Sometimes what used to work for us will no longer work because God is changing our season, and he is trying to get our attention. And there are several signals he will give us, so we can recognize we are transitioning from one direction to the next.
Pay Attention to Persecution
One of the signs we will receive is persecution. Jesus said, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another…” (Matthew 10:23 KJV). Yes, God may have sent you to that area or group of people. But when they begin to mistreat and reject you, it is time to move on.
Pay attention when the countenance of the people surrounding you begins to change. They used to smile in your faces and be happy to see you. Now they are standoffish. Jesus showed us how to handle situations like these in Mark 3.
Jesus was preaching in a synagogue and there was a man there who had a withered hand. Jesus told the man to stretch out his hand, and when the man obeyed, his hand was restored. Instead of rejoicing over the miracle God had performed, “the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him” (Mark 3:6).
What did Jesus do? Did he stay there, fasting and praying? No. The Bible says, “Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea” (Mark 3:7).
Some battles are not worth fighting. When King Saul began throwing spears at David, David fled. I believe the Holy Spirit is warning someone to withdraw from certain types of company. Do not stay in a place where the people are you are seeking to destroy you. Do not even stay in a place where you are tolerated. Go where you are celebrated.
Shake the Dust
In Mark 6, Jesus was preaching in his hometown, and “he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:5-6a). There was nothing wrong with Jesus, his ministry, or his message. But the people were full of doubt. They refused to believe that God was working so mightily through someone they were so familiar with.
How did Jesus respond to these people? The Bible says, “And he went round about the villages, teaching” (Mark 6:6b). Go around the people who are trying to grieve your spirit. Go around the people who do not want to receive from you, and go to the people who are hungry for the anointing that God has placed on your life.
Do not stay where you are, wearing yourself out trying to convince the naysayers. You are wasting your time. Jesus said if they do not receive your message, shake the dust off (Matthew 10:14). They may have a form of godliness, but they have no faith. The Bible says, “from such, turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Follow the Cloud
It is time to bust the move. Follow the cloud and not the crowd. God has a group of people who will appreciate you, who are desperate for what you have to offer. Your assignment has changed. The Holy Spirit is ordering your steps and calling you to bigger and better. Will you go? Lift your hands to heaven in surrender and say, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.”
Pastors Sean and Aimee Pinder