Connie Hunter-Urban: In Between
The following article was written by my husband, Wade Urban, and was first published in our newsletter in 2012.
2 Cor.1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
Whatever God promised, already exists. It was created when He spoke it. This is true of the written Word of God as well as His rhema, the spoken Word through Holy Spirit. Heb. 11:3 states, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” However, do we have enough faith to transport the reality of that Word (the framed creation) from the invisible spiritual realm where it exists into the natural realm? The Kingdom Principles of Dominion and Representation (Gen. 1:26) dictate that Spirit-filled believers are responsible for God’s covenant promises being manifested on earth. In fact, we’re responsible for which reality exists on earth, heaven or hell. All too often, those having only information and no experience with this truth lean to perverted doctrine prevalent in much of the church today. That is, if we pray for something and God doesn’t respond in our time, t wasn’t His will for it to happen. I hear that over and again from those who should know better. I’m referring to the time “in-between” receiving God’s promise and provision or manifestation of that promise. In-Between is the critical period determining if and when the provision will occur. A lot goes on in-between; we need to understand what’s required of us if we’re going to move beyond His promises into His provision.
In-Between is a time of change as we transition from old mindsets to the new mindset required for God’s provision. Just mentioning change sends chills down the backs of many believers who detest anything requiring such an outrageous requirement. Much of the church is trapped in the bondage of the familiar and comfortable. Many are so tied to denominations they can’t accept anything different from what Great Grandpa did 100 or more years ago. They even play the same songs, once fresh and anointed by Holy Spirit for that time. What they don’t realize is Great Grandpa was following Holy Spirit with fresh revelation that precipitated that move of God. Now, instead of pursuing His presence, they gather around a set of God’s footprints and try to work up an anointing that long since moved on. I understand God’s nature is changeless: He is love; but, His ways are always changing, and He expects us to follow wherever He goes! Ps. 55:19 warns, “Because they do not change, therefore they fear not God.” Isaiah prophesied, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa. 42:9); and, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? (Isa. 43:18-19). Today, this is considered too radical. I can hear moans of, “We’ve never done it that way before!” The Lord said, “I’m done doing things that way; don’t even consider it anymore!” How many leaders have heard God say that, but responded, “Lord, don’t you know how much we’ve got invested in the old way, and besides it’s still working fine.” Maybe that’s why God’s presence and Holy Spirit’s power are absent from so many places. Could this be why people aren’t going from God’s promises into His provision?
Israel had a problem with change as well. They liked what they saw and understood. An invisible God was hard for them to understand. Numbers 21 details Israel’s journey in the wilderness, complaining against God and Moses about conditions and being freed from Egyptian bondage. In response, God released fiery serpents among them, and many died. Moses interceded for them, and the Lord told him to fashion a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole. Anyone bitten should look at the bronze serpent and be healed. This was symbolic of Jesus who became the curse for us and was lifted up on the cross. Fifteen generations later, at the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign as king over Israel, he removed and destroyed all idol worship, including the serpent on the pole from Moses’ time. It had become something Israel burned incense to and worshipped as “Nehushtan” (2 Kgs. 18:4). I ask, “Are we still worshipping our own serpents on a pole?” The serpent on the pole was a symbol of a past move of God, to my way of thinking not a whole lot different from a move which started a denomination.
When we venerate THINGS of God—a past move, doctrines, denominations or anything else—more than GOD, we’re creating idols which take His place. To succeed in our In-Between time and go from God’s promise to His provision, we need a change of focus. We must get our eyes off the temporal, including old traditions which make the word of God of no effect (Mk. 7:13) and fasten our eyes upon Him. We must not worship His footprints but track Him until we find His presence, never again allowing anything to distract our attention from Him! Satan is a master illusionist, deceiving people into believing all they see and hear with natural eyes and ears. These things are temporary; only God’s Word and promises are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). Sometimes our biggest distractions from God are THINGS of God. In-Between provides an opportunity for us to re-focus on Him, not His stuff.
A major test of In-Between is when we must go empty-handed after we’ve turned the OLD loose and readied ourselves for the NEW thing God’s promised. Feelings of emptiness precede fulfillment. One by one we must close doors of the past—on both failures and successes—in order to walk through His door to our provision. Closure is an essential step In-Between. Without good closure, your new beginning will never materialize. Too often, we want our options left open, just in case. God only has one plan, no options, no back doors. In-Between time is testing then promotion, and demonstration of willingness and obedience is part of our test. Isa. 1:19-20 explains, “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the edge of the sword’; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” No need to clarify that!
We’re not the only ones who’ve gone through testing of In-Between times. Peter had a test of a major mindset change in Acts 10. On a rooftop in a trance, he saw a sheet come down with forbidden animals on it. In the trance, he heard the Lord say, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat.” Peter responded in astonishment, “No way Lord, You know my tradition, I’d never eat that stuff!” This happened three times until the Lord said, “What God has cleansed you must not call common” (Vs. 15). The Lord was testing Peter to see if he would permit a new mindset for the new move He intended to bring the Gentiles into the Kingdom. Until that time, disciples thought Christianity was a sect only for the Jewish religion. They had no idea Gentiles would become a part of them. Their tradition was that anything Gentile was unclean and forbidden, even going into a Gentile’s house! Our traditions often become bigger than God when we put them ahead of Him. The greatest hindrance to going from promise to provision, the NEW thing God promised, is how we think about the OLD thing God said is over.
How have you handled In-Between times? Have you given up hope of seeing God’s provision? Perhaps you’ve resisted the change required for manifestation. Could it be there’s something you’ve yet to turn loose of that’s keeping you from God’s promise? God always desires to promote and advance His children. Jer. 29:11 explains His heart, “For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” He’s always thinking of how He can bless and promote you. He’ll never put you in a position you can’t handle, so He offers tests to see if we’ve mastered life’s lessons so we be promoted into His promised provision. Faith, not talent, is the qualifying element to take you through In-Between into your provision and destiny in Christ. Amen.