Thursday, 4 March 2021

The Seasons of God

 Scripture:  Acts 1 v 7:  "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."

Ecclesiastes 2 v 1 - 2:  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;"

The seal of God upon His Creation of the Universe, and this Earth in particular, is in the order in the heavens, and here on this planet.

The planets orbit the Sun in a set pattern, comets come and go, wonders are seen in the sky, eclipses of the Moon and the Sun.  On Earth we have the four seasons, the rhythm of night following day. Plants, animals, fish and insects that produce after their own kind.

There were 333 prophecies in the Old Testament that were given at different times by different prophets but they all pointed at one amazing life - the conception, birth, birthplace, life, power, death and Covenant of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Saviour, Redeemer, The Son of Almighty God.  Every one of them was exactly fulfilled.  The chances of this being fake news is inconceivable!

Micah 5 v 2: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

God has seasons for us too.  They are like Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  Some of His seasons are shorter than others, some require patience and endurance.  

Spring is the time of new birth, when we surrender to our Father all that this sinful world has bound us with, and become born again of Spirit, when life is restored to us through the Blood of Jesus destroying the power of sin.  The joyous bubbling life of new wine rises in us like sap flowing through a grape vine.  This is the Holy Spirit and the Living Water changing us from "only human" to a New Creation.

Summer is the time of the fruit growing on the trees, vines, and bushes, and spiritually we begin to bear fruit of love, joy, peace, self-control, patience, kindness, meekness, goodness and mercy.  Our old carnal nature died under the water of baptism and its temper, anger, swearing, arguing, fighting, violent, demanding ways died too.  

Romans 8 v 11: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

In Autumn there comes a time of pruning as the Lord starts to trim us down and cut off the dead wood of worldly ambitions, and brings our mind and body in line with His plan for us, and to conform to His Word.  As the wind of the Holy Spirit blows around us the dead works, harsh words, bad thoughts all shrivel up and float away like fallen leaves.

Then comes Winter when everything is cold and death-like.  Trees are bare, stark and icy.  Our lives go through this season when suddenly our spiritual growth stagnates and no matter what we do we feel disconnected from God.  Our prayers seem to hit a brass ceiling and we go quiet.  Our faith needs urgent input but even that does not produce the desired blessings.

Do not despair, we have not lost our way, God has taken us "offline" for His own purpose.  We are being prepared for deeper things and for this we need strong endurance.  The enemy has us in his sights to try and entice us into his lair.  When we go quiet he loses us off his radar.  

During this time of coldness very busy things are happening underground and out of sight.  We are being matured for the Spring warmth when all the joy and new life will be renewed and bubbling once more.  However, now we have learned many new and deep things that make us available for the Master's use.

He has brought us to new understanding, deep discernment, effective praying and a desire to share the love of Jesus with those who are floundering in the world.  Soon the Summer fruit will arrive, perfect fruit from the wise pruning of our Father.

John 15 v 1 - 5: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, how wonderful that You order our seasons in Your own time for each of us.  Thank You for the pruning and the blessings of change within us.  There is no other way to be truly free of dark forces than through the power of Jesus.  We want to be effective, obedient children of such a loving God.  In Jesus' name. Amen.