Recently I have been hosting a series of ‘Daily Encouragements’ that are live streamed on YouTube and Facebook in order to help people cope with the Covid-19 Lockdown.
We have just finished looking at the book of James. In Chapter 5:7-9 it says: “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” He then goes on to encourage us to also “be patient and stand firm”.
In this time of lockdown I have been sensing The Lord speak to me about the importance of knowing the seasons of the spirit. Sometimes I find this difficult, other times is its clearer to me.
Why is this important?
It is important to know the seasons of the spirit so that we can align ourselves to God’s purposes and will. If we understand that we are in a sowing season, for example, we can pray into sowing activities, as well as be stirred to action to go into the world and sow the message of the Good News of the gospel of Jesus even more than we usually do. We understand that it will be much more fruitful when our activities and prayers align with the will of God and the spiritual season we find ourselves in.
Knowing the seasons is about hearing God’s voice. It is about keeping in step with the Spirit and following wherever He may lead.
I live in quite an agricultural area in the East of England. The town where I live is surrounded by farms that grow all sorts of crops throughout the year. It is no surprise to encounter a tractor or two on the roads daily.
In this Bible passage we see James using farmers as an example. They know when it is time to wait, or to be active. They can judge the seasons and know when they should be preparing the field, ploughing the earth, or indeed bringing in the harvest. They know what type of seed to plant in whichever season they are in. They know and understand the rhythms of nature and use these to their advantage. As a result they are able to grow and bring in fruitful harvests.
Likewise for us, I believe we too need to be like the farmers. We need to be able to sense the seasons of the spirit so that we can act and respond like the farmer does. Doing the right things at the right times in order to maximise our fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God. This involved keeping close to God’s heart and to making it a daily exercise to draw near and to listen for His voice.
Our Current Spiritual Season
I believe that at the moment we are in a season of waiting. A season of rest and of preparation. A time when God is drawing us to himself – and doing so quite forcibly. He doesn’t want us to miss this!
I believe this is so important, that we respond in the time of rest, to receive a filling of the Holy Spirit. This is because I believe the next season we will enter, the season that is coming next, shall be one of great power. We will be called to action. The global Church will be ready and waiting as God pours our His Spirit in a powerful way. I believe we will see amazing things in the coming months – but only if we have done the preparation now.
We need to get ready. We need to fill out lamps with oil NOW so that we don’t miss out later when the Spirit of God moves powerfully amongst us.