Have you ever been stuck? If you've ever driven a 4- or 5-speed car and tried to shift gears you know what I mean.
It's not always easy. Sometimes it can be frustrating and what is meant to help propel you to another place instead hinders your journey.
I found that in life, as in certain cars, shifting is challenging. But as I navigate this journey, I'm discovering that there are some things we can do to make shifting smoother. If you've shifted gears, you will understand the message that God has given me and if not, let me explain how to shift gears in your life.
1. Make sure to let go of the past. Sometimes we get stuck in spiritual limbo because we're holding on to memories, relationships or what is secure and comfortable. The unbelieving children of Israel wandered in the wilderness of Sinai for 40 years—and never completed the shift because they were so homesick for Egypt. You must leave nostalgia behind and embrace the new season.
2. Stop the doubts. If we're not careful, we can fall into the trap of double-mindedness. We say we want to go to our promised land, but we hesitate—and all such foot dragging is doubt. 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: "Let not that man think that he will receive anything from the Lord" (James 1:7). Doubt will stop you from shifting forward.
3. Welcome those God sends to help you. We're not supposed to make the shift on our own. God uses people to push us to the next level. The body of Christ has many members, and those who are gifted as prophets, intercessors, wise counselors and encouragers will always show up when you are in strategic moments of shifts.
When Moses was weary of the battle and could barely find strength to pray, God sent Aaron and Hur to lift up his arms (Ex. 17:12). When Hezekiah was overwhelmed by the threat of Sennacherib's armies, Isaiah brought a word from the Lord that ignited faith for a miraculous victory (2 Kings 19). When Mary was perplexed by the daunting task of carrying the Messiah in her womb, Elizabeth released a prophetic blessing over her (Luke 1:41-45).
Intercessors who are empowered by the Holy Spirit are like spiritual midwives who help us birth God's promise when we don't have the strength to deliver. A spiritual shift is a painful process, but certain people have an unusual grace from God to travail with us. Allow them to pray for you and speak to your situation.
4. Pray for your promise. A shift in season is a vulnerable time—and it requires spiritual warfare. The enemy is a thief and he wants to rob us of our inheritance. He does not want us to move forward in God, take new territory, assume new authority or advance into our spiritual callings. Satan is also an abortionist—he wants to devour your promise before it is born.
This is why we must wield God's promise as a weapon against our enemy. Paul wrote, "This command I commit to you, my son Timothy, according to the prophecies that were previously given to you, that by them you might fight a good fight" (1 Tim. 1:18). God gives us prophetic promises to literally pull us into our future. Declare them over your life, even when the darkness of discouragement is smothering you. God's Word will break Satanic resistance.
5. Stay close to the shepherd. Over the past month four people have given 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 Good Shepherd takes such special, up-close-and-personal care of us, especially during vulnerable times of shifting when we don't know which way to turn.
Be assured that He knows your destination and He is committed to guiding you, even if you have to 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.
Prayer Power for the Week of May 15, 2016
This week, seek the Lord daily and thank Him for His daily direction and the plans He has for you. Express your love and gratitude for His past faithfulness and tell Him that you trust Him with every aspect of your life. If you are in transition, look for those whom He sends to pray and encourage you in this season and see them as a gift from Him. Continue to pray for the protection of Israel and the persecuted church when you pray for your own nation and its leaders. Ask God to pour out His Spirit, draw all to Him and send more laborers into His harvest fields (Matt. 9:38).
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