God works according to patterns and principles. Seasons are part of the pattern, and there is a purpose for each one. A season’s length is often determined by how long it takes to accomplish its objective. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 (NKJV) says, “To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
A flower is beautiful in full bloom. But before it reaches that point, it has to go through a series of
changes. First, it is an ugly bulb or insignificant looking seed. The seed germinates, roots grow, and a seedling pushes through the soil. Spiritually speaking, there are seasons of change God takes us through to develop and bring us into His full plan.
Transition Must Be God’s Idea
Change is a part of life. It happens whether or not we like it, so we must learn to embrace it. Sometimes the seasons we go through don’t seem significant, and we wonder why we are there. But times of change are necessary to make us who we need to be. They bring us to the place where we have the capacity and strength to embrace the plan of God. When we understand this, it will be easier to stand when times get hard.
In my early years of ministry, I never wanted to be in the season I was in. I didn’t want to be a preacher. I wanted to be a businessman. When God called me, I said, “Oh, God, please leave me alone! I’ll be a businessman and write big checks!” I discovered it’s hard to impress a God who has streets of gold. So I embraced the plan to be a minister.
Transition must be God’s idea and not just something we want to do.Marvin Yoder
When God told my wife and me to start a church in Mattoon, Illinois, we had 115 people on the opening day. The next Sunday, we had 68. It went down from there until we only had about 30 people. Needless to say, it was a struggle.
I asked the Lord, “Which way are You growing this church? Is this all You can do?”
“Just remember,” He said, “this was My idea. You just preach the Word.” That day, we had 50 people, and from there the church grew.
Transition must be God’s idea and not something we want to do. God is leading you to a specific place in a certain way. By following Him, you grow into the person He created you to be.
David spent a season in the wilderness—it developed him to be the king of Israel. Moses spent a season in the desert—it developed him into a leader. Jesus spent a season in the wilderness—it enabled Him to fulfill His ministry. When you allow God to work on you, you will develop the characteristics you need to succeed.
Making the Transition
Successful transitions don’t come by happenstance. They follow biblical principles that enable you to develop into the person God wants you to be, doing what He wants you to do.
Here are some principles that will help you go through seasons of change.
- Let two or three witnesses confirm what God has said (2 Cor. 13.1). One witness is peace. You should not have any internal conflict but have an inner sense that what you’re hearing is right. A second witness is the Word. Does what you’re hearing violate scripture? Or does it line up with the whole counsel of the Word of God? A third witness is spiritual peers. Share what God has told you with a few people you trust, friends who will give wise counsel. They may know something you don’t.
- Don’t get in a hurry (Isa. 28:16). If you believe God called you to something, you don’t have to rush to accomplish it. It will still be there tomorrow. Let God open doors and cooperate with Him.
I’ve seen car accidents almost happen because people took off at the green light without first making sure the intersection was clear. They had the right to go, but that didn’t mean it was safe to start driving. Spiritually speaking, people have accidents when they don’t wait to receive an “all clear” signal in their spirit before making a move.
- Pray the prayer of consecration daily (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). “Lord, not My will but Your will be done.” Jesus prayed that three times in the Garden of Gethsemane. If He prayed three times, we would have to pray at least that many times.
It’s easy to get our focus off of building the Kingdom of God and instead concentrate on building our own empires. But we’re children of God for a reason and that is to build our Heavenly Father’s kingdom! Submit your will, your “want-to’s,” your dreams, and your desires to God.
- Pray out the will of God (Col. 4:12). God told me that His plan for my life would not happen unless I prayed. Some Christians are frustrated because they’re trying to walk in something they’ve never prayed about. Prayer helps you to discern God’s will. It arranges things in the spirit realm and moves them in the right direction. Pray it out before you walk it out!
- At the right time, step out in faith, believing all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27). It’s critical to be in the right place at the right time with God. When you walk in step with Him—being where He’s told you to be—you can believe God for all things to be possible.
You may think you’ve made a mess of your life, but God never gives up on you! Ask for His help. Making transitions God’s way puts you in His will. And that causes you to bear fruit and fulfill His plan.
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