When it comes to transition and change in our lives especially a major role or direction change timing is everything.
One of the major principles I’ve learned as a leader and Pastor and for that matter a follower of Christ, is that every time God leads us, or gives us a dream, or reveals a change to us, it is hardly ever immediate.
Example: God gave Joseph a dream at 17 and it didn’t come to fruition until he was 35.
Foolishly, many times we get a sense of Gods leading and we run out and tell everyone about it, and start trying to make it happen NOW! Its not hard to understand why. We are excited. However, what we must realize is that when God shares something with us, especially a change or transition in our purpose or destiny, it is a starting point.
There is always, ALWAYS, a process before we obtain a promise. God will reveal it to us, to start the journey in us. With God, internal change always precedes external change. When I was a lot younger I had a habit of getting carried away when I would get a revelation of something God wanted to do in my life, and I would share it and start working on it. Its funny that in the last few years God has brought to completion some of those things I heard when I was in my 20’s. Some of those things took a decade to happen. I had to change, for the change to manifest itself externally.
Having gone through some things I now realize that timing is very important, and when we get out of the timing of God it creates major problems not only for us but for those around us.
One example that still effects the world today. Abraham and Sarah trying to hurry the promise of God by using Hagar as a facilitator of the promise. Now look at the antagonism in the world because of that mistimed move.
I’m not so bold as to say that a mistimed move from us would be so important as to effect the entire world, however it will impact those people in your world.
So timing is very important. The transition we just went through took time, and was done right and has resulted in some great things.
We were at our previous assignment 15 years. A long time to be in one place. I love longevity, and God loves longevity. Transitions and whole life changes should not be the norm or happening every couple of years in your life. There may be times that God will use you in a place for a small season but that shouldn’t be normal. That is a man made idea or thought. True impact comes over time. It takes time. Not a popular opinion in our world, but time is important.
God spoke to us 13 years in to our last assignment to prepare us for change from the role we were in to move back in to the senior pastorate. So our process unfolded over a 2 year period. There were a lot of opportunities to be impatient, to give up, to be conflicted, and we had our moments, but we held on and made a good, solid, timely transition that was a benefit and blessing to everyone concerned.
How do we make sure we move in Gods time?
1. Consider the people you are going to impact by your move.
It is not God’s will for people to be hurt and disconnected through your change or transition.
Our leaders were going through a tough personal time when we knew God was telling us we
would be leaving. So as we prayed about when to tell them, we knew it would have a negative
impact at that time on them, and we heard God clearly say “NOT NOW”
2. Surround yourself with prayerful, trusted, confidants.
We had 4 people who we turned to for prayer and counsel. People who we had deep trust
with. To ensure that we were receiving counsel, and prayer and it wouldn’t get out prematurely
3. Be committed to being sent, don’t just go.
Do things right, remember there is change happening in you and around you. Don’t be
self centered in all this. keep your eye on the big picture, not just your picture.
4. Trust God of course, what that means is pray, and Acknowledge His leadership in every move
and thought you have about this.
5. When you start feeling out of place and you will, be patient. God is control.
6. When its time to communicate, do it.
So many people allow fear and really cowardice to keep them from effectively communicating
to the leaders. Some will even create drama to give themselves an excuse to leave and not
have to sit face to face with their leaders. This is not Gods heart, and will always create
a division. NOT NECESSARY.
7. Remember there is a timing on both ends of the spectrum that is happening simultaneously.
Change is happening where you are and where you are going. While you are changing,
praying, and believing in the middle of your situation, God is at your destination effecting
change there as well.
So I hope this helps. Be patient. Don’t underestimate the importance in moving in Gods timing, and if you are going through it right now, and it seems like its taking forever, ask God what you need to learn, and what needs to develop in you in preparation for this new step in your life. It will be here before you know it.
What a great adventure.