Newness in the New Year
By Olin Williams
January 1, 2022
The story is told of a famous preacher by the name of Charles Spurgeon. He was sitting in his class of young preachers, listening to their “practice sermons.” One very clever young man was preaching from Ephesians chapter 6.
He went into much detail about each piece of armor mentioned in this chapter. In a dramatic form, he emphasized “putting it on” as he spoke. When he finished, he paused, looked about him and asked, “Now! Where is the enemy?” Mr. Spurgeon quietly replied, “Inside the armor.”
The Book of Numbers, chapters 11-16, has a perfect demonstration of this fact.
The book deals with the pilgrimage of God’s people in the wilderness. God had made every provision for their every need.
They had the cloud above to guide them and to give them shade from the burning sun. At night, they had the pillar of fire to keep them warm in the cold desert air. God provided fresh Manna each day. They had a great leader by the name of Moses. There were warriors to protect them from the enemies. Yet they complained. They complained about everything in general.
The human heart has been one of discontent since the time of Eve when she was dissatisfied with God’s provision in the Garden of Eden. Not only did they complain about the food, but murmured against their leader, Moses. Murmuring is contagious. Moses also began to complain of his task. Then it reached the family of Moses. Miriam and Aaron began to murmur against Moses. Jealousy, greed and racial vindication of the heart began to surface. They even complained about the land God had provided for them.
Unless God changes the human heart, all armor we place on the outside will not protect us from our enemy within. Our people have been blessed extensively. We need a newness within in the new year to find contentment. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us to be a new creature in Christ. Old things are passed away, and all things become new. Romans 6: 4 teaches us that like as Christ was raised from the dead, we should walk in newness of life.