Sometimes a season of elevation is accompanied by a bittersweet victory. The word bittersweet can be defined as pleasure accompanied by suffering. When we think of an airplane, it typically experiences some form of turbulence before taking off to the next destination. Turbulence can be described as a great commotion or rumbling. As I entered my season of elevation, I found myself under attack!
I watched someone close to me become an enemy. I found myself with more bills than money, and my place of employment started to become very stressful. The Amplified Version of Isaiah 54:17 mentions the following, “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed” I realized that God has the final say, and that he’s in complete control of every situation that I encounter. He has the ability to supply EVERY need that we have. God will never let us starve without a plan to feed us!
Although these attacks won’t prosper, I realized that they could still drain my spirit if I didn’t disconnect from the figurative “War Zone” or allow these attacks to keep me grounded. An airplane can’t reach it’s next destination while remaining on the runway. The same concept applies to us. Separation is often necessary for elevation!
Leave The Past Behind!
Elevation often involves exchange! As The Message Translation of Romans 6:1-3 states, “.... If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!"
Two years ago, I found myself packing for my first international cruise. While preparing my luggage for the trip, I realized that it couldn’t exceed the 50 pound weight limit. This meant that I had to make a decision on what to pack and what to leave behind! If my suitcase was over the weight limit, I potentially could’ve missed the trip of a lifetime. Don’t miss your season of elevation due to carrying too much baggage!
When God is elevating you to a new level, everything and everyone can’t come with you! As the scripture states, you are starting a new life in a new place. Our past desires and failures have to be left behind for our future aspirations and victories! As The Message Translation of Romans 6:6 tells us, “....Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ”
Verses 12 through 14 go on to add, “That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.”
It’s difficult to complete God’s plan when you’re connected to something that he wants you to break away from. Our alignment often determines the outcome of our assignment! We have to learn to exchange the old for the new! God can’t send us new blessings if we are holding onto old burdens. Dwelling on previous failures never leads to new victories, and old sin can’t tell us how to live our new lives!
As my mom said during a recent ride home, old doors have to be closed in order for new ones to open. We have to learn to close the door on anything taking us away from God or his purpose for our lives. We can’t start a new chapter if we are stuck on the previous one! Leave the past behind and pursue the future that God has prepared for you!
As we enter our season of elevation, we have to remember that we serve a God that makes ALL things new. To illustrate this, I would like to look at The Message Translation of John 1:40-42:
“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John’s witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” (that is, “Christ”). He immediately led him to Jesus. Jesus took one look up and said, “You’re John’s son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter, which means “Rock”).”
God strategically changed Simon’s name to Peter. The New Living Translation of Matthew 16:18 explains why: “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
Peter was chosen to be the rock that the church was built on. This is why the past has to be left behind. God may have a greater assignment ahead of you, one of this magnitude and a better version of you is required to complete it! God needs “Peter” in your next season. This may be bittersweet for some, but this is what’s necessary for elevation.
As Jesus told Peter, “upon this rock I will build my church.” As I entered my season of elevation, I realized that my “Simon” couldn’t accomplish the work that was assigned to “Peter”. The Hebrew meaning of the name, Simon is listening. My last season involved listening. This season is about leading and being on the front line for the Lord!
In your season of elevation, you can’t afford any distractions. They are too expensive, and could potentially cost you your calling!
People versus Purpose
If you have to chose between a person and your purpose, that individual may have to be left behind as you take your flight to the next phase of your calling. As The New Living Translation of 1 Corinthians 15:33 states, “bad company corrupts good character.”
You have to surround yourself with people that bring the best out of you. As the scripture states, the wrong association could taint or corrupt an individual with admirable character. So it’s important to pay attention to the company we keep.
You don’t want to surround yourself with people that bring out the worst in you or take you back to a level that you graduated from. I realized that being taken out of my character wouldn’t help me reach my calling. We have to learn to replace what isn’t being reciprocated!
Some people and thoughts act as anchors and keep us grounded. This isn’t limited to relationships. This could be friends or anyone holding us back from becoming what God wants us to be. As the final part of Romans 6:14 states, “...you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.”
Sometimes the person that holds us back the most is ourselves. We become so used to living our old lives and staying connected to our old ways that we can’t see the new opportunities and blessings that God has prepared for us! That’s why leaving the past behind becomes vital in our season of elevation. We can’t become who God needs us to be if we are stuck on what we used to be or the people and things that hindered us.
As you enter your season of elevation, remember what you are called to do and realize that everything and everyone can’t come with you!