The In Between
Published on 16 November 2021
The prophetic word declared over Planetshakers Church in 2021, is REVIVAL.
God has promised that He will restore, renew and revive everything in our lives and hearts that is not flourishing and full of life. Ezekiel gives us a powerful image of God doing this very thing:
He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
But what happens when God’s promise doesn’t seem to be happening or looks very different to the way we expected it to unfold in our lives? Well, that’s when we find ourselves stuck in a place called the IN BETWEEN— a season of waiting.
When we find ourselves waiting, the best and most productive thing we can do as Christians is to maintain a posture of faith and keep moving forwards towards His promise, even when our circumstances seem to be telling us to expect the very opposite!
So let’s take a look at a few stories of people from the Bible who found themselves in their own IN BETWEEN season:
Moses was always called to be a deliverer, but when he was born, Pharaoh issued an order for every first-born male in Israel to be killed. His parents had to choose whether or not they would accept his fate or step out in faith and trust God for a better future. Thankfully, they chose the latter, laying baby Moses in a basket and placing him in the Nile River where he would later be rescued and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter.
When they had to abandon him, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and raised him as her own son. Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action.
Moses grew to be a powerful, learned and influential man, yet we later find God encountering him in the wilderness, full of fear and excuses as to why he couldn’t possibly fulfil His call to deliver God’s people from salvery and suffering. So how did a prince like Moses go from being so eloquent in articulation, to becoming an insecure stammerer? What happened to him between Pharaoh’s palace and the wilderness that so seriously shook his confidence?
After discovering that he was an israelite and not an Egyptian of royal lineage, Moses’ eyes were opened to the harsh and unjust treatment of his own people. Catching an Egyption master beating one of the slaves, Moses reacted by killing the abuser.The next day he saw two of his people fighting and confronted them, but one responded, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” (see Exodus 2:14, NASB). With that, Moses fled to the wilderness to escape both the rejection of his people and the consequences of killing an Egyption. Suddenly, he found himself in the wilderness with a confidence crisis and a speech impediment! This was his IN BETWEEN season.
TERAH (Abraham’s Father)
One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.
Canaan represents the ‘Promised Land’— God’s promise that His enslaved people would one day live in a land flowing with milk and honey. That promise is still ours today and just like Terah, we as a church are moving away from what God has called us FROM and towards what He has called us TO: our own Promised Land!
However, while on the journey to the promise, Terah stopped at a place called Haran and settled there. Haran was a place that was barren and dry— not the destination that God had called them to. Instead of just passing through and moving onwards towards the promise, Terah found himself settled in the IN BETWEEN. We can learn a lot from Terah. What will we choose to do when faced with circumstances that tempt us to settle down in the IN BETWEEN and stop moving forward towards God’s promises for our lives? Will we settle in a place that is not our destiny because the promise seems out of reach?
Walking through a season of uncertainty can be uncomfortable, even terrifying. That’s why it is so important that we know our God and have a strong conviction that He will faithfully lead us forward and ensure that every one of His promises come to pass in our lives (see Deuteronomy 31:8).
JOSHUA, CALEB, AND THE SPIES
After the Israelites escaped from Egypt, they roamed the desert looking for the home God had promised them. When they finally arrived at the edge of the Promised Land, twelve spies were sent in to report back on what they saw. While all twelve spies saw the abundance of the land— the overflowing milk and honey, just as God had promised (see Exodus 3:17)— ten of them focussed instead on the Cannanites who they described as large and powerful giants.They were terrified and sent a negative report back to their people. Only two of the spies— Joshua and Caleb— saw the Promised Land through the lens of FAITH and did not allow their fear to overwhelm their joy. They knew that if God had promised the land to them, then He would also deliver them from the enemy. They knew that no obstacle was too great for their God and sent back a positive report:
“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it”
David echoes this kind of confidence in Psalms:
With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
Had the Israelites chosen to respond in fear and settle outside of the promise—in their IN BETWEEN place— they would never have walked into their God-given destiny and lived in the freedom God had planned for His people.
When we’re facing uncertainty, the best person to look to is Jesus.
In the wilderness places— the waiting rooms of life— our eyes naturally focus on the barrenness around us, the dryness of the season and the apparently endless distance to our destiny. Our vision is naturally limited and we cannot see beyond the circumstances we are experiencing at that moment. This is when FAITH becomes so vital in motivating us to keep moving forward!
Jesus understands what it’s like to find ourselves in a wilderness season. At the beginning of His ministry, He was led by the Holy Spirit to be tested in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. He experienced all of the discomfort and loneliness that we feel, relying on His faith to keep Him focussed on the promises of His Father and victorious over the temptations of the enemy.
“He faced all the same testings we do, yet He did not sin”
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
You’ve probably heard this story of Peter many times. The moment he took his eyes off of Jesus and focussed on the circumstances around him, the waves and the wind started to threaten him, he lost sight of his faith and he began to sink. This can so easily happen to us if we do not remain focussed on God at all times. The IN BETWEEN is never easy and will always tempt us to hold back and settle for less than God promised. If we want to make it the whole way and see God’s promises fulfilled in our life, we must learn from Peter to fix our eyes on Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (see Hebrews 12:2, NIV). He will faithfully lead us THROUGH the desert seasons of our lives.
Jesus didn’t stay in His IN BETWEEN moment in the wilderness so let’s follow His lead and walk in victory. Let's keep our focus on Him and our eyes on the promise!
DON’T LET DISAPPOINTMENT STOP YOU
When we don’t see God’s promise fulfilled in our lives in the timing and way we expected—particularly in the year of REVIVAL— we can so easily settle in a place of disappointment. God gives us all a calling and a promise, yet when it hasn’t come to pass, we allow ourselves to be disillusioned and become blinded in our vision. Even worse, we can feel great guilt and frustration when we make poor choices in the waiting season, allowing our focus to be lured away from Jesus and onto the bad news and troubling circumstances around us. We have to be so careful not to make the decision to settle down in our ‘Haran’, just as Terah did.
Let me remind you that God’s Word will never return ‘void’ and without fulfilling its mandate (see Isaiah 55:11). So above all else, we can confidently trust that our God will be faithful to see that His promises are fulfilled in our lives. Our job is to simply keep moving FORWARD.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with at your right hand
What great assurance we have from our HeavenlyFather, so let’s draw close to Him and listen to what He has to say about the potential in our future— the breakthrough, freedom, and life that He has planned for us. The more we do so, the more we will trust in His never-failing Word. His Presence is always with us and His joy and grace are always available. He longs to fill us with life-giving vision and promise that will supersede any circumstances that may surround us.
FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY
As we step out of our place of disappointment and start moving forward once again, by faith, toward the promise, we will need spiritual food to sustain us for the journey ahead. We may not see the breakthrough straight away and may even stumble back into disillusionment and dissatisfaction from time to time. Like Terah, we may even settle down once again. That’s why we need the right sustenance to give us the energy to keep moving forward. When the Israelites were in the desert—their IN BETWEEN— they began to grumble about the lack of food. Hearing their complaint, God, in His faithfulness, provided for them. He rained down bread from Heaven in the mornings and provided meat in the evenings. They never ran out as He was their faithful source of provision, allowing them to be sustained daily with food for the journey. One way that the Lord speaks to us is through His Word. Like the Israelites who were given fresh bread and meat, day and night, God’s Word is our sustenance as we begin to take steps towards our breakthrough. This is how powerful the Word of God can be in our lives if we feed off it daily:
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path
For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all he does
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work
The Bible is food for our journey. Every day and night, God provides what we need in His Word. Walking through wilderness seasons can be exhausting and in order to remain focussed during the journey, we need spiritual food that will sustain us. The Word of God nourishes us, helping us to stay on track and hold onto our faith when we feel weary in the natural.
OUR GREAT GOD
Acts 1:8 tells us that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us.
The Greek root word for power is dynamis which, amongst other things, means ‘ability’.
When we feel weak in the IN BETWEEN seasons of life, God takes our DISability and exchanges it for His unlimited ability. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do things that we could never dream or imagine we could do in our limited human strength. Strengthened with supernatural ability, we are able to press beyond our human limitations to keep moving forward. However,if we choose to depend on our own abilities and not God’s, we will find ourselves settling for desolate places instead of taking hold of God’s incredible promises for our lives.
God is faithful and just in providing a solution to our every lack and need:
- If we are discouraged, He offers us a garment of praise (see Isaiah 61:3)
- If we are facing lack, He gives us the weapon of generosity (see Proverbs 19:17)
- If we are sick, He gives us the key to our healing (see Isaiah 53:5)
- If we are hungry for Him, He fills us (see Matthew 5:6)
Moses was a prince by status, but a deliverer by calling. However, despite the fact that God had called him to do great things, he was rejected by Pharaoh and his own people repeatedly. Once he had decided in his heart to move out of the place where he had settled and pursue God’s promise for his life, no matter what opposition came, he was able to press on towards the promise of God for he and his people.
After Terah died, Abram continued onwards towards the Promised Land. Along the journey, God called him to be a ‘father of many nations’, yet he had no children and his wife was barren. In order to push them into a place of faith in His promise, God had to change their names from Abram (father of Aram) to Abraham (Father of a multitude) and Sarai (my princess) to Sarah (THE Princess). Although nothing happened straight away, they kept believing and ‘sowing into’ the word God had given to them. While there was still no child, there was a name change—a prophetic declaration of God’s promise over them to remind them not to settle for anything less than God’s absolute best for their lives. In the perfect timing of God, Sarah had a son and Abraham’s promise to become the ‘Father of Many Nations’ began to take shape.
The 10 spies saw the giants and obstacles in the Promised Land and retreated in fear to their place of Haran— the desert, their IN BETWEEN. Joshua and Caleb instead saw God’s ability to do what He said He would do and focussed on the wonderful things that lay on the other side of the decision to move on from the IN BETWEEN and into the promised land. They chose faith over fear.
So, what should we do?
By looking at the lives of Moses, Terah, Abraham, Joshua, Caleb and even Jesus Himself, it is clear that God has not called us to settle in the IN BETWEEN seasons of our lives. Settling there will stop us from reaching our destiny. If God has given us a word and a promise, then we are faced with the same choice to allow weariness, fear or disappointment to convince us to settle in a place where God never intended us to stop, or to keep moving forward with the help of the Holy Spirit.
So what are you speaking over your future?
What are you declaring in the IN BETWEEN seasons of your life?
Be encouraged to know that God has chosen every one of US to see revival in our life and to lead others in revival. Ultimately, we have the One True God by our side, who will never leave us, nor forsake us (see Deuteronomy 31:6), and we can trust Him to keep His promises even if we can’t see them coming to pass right now. Our God is a promise-keeper, full of love and grace. He is strong, faithful and mighty. Doesn’t that stir such great confidence to hope in Him?
Our journey through the IN BETWEEN doesn’t depend on our own limited ability to endure hardship and disappointment. Rather, it is all about leaning on Jesus' ability, outworked through the Holy Spirit, leading and empowering us to stay on the right path. Let’s focus on God’s Word and His promises— even as we navigate the driest places— and trust that He will guide us all the way to our Promised Land!
You may also like