Lately we hear plenty of talk about transition. We have heard many prophetic words about this being a season of transition. A while back I preached a message entitled: “A season Of Transition”. Everywhere we turn in the Body of Christ, whether it is books, tapes, CD’s, magazines, TV or the Internet, we are constantly hearing about transition. In this Blog I want to come from another angle and take some principles from the Children of Israel as they went through their 40-year transition from Egypt to the Promised Land.
“The passage from one state, stage, subject or phase to another, Change.” Webster’s Dictionary.
“Transition is coming from an ending through an unknown into a new beginning.” Dr. Mike Brown
About fifteen years ago I went through a major transition when God changed my office from that of Evangelist to Prophet. I can relate to these principles because I lived them out during that transition. Transition is never an easy thing or a thing we enjoy because it involves change, which we all hate. But if we can get these principles down it will help us navigate through the season of transition we are in and help us get to where we are going.
- Resist The Tendency To Return To What You Know
The children of Israel seemed to have a recurring theme as you go through Exodus and Numbers, they repeated over and over again, why did you bring us out here into the wilderness to die, why are we in this season of transition, let’s go back to Egypt.
“Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:12 NKJV
“And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?’ So they said to one another, ‘Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.’” Numbers 14:2-4 NKJV
There is a deception of the enemy when in you are in a season of transition…because when you are in a time of transition it is an unknown and you think I need to go back to the known; but God does not bring you out so you can go back to where you came from…He brings you out so you can transition and go into His destiny for your life.
Don’t Go Back. During my transition God had me leave the church where I was an Elder and Leader for 10 years…when it got a little rough and it was easy to go back there…but that was not God’s plan. There is no future in your past.
- Believe The Right People
When you are in a time of transition you must listen to and believe the right people. You have to have the right associations. You can’t break out of the old season without the right associations. You can’t break into your next season without the right associations.
You need a Spiritual Father, a Big Brother, Mentors, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers…you need the right associations. There were a lot of voices speaking to the Children of Israel as they were going through the wilderness, but what were they saying? Let us go back to Egypt.
To get out of Egypt they needed to believe Moses. To get through the wilderness they needed to believe Moses. You must be careful whom you listen to in the time of transition. During my transition I had to listen to people that were flowing in the Apostolic and Prophetic. For about three to four years I fed myself on Apostolic and Prophetic books, because that is where I was going. Who you listen to and believe will determine your future.
- Resist The Tendency To Murmur
Right after the Egyptian army is drowned in the Red Sea and Miriam just finishes her song and dance of praise about the horse and rider being thrown into the sea, they became thirsty after a 3-day journey into the wilderness and came to Marah, and the water was so bitter they could not drink it. So what did they do?
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:24 KJV
The root word for MURMUR in Hebrew in this text means: TO STOP ON PURPOSE TO COMPLAIN. Wrap your mind around that for a moment. They stopped on purpose to complain.
God forgave them for Idolatry, Abominations and Immorality but not murmuring. They murmured in Exodus 16:2, Exodus 17:3 and Numbers 14:2. Look at what God Decreed:
“Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me.” Numbers 14:29 KJV
Look what the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” 1 Corinthians 10:10 KJV
The lesson here is quite clear…DON’T MURMER!
- Focus On The Promised Destination
When God wants to move you from your present season He gives you a picture of what He wants to take you to. He paints a picture for you. For the Children of Israel it was the Land Flowing with Milk & Honey. If you come out of the present season, endure the transitional season; there is a better season ahead. If you are going to survive the transitional season you have to learn to focus on the promised destination.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13 & 14 NKJV
In light of what Israel went through what does this Scripture mean to us? Forgetting what is behind, Egypt, the past season; and reaching forward to those things, which are ahead, Canaan, the promised destiny.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 & 18 NKJV
We do not look at the things of our transitional season, which are temporary and subject to change. We look at the promise, which is eternal, which is our destiny in God. We must keep in mind during the transitional phase that this is a temporary season, not an eternal season…Stay focused on the destination.
- Learn To Follow The Cloud
The Children of Israel followed the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. When the cloud moved they moved, when the cloud stopped they stopped. The cloud represented the presence of God to them.
What is the parallel for us in the New Testament? Learn to be led by the Spirit of God.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God…The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:14 & 16 NKJV
Unfortunately most in the Church don’t know how to be led by the Spirit of God. God will enlighten us, or guide us through our spirit. Too many of us are more soul conscious or body conscious than we are spirit conscious. In order for us to be led by the Spirit of God we must learn to be spirit conscious.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
When we speak of being spirit conscious we are speaking of the real us, the us on the inside; that part of our being that the Spirit of God indwells…our heart. If the Spirit of God is bearing witness with our spirit and leading us through our spirit; than our spirit must be in tune with the Holy Spirit. What is the witness on the inside of you? If we learn to go by that witness as opposed to our head we will be much better off.
In this Blog we have laid out five simple principles adapted from the Children of Israel during their Transition from Egypt to the Promised Land. If we apply these principles they will help us navigate and operate in our Season of Transition. I know from whence I speak as I lived through them already.