Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 33, A New Thing
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow
Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 AMP
In the late 90s David C. Cook sold DaySpring to Hallmark Cards.
Things were changing once again!
I don’t like the idea of turning over a new leaf; making New Year’s resolutions, or attempting anything new when “my flesh” is leading the charge. I have found that “new” for the sake of “new” gets old pretty fast.
I do like “new” when God is causing it to happen. In Him, things never get stale, old, or boring. He is always moving us on from faith to faith, from glory to glory, from grace to grace, and from blessings to blessings. I do believe God has something new for us each day—a new surprise, a new door, a new insight, a new discovery of His love, a new vision, a new relationship, a new ministry, a new step, a new kindness, a new comfort, a new cleansing, a new prayer, a new healing, a new song.
One thing I discovered about the publishing business after all these years is that customers always want something new. The pressure is always on to come up with new ideas, new concepts, new looks, and new messages. The words “relevant” and “innovative” are on the lips of every creative department.
The good news is that the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit are always relevant. God is eternal, and that means He is always in the moment. Trends may change but the needs within the hearts of people never change. Everyone needs to know they are loved, accepted, and valued; everyone, in every generation, needs to know their life has purpose and meaning, a future and a hope. I am convinced that Jesus Christ is the only one who can meet every need found within the human heart.
When I reached my late 50s and 60s God reassured me through Psalm 92 that my age had nothing to do with the relevancy of my ministry. I was reminded by the Lord that my writing would bear fruit, not because of my age or talent, but because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Sprit who would keep me fresh and flourishing.
But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. My eye also has seen my desire on my enemies; My ears hear my desire on the wicked Who rise up against me.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Psalm 92:10-15 (NKJV)
God began to open new doors of ministry for me once I stepped out of managing the Editorial Department. Many opportunities opened for me to write a wide variety of gift and devotional books, and to my surprise, God also began prompting me to speak more in public. I was shaky about it at first and began to move out very cautiously, like a toddler taking his first steps as he moved toward his parent’s outstretched arms. Each speaking opportunity required a step of obedience and a measure of faith. I discovered that each time I began to speak something supernatural happened. Within a few minutes of speaking my voice grew stronger and would sound almost normal. This would last until I was finished speaking. Afterward, my strained voice condition would return.
Most of my public speaking was done in small groups or home Bible studies. One thing I thought I could never do again was preach. While attending a Sunday morning service I was overwhelmed by the following thoughts, “What if you were standing behind the pulpit this morning? What if you were the one preaching instead of the Pastor?” The thought horrified me. I began to panic inside. I thought, “There is no way I could ever do that. There is no way I could ever stand up in front of these people and try to preach.” That morning, when church was over, I couldn’t get outside fast enough. I drove home relieved to be out of the building, like someone who is relieved when he awakes from a nightmare.
Two weeks later, I was working in my office when I had an unexpected visitor. In walked one the members of the board of elders from my home church. He was only in my office for a few moments when he asked, “Would you be willing to speak one Sunday morning?” I sat in my chair almost speechless as my mind raced back to the terrifying moment I had experienced in church a few weeks earlier. Before I could respond, my fear-filled thoughts were suddenly swept away by the voice of the Holy Spirit. I could hear His still small voice in my spirit saying, “Do not refuse.” I knew beyond a doubt that this was God’s appointment and that He wanted me to trust Him in a way I hadn’t done for over 25 years. Saying “yes” to that one invitation opened a whole new area of freedom and boldness in God’s call upon my life. In my weakness, I began to be His voice extended to others.
I have learned five important life lessons through my voice condition:
1. It has taught me the power of the pen.
2. It has caused me to be more selective in my choice of words when I speak.
3. It has made me a better listener.
4. It has made me aware of my daily weakness and His daily strength.
5. It has given me empathy for others who have a physical weakness.
(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)
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