The dictionary defines a transition as the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another. I define it as semi-colons in the long sentence of our lifetime when God prepares to move us from one level of our calling / purpose / assignment up to the next.
A transition is meant to be transitory. Its timespan depends on our maturity level, obedience quotient, and measure of faith.
Exceed the ‘sell-by’ date of our transition phase and there’s the chance our destiny will get diluted. A successful and healthy transition, however, results in a God-honouring transformation, and enables us to finish our race well.
The prophet Jonah was one who underwent a quick and intense transition. The three days and nights that Adonai housed him in the belly of a fish succeeded in transitioning him from a rebellious, recalcitrant, and racist prophet into a repentant and compliant servant of God.
Jonah’s foolish stubbornness in thinking he could succeed in escaping from God, his deep disdain towards the Assyrians, and disobedience as a prophet were all dealt with in the slimy stomach of the sea creature. The end result was a whole city in repentance and revival.
Another quick, intense transition also occurred in Saul, that fire-breathing persecutor of the early Christians. It took three days after he was zapped and blinded by the glory of Jesus for him to receive his sight and begin proclaiming the unique Lordship of Jesus. Then he had to undergo three years of God’s training in the wilderness before being formally inducted into the apostleship, this time as Paul.
Moses, however, took 40 long years to transition from Prince of Egypt to Deliverer of the Hebrews. God had to hammer pride and arrogance and all things Egyptian out of him before he could be commissioned for the epic exodus.
King David had to wait 15 years before he could wear the crown, after being anointed for kingship as a teenager.
Whatever the timespan or circumstance, the conclusion is this – the only effective way for us to be transformed from one degree of glory to another in the Lord’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18) is to periodically be subjected to seasons of Selah and surrender.
Are you in a season of transition? Have you been waiting patiently on God to change your circumstances, spouse, child, job, ministry, church? Are you wearily wondering when God is going to fulfill His promises and prophetic words for your life?
May I encourage you with a few simple suggestions on how to navigate your transitional sojourn with shalom?
1. Remember that God is more invested in your spiritual growth and maturity than you are, so He’ll do whatever it takes for you to fulfill your God-given potential.
‘Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 1:6
2. God has promised to be with you and guide you by His Spirit. You don’t need to guess which direction you need to be heading, or whether you just need to stop, wait and be still. He’ll be sure to let you know.
‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will give counsel – My eye is on you.’ Psalm 32:8
3. You need to have complete confidence in God’s good plans for you. There must not be even a smidgen of doubt about your Father’s perfect intentions for your life, however painful your current circumstances may be. He’ll always work all things for your good.
‘For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,’ declares Adonai, ‘plans for shalom and not calamity – to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11
4. Lastly, never try to initiate or terminate your period of transition with your own fleshly wisdom. Let God alone lead you in and out, until His perfect purpose has been accomplished, and you’re finally ready for that next leap of faith.
‘For the One working in you is God – both to will and to work for His good pleasure.’ Philippians 2:13
Those suspensions in time when we feel rudderless because doors have been closing behind us, with none opening ahead, may make us feel like we’re swimming aimlessly in an amniotic sac and going nowhere.
But that’s exactly where God wants us to be as He prepares to birth fresh vision and direction in our lives – completely dependent on Him for our every provision, sustenance, and spiritual growth.
So, be careful you don’t mess with the timing of the delivery. No inducements or C-sections are required by you – He’ll do it all in His perfect and beautiful time.
‘Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?’ says the Lord; ‘shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb? says your God.’ Isaiah 66:9
Yes, Lord! Have Your way in us.