November 24, 2018

The Transitional Place

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?
(Isaiah 43:19)

We weren’t built to stay at the same place or the same level all the time. God created us with a yearning for more. Something in us yearns to go from faith unto faith, and from glory unto glory. We long to move from one place into the next place God has for us.

It’s the in the transitional place that God moves us from where we are into where He wants us to be.

The Bible tells us of Joshua’s journey through transitional places. He spent 40 years traveling through the wilderness. After all those years, he led the people across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Even though he had crossed into the Promised Land, Joshua found himself still in a place of transition. God still had plans to move His people from where they were into where He wanted them to be. 

Here are three things we can learn from Joshua’s story about how to handle a place of transition:

1.    Break Some Ground and Sow Some Seeds. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So, from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan” (Josh. 5:12). 

In Egypt, the people ate onions, leek, and garlic—the food of bondage. In the wilderness, the people ate manna—the food of provision. But after they crossed over, the manna stopped. What the people ate depended on the ground they broke and the seeds they planted. They ate the food of freedom.

God delivers us out of the bondage of sin. He builds our faith and knowledge as new Christians by providing the Word to feed our souls. But there comes a time when we have to sow something. There is a time when we have to act on what we know and use what God has given us. Our comfort level must be challenged. 

In a transitional place, break some ground. Sow some seeds. A harvest doesn’t come without planting. Planting requires faith and it requires work, but it brings a rich reward.  
2.    Wholeheartedly Embrace God’s Plan. “When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, ‘Are you friend or foe?’ ‘Neither one,’ he replied. ‘I am the commander of the Lord’s army’” (Josh. 5:13-14A). 

See, the angel wasn’t on the side of Joshua’s enemies. And he wasn’t on Joshua’s side, either. 

He was on God’s side.

It isn’t God’s job to line up with our agenda. It’s our job to line up with His. God’s Word is what it is, and we must align ourselves with it. It’s not about our ideas or our plans. It’s about God’s will and God’s glory.

When we find ourselves in a place of transition, we can either fight it or we can embrace it. We must not be so stuck in our old ways that we fight the new move of God in our lives. it’s essential to line up with God’s Word, be open to the transition, and fully embrace God’s plan.

3.    Make Worship a Priority. “At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. ‘I am at your command,’ Joshua said. ‘What do you want your servant to do?’  The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did as he was told” (Joshua 5:14B-15).
When the angel said he was on the Lord’s side, Joshua fell on his face and worshipped. He was a busy leader with a million things to do. His people were anxious. The future looked uncertain. But in the midst of all the turmoil, Joshua took time to take off his shoes, bow down before God, and worship.

Worship isn’t wasting time. Worship gets us in tune with God. It reminds us of our dependency on God. Worship puts us in touch with God’s peace and God’s power.

In the very next verse (Joshua 6:1), the people began the conquest of Jericho. God worked miraculously on their behalf and they won a marvelous victory. But right before that victory came, a man of God in a place of transition had fallen on his face and worshipped. Our worship matters. Make worship a priority.

Life is filled with transition. In fact, you may be in a place of transition right now. If so, thank God! He’s moving you into something new, something better, something higher. His plan for you is amazing. Place your trust in Him and embrace His miraculous new work in your life.