Ways to Identify Your Spiritual Season
God is so orderly that He divided the year into four quarters and we know those times as seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn (Fall). Only here in America, do we call it Fall. Everyone else calls it Autumn.
God promised us seasons to indicate the order of nature. Do you know that every person goes through four seasons as well? Do you know that every church goes through four seasons? Do you know that your marriage goes through seasons? Seasons affect all of us and everything we do.
We fail when we look for snow in the summer and flowers in the winter. We must be realistic and look forward to the right things during the right seasons for our lives just as we look forward to certain things to happen during each season of the calendar year. According to Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven."
What Seasons Tell Us
Seasons dictate to us how we dress. You will not wear your fur coat in the hot summertime no matter how much you love the coat.
Seasons dictate to us what activities we engage in. You might go to the beach, to the park, and attend outdoor events in the summer but not during the winter months.
Seasons dictate to us what we eat. Oh, how we love those watermelons in the summer and hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill at cookouts.
Seasons have a lot to do with our moods and our attitude. You are usually in a better mood when you are in a season that you really like.
Seasons Affect Every Aspect Of Our Lives
The seasons are not the same all over the world. The seasons occur depending on where you live geographically. Seasons change in our lives based on where we are in our spiritual development. There is a way to chart the seasons in nature, and there is a way to chart our own spiritual seasons.
There is a natural cycle of the calendar year. However, you will be disappointed if you try to parallel your spiritual life with the natural seasons of winter, spring, summer, or fall.
A natural season is one of the four major divisions of the calendar year resulting from the yearly revolution of the earth around the SUN. Spiritual seasons depend on our personal relationships and how our lives revolve around the SON.
The seasons are so harmonized so that while each season has its own characteristics, one season could not operate on its own without the aid of the other three seasons. The rainy season is meant to bring forth rain, and the season of harvest is meant to bring forth abundant crops.
WINTER is the season with the shortest days and the lowest average temperatures. It has the coldest weather with snow and ice. Winter is a time or inclement weather when people regard themselves as vulnerable. Winter is the season we associate with short days and limited sunlight. Winter is a time when you might feel cold and uncomfortable. Any farmer will tell you, winter is not a time to plant but to beginning planning what to plant during the next season.
Our spiritual winter is a time of darkness. The trees are barren and the flowers have withered and died. Spiritual winter is the most uncomfortable time for many Christians, We might feel that God has deserted us during our Spiritual Winter, but this is the time to curl up in God's lap for warmth and intimacy. There He will give you directions for planting new crops for the next season. It is also the time to exist on what has been stored from previous harvests.
Winter is the time for evaluation, planning, and preparation. It is time to shovel snow and ice from the driveway of your mind. It is time to learn to navigate the icy roads as you go about your business. It is the time when praise should be an automatic habit for it will keep your heart warm before a holy God.
Spiritual winter is like the Sabbath. 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 do more, but we should remain in the season of rest. We may feel like our ministry is unfruitful and assume it is dying. But during winter, there is no fruit and it is a time for spiritual rest. In winter, reflect on God and God's faithfulness to you. Also, maintain an attitude of reverence before God.
Winter is the time to PLAN for the upcoming seasons.
SPRING marks the transition from winter into summer. According to the Bible, spring is the time when kings go off to war (2 Samuel 11:1; 1 Chronicles 20:1). Spring is the time for romance with avid descriptions of buds and blossoms (Song 2:11-14; 7:11-13). Spring brings new leaves and blossoms on the trees.
Spring is the time to plant and carry out the instructions gleaned from your winter experience. From having spent time with God, you will have the spiritual and physical energy to break up your fallow ground.
Spring is the time to come out of the darkness of winter. You will see the first signs of vigor and life returning to the earth. Solomon said, “Lo, the winter is over; the rains are over and gone” (Song of Songs 2:11).
Flowers will push through the damp soil; frogs will croak in the barely thawed ponds, and you will enjoy the feel of the first warm breeze upon your face.
Spring reminds us of the eternal cycle of death and rebirth and renewed life. Spring is the re-emergence of life. It indicates a balance of growth and decay; youth and maturity, innocence and experience.
During springtime, look for the leading of God in new activities and ventures into new opportunities. On a personal level, find new ways to do old things.
Summer marks the warmest time of year with the longest days. Summer is usually hot and dry. People shed their heavy coats and stay outside longer than usual. They enjoy the sun on the beach and the shade in the park. They go on vacation to get away to experience new places and new people in a new environment.
Summer is a time of spiritual development and personal growth. You might find yourself learning to study scripture better, having deeply significant devotions where you feel God's presence more regularly. You might find God giving you strategic insights. You will notice that you are more effective in your ministry during the summer months.
Summer is the time to water what has been planted during the spring. It is also time to weed out what shouldn't be there. Summer is the most dangerous season because of the heat (natural and spiritual). Be extra careful during this season.
Summer is a time for both growth and of stillness; of hard work in the fields and of relaxing in the cool of the day. Summer is a time for both work and play.
Everything seems to come alive after a long winter and spring. We find ourselves in a world filled with creatures and plants and shimmers of heat as we work in the sun or have backyard cookouts. It is time to enjoy the sounds of children playing in the yard as well as music from the ice cream truck in the neighborhood.
Summer is the time to pause and reflect. It is the time to play, relax and enjoy some leisure time after you have planted your seeds. It is a time to plow up and cultivate the soil.
In summer the flowers are in full bloom. The fruit is ripe and ready to be picked. It is during this spiritual season, that we develop the fruit of the Spirit. We read in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self–control.”
Autumn or Fall marks the transition from summer into winter when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier. If what has been done properly in the previous seasons, then autumn is a time of harvest for crops.
Fall is a time of maturity. The leaves are turning colors of gold, red and orange in preparation for the winter. As we grow in our Christian walk, we enter the fall of our spiritual life. Our walk with the Lord should be much closer during this season.
SPIRITUAL AUTUMN OR FALL
Provided you have been diligent during the previous seasons, autumn is the time to reap a bumper crop. Autumn is the time when you will see evidence of your hard work. It is a time of harvesting and storing up for the winter.
Without the ability to accurately discern the season you are in, you will miss many opportunities. If you miss one season, you will have to wait until the cycle comes around again unless God reorders your seasons. With an awareness of the season you are in, you will be able to step into new spiritual truths and a greater ability to flow in the power of God.
Autumn, with its colorful trees is the transitional season having both the abundance and the limitation of our everyday lives. Autumn helps us see the passing of time; that is, where we have come from and where we need to go. This is the season filled with anticipation. If we have been obedient in the other seasons, we will reap a harvest in due season, according to Galatians 6:9.
Autumn brings the last of the warmth and comfort before the cold of winter. It is a time of both beginnings and endings. Children go back to school, and for some it is their first day in elementary school, high school or college. Vacation time is over and people return to their jobs.
Enjoy and embrace the season you are in because it will change. Be ready to accept the season that you are about to enter. Your spirituality will change with your spiritual seasons just as the earth changes with the natural seasons. Embrace each season because each one has special purposes.