Spiritual Seasons and Their Meanings
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. But did you know that every person goes through four seasons as well? Did you know that every church goes through four seasons? Did 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.
What Seasons Tell Us
Seasons dictate to us how we dress. As hot as it has been this summer, how many times did you wear your fur coat or gloves or earmuff.
Seasons dictate to us what activities we engage in. During the summer I suppose you went to the beach, to the park or to other outdoor events.
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 cook-outs.
Seasons have a lot to do with our moods and our attitude. If you usually in a better mood when you are in a season that you really like.
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
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. The seasons change in our lives depends greatly on where we are spiritually. 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 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 relationship 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. (Matthew 24:20; Mark 13:18; Acts 27:12; 2 Timothy 4:21; Titus 3:12) 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 in spring;
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 the time to shovel snow and ice from the driveway of your mind. It is the 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 pray harder or more or anything but to remain; but must 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 bearing and it is a time or spiritual rest. In winter, reflect on God and God's faithfulness to you and maintain an attitude of reverence before God.
Winter is the time to PLAN for the upcoming seasons.
SPRING 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 you face.
Spring reminds us of the eternal cycle of death and rebirth and renewed life. Spring is the re-emergence of life. It indicated 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 the personal level, these can be activities like new ways of doing your daily devotions or new relationships with encouraging saints. Regarding ministry, springtime can bring new ministry, more attendees or new ways of serving God. Be careful not to invest too much of yourself in all these new things because, just like a fruit tree, not every blossom will lead to fruit. These temporary blossoms serve to pollinate other blossoms. They are also signs to show us that it is springtime.
Summer marks the warmest time of year with the longest days. Summer is usually hot and dry. (Psalm 32:4) 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 fruit bearing. Applied to your personal spiritual development, you might find yourself learning to study scripture better, having deeply significant devotions where you feel God's presence more regularly. Applied to your ministry, you might find God giving you strategic insights, you seem to be more effective in your ministry or you have a new sense of anointing. On the other hand, Satan will attempt to divert you; to cause you to put your energies into non-fruit bearing activities. Some of these activities could be attempts to maintain some of the temporary blossoms that were never intended to bear fruit.
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 of 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 to life 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 the sound of 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.”
Are these qualities exhibited in your life?
Enjoy and embrace the season you are in because it will change. Be ready to accept the season that you are about to enter.
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. This is the time of harvest. As we grow in our Christian walk, we enter the fall of our spiritual life. Our walk with the Lord should be closer during this season.
SPIRITUAL AUTUMN OR FALL
Provided you have been diligent during the previous seasons, autumn is the time of harvest. 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 passage of time; that is, where we have come from and where we need to go. This is the season filled with anticipation. And if we have been obedient in the other seasons, we will reap a harvest in due season. (Galatians 6:9)
Autumn is a season of fruition and reaping. It is a season of thanksgiving and celebration of abundance and goodness of the earth. It is a season of encouragement as we witness the changes in God’s earth.
Autumn is the time to resume old routines. Autumn brings the last of the warmthand 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 for most people who work.