Discerning the seasons

Jesus told the Pharisees that they knew how to read the weather signs from the sky, but that they were clueless in spiritual discernment – “recognising the sign of the times”.

In the natural we all discern the weather, and the seasons, but in the spiritual, we often don’t. The thing is we are not just flesh and bone. We are spirit too. In fact the spirit part of us is more real than the flesh. The flesh will return to dust, but our spirit lives on forever.

What is the season you are in?

After the flood, God said this.

Genesis 8:22

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

We all go through seasons in life.

  • Seasons in our marriage
  • Seasons in our family
  • Seasons in our church
  • Seasons in our career
  • Seasons in our health

You cannot have summer all the time. Do you know why? Because if you only have summer you end up with a desert. It is often when we go through the hard times, the winter seasons, where fruit is scarce that we appreciate the good times when they come. Sadly, often all too soon, we think the good times will never end, but no-one is on the top of the mountain all the time. No-one enjoys summer all the time.

I believe  Gen 8 is prophetic and is not simply referring to the four seasons . In fact

Ecclesiastes 3

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace

You may be going through a time of winter, or autumn where things are not quite what they should be. You struggle and have stress and God seems more distant than you recall He once was. Someone once said ” if you are not as close to God as you used to be,… who moved?”  

Summer – is the time when there is abundance, the sun is shining, almost everything is going well, you just know you are blessed. This is the time when there are no major crises in your life. The days are at their longest, and they are flooded with light. Everything springs to life. God speaks and His presence is evident in your life and in your business and in your church.

Autumn – is when you realise things that were going so well for a long time are not quite as good as they were, there are times of stress creeping in. Maybe spiritually speaking, after a time when you really walked close to God, perhaps now you just sense you are not reading the Word as often as before, not seeking God’s presence. Things which were once vibrant and alive now seem to be wilting. Things that used to run smoothly no longer run smoothly.

Winter –  is the time when almost everything is a struggle. Things are going wrong, blessings seem a life time away, you are spiritually battling, spiritually cold. You know God cares but you just don’t see the evidence in your circumstances. It is the season with the most darkness, the least amount of light. You seem to be spiritually blind, there are walls up around you everywhere, stopping the blessings, stopping growth. This is the time when we are at our weakest. But God has called us out of darkness into His glorious light. Before we came to know Christ, we are spiritually dead, the Bible says we are blind, we walk in darkness. Winter is the “season of spiritual discomfort, hunger, misery and emptiness” of our life. But the Light of the world came to bring us the True Light. And it is our misery and struggles which eventually bring us to repentance. When you are in winter, it is a time to reflect and to understand what it is God is teaching you.

Spring –  is the time when after a long hard winter, there are just signs that things are changing. There are signs of life, the days are getting warmer. Perhaps God is starting to warm your heart a little. The leaves are starting to come out, the days are getting warmer. Suddenly God is starting to speak to you again, and there is a spark of revival in your heart. The pain of winter is starting to fade, and it is time to start preparing for the growth that is coming. There is great hope for the months ahead. You will need to soon care for and nurture those things that used to be weak as they unfold into strength. You will know the joy of discovery and the excitement of new treasures previously unknown. In this time the promises of God become real. The first signs of life are a portent of things to come. It is a time to start getting excited, for summer and a harvest lies ahead.

In every season there is an appropriate response or way of doing. Recognising the season is the first step. God bless you