Grace and Peace!
Today’s positive thought: “The Seasons of Life” Seasons come and go; they have a beginning and an end. We just finished the summer season and we are passing through the fall season. The trees will be changing colors and soon shedding their leaves. We are approaching our winter season, a time a hibernation and rest, and then we will be starting springtime, a time of planting and new growth. An orchard farmer plants in spring, maintains the elements for growth in summer, harvests at the start of autumn, and allows the trees to rest in winter. Knowing the season allows the farmer to work in accordance to the tree's activity. The farmer coordinates his activities by seasons because he knows it will produce the most fruit. Just like the seasons of the year, our faith has seasons. Do you know the seasons of your faith or what season you are in right now? Psalm 1:3 “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers”.
Jesus used the parable of the fig tree (Mat 24:29-31) to illustrate that we need to be aware of our spiritual surroundings and seasons. One of the greatest tragedies for Christians is that they do not recognize the season they are in. For example, if a Christian is in a winter season and becomes nervous that he/she doesn’t see any fruit appearing in their life, they may commit to joining new ministries in order to force themselves to produce fruit. No matter how hard they try, they won't produce fruit until God produces it in them. We fail to recognize our seasons and work with God. What should Christians do in the different seasons? In every season, being in touch with God is essential.
During Springtime look for the leading of God in new activities and ventures into new opportunities. On the personal level, these can be activities like new ways of doing your daily devotions or new relationships with encouraging saints. Regarding ministry, springtime can bring new ministries; more ministry helpers or new ways of serving God. Be careful not to invest too much of yourself in all these new things because, just like a fruit tree, not every blossom will lead to fruit.
Spiritual Summer is a time of spiritual development and fruit bearing. Regarding your personal spiritual development, you might find yourself learning to study scripture better, having better devotions where you feel God's presence more regularly. Regarding your ministry, you might find God giving you strategic insights; you may be more effective in your ministry or you have a new sense of anointing. On the other hand, Satan will attempt to divert you; to cause you to put your energies into non-fruit bearing activities. Some of these activities could be attempts to maintain some of the temporary blossoms that were never intended to bear fruit.
Again, being connected with God is critical for producing and maturing the fruit that God is giving you. Not only does He give all the resources for fruit bearing, but He knows which activities are "suckers" and He will cut them off if we allow Him.
During spiritual Autumn, our spiritual growth will be shrinking back, but the demands from us increase. It is interesting that the greatest harvest of fruit comes when the tree is heading for a season of rest. It’s incorrect to say that a person in spiritual autumn does not have God's anointing; God anoints all the spiritual seasons. On a personal level, during spiritual autumn you may be feeling a need to return to the basics of the faith, or a new commitment to the spiritual disciplines of fasting, praying, solitude, individual worship and devotion; things which in themselves, seem to produce little fruit but are essential for our Christian walk.
Lastly, there is winter.
Spiritual Winter is the most uncomfortable time for many Christians. Spiritual winter is like the Sabbath. The Sabbath rest does not mean not doing anything. I know of many people who, when they go on vacation, skip their daily devotions and they take a vacation from God. But this is not the rest of the Sabbath. During the Sabbath, God instructed people to keep the rest holy to God and reflect on the things that God had done for them. What should we deny? Whatever keeps our minds from reflecting on God's goodness. They might include watching TV or reading that novel. They could include sports or shopping. They might even include catching another bible study or getting involved with another ministry. We need to discipline ourselves to stay connected with God during our rest because our natural inclination is to wander spiritually when we are in a season of rest. Exodus 34:21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest”.
Also, during spiritual Winter, it is normal to feel like God is not hearing our prayers or speaking to us. We may feel like we are having a "wilderness" experience. Our inclination is to pray harder or to do more; but we don’t think about just remaining still. We must remain still in the season of rest. We may feel like our ministry is unfruitful. But during winter, there is no fruit bearing and it is a time of spiritual rest. In the winter, reflect on God and God's faithfulness to you and maintain an attitude of reverence before God. It’s God's perfect order that all creation rests periodically. God thinks so highly of rest that on the seventh day of creation, He rested too. When we don't rest, we've made our service an idol above God. When we squirm away from spiritual winter, we squirm away from Godliness. Genesis 2:3 “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation”.
Spiritual seasons are not spiritual conditions of the saint, nor a way of measuring Godliness. God ordains spiritual seasons to provide the greatest spiritual fruit bearing and the greatest spiritual growth. God's seasonal plan includes periods of growth and periods of rest. Recognizing the season you're in and responding appropriately to that season, is the best way to insure continued spiritual growth and a life that bears Godly fruit.
Overcomer, learn what season you’re in because it’s beneficial to your spiritual growth!
Ecclesiastics l 3:1 "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven."
Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!