It is always a humbling experience to bring the message before God’s people. Yesterday I had this opportunity, and shared a word on “Embracing Your Season”. Here I have done my best to communicate the gist of what I was able to verbally express, and I pray you are all content in whatever season you’re in, completely trusting in our loving Father.
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMP)
This is a pretty familiar verse, and while it’s referring to seasons of life and timing, I can’t help but think of the weather. You can live almost anywhere (maybe not California, lol) and experience the true change of climate that comes with each season. Whether by month, or temperatures rising and falling, you know a chilly winter precedes spring, spring comes with rain and lush greenery, summer heats things up, then a mellow fall balances it all out.
For the most part, you not only know what to expect at these different times of year, but when to expect it, and preparing for these various changes becomes a routine part of life. But happens when you’re in a “personal season” that’s not determined by the weather? Of course there are those times in our life where the season comes and goes just as we expect, but if that doesn’t happen, what then? Life isn’t so predictable! Maybe it came too quickly and you were caught off guard, or more often than not, you feel like you’ve been waiting for a change to come for far too long. So I ask the question, how do we embracethe season we’re in?
SEASON – a: a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature; b: a suitable or natural time or occasion; c: an indefinite period of time
I understand there are those down-trodden times in our lives (financial woes, marital strain, etc.), and no, I’m not asking you to give these circumstances warm fuzzy hugs. This is not the “embrace” I’m referring to. However, another definition means “to take in with the eye or the mind”. Are you taking in your present situation, or are you too busy trying to take the control from God?
Too often we try to be the ones to determine how long we feel like we should be in a particular season. We want to govern our lives as we see fit, and many times it’s with good reason. Maybe you’re suffering an ailment (look at the life of Job), being persecuted by someone you know, or being treated unfairly at the workplace. You have moments when you feel like nothing will change the state that you’re in, and you are SO ready for a different outcome. At this time, don’t allow feelings of impatience or anxiety to get the best of you. You’ve got to let go of that control, because that’s not going to hurry God along. Instead, learn to be content:
Philippians 4:6 (AMP) “6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
Making this petition (supplication) before the Lord means that you’re confident enough in God’s promises to fully transfer the burden to Him. Do you really want that change to come? Go to Him! He hasn’t forgotten about you or left you in the cold. He’s not up there checking His watch, or rather, Smartphone, every 5 minutes to see if there’s been a change. He doesn’t chant “are we there yet”, like we do, because we’re not getting “there” fast enough. Instead He says be patience my child. Don’t you trust me?
Philippians 4:7 (AMP) And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
That trust must be there in order for you to experience that peace. Regardless of where you are, you’re in Christ, and that assurance should lead to the greatest form of contentment!
Philippians 4:8 (AMP) For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
How can you possibly embrace anything if you’re only thinking about the negative, complaining all the time, and even comparing your situation to someone else‘s? Remember that God shows no partiality, and it will serve you best to focus on what He has for you, instead of being jealous of what you think you know about your neighbors situation.
Philippians 4:9, 11-13 (AMP) Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.11 Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”
Are you satisfied in Christ’s sufficiency? Is He alone, enough to sustain you? I pray your answer is yes!!
Once you’ve come to grips with where you are, you must also be ready to move when you’ve received the green light from Jesus. Don’t become too busy giving Him lip service to do something about it! You’re discouraged because you’re not where you want to be, but you’re too comfortable or afraid to really make that change. You say you’re ready for marriage, kids, a new job, going back to school, whatever, but you’ve got to have faith!
Hebrews 11:6 (AMP) “But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].”
How can you possibly expect Him to move you into another season, do “a new thing” for you, your family, your workplace, etc., and YOU DON’T EVEN BELIEVE HE’S WHO HE SAYS HE IS, AND YOU DON’T TRUST HIM WITH WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?!!
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (AMP) 7 [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.
Once you make that decision to step out on faith, understand the enormous benefits of fully relying on Our Mighty Savior.
1 Timothy 6:6 (AMP)“[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.”
Sincere reverence and respect for God (AND HIS TIMING) will cause your mind to be at peace, knowing you have all-sufficiency in Him! We only win when we move (or don’t move) with Him, and we will surely fail every time we try to do it all ourselves.
On a final note, this also goes for ministry work of all kinds. Maybe you’re wearing multiple hats, praying for a new building, or seeking growth among the Body. It can be overwhelming, and that thought arises: after all, we’re really doing these things for YOU Lord, don’t you want to see them come to fruition? If you moved things along, sent that million dollar check our way and got us our building we could be long gone from this season! I thought you wanted to see growth and that you had our best in mind. It’s all for the purpose of up-building your Kingdom, so when will the change come?
Meditate on this:
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Galatians 6:9 (AMP)
Don’t stop at the first half of that verse. Prepare for what’s to come while not losing heart over where you are now.
In conclusion, your season is not determined by a worldly calendar. How often do we fear we’ve “missed it” if it doesn’t happen just when we want it to? You’re on God’s timetable and He’s never late!! Yes, Dec. 31st marks the end of the year, and Jan. 1st the start of something new, but these dates aren’t meant to confine God or put Him in a box. Personally I’m glad to know my God is working year round, and as I embrace my season with full confidence and faith in the Lord, I hope you will too!!
Are you ready to embrace your season?
Blessings to you all!!