The sun is mercilessly beating down on you as you stand on the banks of the river. A bead of sweat runs down the back of your neck, but you don’t notice. Nor do you notice the people passing by or those swinging on the rope, plunging into the water. All your attention is riveted to the old man’s message. His last. You love this man. You respect him. He has been your leader, your shepherd, all your life. And you know his final words are going to equip you for victory and success, despite the conflicting emotions tumbling around inside. So you listen intently—because you are on the banks of the biggest transition of your life…
Transition. Did you wince at that word like I did? But if a transition is simply the passage from one state to the next, why is this word so distasteful, abhorrent, and even offensive? Is it because it’s BFFs with the word change? And nothing instills fear like the unknown. Or because change and transition have a bad reputation? Granted, they’re rarely smooth and easy. They have dips, bumps, blind-spots, and washed out roads. But they also have peaks, paved surfaces, dazzling vistas, and purpose.
Like puberty, transitions are a necessary part of life. And life isn’t stagnant. It’s constantly moving. Transitioning from one day to the next; one event followed by another.
I’m currently in a state of transition, and if I had to guess—you are too. For me it’s a change from designing landscapes to writing, blogging, and speaking about Jesus. To revealing the Vibrant Relevance of God’s Word in our day-to-day life. What’s your current transition? Are you on the edge of it, in the midst of it, or stepping out of it? What are you anticipating the end result to be? What are you excited about? Afraid of? Hoping for?
Some transitions are planned and have time to evolve and develop—beginning a new relationship, transferring schools, starting college, changing majors, and graduation. Others are abrupt, unexpected, and unforgiving—breakups, rejection letters, test failures, illness, divorce, or death of a loved one. No matter how or why transitions happen, they tend to bring fear, frustration, and difficulty with them—even when they’re for our benefit. BUT transitions have a way of shaping us and our character like nothing else can. They build into our integrity and refine our faith. They enhance our dependence on God as He guides us through. They also solidify our trust in His perfect control instead of our own. When we rise to occasion; transitions instigate growth, development, and maturity.
Think back to some of the transitions you’ve survived. Were they easy? Scary? Exciting? Adventurous? Challenging? Smooth? Were the end results worth it?
Deuteronomy is a book all about transition:
It’s Moses’s Swan Song to the Israelites before handing to baton of leadership to Joshua.
He’s speaking to Gen II; the children of the Israelites freed from Egyptian slavery.
The 40 years of wandering are over, and they’re on the east side of the Jordan River in view of Canaan, the Promised Land.
Joshua us about to lead them across the river to take over and settle in the Promised Land.
In this devotional we’re going look deeply into Moses’s messages to this young generation—and us: To remember what God had done for us so we will have confidence in following Him. To remember who He is and what He has done for us so we will love Hi completely and submit to His expectations of godly living. To learn what He has to teach us so we will be equipped to possess the Promised Land He is leading us to.
The generation that came out of Egypt believed IN God, but they didn’t trust Him. Their refusal to BELIEVE Him, caused their bodies to litter the wilderness for 40 years as opposed to living in the Land of Promise. Beloved, Deuteronomy is all about committing ourselves to God, and out of that commitment–loving, trusting, and obeying Him, even in the state of transition.
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