Are you facing a moment of transition in your life? We can learn much from the example of Jesus as He transitioned from the private life of His first thirty years to His public life of His last three years. His baptism by John marks the turning point.
"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Coming up out of the water, He immediately saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, saying, 'You are My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased'" (Mark 1:9-11).
First, Jesus identified with John. Although Jesus had no need for a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, His example teaches us to position ourselves on the side of those whose hearts and motives are pure.
Politicians talk a great deal about change, but change can move us from good to bad or bad to worse depending on whether we identify with the wrong person or persons. In your time of transition, are you closest to those who truly know the Lord? Have you sought the counsel of those who walk near to Him or are you just charging ahead because it seems like a good idea to you?
Second, Jesus received confirmation personally from the Father—the heavens opened. Interestingly, none of the Gospels report that anyone else saw the heavens open except Jesus. He, not "they," saw the heavens open.
Your journey in life will involve experiences with God that you alone will observe and apply. You must be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit shows you in your personal times of waiting on Him. When you act in obedience, as Jesus did by going to the Jordan, God will reveal Himself to you. That revelation may not be something outward or spectacular—it may be an inner, still small voice—but get the mind of the Spirit before you set forth with transition.
Third, Jesus experienced the peacefulness and gentleness of God in the descent of the Spirit as a dove upon Him.
Transitions need to be marked by calmness. Any hyperactivity by Jesus at His baptism would have shooed away the dove of peace. If you are filled with anxiety, fear, and stress as you anticipate transition, back off until you are filled with peace.
Fourth, Jesus experienced the Father's honest and wholesome perspective—"You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Jesus emerged from the transition with the unmistakable assurance that the Father both loved and approved of Him.
Do you really know deep inside yourself that God dearly loves you, that you are known to Him, and that He is pleased with all who put their trust in His Son? What greater security or sense of wholeness is there than this?
Jesus knew He was not alone because He knew in His time of transition that the Father approved of Him, and the Holy Spirit descended and remained on Him. It is the same with you. You are not alone in your time of transition. God is with you!
A Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I never make decisions that exclude You. In every transition moment, may I remain centered in Your will, seeking Your voice and experiencing Your favor and blessing.
Excerpted from Dr. Wood's book, Fearless: How Jesus Changes Everything, available from Vital Resources.
George O. Wood is the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. For the original article, visit georgeowood.com.