I started this series talking about how the Lord moves in seasons while we tend to move in minutes and seconds. But recognizing His seasons in our lives is essential to walking with Him. Those seasons are at His pace, not ours. We must learn to slow down and realize He takes the long view - He has invested in us for eternity, already planning to show us how much He loves us in the ages to come according to Ephesians 2:7 - so we must learn to get our eyes off ourselves and our temporary human frailties and just walk with Him.
We tend to turn inward about how we have failed God, or what sinners we are, or surely God must not like me, and that's just plain wrong. We need to turn to the big picture by getting our eyes off ourselves, stop dividing our thoughts between the present and looking in the rearview mirror of life, and move on...He has!
The seasons of your life are no longer yours to control - they belong to Him
In John 7:4-8 Jesus' unbelieving brothers sarcastically told Him to go up to the feast for if He was from God then the things He was saying and doing should be done in public. Fortunately at least 2 of his brothers, James and Jude, later believed in Jesus and we have the New Testament letters of James and Jude testifying of that. (Matthew 13:55 lists them by name)
But Jesus told them in v6, "My season is not yet, but your season is always ready."
Before we knew the Lord we determined where we would live, where we would work, where we would go to school - our season was always ready, always subject to our slightest mood, whim, or change of plans. We determined the timing of our lives in all things.
Now that we know Him, we submit those seasons of our lives to Him for guidance, input, opinion, and direction. This is where many stumble, being so afraid of missing His perfect will that they won't make a move - paralyzed by fear. But seasons are longer in duration and within each season there is much room for movement and change. Spring can see everything from snow to warm sunshine - there is great movement within each season - and we shouldn't be afraid of missing it once we identify what season with God we are in, and what His purpose is.
God's ability to teach within any season of life is unequalled
Ecclesiastes 3:1 starts out saying: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." Solomon goes on to list some of those times and seasons which include a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest, and many other times and seasons, concluding in v10; "I have seen the travail which God has given to mankind to be trained in it."
This says God has given us these seasons of life to be trained in them. Whatever you are going through, it is for training, the benefits of which may not even be realized in this life, but in the age to come. There is something God can use from what you are going through, even if Satan in the midst of God's season, has done something horrible to you. The larger picture is the Lord is the Master at turning that which the enemy means for our destruction, into something that helps grow us in Christ.
That which has past, is now...
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 tells us "I know that whatever God does, it will be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor can anything be taken from it, and God does it that men would fear (reverential fear) Him. That which has been is now; and that which will be has already been; and God requires that which is past."
There is a lot in those 2 verses, but know that whatever God is doing in you right now, it is for eternity - it will be forever. How many things in life that you experience or set your hand to do can you say will be forever? Yet what the Lord does in us is forever - so go with the process, learn what you can in this season - it is eternal!
The other thing to see is this fact: That which has been, is now, and whatever will be has already been. God requires that which is past. It means if you don't learn the lesson now, you'll be faced with in on down the road in your future.
I was recently talking to a person contemplating moving to another part of the country for a fresh start, yet I knew the character and maturity issues the Lord was trying to work in them. So I told them they could go to all the expense and effort of moving, but within a short time they would be facing those same issues again - you can't run from God. Bloom where you are planted. Deal with the issue in your heart now, or you will see it again.
Verse 15 says God requires that which is past. It means He requires us to master our past, master the issues in the past - whether that be working through the injustices we've suffered, the mistakes we've made, or blessings we've seen - it means we are expected to learn and grow from what we've experienced!
If you have ever noticed that God tends to make seasonal changes in your life at the same time nature changes seasons, there is a reason for that - He moves in times and seasons and as part of His creation, so do we. So many people had a rough late winter and early spring ranging from the death of loved ones to financial crisis to wondering what is next for them in life.
What I encourage you with is that God moves in seasons, and there is a certain trust in that - that He has the seasons under His control, in His timing, and we are to just learn what we can in these seasons. He is faithful, but the beauty of each season isn't usually seen until near the end of that season. Spring starts off looking like winter, but the full beauty of springtime is seen very close to the end of the season of spring.
Allow each season to come to its fullness. What so many do is see off in the distance the next season, and they want to jump right into that season before experiencing the fullness of the season they are in...just wait...let whatever season you are in fully develop within you - you will know deep within, in your spirit, when the seasons change.
I just wanted to take a couple of weeks to talk about changing seasons to encourage you; whatever you are going through, something can be learned from it, growth and character can be developed within, and a season of rest will come after all that growth and stretching and character building. A quote from Mother Teresa that is appropriate here is this: "I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just with He didn't trust me so much."
And yet something the Lord told me, which is a play on words in English: "I am; I am always present, so you must e in the present to be in my presence."
Be in the present. Be in the moment. See how you can know Him today, now, in this season, in this day...be present with Him right now. Not mentally nor emotionally in the past, nor watching with one fearful eye on the future - but be in the present so you can be in His presence. He is always present, so to walk with Him you too have to be in the present.
That's it...new subject next week...love people, build bridges when they allow you to, and know the beauty of this season will be seen in its fullness...
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