation like that once – well, way more than once, but this was a big one.
Many of you know me as a singer. I started out that way, and for years it was all I did, and all I ever wanted to be. I worked hard to get a national album deal, and shortly after that finally happened, I went to sing at a large church in Kansas City. The pastor of that church was a well-known prophet, and right after I was finished singing that day, he spoke the following words over me. “Thus says the Lord: ‘I’ve chosen you to do more than sing. I’ve chosen you to be a proclaimer of the Word, and your music will serve the Word, but you shall be as one who teaches and preaches the Word…Yes, you sing, but you shall primarily be one who proclaims the Word, for I have given you the ability to minister. And you shall move in the Word of Wisdom, and the Word of knowledge, and Discerning of Spirits.”
Well, honestly, I didn’t like that. And I told the Lord that day, “I think he missed it. I only want to be a singer. That’s my dream.
So I went out on the road, and I sang, and sang, and sang. And I forgot all about that prophecy. And then as I continued doing concerts, I noticed that the distance between my songs started growing, because I was talking more. And then I’d start seeing specific needs connected to different individuals, and I’d speak a specific word of encouragement, or I’d speak something the Lord had told me about their future over them. And sometimes I’d see in the Spirit and know things I couldn’t know in the natural. I didn’t really understand what was going on then, but I did knew the Lord was leading me to do these things, and I fell in love with Jesus’ new vision for my ministry, which had become my own dream and vision for it.
And before long that’s all I wanted to do: sing a few songs, then preach a message and minister to folks in the Gifts of the Spirit. And that’s the way most of y’all know me now – as a teacher/preacher who sings.
And I’m not saying that’s something super-great, but it’s super great to me because that’s the dream of my heart, because I get to be part of Jesus’ mission to help people, and it takes me to different countries and experience their cultures, and these are all the kinds of things I love. But I’d never be doing any of that today if I hadn’t been willing to follow Jesus into it. Gosh, I wouldn’t even be doing this podcast if I hadn’t been willing to change and follow Jesus into that.
So today I just want to encourage you to do this: Follow Jesus. Follow those things He’s trying to get you to do right now. And don’t be afraid of the changes, Jesus just wants to refresh your dreams and make them come true. So don’t be intimidated by the changes, because once you make them, you’re going to love the new you Jesus has led you to become. Can you hear His voice, because He just may be speaking to you now, saying “Behold, I do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth.”