‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…’ (Heb 12:1-2a)
A new season will always require you to release the past in order to embrace the new thing that God is doing.
However, today I believe the Holy Spirit is highlighting another aspect of transition: ‘Pay attention to that which you must take with you into your new season.’
A baton speaks of the investment and calling from God that you are to carry forward. It can be traced through your past experiences, people that Father has brought into your life, your heritage and prior moves of God.
It is a heavenly deposit that you have stewardship of.
However, this baton to carry forward must be distinguished from any baggage that is to be left behind—hindrances that could keep you from moving freely forward into your new era.
Take the Baton and Leave the Baggage
An example of this can be seen at a pivotal point in Jacob’s life.
Jacob has left his long stay with Laban in Haran, to journey to the Promised Land of Canaan. Now at the Ford of the river Jabbok, he is confronted with God in a wrestling match. 
1. The Baton of Prophetic Identity
Your identity is prophetic in that it speaks of your destiny, your God-given purpose and who you are created to be.
For Jacob, it is the identity to be God’s chosen, covenant people. This baton has passed from Abraham to Isaac, and now to Jacob. However, there a lie about Jacob’s identity that needs to be exposed in order for him to fully embrace who God has called him to be.
We see incidences of lying and deceiving in Abraham and Isaac’s life, manifesting to an even greater degree in Jacob’s journey. In fact his very name means ‘supplanter’ or ‘usurper.’ 
Now at Jabbok, God asks, ‘What is your name.’ Jacob confesses his name and along with it, his weakness and failing.
It is a moment of truth.
God gives him a new name, speaking to his prophetic identity: ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel’, meaning ‘God prevails’ or ‘who prevails with God’. 
From this time on, his tribe will also be identified as ‘Israel.’
It is time to clarify your prophetic identity. Now is the time to own it. Hear your Father saying, “It’s time to run! Take the baton and leave the baggage!”
2. The Baton of Blessing
A baton of God’s blessing has been passed forward from Abraham to Isaac, and now directly to Jacob. However, there has also been some baggage that has tripped Jacob up along the way.
Earlier in his life Jacob schemed and deceived to get the firstborn blessing off Esau. Ironically he did not need to. He was already blessed by God’s word given to his mother Rebekah. At this time of transition, blessing is being contested for in Jacob’s life.
Fear of harm from Laban and Esau—those he has wronged—has brought Jacob to a place of crisis.
Now, in this moment of encounter with God, Jacob is defending himself. God wants him yielded and surrendered, but he is resisting. All night the wrestling continues, for Jacob is a strong man physically.
Jacob now reveals an intense determination for God’s blessing. ‘I will not let you go until you bless me.’ Finally, he recognises that the only source of true blessing is God.
God overcomes Jacob by wrenching his hip permanently and he walks away with a limp, a mark of physical weakness. (Gen 32:31)
The New Testament records this new man of faith leaning on his cane and passing on the baton of blessing to the next generation. ‘By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.’ (Hebrews 11:21)
Your Heavenly Father wants you to know that you are already blessed as His child. You are blessed in His covenant, through Jesus. (Gal 3:9, 14)
It is time to run with the baton of blessing. Others may have spoken negative things about you, but God has blessed you, and nothing and nobody can take that blessing away.
3. The Baton of Encounter
Abraham and Isaac had their own encounters with God. There have also been significant moments in which Jacob himself has encountered God, beginning with Bethel. (Gen 28) Now Jacob and his family have to cross the ford of the river Jabbok in order to enter the Promised Land.
‘Jabbok’ means emptying. 
At this place called ’emptying’, Jacob has an up close and personal encounter with God; one that is unique to him and not experienced by anyone else in the Bible. He leaves that encounter saying, “I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” (Gen 32:30)
You may feel as though you have been going through a time of emptying and transition.
Know that God has called and created you to encounter Him. And right now is a season of encounter as He launches you into a new era. Hear your Father saying:
“I have been present with you in the emptying. And I have allowed the emptying so that I may fill you, fill your hands and fill your storehouse and provision and in this new season, give you a resurrection harvest.”
As you faithfully hold on to the baton God has placed in your hand, and keep forward focused, your eyes fixed on Jesus, you will enter the inheritance that God has for you.
 Read Genesis 32 for the full story.
 Strongs H3290
 Strongs H3478
 Strongs H2999
Is God speaking to you about taking a baton forward into your new season, or do you have a testimony to share? Leave a message in the comments section, on Facebook or on Instagram. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.