Many have proclaimed this New Hebrew Year, 5774, the "Year of the Open Door." While I concur with that, I often look at things from an additional perspective that includes not only the revelation of the Holy Spirit but the ways of God. So, if it is the "Year of the Open Door," then it is helpful to ask: "What are the requirements to go from one stage to the next?" We need to consider: "To go through an open door, do you have to close some old doors first?"
I personally believe we are in a season of turmoil, upheaval and contention—resulting in change. We are at a crossroads of change. This is true politically in the Middle East, in the United States and in many other nations.
There are issues—such as global economics, the very moral foundation of this generation, concerns of social justice, required change in the body of Christ, and all the ramifications these bring into our personal lives and families. We truly need grace for this transition!
So, let's go on a journey together and see if we find some principles that will help us go from "promise revealed" to "promise fulfilled."
From Narrow to Transition to Enlargement
We are in a process of change. The government of the church is changing. Our authority level is changing. Our gifts are being drawn out of us in stretching dimensions. We have been and are going through places of testing and confinement in the body called a "narrow place."
What is this narrow place? This is a place less wide than we are accustomed to or have expected to be in. If we respond properly to the narrow or confined place, we will enter into the phase of transition to be brought into a larger place in the Spirit.
The new place is like the camel going through the eye of the needle. One school of thought is that it was a narrow gate. The only way a camel could get through it was to be unloaded. This is the needle—the narrow gate. This is a place of unloading the weights of the past and a place of fresh commitment to the cross, where we die to self all over again. The "narrow place" can lead us out of captivity into a new and open field.
How Can We Make the Transition?
Transition means "to pass from one condition into another." Transition times are when the Lord redefines and makes adjustments necessary for us to move forward. He gives us new focus and direction. He teaches us about Himself in a new way.
A transition, in a literary sense, is the phrase that connects the past communication or paragraph with the future thought. We must seek the Lord for revelation and the ways of God in times of change. His revelatory perspective bridges the past season with the new one. Without clear revelation and communication during transition, we can lose the strength and wisdom of our past victory. But we desperately need His strength to go from glory to glory.
At the time of birth, transition is the most difficult time. This is the time when the woman feels she cannot go any further. Only the vision of the child to come causes the endurance and perseverance toward the ultimate goal of a lineage and legacy being secured.
It isn't the new thing coming that is so hard to deal with; it's the transition from the old state of affairs to the new one. How we respond during the time of transition before the new birth makes all the difference.
As you travail in this season, ask the Lord to give you strategy to protect your vision. Remember, the dragon attempts to steal new birth (Rev. 12:4). Press forward! Cry out for greater grace to be granted to you to keep moving forward.
When these changes manifest, enlargement occurs. To enlarge is to expand, to set free, to become greater in size and intensity. Enlargement—or going through the new open door—is a process, not just a proclamation. Press through the narrow, withstand the transition, and receive enlargement.
The Process of Change
Here are few thoughts on the process of change:
1. A new level of revelation is released.
2. Your present vision starts to be adjusted.
3. New vision is secured and established.
4. A mantle of restoration is placed upon you.
5. You go through the healing process concerning things of the past.
6. A new identity is developed within you.
7. Fresh strategies are revealed to you.
8. You see a greater fullness of your inheritance before you.
9. You have the strength to overthrow your enemies.
10. You secure your new inheritance.
Observing from my own prayer posture in life and ministry experience, if you are experiencing a narrow place of confinement or you sense you are in transition, be assured. He is about to visit you with a fresh demonstration of His Spirit! May your resources increase and your trials become stepping stones to renewed power and revelation.
And know this: When you have come through the "new door," there are others who have been watching your pilgrimage. When you are strengthened, you will be enlarged to strengthen others in Jesus' name!
Dr. James W. Goll is the president of Encounters Network, director of Prayer Storm and coordinator of Encounters Alliance, a coalition of leaders. He is director of God Encounters Training, an e-school of the heart, and is a member of the Harvest International Ministries apostolic team. He has shared Jesus in more than 50 nations worldwide, teaching and imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He is the prolific author of numerous books and has also produced multiple study guides and hundreds of audio and video messages. James was married to Michal Ann for 32 years before her graduation to heaven in the fall of 2008. James has four adult children who all love Jesus, and he continues to make his home in Franklin, Tenn.