This speaks of vitality, energy, enthusiasm and life, not stale lifeless ritual or dullness of existence. God says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thin! Now it springs up..." (Isa 43:18,19).

We should regularly be gaining fresh insights and understanding from Scripture about the glorious new life we have in Chris. As we allow these to be outworked in our experience we have an up-to-date testimony of the Lord’s working in and through us as we interact with others "If a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether – the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and

Live expectantly with an open, obedient heart

new" (2 Cor 5:17). With anticipation and expectancy pray, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Word” (Ps 119:18). While the basis of the gospel message remains constant, our presentation of it needs to repackaged in creative ways so it is contemporary to engage and touch the lost. This calls for innovation to adapt to different approaches.

To be useful for God and enrich the lives of those around us, we need to maintain freshness and vitality, through regularly encountering the Holy Spirit, in life transforming ways so we have nourishing 'fresh bread' to give, not stale unpalatable dry crusts. In our walk with God, it's not about turning over (the same old) new leaf, but a progression in our journey. Nor is our spiritual life to be characterised by flitting from one new experience or revelation to another but rather a consolidation with God of added layers or dimensions of the truth reinforced through different insight. Whatever is of God, embrace it and move with what He is doing.

The Israelites had to gather fresh manna each day in the wilderness. What was kept from the previous days had decayed. We too, need to feed on fresh daily spiritual sustenance. Freshness also speaks of being flexible and pliable. Jesus used the illustration of the necessity of new wine skins being used to store new wine, otherwise as the aging wine expanded in an old rigid airtight container the skin would rupture, with both the skin and wine lost (Mk 2:22). Our spiritual hearts need to be pliable, to the ever expanding limitless treasure that is available in Christ.

Even in the natural real after a nights sleep we are provided with another fresh new day, maybe to surrender ourselves to the Lord in a deeper way and with numerous opportunities to make our lives count for Him. If you are feeling in a lifeless rut, it can be helpful to stop, analyze the situation and take a different approach yet remaining committed to the goal. Instead of doing things in the same predictable pattern, why not mix things up a bit and introduce spontaneous yet God-honouring variety into your regular routine.

See also: new/newlife, refresh, ritual, testimony.