The teaching of the apostles included both standing and taking new ground. Many of us can recall Ephesians 6 where we are commanded to stand and given the armor to do so. But this specific teaching of the apostle Paul does not constitute the entire picture of the Christian life. It simply tells us that to be strong in the Lord we are required to stand. God has also called us to take new ground. Let’s think about this in a few different ways.
Some people who were previously very against Christian traditions in one sense, end up making and fortifying traditions of their own over time. Does taking new ground in this season involve breaking traditions? We also find in the Church, some people have an intellectual fear of learning and exposing themselves to new teaching. This can be because new ideas may cause them to rethink, change or even admit that they were wrong on a subject. Alongside all the wonderful things we hold dear and know to be true, is there something we have clung to closely to in our minds that needs to drift away? Now, in our families, we may need to take new ground where we have allowed a behavior to persist for just to long. This is a personal, very personal situation that should be handled with care, love, patience and wisdom. God will help us through any and all of these circumstances if we decide it is time to take new ground.
There may be a low-income area in your city that God is calling you into minister. Is there a quiet co-worker who may need a friend? What is the new ground that God is calling you to take for His presence to dwell? The book of Acts is full of scenarios where the church was taking new ground for God Almighty. The first story in Acts below is of God Himself taking new ground in human hearts and in Jerusalem.
Acts 2:1-4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”
Acts 4:7-10, “When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.”
Acts 10:44-45, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.”
Acts 16:14-15, “A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.”
Acts 28:7-10, “Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days. And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed.”