When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "Be Thou My Vision."

 Positioned For Transition
Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14 & Isaiah 43:18-19

Please turn in your Bibles to Philippians chapter 3 and we will be reading verses 12-14.

(12) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (13) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (14) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul is simply confessing he was still pressing towards the goal Christ had laid out before him. In verse thirteen when Paul says, “I do not count myself to have apprehended…” he’s saying, “I have not completely fulfilled my Master’s assignment for me.” He then says, “but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind...”

Unlike the Children of Israel, who longed for the stability that came with knowing what to expect in Egypt when they faced hardship in the wilderness, Paul chose not to dwell on his past as he pressed toward his finish line.

Understand, Paul is not saying that he has forgotten the things of his past. He is saying that those things are no longer anchors that weigh him down. Paul understood that the life that Jesus had given to him was more powerful than memories that can be anchors in his life. Do you see this point?

Memories are a powerful thing and how we remember things can impact our present and this is the purpose of this message. As we continue on this journey of building on the Church’s foundation and strengthening it we will need to evaluate the memories that we will be taking with us versus those that we should leave behind. We need to understand which of our memories will help us to hear God when He speaks to us and the memories that dull or hinder our hearing when He speaks to us.

Let’s pray: Lord Jesus, help us to hear Your voice, absorb Your wisdom, and follow in Your ways. In the face of the new and strange, make us humble and open. Confronted by controversy, make us both strong and accepting. As we make decisions, lead us to ponder Your Word and seek Your guidance. In all things make us loving agents of Your healing and reconciliation. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen

I have titled this message Positioned for Transition because that is what’s happening. I’ve talk with lots of folks in the past weeks about the Pantertown Church of God of Prophecy and tried to explain its location but to no avail. It’s only when I or they mention “Roger Hyatt’s church” does the light bulb come on.   

Now that can be a beautiful memory or a self limiting growth memory depending on how it influences us. This no longer is Rodger Hyatt’s church. We certainly can recognize and honor him for the great work that he established, and we should, but we’ll have to look back to do that.

I believe God wants us to look and move forward, so from this point forward this is God’s church with a new name, Maranatha Church of God of Prophecy. On our sign you will also find our address, which certainly will help people looking for our location.

I truly believe God is doing something new and more awesome than anything we can comprehend and I and some others are anticipating being a part of it. We welcome all and anyone to come join us for this exciting journey.

In Isaiah 43:18-19, God said “(18) Do not remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. (19) Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

God told His people, as He is telling us today, that He promised to do yet greater things for them than He had done in the days of old. As a matter of fact, those things would be outdone! There is a saying “The Best Is Yet To Come” and if you truly believe that you cannot hold on to all of the memories of what used to be. You can’t hold on to the seven last words of the church, “We’ve never done it that way before.” You can’t look forward to the best while looking backwards at what used to be!

By no stretch of the imagination am I an expert on memories – But this is one thing that I know with certainty – the memories we choose to keep can influence our present (our todays) and our future (our tomorrows).

Remember means:

*To call to mind.  

*To be thought of or to think of. 

*To hold in one’s mind.

But here’s the one the Holy Spirit is warning against. *It is, to make a memorial.

In other words; to enshrine something as so important or so grand that you can’t move past it, because you worship what you have enshrined.

The Holy Spirit asks the question, shall ye not know it?

In other words, it is very possible that Jesus would do something new, better, greater, grander, more magnificent than you have ever seen or experienced before, but you can miss it because you’re still worshipping at the enshrined memory of the past.

When he says, "Remember not” He is saying, don’t let enshrined memories of the past keep you from moving forward.

Be thankful for the wonderful memories, but do not be a prisoner of the past, good or bad.

It’s time for a new thing. God said: Behold I will do a new thing!

As I was waiting on the Lord, meditating on where we are at-in our process, I heard the spirit of the Lord say positioned for transition.

I don't pretend that I know everything God has in store for us as a body or as individuals. But I do understand that the word "transition" implies movement, progress of forward motion."

Transition is always about leaving one place to go to another. Elisha couldn't get to Bethel without leaving Gilgal.

*Transition means, leaving some things behind.
*Transition is something that requires participation.
*Transition can not happen by accident.
*Transition is a choice to co-operate and move with the Holy Spirit.

Transition has 3 main components.
*Letting go of the old.
*Trusting God.
*Taking hold of the new.

Why is transition so hard most of the time?

Because most of the time the Holy Spirit doesn't tell us exactly where we are going. He just witnesses to our spirit that our time in a certain place or in certain conditions or an environment is getting ready to change.

Then we must decide if we really want everything God has prepared for us or are we going to settle for the comfortable and the familiar.

That was Elijah's role in Elisha's transition: Elijah was playing the devil's advocate. Elijah was speaking to try and discourage Elisha from receiving God’s best.

Of course Elijah wanted Elisha to receive the mantle. He had poured into his life for over 10 years. But He knew Elisha had to want it enough to transition.

In other words; He had to want it enough to let go of and leave the comfortable and the familiar to go after the unseen, and the unknown.

Transition is a difficult place many times because It is an in between place. A squeezing place.

It's the place where you have left where you were, where you were adjusted, where you knew what to expect, where you had a pretty good handle on everything, and now you don't have a handle on anything.

It is the place where faith is tested. It is the place where you are tempted to grumble and complain and start looking back to the old familiar comfort zone.

It's the place where you either breakthrough or you break down.

It is a necessary place because it is the proving ground; it is where you prove to God by your actions and your attitude that you are more interested in following Him than being comfortable.

I think one of the most exciting and inspiring things that I learned from the story of Elijah and Elisha was Elisha went beyond his mentor...

Elisha pushed for more.                                

Elisha had developed his own appetite. 

Elisha didn't just want what he saw in and on Elijah, he wanted double.

Which means, he not only wanted what he had seen and experienced with Elijah, He wanted more, he wanted what he had never seen and never experienced.

I believe Elijah as Elisha’s mentor, knew something about what God had in store for Elisha. He perceived it, he was preparing him for it...

In reality it is what every mentor and spiritual father wants for their spiritual sons and daughters, but it is rare. "I want double" But, That’s the way it should be.

I want what God has for me through you, and then I want my own.

Because when I get ready to go and its time for me to pass this mantle, it won't be Elijah’s mantle I'm passing, it will be mine.

I'm talking today about being positioned for transition because one of the most important ways to position ourselves for transition is to know what to expect: In other words; to know what transition looks like and feels like.

The Holy Spirit is giving us a sense of what to expect as we transition.

Positioning ourselves for transition begins by deciding that...
If there is more for us we want it.                       

If there is something better we want it.               

If there is a better way, we want to learn it.         

If there is a greater anointing we want it.

Positioning for transition means...
To anticipate the new.                                        

To anticipate the different.                                       

To anticipate the greater.                                      

To anticipate the unknown.                                      

To anticipate the uncomfortable.

When you go camping, you leave your microwave, and curling Iron and hair dryer; you anticipate the uncomfortable and the inconvenient.

You anticipate that something may happen out of the ordinary. That’s part of the excitement of camping, the thought of seeing and experiencing new things, different things, things beyond your control.

That is part of positioning for transition.

It is facing the future fearlessly, knowing that this is a God journey and the one who has brought you to this place is the same one who is leading the way into the unknown.

I believe this is the reason God would lead the children of Israel through the wilderness with a cloud by day and a fire by night.

God’s part was to lead the way, their part was to stay positioned for transition; they were to live every minute with an attitude of readiness to move when the cloud moved.

Let me read: Exodus 13:21-22  And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: [22] He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

And then in: Exodus 40:36-38 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: [37] But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. [38] For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

This was put in the scriptures to illustrate to us that we are never to get stuck, even if and when it was God that led you to the place you are. Even when you know that what you are experiencing is a God thing.

You have to stay positioned for transition. There has to be sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

That cloud and that fire are not in the natural physical visible arena anymore. Now that cloud and that pillar of fire is in you and I.

The Holy Spirit leads us from within, but it is just as real and just as valid as and even more so than how He led the children of Israel.

Moses didn't know the way through the wilderness; he was depending on the cloud and the fire.

Moses’ greatest responsibility was the same as mine, to keep the people stirred up, to keep them in a spirit of anticipation.

To keep them in an attitude of transition, to keep them positioned for transition.

To keep them looking forward.                           

To keep them pressing forward.
To keep them anticipating the future.                

To not let them settle down.                                      

To remind them, this is not all there is...

You haven’t seen anything yet. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This is just a sample of what is to come.

I believe this is God’s Word for this church but I also believe that this word is not limited to our church. I believe this is a word to the body of Christ. There is a shift taking place and something very powerful is getting ready to happen, and God is sending this word to us including the whole body of Christ to position us for this transition.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!