When I began writing my first blog I was in a time of transition, having resigned from a ministry position, without any idea of what lay ahead. For two years’ I have travelled along the road of transition, and all I knew to do was to take the next small step.
All of us experience transition with regards to the promises and purpose of God for our lives. In fact, it is likely that some reading this will be in transition right now in some part of their life, big or small.
I kind of had this idea that transition was like a waiting room—you stay in there for a while, and then you are released. But I have discovered that times of transition is more like a roller-coaster. Just when I thought I was on the way up, down I go again! I’m still on that roller coaster,
I have continually been reassured by in the Bible who also experienced times of transition:
Joseph in prison; David in the wilderness on the run from Saul; Esther’s preparation before she was brought before the king; Elijah at the brook; and Paul in Tarsus.
When I read their stories, I see how they responded and how they were encouraged by God’s faithfulness in bringing them through to the fulfilment of His purpose for their lives.
Little by Little
One Scripture that helps me understand God’s approach to transition is Deuteronomy 7:22-23: The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed’
Moses spoke these words to the people of Israel concerning their journey into the Promised Land. The people knew that intense battles lay ahead of them, and they were not sure they could win. But Moses knew that God’s heart was for them to triumph over their formidable enemies, and he knew that God had a strategy for victory and deliverance.
What was God’s plan? Basically, one step at a time, “little by little.” The Israelites could not expect God to reach down from heaven, wipe out their enemies in one mighty sweep of His hand and give them a clear path to the Promised Land. No, in His wisdom, God knew they needed to fight for the land because when they arrived in it, they would need the strength and confidence they had gained through having to overcome along the way.
I came to understand that God would not eliminate the obstacles all at one time, nor was He going to set me in His land of promise for my life without taking me through the experiences necessary to learn the lessons and develop the strength I would need in the new place.
It is vital that I keep moving forward.
Following Biblical Principles
Sometimes, it has been very difficult to see the road ahead. But as I trust God, I can take the next small step, and I can find the strength for one small step at a time. Through His unfailing love I learnt that I was to do the very same thing; at every point of decision, every fork in the road – to trust the promises of His Word.
‘Put your hope in the LORD. Travel steadily along his path. He will honour you by giving you the land’ Psalm 37:34
‘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 wilderness and streams in the wasteland’ Isaiah 42:18-19
I was beginning to realise that God has put vision and desires in my heart, and in my inmost being I could hear His destiny calling. As someone has said, my response to transition determines my destiny
My DESTINY is the answer to the question, ‘What has God called me to do?’
My IDENTITY is the answer to the question, ‘Who has God called me to be?’
I needed to comprehend what the next tiny step was and then do that. As I did the next thing, take the next tiny step, walking in faith, God was directing my steps and I found myself landing on His space of grace for me.
Surprisingly, instead of the desire to jump in to Father’s plans with abandon, I found myself uncertain—even resistant.
- I was doing all I knew to do
- I was taking the next small steps and being proactive
- I was being faithful where I was
- I was keeping my heart right.
God has designed change to be a process, not an event. Getting to the next level does not happen quickly. Successful transition takes time.
Remove and Replace
If God were suddenly to remove all the obstacles before me. I would find myself facing a big void, and this could pose a danger for me. God told the Israelites through Moses, “You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you” (Deuteronomy 7:22).
Instead of speedily eliminating the obstacles, God wanted to remove and replace. He did this with attitudes, mind-sets, circumstances, relationships and anything else that would keep me from being fully prepared and equipped to possess the promises He has given me. For example, where I am afraid, He orchestrates a situation that helped me overcome and replace it with faith.
Such significant changes in my life requires time and patience. The greatest temptation during a season of transition is to become discouraged and give up, so I determined myself not to get frustrated in the process. I have remained thankful in the time of preparation, and stayed positive about the great endeavours for which God is training me for. As He removed things that would hinder me He also replaced them with things that have helped me,
One element of transition that certainly applies to everyone is the fact that change is not a private matter. Moving to the next level will impact the other people in your life — your spouse, your children, friends and family, in-fact everyone in your sphere of influence. Transition is never a private affair, and the preparation it requires for everyone involved cannot happen hurriedly.
In God, even the longest wait has meaning and purpose. He redeems time and restores the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). I can claim with confidence that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Not one minute of my seemingly protracted journey has been a waste of time. Instead it has been a priceless opportunity for learning and growth. Vital developments are taking place that were essential for my growth and future ministry effectiveness.
God is interested in the end result of the changes He has orchestrated in our lives, but the growth and maturity that accompany transition are also very important to Him. For this reason, He typically works diligently, deliberately and more slowly than we might want. God so much wants to bless us, but He needs to make sure we are wise enough and mature enough to handle the blessings He gives. That, my friend, is going to take time.
Nevertheless, His timing is perfect. And the entire transition process is part of a grand plan for our life that will bring great joy and fulfilment as we patiently cooperate with it.
Therefore, let me encourage you right now to determine to be patient as you move into your new season. Do not try to change things quickly for yourself or rush ahead of God’s timing. Embrace the process of transition and begin moving on and moving up—now.
We can spend days, months and years in transition, waiting for the fulfilment of God’s promises on our lives, and He whisper – take the next step.