Transition

January 1, 2016

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is an occasion for everything,

and a time for every activity under heaven:

a time to give birth and a time to die;

a time to plant and a time to uproot;

a time to kill and a time to heal;

a time to tear down and a time to build;

a time to weep and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance;

a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;

a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;

a time to search and a time to count as lost;

a time to keep and a time to throw away;

a time to tear and a time to sew;

a time to be silent and a time to speak;

a time to love and a time to hate;

a time for war and a time for peace.

 

 

I have come to learn many things from this journey called life. Out of the many lessons, one of the hardest things to handle with maturity and patience is transition. Transition is often difficult due to the lack of control over time, distance, or adversity. Transition is the gap of time between two points; where you are told about the promise and where you actually reach or receive the promise. This gap of time can be very exhausting, but there is hope as you push forward to the end.

 

On the other hand, losing focus during the transition can ultimately cause you to turn your attention elsewhere and miss out on something truly worthwhile. A good example of this is the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness.After being freed from slavery through God's miracles, they began their journey to the promise land. During the transition, they lost sight of the prize and even wanted to return to Egypt under Pharoah's oppressive hand. God provided for, and protected them every step of the way, but they still grew impatient and demanded that they return to Egypt. In the end, God decided that they wouldn't go into the promised land until that current generation died. Even Moses, through his disobedience, was denied access to God's promise. After Moses dies, the next man up is Joshua. Through the book of Joshua, we see and can use 5 applications for dealing with transition.

 

-Position Yourself-

After Moses dies, God informs Joshua to get prepared for the next phase of the journey. It is also key to be courageous during this time of uncertainty.

 

Joshua 1:1-2, 6

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had served Moses: “Moses My servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites.
Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance.

 

-Prepare the People-

If this isn't a solo journey and you must lead your family or others, then they must be on the same sheet of music on everything. Keep the disagreements to a minimum, otherwise those unresolved issues could derail the plan.

 

Joshua 1:10-11

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get provisions ready for yourselves, for within three days you will be crossing the Jordan to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you to inherit.’”

 

-Remember the Promise-

As you are pushing forward through the difficulties, don't forget what's at stake.

 

Joshua 1:12-13

Joshua said to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh: “Remember what Moses the Lord’s servant commanded you when he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest, and He will give you this land.’

 

 

-Purify Yourself-

This is critical. God detests sin, so we must take caution to keep ourselves from temptations that lead to sin. In the OT, God established certain rituals and customs (like circumcision) that the Israelites should follow. This was an outward sign of the internal relationship (or covenant) they had with God. 

 

 

Joshua 5:3-4

So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelite men at Gibeath-haaraloth. This is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males—all the men of war—had died in the wilderness along the way after they had come out of Egypt.

 

 

-Let the Presence go before You-

This is really simple; let God create opportunities for you that will lead you to victory.

 

Joshua 6:1-5

Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites—no one leaving or entering. The Lord said to Joshua, “Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you. March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead.”

 

As we see, Joshua entrusted God during the time of transition...and if you keep reading, you'll see how spectacular the promise was. It is VERY important to note that during your journey to God's promises, there will always be a counterfeit. A counterfeit will appear to be God's promise to us, but it actually is a downgrade from what God really has in store for us. Be careful to not fall for the fraud.

 

I pray that you never weary or faint during the transition. Grace and peace.

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