My 2 Cents Spiritual Seasons
By Bob & Donna Benson Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall are the seasons God has placed to govern the changes of weather, growing seasons, and birth and renewal. Everyone has a favorite season. Some seasons seem to last a very long time while others seem to fly by very quickly. I would like to look at seasons with a different twist…spiritual seasons. Winter: All who are born in this fallen world begin in the darkness of sin. We are born with a fallen nature. We are selfish and self-centered. Our wants and needs are more important than the needs of others. Our lives center on our wants, our desires, our families, our hopes and our dreams. The central theme is me and mine. “What can you do for me is more important than what I can do for you.” We are our own God. We worship at the altar of self. What we do not understand in this season is that we lack God and fulfillment he can bring. The spiritual season of winter is the time before we know, understand, and accept Jesus as Savior. It is a time of spiritual darkness and emptiness. This is not to say life is bad. Life can be very good, only we are without God. God is around us and we can see the evidence of his work everywhere. God’s goodness and mercy does affect us during the winter of our lives, however; this is a dormant time of our lives when our spirits are asleep. We are alive to the world and pursue the things of this world. Our families and jobs fill our lives. Again, we can have a nice life. We can love and receive loved because even when we do not know or accept the Creator, God is still alive and surrounds us with his creation, his love and his goodness. Our spirits recognize God even if our carnal minds do not. The god of this world, Satan, is present in this time of our life in a way he is not after we accept Jesus and we are saved. Satan and his demons are doing what they can to tie us to this season of darkness. We do not have the weapons to fight him nor do we care much to fight him. He sets up as many roadblocks to faith in Jesus as he can. He uses deceit and twisted truth to hold us in this spiritual darkness. Many of his lies sound reasonable and right. He has many false religions, counterfeits that sound good and can mislead those who are seeking more in their lives. It is only after we are exposed to the truth and light can we see the darkness we have lived in. Spring: Upon acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born again. We receive a new nature. The Son shines upon us with his love, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and grace. The seed of the Good News sprouts within our hearts and faith takes root. We learn a new way of living…God’s way. We learn to be a child of God: to give, to be a servant, to be grateful and thankful. We learn to put aside our wants and desires and put God first in our lives. Suddenly it is not all about me; rather it is all about Jesus. Color comes into our lives through giving of ourselves. Spring is here. Our life is covered in the blossoms of a new life in Christ.
The spiritual season of Spring is one of the newness of life. During this season, the seeds of love, faith, and hope take hold in our life and springs forth with new life. As we feed on the Word of God and walk in the newness of faith, God becomes real and alive in our lives. We receive a new focus, desire and ambition for our lives and those we love. Excitement in the Lord fills our heart and bubbles over into everything we do. We are the branches Jesus is the vine. We get our nourishment from him, from the blossoms of new faith comes the beginning of fruit. This is the time to learn obedience to God and his word. To learn what is right in God’s eyes and what is wrong. We learn that God’s ways are not our way or the world’s ways. We must unlearn our old ways and the world’s ways. We must now learn God’s ways. We learn how to use spiritual weapons to defeat Satan in our daily lives. We learn how to remove Satan’s strongholds and past victories against us. We learn that God/Jesus is our strength and we are victorious in him alone. We learn to use the gifts God has given us for his glory. We learn to share those same gifts with others for their edification and encouragement. We learn it is all about living a life pleasing to God. To sum it up…Spring is the early growing years of our life in Jesus. Summer: This is the continuation of the season of growth. We read our Bible, hear the Word of God in our church, and apply the Word to our life. We step out in faith and do the will of God our Father. We pray asking God to direct and lead us. We minister to others and allow Jesus to live in and through us. We pray for others and share our faith with them. We are active. The more we give of ourselves, the more we grow. We bear much fruit for the work of the Kingdom of God. God’s harvest is great because of our diligent work in caring of the fields. We accept that it is all for God’s glory and not our own.
John 15:5 (AMP) 5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. We are hands and feet of God/Jesus and need to be about his work. We are his representatives in this world. We are the only Jesus many people will see. So I ask, when people of the world look at you, do they see Jesus in you? Do they see a giving, caring, unselfish person? That should be what they see. (If they do not see Jesus in you, I challenge you to make a change in your life and allow Jesus to flow through you to others in love.)
Autumn: The harvest is here. We continue to share the faith with others. We take the time to examine our growing season and look for ways of improvement. There is no time for regret. Now is the time to teach others, to share the learned insights about the previous seasons and help prepare others who are just beginning. Prayer is still an active part of our lives and ministering to others may change some. We need to disciple others. This is the time to use your experiences to counsel young believers. Helping them to avoid some the pitfalls you stumbled in and sharing with them the good and bad along the way.
Matthew 28:19-20 ( LT) Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We can see the day we will face Jesus coming closer. We are mature in the faith, yet each day can bring a new revelation. We continue to read the Bible and it still speaks new insights each day. We reach the place where we know that God is the center of our universe. We can see the workings of God and thank him for it. In fact, we become more and more thankful for the blessing God has given us in our lives. We realize our life is what it has been because God has been the center of it. We acknowledge Jesus saved us from the darkness of sin and death and we are grateful for it. A grateful, thankful, and loving heart is the core of our life…the core is the Holy Spirit living within us. We allow the Holy Spirit to lead, direct, guide, comfort, encourage, admonish, and correct us. We become so dependent on him, that we acknowledge we would be lost without him. Jesus is such a part of us others cannot tell the difference between him and us. The season to Come, Heaven with our Lord: We all wait for the day we see Jesus face to face. As you reflect on your life on that day, will you hear Jesus say, “Welcome my good and faithful servant enter into my rest.”??? This life is just the beginning. Heaven is real. Hell is real. Now is the time for choosing…accepting Jesus as Lord. Live your life as a testimony to Jesus and his love for the world. On the other hand, live for yourself. Now is the time…what will you choose? Will you live your life in the seasons of spiritual darkness or in Jesus the light of the world? A challenge: What season are you in? Have you been in the Spring of you spiritual life since you accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior? Have you moved to the Summer season? Are you mature in the faith and walking in the Autumn of your spiritual life? Wherever you are, we challenge you to step out and stretch yourself. Move toward the next season. Never be satisfied with staying where you are…we will never know everything, do everything or be the only Jesus others will see without moving out of our comfort zone and toward Jesus in all we do, say, or think.