Sunday, August 1, 2010

Don't Get Stuck in Your Transition by Lee Grady

When moving from point A to point B, we sometimes feel trapped in between. Trust God to guide you to your destination.

A few months ago I passed through the tiny community of Between, Ga. With a population of only 148, the place is not much to write home about. (And besides, it doesn't even have its own zip code). The town got its name because it's halfway between Atlanta and Athens, Ga. But as I passed the local convenience store I couldn't help but imagine the strange reactions I'd get if I lived there.

"Where are you from?"

"I live in Between."

"In between what?"

"In Between, Georgia."

"In between Georgia and what?"

"Oh never mind."

I doubt I'll ever move to that town, but the truth is that many of us are living "in between"—because we are in the midst of a major transition. Some of us know where we're going but we feel we're stuck halfway. Or we may sense God is moving us into a new spiritual assignment, yet the process of getting there is inching forward about as fast as a Siberian glacier.

I'm in the midst of my own big changes in career and ministry, and I've been struggling with all the emotions that accompany a major transition. I've battled doubts ("Did God really promise this?"), fears ("What if He doesn't provide?"), confusion ("Last week I was sure; this week I'm not so sure") and impatience ("OK, Lord, I need some answers NOW!").

"God gives us prophetic promises to literally pull us into our future. Declare them over your life, even when the darkness of discouragement is smothering you."

But as I navigate this journey, I'm discovering there are some things we can do to make the transition smoother.

1. Make sure you let go of the past. Sometimes we get stuck in spiritual limbo because we're holding on to memories, relationships or what is secure and comfortable. The unbelieving children of Israel wandered in the wilderness of Sinai for 40 years—and never completed their transition—because they were so homesick for Egypt. When Naomi felt called to return to Bethlehem, her daughter-in-law Orpah refused to go. She preferred what was culturally familiar. Leave nostalgia behind and embrace the new season.

2. Renounce your doubts. If we're not careful we can fall into the trap of double-mindedness. We say we want to go to our promised land, but we hesitate—and all such foot—dragging is doubt. We say we want to go forward, but we are like a moving car that has its parking brake engaged. Faith requires you to release the brake.

James warns the double-minded person: "For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord" (James 1:7, NASB). Doubt will stop you from shifting forward.

3. Welcome those God sends to help you.
We're not supposed to make transitions on our own. God uses people to push us to the next level. The body of Christ has many members, and those who are gifted as prophets, intercessors, wise counselors and encouragers will always show up when you are in strategic moments of transition.

When Moses was weary of the battle and could barely find the strength to pray, God sent Aaron and Hur to lift up his arms (see Ex. 17:12). When Hezekiah was overwhelmed by the threat of Sennacherib's armies, Isaiah brought a word from the Lord that ignited faith for a miraculous victory (see 2 Kings 19). When Mary was perplexed by the daunting task of carrying the Messiah in her womb, Elizabeth released a prophetic blessing over her (see Luke 1:41-45).

Intercessors who are empowered by the Holy Spirit are like spiritual midwives who help us birth God's promise when we don't have the strength to deliver. Spiritual transition is a painful process, but certain people have an unusual grace from God to travail with us. Allow them to pray for you and speak into your situation.

4. Contend for your promise. Transition is a vulnerable time—and it requires spiritual warfare. The enemy is a thief and he wants to rob us of our inheritance. He does not want us to move forward in God, take new territory, assume new authority or advance into our spiritual callings. Satan is also an abortionist—he wants to devour your promise before it is born.

This is why we must wield God's promise as a weapon against our enemy. Paul wrote: "This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight" (1 Tim. 1:18). God gives us prophetic promises to literally pull us into our future. Declare them over your life, even when the darkness of discouragement is smothering you. God's Word will break satanic resistance.

5. Stay close to the Shepherd. Over the past month four people have given me the same promise from Psalm 32:8: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you." It's comforting to know that the good Shepherd takes such special, up-close-and—personal care of us—especially during vulnerable times of transition when we don't know which way to turn.

Be assured that He knows your destination-and He is committed to guiding you, even if you have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death to get there. He will not leave you in the land of Between. With His rod and staff He will usher you into your promised territory.


  1. I clicked on this article because I AM in a type of transition and seeking the commom sense, stabel wisdom I have come to expect from Lee Grady, I see that he has been to my hometown! Yes Lee, we do get just the type of teasing you describe here and in addition, we could not keep a city limit sign for people taking them. Can you imagine a teenage boys room with a real sign which reads, "Between City Limit"? Incidentally, you assume the name is due to being in between Atlanta and Athens, but it is also in between other "big name locations" such as Social Circle, Walnut Grove and Split Silk!

  2. Thanks Lee! What a wonderful word of encouragement.....a bit like a cattle-prod...:-) Good one. You know, I have had a couple of really not good transition periods over the last few years. I guess I am in one now. But one thing I have learned from past experience, is that it is that they are VERY dangerous places. Complacency and comfort can snatch away the future! Sometimes those transition periods are there because God allowed them, perhaps to teach us to wait on Him, to draw closer to Him, or even just to be patient. But in that time we can be very quietly overtaken by a feeling of euphoria that snatches that sense of urgency to continue on that narrow path and push on to higher places. I am just sure that some of the Israelites caught between Egypt and the Promised Land lapsed into a monotony that crushed their hunger to enter the Promised Land. What did Jesus say when He warned us about the 10 virgins?......WATCH!

  3. This is sooo comforting. Thank you.

  4. While I enjoyed the article and found much of value in it, it is necessary to be careful to stay true to scripture. Please reread Ruth 1:6-15. Orpah did not refuse to go to Judah with Naomi. They were already on the road when Naomi argued strenuously with her widowed daughters in law, telling them to return to their own families because she could not provide husbands for them. With much weeping and expressions of affection Orpah finally obeyed Naomi.
    It is safest to read the scripture to which we refer because our memory (mine at any rate) is not always reliable. When we are under pressure it is often tempting to leave out this step and, like any temptation, it can lead us astray. What is worse is that it may cause us to lead others astray.
    May God continue to bless you richly with His wisdom and insight.


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