Friday, October 25, 2019

Times & Seasons


Our lives are made up of seasons that come and go. Some things stay the same while other things change periodically. God has designed mankind to live and work through these seasons. He has appointed these seasons, yet He gives us time so we can make decisions and learn from our choices.
11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11.
God makes everything appropriate in its time. There is a season for everything. He appoints the seasons of our lives, yet He gives us the ability to choose what we will do with our time within those seasons. God has given everyone a free will. The ability to choose.
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; Acts 17:24-27.
Not only does He determine seasons, but the boundaries of mankind--of the nations. Naturally, the season you are in is affected by location as well as time. Winter in Florida is much different then winter in northern Michigan. This affects how you live to a certain degree, yet you still have a choice of what to do with your time during that winter season. When we are in the right place at the right time, we will be in the right season of our life. Within those seasons, we make decision that will affect tomorrow--upcoming seasons--and even future generations.

Seasons are designed for growth. For the most part, we determine the speed and level of our growth.  There are certain things appointed for us to learn and experience during a season which will cause us to grow to a point where we can flourish in the next season. Yet, we can affect the growth we will experience in a season by our choices. God prepares us for upcoming seasons. He doesn't push us into things before we are ready. We may not always think we are ready, but He knows when we are. He gives us time to grow, time to learn, and time to see the consequence of our decisions. 

God, by His grace, keeps us in a season long enough to give us time to grow, which prepares us for the next season so it won’t destroy us. If we're not getting it, He is patient. However, there may be times we are launched into the next season, ready or not. This too is a learning experience. We must use our time wisely so we are prepared for what's ahead. Make the most of your time (Ephesians 5:16). If you feel stuck in a season when you sense you should be moving to the next, look at what you're doing with your choices--time, money, space, relationships etc.

It may be tempting to try and hurry through a season when its not time. Some seasons are more difficult than others. Trying to rush through a season could be destructive for ourselves or others. It may open a door for the enemy. On the other hand, God may shorten the days of a season. At the end of this age He will shorten the days of that season to save His people. 
20 Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. Mark 13:20.
Job had entered a season. He was a righteous man who went through a season where he lost everything--children, wealth etc. That was followed by a season where he lost his health. He went through very difficult times. Job remained upright, but he didn't have a proper perspective on his situation which God corrected when He spoke to him. Job repented and everything was restored to him.

Both of Job's difficult seasons began with accusations from the enemy. God doesn’t take accusations lightly, even from the accuser himself-Satan. God answers the accusations with evidence. In this case, the evidence was that Job maintained his righteousness during trying times. As you maintain your faithfulness to the Lord during difficult times, you are providing evidence God can use to silence the accuser.

What is your season right now? Each season has a purpose. Are you in a spring season of new growth and energy? Or a summer season of maintaining during dry, hot times? Are you in a fall season of harvest? Or is it a winter season of rest and regrouping? Whatever the season, maintain your faithfulness to the Lord. 

When going through a season consider the following.
  • Your physical location. Are you in the place you are supposed to be?
  • Your family. What is going on in their life that affects you?
  • Your relationships with friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Are there changes to be made? Are you with the right people? Are the people you hang with part of your tribe--ones who help you get closer to the Lord instead of keeping you away? (Luke 5:17-26).
  • Your source of provision. How are you provided for? Where does your money come from? Is this in alignment with the Lord's will for you during this season?
  • Circumstances and coincidences in your life. Look for what the Lord is saying through these things. 
  • What are the characteristics of this season? Refreshing, plentiful, mountaintop, dry, hot, laborious, etc. 
  • What has been going on that you haven’t been able to change? Ask the Lord what you need to do with your time, choices, money, in this season, so the proper changes and positioning can occur.
  • Make an intentional pursuit of the Lord. Be a student, a disciple of the Word and the Lord. Don't wait for a special leading or goosebumps.
  • Remain faithful to Him at all costs. The trying of your faith/faithfulness is more precious than gold. (James 1:3).
  • Ask for His perspective of your season. You are seated with Him in heavenly places. Take a look at your life from His point of view. (Ephesians 2:6).
  • Love and seek the truth even if it costs. That is the protection against deception. (Proverbs 23:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).
Four point to remember during a difficult season:

1. Honor Him. Praise Him. Fear Him, not people or circumstances. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowing He is the all-powerful God puts everything in proper perspective. (Psalm 22:23-26Proverbs 9:10)

2. Know Him. Know He is good. He is love. If you see Him as mean, unforgiving, and unreasonable, you won’t do with your time what you need to. Time is a gift. There are certain gifts that everyone has been given. Time is one of those. Don't bury your time-talent. (Psalm 34Matthew 25:14-30). Don't waste your gift of time. Know that He will help you fulfill your call.

3. Trust Him. Job said his hope/trust in God would remain even if He killed him. (Job 13:15). He knew that the Lord knows best. He will not fail us. It's much easier to trust Him if you know Him, and know He is good.

4. Wait for Him. Remain faithful during the tough times. Be patient throughout the season you are in. Through faith and patience we inherit the promises. (Psalm 27:11-14; Isaiah 40:31; Hebrews 6:12). 

Father God, help us to recognize the season we are in right now. Help us to clearly see the proper choices we need to make regarding what to do with our time, our money, our relationships and everything else necessary for us to be ready for the next season.