Transitioning from darkness: Arise to a new place

1-peter-2-9

During the first week of 2017 I have been reflecting on times in which we live, recognizing the Lord’s command that we let our light so shine in the midst of darkness. At times the darkness that surrounds us can be overwhelming. A number of years ago I posted a prophetic word addressed to the Body of Christ by the late John Paul Jackson. Although he shared this message more than eight years ago, his words certainly can be applied and they provide encouragement to believers today.  Here is an excerpt from that message entitled: “All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning through Your Dark Night”:

This is a year of transition. 

“. . . [N]o doubt you’re aware that transition means things are changing. If you allow God to move in your life and do what He wants to do, you’ll enjoy the change. And if you don’t … then you won’t, for obvious reasons.

In this e-letter, I would like to talk to you about something that goes hand in hand with transition. It is the hardest part of change, actually, and is what makes change so often difficult.

Jesus said that whoever loses his life will find it (Matthew 10:39). Growing spiritually is possible only if you’re willing to let go of the old in order to gain the new. In other words, you gain by losing; you give up your life in order to find it.

But there’s a secret in that. What you need to give up is the thing that’s holding you back. You might think it is good, but it is actually keeping you from your destiny. It is a virus, an infection, a germ that needs eradicating before it can metastasize.

If God asks you to give up something, it is only what will destroy you — i.e., this isn’t something you want to keep!

Here’s the catcher: The in-between time when you’re coming to that conclusion is usually confusing, painful and completely black. You can’t see a thing, and you have no idea where you’re going. Have you felt like that this year … yet?

Three Levels of Darkness

From pregnancy to creation, from anointing to new days, everything begins in darkness. It has been that way from the first day of creation, and it will continue to the end.

New things begin in darkness. There are three levels, or deep times, of darkness that we encounter on the road to our destiny and true, pure spirituality: the Dark Night of the Wilderness or Desert, the Dark Night of the Soul and the Dark Night of the Spirit. With each one, you will feel like you are immersed in a deeper darkness than you have ever been in before.

You will see less clearly, if at all, where you thought you were going. You most likely will not understand the purpose of it and why God is allowing you to go through such a dark, difficult time. Depending on what God is after, this time may shake you to your very core.

The First Sign of Healing

At some point in all three phases, you finally realize that what you have self-justified (the thing you’ve been trying to hold onto) is actually hindering your destiny, and with this realization, there is often a sense of failure or sorrow or both. . . .But even here, do not give up hope, because this sense of failure is actually the initial sign of healing: You are on your way out. You have allowed God to remove the blinders, and as He does so, the first tendrils of light become visible again.

Immediately after this point of despair, everything changes. Here you see the light at the end of the long tunnel. You have hope for a better life, and it is soooooo refreshing. Though you know the rest of the tunnel still lies ahead of you, you see the light at the end, and you know you will make it, even though, up until this point, you were pretty sure you wouldn’t.

So many of us are walking blindly today, because God sees where we’re heading, but we do not. As this is the eighth month already, no doubt you’re aware that transition means things are changing. You can’t get away with the things you got away with before; your Father has asked you to come up higher. He may have asked you to give up the “good” thing in order to give you the best. Times are dark. The way is hidden.
The secret is this: No matter how dark your transitional time has been, you were always going to make it in God’s book, even during these times when the light has been hidden from you. If God is your Captain, you will survive this year — and the next year and the one after that.

But for right now, as God transitions you and you walk through intense times of not knowing, don’t lose hope. As the sun rises from behind the peaks and you see life again for the first time in months … you’re going to fall in love all over again. God never leaves His children in the dark. You’ll see.

Reading this message brought to mind, the following poetic exhortation:

Arise to a New Place

  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,

His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises

of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

 1 Peter 2:9

In Christ you are free from the burdens you once bore.

The shackles of past shortcomings have been lifted,

For the yoke of guilt and shame you will bear no more.

Arise to a new place–all things God has shifted

The shackles of past shortcomings have been lifted.

No longer restricted, cast off every care.

Arise to a new place–all things God has shifted.

Even in darkest times God has always been there.

No longer restricted, cast off every care.

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away.

Even in darkest times, God has always been there.

Pure joy comes with the dawning of a brand new day.

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away.

In a place where love abounds and peace never ends,

Pure joy comes with the dawning of a brand new day.

You walk, hand in hand, with the Lord, as faithful friends.

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away,

For the yoke of guilt and shame you will bear no more.

You walk, hand in hand, with the Lord, as faithful friends.

In Christ you are free from the burdens you once bore.

Arise to a new place–all things God has shifted.

We close with Chris Tomlin, who reminds us that we are “A Chosen Generation” whom God has “called out of darkness to walk in His marvelous light.”

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