By Ryan Shaw

Ryan is the international lead facilitator of Student Volunteer Movement 2 (SVM2).

A new academic year is upon us. God loves new beginnings. He is the God of new beginnings. It is His passion to open up to us new ideas, new paradigms of understanding, new victories, new freedoms from things which hold us captive, and a whole lot more in this new season.

As you begin this academic year it is crucial to ask Him to show you the new beginnings He has ordained for you and what He would have you be about this year.

We generally don’t take the time and energy to start fresh each year, but instead lean on what we’ve done in the past, whether or not it has brought about fruit and the purposes that God had for our time in the first place. In new seasons, we need new vision.

This is a new season for you and God is waiting to give new vision to those who will seek Him for it and be serious about implementing it.

Is it a new beginning of relationship with Him? Maybe you’ve been involved in blatant sin and have justified it. He wants you to have a new beginning through His forgiveness, as you choose to pursue Him and walk in holiness this coming year.

Is it a new beginning of taking His concerns upon yourself? Maybe the heart of your career ambitions haven’t matched up with the Word of God or you found yourself caring about things that had no eternal significance.

What a perfect time to cast these off and to take on His yoke, which the Bible tell us are easy and light (Matthew 11:29). Is it a new beginning in relationships? Have you found your standards in dating dropping?

Let this be the season where you re-commit yourself to purity and cease to be on the constant lookout for Mr. or Mrs. “Right”. Choose instead to become the future mate that God would have you be in character and spiritual wisdom, leaving the timing and the actualizing of this to Him.

Isaiah 43:18 & 19 declare a startling piece of God’s character.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

God, in essence, says, “I know everything that has gone on in your life, both positive and negative. I’ve seen how you have sought me and persistently followed me and I’ve seen the ways that I have shown myself strong on your behalf in the past.

I’ve also seen your lack of diligence at times and your failings. I know everything there is that you think and do. And, in spite of all this I say to you to move on and turn your eyes to the things I have for you very soon. I will do outrageous things in your midst.

You have not discerned my activity in your midst and I want you to have spiritual understanding. Commit your all to me and to my purposes in the world today and allow me to do impossible things in you and through you.”

I wonder how many new beginnings and seasons we have missed, because we didn’t discern God’s hand in our midst. So often we operate in the “business as usual” mode.

But we are living in different and exciting times in the kingdom of God and if we want to see the outworkings of God in our lives and in the nations we must approach things differently. New things are coming…will we participate with God to receive them?

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