Seasons are Subject to Change
Focus helps Perception
Focus is a clear vision, centered, focal point, hub, center of attention; very deep and central way to understanding the different signs and events which take place. Keeping focus will help to determine destiny.
All of these thoughts in this hub originated as I did a summation of my day after attending a Woman’s Advance workshop, at Rivers of Restoration Ministries, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 2011.
After the workshop I went home, and I got my Bible, pen and paper and I began to summarize what was inspired and to write it. The workshop was an enormous blessing for me. To identify with the seasons is introspectively a responsibility I just cannot ignore, I need to know where I am and which season am I currently going through.
I pray that you will be blessed by this summation and you too can ask the question. Which season am I currently going through? Or what were the triggers of the season you are currently going through? The premise of spiritual seasons are for the purpose of identifying and defining spiritual conditions within our lives.
There are naturally four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. The primary season of focus in this hub being winter. It is interesting how we adapt to winter naturally and make the necessary modifications we need to. Somehow the spiritual and soul winter involves a greater amount of discernment and attention to live victoriously..
I have been through many natural blizzards and storms which I would have to take full responsibility for making a bad decision and ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The conclusion I've reached is that timing has everything to do with it. Perhaps if I had ventured out a little earlier, or later, I may have escaped the impact of the inclement conditions. Those are also conclusions I can come to regarding trials and tribulation as well. Did I do everything I could not to end up in a storm? Blame is not the resolve when you must walk through a storm anyhow. It is the right resolve and solution that counts and the lessons you can learn too.
A season is a time of year, term, period, a traditional division of the year based on distinctive weather conditions. A customary time for something. Winter is the coldest season of the year, a period in which something is declining, inactive, or ending, a time of frost and coldness.
Some seasons bring with its storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, extreme heat, drought, winds, rains, and so much more. In the world we will have trials and tribulations, but if we would be of good cheer through it all, we tap into the power Jesus overcame the world with and His countenance helps us to overcome with good cheer. In the seasons of discontent we learn how to experientially live in victory.
Dr. Mark Chironna When you find yourself turning inward and disconnecting from the many outward voices demanding your attention, it is easy to feel as if there is something wrong with you. Realize that there comes a moment when you get weary of the season you are in because you are yearning for a change of seasons. The familiar loses its ability to sustain you, and energy wanes. Honor the ending, because renewal is just now beginning.
Yes, these are truly defining moments and there are hidden treasures that we will possess as the season passes and we embrace the next one with hope and expectation. These seasons assist us towards transition when we don't ignore the moments the season will define. I believe and receive this precious word above from Dr. Chironna. Grace and peace!
Autumn is the precursor to Winter
Autumn is a prelude to winter. Some define it as fall, and that is duly noted because of what happens to the leaves, they fall. I have adopted the term autumn because it is a dignified season, it resonates dignity and grace. The kaleidoscope of colors keep me looking up and beyond in profound amazement. The terrestrial goes through a seasonal change typical of only autumn. We may also go through times that parallel in many ways to the natural changes in the universe, yet these changes are in the spirit realm and affect our souls.
There are losses as we behold in the once green leaves of budding spring, and a bountiful summer, as they go through the drastic changes come autumn. It quakes the soul to know how these changes are significant in our lives. There we may be experiencing such beauty and there is so much more that needs to take place, yet the changing seasons can teach us not to become complacent and comfortable, but always be ready for change.
Autumn is also a forerunner to winter, and gives us warnings and alerts us that winter will be here soon, without a doubt. Squirrels and chipmunks are happiest little creatures, as the old oak pours down acorns for their time of harvest. There are changes that the terrestrial experiences, as the leaves dry out and fall to the ground. Autumn is as an alarm set off for us to take note that winter is not far behind it.
The contrast of the natural and spiritual is very thought provoking. Spiritual seasons are not like the natural, but just let us know that climate changes are a reality. It is possible to experience spiritual summer all year round. It is possible for seasons to overlap and be extended. In the natural we would know that this is not the ordinary flow. Winter has not come in summer, nor summer in winter. However, spring weather has shown up in winter and summer, and winter has been extended beyond spring.
During the arrival of the winter of the spirit we are oftentimes not prepared for it even when the signs of spiritual autumn has loudly announced it, by the falling of things in our lives, the closing of doors, and all the other untimely interruptions we may encounter. Yet, if we are honest with ourselves we saw the signs, just the falling of autumn leaves, preparing the way for winter can prepare the soul on how to endure trials and tribulations, as we are counseled through the Word and Spirit of God,.
Autumn known as fall is a season of pruning and purging, and getting rid of things which are not really necessary before winter comes. It is a time of death for trees, leaves will fall that will not appear come spring, and new life will emerge and end next autumn.
Seasons to me denote transition. Autumn prepares us for winter in many ways. First all of the trees vibrantly turn an array of colors, before drying out and the falling leaves. The soon coming barren state of the trees show us a type of death we call fall. These changes are indicative that the changes in the atmosphere and environments will eventually bring winter into fruition. There is a certain expectation we get, whether we are conscious of it or not, which is preparatory for the next season to emerge and materialize. This is true with each emerging season.
Winter is a very sober and serious time of year. We have to be cognizant of all types of weather fluctuations. The contrast I am about to make in the natural is parallel to the spiritual. In the natural, during the winter months we must put on coats, hats, scarves, sweaters, boots, socks, gloves, etc. to combat the cold and all the changes in the climate. The same principle is applicable in the spirit. We must exercise greater care in what we wear.
Girding up in the spirit, is an admonition we are given in order to combat principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high and low places, which are all types of inclement spiritual weather changes. Gird means bind, fix, attach it to you. It is really not very different than in the natural, during the winter needing those heavy garments in order to battle the cold.
Ephesians 6:11-17 instructs us, To put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand, stand therefore. Having your loins girt about with the truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith wherewith, ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Can you go outside in 20 below degree weather without your coat or a sweater? I guess you can, but would it be a good choice? The spiritual realm of winter is easily ignored until we trip over a not so nice attitude, or decision or soul bending issues, which we so desperately need to put under the blood of Jesus. The cold weather makes us desire to gravitate towards warmth. When we are going through spiritual winter it should do the same thing, make us navigate toward God and not accept anything which would prevent us from doing just that.
Let’s look for a moment at to put on the whole armor of God. How about your parents telling you to put on your coat on a cold, blustery day? Why? Because parents know that you will need your coat to keep warm. We need our armor too, to ward off all the destruction assigned against us. Naturally speaking, have you ever tried to get pass your parents without wearing the thermal backing necessary to face the cold? Did mom or dad have to ask you where is your coat, hat or gloves, or where in the world are you going without your coat? Or if you are a parent did you have to ask your child or children questions of that caliber?
The Holy Spirit is that fellowshipping abiding parental presence that gently advises us, and questions our motives, intents and desires by the Word of God. He helps us to try the spirit by the spirit, to know whether we are in line with the Word, in order to grant us the direction we need to know where we are and which season we are in.
Winter is a time of hibernation. You may not see some folk at all until winter is over. Winter is a time of reflection; it is a time to think and to wait. Have you ever seen people who when they see the sun on a winter day in March, they change their garments to shorts; some even go outside with short sleeves. The body wants to leap into spring but the weather is not consistent yet. Winter is still lingering on. The same way you would prepare yourself in the natural for change in the weather you must also prepare yourself spiritually for change.
I believe everyone has a working knowledge of grief associated with death. There is a sorrow that pierces to the very core of your soul, which only you can identify with. We as believers are taught differently. At a funeral we can experience joy in sorrow. We celebrate the life that the deceased person lived. We are experiencing at that particular moment a spiritual spring day in cold, cold winter. There is a point when you just cry or you ask why? That is spiritual winter. It is only when you turn to the Word for consolation and again see the need to gird up and not let heaviness consume you that you are comforted. I need to reach for the garments of praise to combat the spirit of heaviness. The Holy Spirit reminds us of this as He comforts our aching hearts.
Winter is cold and requires layers of clothing for warmth in order for the body temperature to be maintained. Winter is a time when the climatic elements change. Some of the elements during the winter months are snow, ice, cold and frost.
During winter naturally and spiritually we encounter obstacles, hindrances, problems, complications, hurdles, difficulties, impediments, and stumbling blocks, all of these things are weather conditions of winter we learn to endure. We can't really protectively look at winter without factoring obstacles into the equation. Natural weather predictions and conditions let us know what to expect, yet it appears that spiritually obstacles can take us by surprise. An obstacle is something that stands in the way or is opposition in our way. Diligence is the relentless determination regardless of all opposition.
These conditions can cause congestion and obstruction that can slow down mobilization which can make us travel at a slower and more careful pace. There are elements that are roadblocks to a mapped out destiny. The reference that I am making here is to the natural aspect of the season we know as winter. It is a figurative truth; however, in contrast to the natural is the spiritual. I am calling it the winter of the spirit.
At this season we encounter trials, tests and tribulation. Jesus' cautioned this would happen in John 16:33, preparing us for adverse spiritual winter, so to speak. In the world you will have tribulation, which speaks that it is inevitable, but he encourages us to be of good cheer, because He has already overcome the world. He has given overcoming power to the Church. During this time we must gird up as well. Of course in all seasons we must gird up, we need certain articles of clothing all year round. Spiritual weather has climates that are typical of that particular season. During the winter of the spirit there are tests, trials, temptations, opposition, and adversity unlike any of the other seasons, it has its climates. As does natural winter.
There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3: 1 reminds us; to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. During spiritual winter there is a certain coldness that can only be combated by wearing our spiritual armor. Some of the spiritual climate indicators are sorrow, sadness, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, strife, anger, and all the works of carnality, slow us down. These are like snow and ice in natural winter. All the works of the flesh slow us down; the flesh is at enmity against God. Isn’t it interesting that the natural realm of winter can’t be ignored. Try wearing the coat you would wear in spring outside in the winter. Oops, just can’t ignore that cold can you?
Transition is essential in experiencing a season one at a time. We should be constantly changing just like the weather that accompanies each season. Although we can experience summer in spirit in spiritual winter, I don’t think we can naturally experience summer in winter, because there is still divine order operative in the universe. Sin has thrown everything off the perfect course that the Creator designed it to be. But, thank God for Jesus Christ who puts life back on course. Hallelujah!
The winter realm of the spirit is a desolate time. We can’t afford to take our armor off during any season of the spirit. We must always be girded up and prepared for all types of spiritual weather. The right to choose what is the good, acceptable, and the perfect will of God is detrimental to holistic living. Choosing to put on the garments of praise during spiritual winter is solely up to you and me. I can’t praise and worship God for you nor can you for me. We must have a personal witness in our spirits that knows that God is worthy of all of our praise all of the time and in every season. We were created too praise and worship God. There are no time outs. David knew that he had to speak to his soul and give it order. You find him talking to his soul quite often, telling his soul to bless the Lord. We must speak over our spirits and souls and constantly tell ourselves not to forget all of God’s benefits as well. When you are going through winter in spirit, murmuring and complaining seems to spring up. That is the time when I have to choose worship and praise over grumbling about anything. In choosing worship and praise over murmuring and complaining we are yielding to the transformation process and we are renewing our minds.
Spring the leap of joy
Spring is a time of year between winter and summer which many plants bring forth fruits, leaves and flowers, a time of renewal, new growth and regeneration. It is an action as well to jump, leap, bounce or coil.
Spring is such a delightful time of year, the birds begin this newness chirping in sweet refrain and adding more beauty to the environment as participants of the glory of God. It reminds me of singing a new spontaneous song in the spirit unto the Lord. When new songs burst forth it is a type of new birth. The spiritual spring is a time of refreshing waters washing away all the old and what is stale. It is a time of cleansing. I can see why the emphasis is placed on spring cleaning naturally.
There is a time for everything under the heavens. There is a time to grieve. Can you imagine being at a wedding feeling the emotions that are typical to what you would feel at a funeral? The divine orchestration of God has set in motion divine order, even for our emotions. God magnificently orchestrated the seasons. Each season consists of an equal span of time. Three months is the allowable span of time per season. To grieve, we are counseled that weeping may endure for a night or specifying a length time, such as spiritual winter, but joy comes in the morning. This speaks of going through winter, but expecting spring and summer to come forth producing the fruit of joy.
There is a brilliant arrangement of splendor for each season. God in His wisdom determined that three months, as we know it, was enough time for each season. Each season has it’s own characteristics and weather which fully define the time of year. The signs of the time demonstrate to us that sin has set in motion universal woes and calamities, which cause the seasons to overlap one into another. Winter is a time designated for cold, but it is not cold all year round.
Come out of winter, come forth and prepare your heart for spring. Spring forth with newness, be ready for new growth, look around you and see beauty emerge through nature and in spirit. Anticipate a renewal, refreshing, and increased faith. You’ve endured the winter in spirit. Now make your transition to spring with new hope and expectation. Flowers bloom, trees come back into fruition, sunshine is plenteous, there is an array of colors that speak of the majesty of God. It is presently March 2011. Spring has arrived, let the Son shine in your heart. Changes are inevitable and expected. Everything will just get brighter and brighter. Spring forth into worship and praise and you will witness for yourself the cares of this life drop off, it is like shedding that winter coat and putting on garments which are appropriate for the change in weather. Suddenly the cares of life don’t seem as mammoth as they did prior to being ushered out of winter into of spring of spirit. Burst forth into praise, worship the Lord most High. Adore, exalt, extol, praise, worship Him in spirit and in truth. Winter is officially over. A change of garments is in order. Behold the magnificence of God as spring unfolds, look up at the sky, see the trees go through their metamorphosis and display a kaleidoscope of colors as the seasonal changes take place. Lord help me to make the transitory move towards spring in spirit and to fold up winter in spirit.
A Healthy Countenance
Summer is the season in which the sun shines most directly, it is hot! Everything has fully bloomed come summer. Feasts and delightful foods are enjoyed. Summer is a season of sheer joy. I love summer it is a wonderful time of the year. This season expresses such mirth and merriment.
Can you think of summer without smiling? it seems during summer more people smile than any other season. Summer brings out the best in us somehow.
Summer makes me think of countenance. It is so much easier to praise God when the summer of spirit is a reality. King David had this dilemma only a season wasn't mentioned but an attitude worth exploring is. In Psalm 42, he has a conversation with himself, and asks Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. King David was going through a winter so to speak, and had to ask himself, why am I going through these changes, then instructs his spirit to praise God for the help of His countenance. The joy of the Lord is our strength. In others words he was saying it is God's countenance that makes my way bright, He lights up my day, each and everyday, I make a conscious decision to praise Him, o my soul. He is who I must depend on for spiritual summer, just like I trust Him that summer will follow spring naturally regardless of climatic changes, I must trust Him for spiritual summer and it warmth. How do you feel when the sun seems like it is shining directly on you? The rays of the sun make you feel as though you are the center of God's attention. The sun is His spotlight and that is how His countenance feels spiritually.
Spiritual summer is everyday when you see it through the Word and Spirit of God and you give God all the thanks, praise and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Summer is in full bloom; when we remember that everyday is a day that the Lord has made and rejoice and be glad in it.
Count it all joy! Embrace each spiritual season with God as its author and finisher. It may mean that we must wait for one season to pass, to experience the next, which means we don't mind waiting on the Lord!