Today I spent a couple of hours at Value Village. It's like a "Goodwill" Store, and sells every kind of second hand clothing and household items that you could imagine. It's not hard to lose total track of time there, as you wander from aisle to aisle, seeking those bargain prices. My friend Deb calls it being "sucked into the Value Village Vortex." (She is a fellow VV Boutique Junkie.)
As I usually do when I am in there, I perused the used books for a while. One that I particularly noticed was titled "The Next Move of God." It seemed a fairly presumptuous title to me. Kind of sounded as if the author imagined that he had an inside scoop on what God might be up to next. To be fair, I should have at least leafed through it before making any judgements regarding its content. But we do often hear writers and preachers speak of God's "next" or "new" move. And today, after seeing that book title, I began to think about the idea that God was making certain "moves", new or otherwise.
Hasn't God always been "moving", from the beginning, from the time He created the heavens and the earth, and His Spirit "was moving over the surface of the waters?" (Genesis 1:2) He is continually working out His plans and purposes, dealing with mankind in judgement, or mercy, always according to His holy, all wise nature. Always moving, always sovereignly in charge, He never slumbers or sleeps.
Does He ever do a "new" thing? I suppose He does things that we haven't personally seen or experienced before. But I wonder, is it just our modern day thirst for something "new and improved" that makes us think that God is always planning some new, amazing "thing" that He has never done before? Preachers, writers, speakers are often predicting the next thing He might do, or explaining what He is currently doing. But is He really doing anything "new"? Does He need to? What He has been doing, all along, has been effective, more effective than we will know in this life. Maybe the difference is that, from time to time, people are simply responding to Him in a greater way.
We seem to love change. We love to label "movements", even within the Church: the Charismatic movement, the Shepherding movement, the House Church movement...the list goes on. Certainly God may be involved in these things, but isn't He simply acting according the continuum of the plans He has made from eternity? He calls, He saves, He leads, He enables. He stirs our hearts to love Him, and gives us a vision of His own heart. He is the Maestro, the Master Planner, our Great Teacher, wooing us along, bending our will to His own. Is He on the move? Always. Can we predict what He might do next? I think for the most part, He chooses to reveal just enough to us to allow us to take that one next step, leaving the results up to Him.
My hope and prayer is that I will stay close enough to hear His whispers, follow His leading, and stay in step with what He might be doing in the world around me. I'm so thankful that even when we are lagging behind, He will continue to work, to move in our hearts, completing that good work that He started.