Transition is not easy and always requires a change on our part. And regardless of how uncomfortable that change may be, once we resolve to move in a new direction, growth and blessings will come at just the right time.
Some years ago, my wife had terrible back pain. In an attempt to provide her with relief, we continued going to the doctor, but the pain never subsided. So I suggested that we needed to find a new doctor. Did you know that within the first five minutes with her new doctor, he informed her that she had been misdiagnosed and the ongoing treatments would not do anything for the pain? Instead, he advised us what to do, and she hasn’t had any back problems since.
Her transition into a pain-free life required a change in doctors.
I.Transition Requires Change (vs. 3)
Hezekiah was not blind in how to rule a kingdom. After all, he came from a family line of kings. However, Hezekiah is a great example showing us the change required to go to the new place God has for us.
Not only did Hezekiah rule differently than his father, King Ahaz, but he made drastic changes to Israel’s normal because he desired the will of God.
“And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.”
He did what was right in the sight of the Lord! What Hezekiah did was so different than what was expected that God told us in His holy Word that it was the right thing to do.
So what did he do?
II.Change Will Require Courage (vs. 4)
“He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.”
Here is a little background; seven-hundred years earlier, during Moses’ day, the children of God angered Him by worshipping false gods. So, God called serpents to come, and when people got bit, they died. So, Moses made an appeal to God on behalf of Israel, and God, in His infinite mercy, gave them a second chance.
He commanded Moses to make a brass serpent, put it on a pole, and elevate it. He was instructed that if anyone got bit by a snake, they were to look up at the brass sculpture, and they would be healed. So for seven-hundred years, that is what they did.
Now here we are, all those years later, and the people of Israel are still looking up to the brass serpent! But, little did they know that the purpose and anointing on this sculpture had long since departed.
When Hezekiah became king, he removed the high places and broke the bronze serpent that Moses made into pieces. He destroyed the idols the Israelites were worshiping and brought about change.
Now, Moses was the man! He led the Israelites out of slavery and through the Red Sea. He was a pillar for generations, and no one dared to do anything differently than what he implemented. The season of the serpent was long gone, and people were still worshiping it as if it held all power.
There are some things in your life that had a purpose at some point; however, here we are five, ten, and fifteen years later, and you’re still clinging to that thing as if everything is the same. What practices, relationships, or elements in your life do you need the courage to change?
The Work of the Church
When I became the pastor of FBCG, our church had thirty-two clubs. (Not ministries, but clubs.) Each group would meet together, and the only big thing they would hold were anniversaries. They would eat, celebrate, and have a good time, and then once that anniversary was celebrated, they took the following year to plan the next one.
Christ’s ministry is to help the poor, have mercy on hurting people, and share the Gospel. But unfortunately, these clubs were missing the mark. So, I challenged each one to write a mission statement that expressed their purpose and how they would meet a need in the community, and you know what? Since then, they have done precisely that.
Your destiny is tied to the courage you have to make a change. So what is it that God is asking you to change?
III.Change Will Require Trust in God (Vs. 5)
“He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.”
We all have to learn to trust God.
As you become more and more obedient to the Lord, you will see that the things He asks you to do will often not make logical sense.
God asks us to tithe the first fruits of our income. But what if you can’t even pay your essential bills? As mankind, we will budget and do the math to figure out how to make the numbers work logically. But at the end of the day, there must come the point when you say to yourself, “I am going to trust God to make a way for me out of nowhere.” Otherwise, tithing doesn’t become an act of faith but rather another monthly expense.
Maybe you are moving up in age and are not married yet. The person you are dating is familiar and makes you feel like you won’t be alone for the rest of your life. However, he isn’t saved. I encourage you to surrender your dating life to the Lord because He has someone for you in His season and time.
Be obedient and trust that the God we serve knows the details of your life. And because He loves and cares for you, He always has your best interests in mind.
IV.Change Will Require a Close Walk With God (Vs. 6-7)
“For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.”
One thing remained constant in Nehemiah’s reign as king: in every circumstance, he stayed close to God.
We have all been there; trials and tribulations come, and our gut response is to flee. We abandon the help that comes from the Lord.
Can I encourage you to stay close to God? No matter how hard the rain is or how destructive the storm feels, stick close to Jesus because He will and always will work it out according to His faithfulness.
“The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and he did not serve him.”
Not only did Nehemiah stay close to the Lord, but the Lord was with Him.
We have a God who promises to draw near as we draw near to Him. He never leaves; He is with us until the end.
No matter what challenge you face, what frustration you are encountering, and what significant change you need to make, the Lord is with you wherever you go.
Take courage; the transition you need to make will be fruitful when you walk with God.