Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end.
There are many scriptures on the subject of transition. I believe that God has a perfect purpose for our life. I believe that we can find direction through His Word and also through our relationship with Him.
As we follow God’s plan, there are specific times that we need direction from the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. I believe that there are five major ways that we hear the voice of God. First, the scriptures themselves; second, being led by the Holy Spirit; third, the peace of God; fourth, Godly counsel; and fifth, the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
When we are in a time of transition, we can be vulnerable, so I believe it is always best to follow the scripture in time of transition. In other words, we should never violate the written Word of God. We should never go against that which we know to be the will of God from the Word of God.
There are two aspects to following the Word of God. The first is the logos or written Word of God.
Psalm 119:130 says that the entrance of the Word gives light and gives understanding to the simple.
If we take a humble attitude toward the Word of God, we believe it and act accordingly. James 1:21 says to receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your soul.
The soul has been defined as the mind, the will and the emotions. I believe when we receive the Word with meekness, we submit ourselves fully to what we know as the will of God from the Word of God.
Jesus was in a time of transition in the Garden of Gethsemane and He prayed, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” When we take a submissive attitude toward the Word of God, we are actually putting ourselves in a place of strength.
I believe that when we renew our mind with the Word of God, it actually becomes part of our being. It becomes grafted into our soul. When this happens, it changes the way we think about things and therefore it changes the way we respond to certain situations.
When this happens, love rather than lust will begin to drive our life. Faith will begin to rule over fear and unbelief. We will begin to make decisions based on our relationship with God and His Word rather than on emotion separated from our relationship with God. The Word of God will become a major factor in the direction of our life.
In Psalm 119: 9-11 How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your Word. With my whole heart have I sought you: let me not wander from your commands. Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you. We need to let the written Word direct our thought life, and in doing so, it will also direct our actions. I personally don’t want to do anything that defers from God’s written instruction in my life.
The second aspect of following the scripture in times of transition is that of the Rhema or the spoken Word of God. In John 6:63 Jesus said: It is the spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing; the Words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life. Many times when God directs us, He will use His written Word to speak a Word to our spirit and thereby give us direction.
I have had God direct me with Rhema word from His written Word in my family, in my ministry, and in business. When Barbara and I were praying about transition and what to do when we graduated from Bible School, God gave me a Word from Philemon about the church in his house. He directed me to start a church with a group of believers in Kit Carson, Colorado.
When I contacted the group of believers there, they prayed and received the same direction from the Lord. God also directed us from His Word and His Spirit on what to name the church. God helped us, and the church prospered and ministered to many people in that area and also around the world through other ministries that we supported.
While in business, I was praying about what to do several times when God directed me from His Word.
One time I was praying about buying cattle and he told me that there was much increase by the strength of the ox. He also spoke to my wife Barbara and told her that where no oxen were, the crib was clean. We actually had a small feedlot that was empty at that time. We went ahead and bought the cattle even though the market had gone up significantly. It kept going up and we made a good profit that year.
Another time, I was praying about buying cattle when there was a major drought, and God spoke to me from the scripture in Isaiah that my cattle would feed in large pastures. Even though we were in a drought, I borrowed all the money I could and bought all the cattle I could. Cattle kept going down and it looked like I had made a major mistake, but three months later, it started raining, and my cattle did very well that year and I made more money than I ever made in my life up to that time.
The second way that God directs us in times of transition is through the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 says that the Sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. Being led by the Spirit gives us insight into different things at different seasons. After my wife Barbara and I had been praying about transition for months, when we were coming to the end of a season of ministry where we planted our first church in Kit Carson, Colorado; God spoke to me and told me to “Go to Colorado Springs and start a church: Charis Christian Center.”
One scripture that I prayed for several months was Job 23:14 For he performs the things that are appointed for me and many such thoughts are with Him. I encourage you to pray this scripture also when in times of transition. I have seen major breakthroughs and blessings praying to this scripture in my own life.
My wife Barbara confirmed this direction and was in total agreement. Even though I didn’t mention this in getting direction in times of transition, if you are married and your spouse has a good relationship with God, I believe that if you both are in agreement and have peace about it, the direction will be correct over 90% of the time. We also had confirmation from my mentor Andrew Wommack, whom I had asked for counsel concerning the decision. Cecil and Lisa Paxton, who had no knowledge of the decision, confirmed it by a Word of Wisdom. They gave us a Word about a month later that the direction we were taking would be good for the church (the body of Christ) and good for our family.
So, in this specific transition, we had the witness of the Spirit (led by the Spirit); we had agreement; we had peace from God, we had Godly counsel, and finally we had the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This was a major transition for our family and we had witness to four of the five major ways that God directs us in transition.
The third major way that God directs us in times of transition is through the peace of God. Colossians 3:15 says that we are to, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts to which we are called.” The Greek word here for rule means to act as an umpire. If you don’t have peace on the inside about it and cannot find peace on the inside about a major decision, do not proceed! Let the peace of God call the shots.
The fourth way to get direction from God in times of transition is to get Godly counsel on the subject. Many scriptures in the book of Proverbs confirm this. If you are asking for counsel on a matter, first of all, ask someone who has good fruit in their life. Second, don’t go to the person and tell them that God told you to do it. If you say this, then they can give you no counsel, unless what you are saying directly opposes the written Word of God. You might say, “I believe the Lord is leading me in this direction” or “I think that God is leading me this way,” but make sure you leave room so that you can actually hear their advice on the subject.
The final major way to get direction from God in a time of transition is to be aware of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Especially in the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge. The Word of Wisdom has been defined as receiving a Supernatural “Word” of God’s wisdom about the future that cannot be known naturally.
When Barbara and I had received direction to move from Kit Carson and plant a church in Colorado Springs, we had a prophetess named Bobbie Jean Merck speaking at our church in Kit Carson. We had not told her or any of the congregation about the direction that God had most recently given us. Bobbie Jean gave a “Word of Wisdom” publicly and said, “Another day, another way, another church”. It was very specific and we knew what God meant. This was a confirmation of what God had already directed us in. Most of the time, when God directs through the gifts of the Spirit, it is in confirmation.
If someone gives you a “word” in a time of transition, make sure that it is a confirmation. If you haven’t already received that direction, just set it on the shelf. It might be God, and it might not.
The other aspect is in the gift of the word of knowledge. The word of knowledge has been defined as a specific “Word” of God’s knowledge about something that is in existence from the past that cannot be known naturally. In Second Kings chapter six, Elisha the prophet gave the King of Israel specific instructions that brought Israel into great victory over Syria. The king of Syria actually thought that Israel had a spy, but was informed by his advisors that Israel has a prophet who tells their king the words that he speaks in his bedroom. These gifts are really amazing, but should not be relied on alone without the confirmation of the other ways that God leads us.
Finally, I believe that God has an amazing plan for our life. His plan is better than our plan any day of the week. If we listen, I believe that we can find His ultimate best for our life and receive His blessing as we follow Him. Remember to pray for His direction for your life and I believe He will direct you.
You might want to pray something like this in times of transition.
Father, I know that your plans for me are good. I believe that you are directing my steps and I am being led by your Spirit. I know that you perform the things that are appointed for me, and many such things are with you. I choose to follow you and believe that you are working in my life for the good.
In Jesus Name, Amen!