How do you know you are in a season of transition? I believe there is a time when God opens up doors of transition for us; however, there is a risk. And should you remain unaware of how He is moving, you might miss it! In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were brought out of slavery into the Promised Land, and during that time, they also endured several transitions. God gave them clear direction through a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. No matter day or night, when the cloud moved, they moved. I am afraid several people in the church have missed a transition because they didn’t recognize the movement of God before them. And the last thing you want to do is miss the place God wants you to be! In 1 Kings 17,1-9, we read about Elisha and the seasons of transitions he is walking through. God is moving him from one place to another through spiritual indicators affirming, directing, and encouraging Elisha on the journey. Here is how we can apply these guideposts to our own perceived seasons of transition.
I.Transition Begins With a Word From the Lord (vs. 1-3)
“And Elisha the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.’ Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.”
1 Kings 17:1-3, NKJV
This is very important to understand: if God wants you to transition, He will give you a clear word. Some of you may claim that you didn’t hear anything from the Lord, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t speaking. So the question isn’t “Did God stop speaking?” but rather, “Are you dull of hearing?” The problem for many is that their life is so full of otherworldly noise that it proves to be impossible to hear when God is talking to them. Maybe you are tuned into Grey’s Anatomy or Housewives of Whatever, or you are too busy filling your minds with music and novels that spread the wrong message. These things are helpful for passing the time but are detrimental to the effectiveness of hearing the voice of God.
A while back, I had to put some things down. More specifically, I had to stop listening to my favorite music group, The Temptations. The reason was that for a while, every time I would pray, I would hear David Ruffins singing, “I’ve got sunshine, on a cloudy day….” Now The Temptations aren’t necessarily unwholesome, but they kept me from hearing God’s voice, so I stopped listening to them. What is it for you that is blocking you from hearing the voice of God? It is important to note that in verses 2 and 9 of this passage, we see that the word of the Lord came to Elisha. Be encouraged, God spoke to His people then, and He is still speaking to us now; however, there is a roadblock that each one of us should look out for. The enemy’s goal is to bring confusion, block you with distractions, and make you doubt and question the sovereignty of God. So be alert; these things will ultimately make you miss out on what God is telling you and where He wants to take you. God loves you and has a purpose for your life. He is faithful to provide pathways that will take you from one assignment to the next, but you must stay connected to Him. This is why regularly attending church, reading your Bible, and staying accountable to a few Christian brothers and sisters are paramount to our journey. Stay steady on the path of transition God has laid out for you, and may we not become a people who become satisfied with mediocrity. But let us seek His voice in every direction of our lives.
II.Recognize the Provisions That God Provides (vs. 4-9)
“’And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.’ So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows from the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’”
1 Kings 17:4-9, NKJV
We serve a faithful God that when He wants us to go from one location to another, He provides! So often, we hear people say they heard the Lord telling them to leave their jobs without a backup. Can I caution you: don’t jump off of a moving horse until another horse comes by! In other words, don’t leave the provision God has made for you until He provides another! I know a vision has been planted to start a business, and that is wonderful! God uses each and every one of us to help others and provide a solution for a need, but can I encourage you to keep your day job and begin working out the vision job part-time? Then, when God blesses you in abundance with your “vision” job, quit your day job!
Years ago, while working a steady government job, I longed to be in full-time ministry. At that season of my life, I wanted to quit my day job and become a full-time minister. So, like Gideon, I placed a fleece before God and said, “I am going to be preaching at a church in New Jersey, Lord. If they give me $500, I will quit my job.” I made good on my end of the deal and preached on this particular Sunday, and wouldn’t you know it, they gave me $496. I was horrified! Not only did I have a wife and two kids to care for, but had I quit, I would have had no health insurance, and I sure didn’t anticipate the four kids we would later have! Quitting my job prematurely would have been a catastrophe! If you have evidence that He wants to do something through you, then be patient and wait until your provisions are in place. Because where He gives vision, there is provision.
The Brook and the Ravens
1 Kings 17: 9 describes in detail how God provides for Elisha’s needs. In the middle of a drought, God has provided a brook for him to drink from. It hadn’t rained in three years, yet God provided the miraculous! Not only that, God commanded the ravens to feed Elisha. Do you know what kind of bird ravens are? They are scavengers, and they take what is someone else’s. Yet God shifted the nature of this animal as a provision, and He will do the same for you and me.
God didn’t only provide a brook in the middle of a drought, but he also provided through a lonely widow with nothing but scraps to feed Elisha. Again, we see the unimaginable goodness of God and how He cares for those He loves. Not only was Elisha fed, but every time the widow returned to the barrel, there was always something in it! God can do anything: He can shift people’s minds, change your company’s posture, and modify your responsibilities so that they align with his will for you.
What a wonderful God of provision!
When the Brook Dries Up
You will recognize a season of transition through God’s provision, but you will also know it when your provisions dry up. When the place you are at dries up, it may be time to move on. When you get fired from your job, it’s okay! It just means God has something better for you. When you don’t have the grace or anointing in ministry you used to have, it’s time for a change. When you don’t feel excited about the calling or task at hand, it’s time to re-evaluate your circumstances. Seek God and listen, and above all, follow Him, and you cannot fail.
III.Transition Provides Opportunities
“A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”
Proverbs 18:16, NKJV
One thing I tell people who feel called to ministry is that man’s gifts bring opportunity, not his license or certifications. If God puts something in you, other people will see it, and God will provide spaces for you to exercise that. When we license a leader, we do so based on the work they have already been doing. The same can be said of transitions. If God calls you down a path, He will be faithful to provide fruitful opportunities. What anointing has God put on you? Pay attention to that and ask Him to show you your next steps. God will never steer you wrong. His transitions are perfect and align with the Kingdom of heaven. And how freeing it is to know that we don’t have to have all the answers – God does, and His provision is a good indicator that you are headed the right way.