Resist the Temptation to Go Back

Transition looks ahead, faith pushes us forward...Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.  -Picasso
   Grab the caps and gowns, pomp and circumstance and shredded chicken sandwiches…it’s graduation season! Perhaps, recently, someone you know has graduated from high school or college. It’s an exciting time where you are...
likely to hear people say, “lots of changes going on right now” or “it’s going to be a big transition”.

The words CHANGE and TRANSITION are often used interchangeably but they are really quite different. The moment a student receives their diploma, something has CHANGED: they are now a graduate. But TRANSITION is a process that takes time and can be more difficult to manage than change. The real transition for a graduate is shifting from dependence on parents to independent decision-making.

   Transition really begins with an ending—with people letting go of their old reality and their old identity. Unless people can make a real ending, they will be unable to make a successful beginning. The second phase of transition is the neutral zone. It’s the time when old behaviors die and the heart is preparing for a new reality. Only after this time of neutrality can we enter the last phase: new beginnings. We emerge on the other side of the transition with a renewed energy, passion and purpose for our new life.

   Few leaders can manage transition well, but in the book of Numbers we find Moses, a leader who was patient during his wilderness (transition) time. A journey that should have taken just eleven days ended up taking decades as Moses’ people felt the consequences of their lack of faith and trust in God’s plan by being stuck in the wilderness. When the people felt nostalgic about their past, Moses kept reminding them that their past included slavery and that their future included so much more. Never go back!

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
1. In this first passage, the community is devastated by the news brought back by the men that Moses sent to explore the land God had promised them. Although the land had great blessings, there were giants and powerful cities that would need to be conquered before the Israelites could leave the wilderness and make a new home.

Question: Why did the Israelites consider going back to Egypt, rather than pressing on to the land God had promised them?

Numbers 14:3-4 (New International Version)

3Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? 4…We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.

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Later on in Numbers 14, God spoke to Moses and shares the consequences for those who incited panic and suggested the tribe go back to Egypt, including the wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.

Question:  All of the Israelites had to change their locations and wander through the desert, yet many Israelites failed to transition their thinking and rebelled against God. As a result, what was their punishment?

Numbers 14:35 (New International Version)

…They will meet their end in this wilderness…

LIVE… What will you do now?
Did you realize there is a difference between change and transition? Change is physical (something tangible) and a transition is mental (thinking).

What is changing in your life right now? (Example: job, health, home, friendship)

Where are you undergoing transition? (Meaning, where do you need to re-vamp your thinking in order to move forward?)

Transitions are tough! Yet, we get stuck in life when we don’t complete transition. When was a time you had to trust God’s plan and go through a transition in your life? What did you feel once you were on the other side of the transition?

Sometimes, we get discouraged and we stop including God in our transition, believing that He has abandoned or disappointed us. Have you ever been through that kind of transition and how did you change your course?

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Thank God for the changes and transitions He has placed in your life. Let Him know you trust His plan for your life and ask Him to show you ways to stay on course. Pray for the discipline and patience to transition through difficult times and changes you are facing.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

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