A while back I passed through the tiny community of Between, Ga. With a population of only 148, the place is not much to write home about. The name fits because it’s halfway between Atlanta and Athens. But as I drove through, I couldn’t help imagining the strange reactions I’d get if I lived there.
“Where are you from?” someone would ask.
“I live in Between.”
“In between what?”
“In Between, Georgia.”
“In between Georgia and what?”
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 a major transition. Some of us know where we’re going, but we feel 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’ve been struggling lately 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 (“Lord, I need some answers now!”). But I’ve discovered some things we can do to make the transition smoother.
1. Let go of the past. Sometimes we end up in spiritual limbo because we hold on to memories, relationships or what is secure and comfortable. When Naomi felt called to return to Bethlehem, her daughter-in-law Orpah refused to go because she preferred what was culturally familiar. Leave nostalgia behind.
2. Renounce your doubts. It’s easy to fall into the trap of double-mindedness. We say we want to go to our promised land, but we drag our feet. 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. The body of Christ has many members, and those who are gifted as prophets, intercessors, 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 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).
Don’t go through transition alone. Ask your friends to pray with you. They are the spiritual midwives who will help you birth God’s promise when you don’t have the strength to deliver.
4. Fight for your promise. The devil is a thief, and he does not want us to receive God’s promises or advance into new spiritual territory. This is why you must wield God’s promise as a weapon. Paul told Timothy to fight the good fight “in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you” (1 Tim. 1:18). Declare God’s prophetic promises over your life. His Word will break satanic resistance.
5. Stay close to the Shepherd. Recently four people gave 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 Lord takes such up-close-and-personal care of us during vulnerable times of transition.
God knows your ultimate destination. He is committed to guiding you, even when you 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.
J.Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. He now serves as contributing editor while devoting more time to ministry. You can find him online at themordecaiproject.com.