Renewal is a concept that is difficult to grasp until you get to a place where you feel stuck or are at the end of your rope and are struggling to let go of control of your life. There is something about starting over that does not seem natural in a life that seems to be all about making progress.
One of the things God prescribed for the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land was celebration. There were certain festivals established that required singing and dancing as an expression of gratitude and worship of God. Celebration was a way of emphasizing the positive aspect of renewal and making it something to look forward to.
When God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, he was giving them the chance for a new way of life, but they preferred their old lifestyle. God wanted to provide for their needs, but the people wouldn’t listen to him. It says in Psalm 81,” But my people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their hearts lust: and they walked in their own counsels” (Psalm 81:11-12).
When we pursue our heart’s desire apart from God, life becomes and endless journey. There is no renewal because lust always takes you deeper, farther, searching for more and it never relents. That’s why in pursuit of freedom, addicts are directed to a higher power or help.
Only God has the power to make old things new. His universe was designed for constant renewal and without it, we will self destruct. His command to celebrate with festivals that involved singing and dancing show us that he should be worshipped with expressions that go beyond words. He is the God of new beginnings and he can renew us if we will listen to his voice.