Seasonal Shifts: How Do You Respond to Shifts?
We’ve just entered the season of fall and for us in the state of Ohio, it has been very brutal. Year by year you know when seasons will change and the various temperatures you are about to encounter. But sometimes seasons can take you for a ride if you are not prepared for the unexpected. That is how it is when we are going through life. We may see the warnings or are cautious of the signs that a change or a shift is coming, but most of time we do not prepare ourselves enough to handle and expected and the unexpected.
A few years ago, I helped start a church and during this time The Lord told me that I will be shifting seasons quickly so I must prepare myself accordingly. How in the world do you plan for something that you have no idea of what is coming, when it is coming, and how it is coming? Through prayer. Since God knows our beginning from our end and our end from our beginning, He knows exactly the answer to questions we may have concerning shifts in our lives. First we need a road map. We need to understand what is happening during a spiritual seasons of our lives. Once we have a clear understanding of the spiritual seasons, we are then equipped to handle whatever life throws our way. What occurs in the natural, happens in the spiritual. The next entry I will talk about the different seasons.
So when shifts happen in your life, how do you respond? It is like my spirit has a radar when change is going to occur because often I become unease and irritated. I am suddenly, uncomfortable with the mundane or frustrated at the little things that are occurring around me. I block everyone out and I know when it is time to rev up on my prayer life. I often quote the scripture in Job 33 that says:
For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
Walking in Maturity
I believe that God does this for us today. He speaks to us in various ways and He always allow us to know what is going on. But we must be aware of the signs. I was waking up one day and I heard my spirit tell myself to chill out. And that helped me so much. It felt like something in me was coming in alignment with the Spirit of God. It takes maturity to discern what is going on within yourself and in the spirit realm. I am become more sensitive to the voice of God and become more aware of when He is leading and guiding me. I can always tell when the Lord is speaking because what He speaks slows me down and causes me to think on His word. What He says always lines up with His word.
God is constantly leading and guiding us when you decide to allow Him to be The LORD over your life. Sometimes it may feel uncomfortable but then you will realize that it is for the good. Seasons will always shift and change and we must be in tuned with the Holy Spirit to discern the times.
Happy Monday! Let’s Dream!
I was listening to a sermon and a question was asked? When was the last time you’d dream? What was the dream that God gave you? The question literally stunned me because I could not think back on the last dream I had from the Lord. It made me question whether not I was still doing my assignment from the Lord or have I veered away from what God has called me to do.
There is so much I want to do in my life and things I want to get started but I want to make sure that I am in the will of God. Scripture says in Proverbs 19:21, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.” We can be so zealous and caught up on new ideas and endeavors that sometimes we are not in the will of God. I began to pray one day and my prayer was: God, show me again of what it is you want for me to do. Refresh my mind and allow me to know what I’m doing is apart of your will.
Do not get so caught up on good ideas that you miss God idea’s for your life. God’s will is the best will you can ever follow. Sometimes in the midst of going places and doing things, you have to ask God, am I in your will? Is this what you want for me to do? This requires allowing God to be The Lord over your life. God calls all the shots and directs your footsteps. Pray to allow God to show you His will. Dream and believe again. Even if you cannot see the whole picture, take what God has given you and go with it. Have faith and dream again!
When I left the house this morning, I felt the urge to pray. It was hard for me to pray a certain prayer because I knew that it was a prayer against my will and plans. God gave me a word a while back that in a few months, a change is going to occur. Being antsy and tired of the current situation that I am in, I tried to rush the process and the timing of God. I know from experience, rushing the timing of God is never a good thing. So I laid down my will right in the car. I said to God, “I will wait for you. I do not want my flesh to get in the way of your promises for me”.
When I got to work, the spirit of the Lord hit me while getting coffee. I began to cry, “Lord, calm my raging soul”. My soul is trying to get what it wants and I do not want to receive anything God has for me outside the timing of God. I believe that my soul is not at ease because I have not found my resting place in God. Like a baby who is irritated and fussy and cannot communicate to its parent what is wrong, my soul was in the same state. I realized that I needed more than just a vacation or to sleep more, but I need the love of the Father to cradle me and say it will be OK.
In the book, “The Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers says that, “The rest that God offers us is not from physical work, but a rest for souls- a rest that operates as we go about daily life and take care of the responsibilities… If you are truly believing God and trusting Him, we have entered into rest (Heb 4:3)… You can speak His word to your raging soul and tortured mind just as Jesus spoke to the wind and waves and said, “Hush, be still. (Mark 4:39)”.
When your soul becomes uneasy, begin to pray in the spirit and tell your soul to hush and be still. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). When you have nagging desires and your flesh is trying to rise up and causing you to feel anxious, remember we serve a God who is ABLE TO KEEP you from falling. Stay in the rest and comfort of God for it is your protection and safety net.
Last week we look at Isaiah 58 and the meaning of praying and fasting:
Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:6-8
It is explained in Isaiah 58 of the fast God was requiring of the Israelites. It was not the ritual of fasting that was a concern, but the attitude behind the fasting. The Israelites felt that because of their fasting, it should equate to righteousness. But at the same time, their fasting held no weight due to the fact they remained in their sin during and after the fast. Our works alone cannot make us righteous or equate to salvation in God.
What is your attitude like behind your fasting and praying? Are you fasting to make yourself look more righteous? Are fasting and praying to brag to others that we fast and pray? We only fulfill one side of fasting and praying by getting ourselves together in God, but the other requirement of fasting and praying remains unfulfilled. In Isaiah 58, God gives Israel the requisites of fasting: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh. It is not to us but for us to help others. We fast to help build up the church. We fast to help others to be set free. We fast to help the poor and feed the hungry.
So the next time you are led on a fast, remember that we are not fasting for only personal benefit or gain but we are fasting and praying to help others. There is beauty in the struggle to see others set free.
This slogan or expression came to me the other day and made me really think. How can we be so heavenly minded and be no earthly good? People often suggest that you can be so caught up in God that you cannot function here on earth. Or that you are not approachable because all you talk about is God and nothing else. Many of us act religious, act is the keyword, but we are not kingdom minded. This is another cliché that Christians has fallen for. One thing that we should learn as Christians is to know how to operate in the marketplace and apply kingdom principles to our everyday lives. The goal is to be heavenly minded so that you can operate here on earth.
So if you are not applying Kingdom Principles in everything you do, are you conforming to the world’s principles when being placed in a criticizing or a decision-making situation? Could this be a form of peer pressure? In Galatians 1:10 warns us not to seek the approval of men and that if we do, we cannot be a servant of Christ. Are we often being pressured to follow the world’s system rather than the Kingdom’s system? Or do we even know what the Kingdom system entails?
There are so many question to raise on why we as Christians have adopted the expression of being too heavenly mind and not able to be any earthly good. Colossians 3:1-2 says that, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” This is instructing us that we cannot live the way we want to live, but to stay close to Christ by walking out the concepts, precepts, and ideologies of the kingdom.
Matthew 6:33 says that, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Seeking God is first and mandatory. Once we are focused on pleasing God, God will fulfill the desires of our heart. We can get so caught up with the glitz of the world and in result compromise or abandon the Kingdom morals and values. But God is calling us to set our hearts to heaven rather than to the world. We must seek favor with God and stay focus on the heavenly benefits and blessings that God has for us once out obedience to Him as been fulfilled. Even in our disobedience, God still blessed us. But the goal is for us to walk in obedience of God (Deut. 5:33).
The average believer commits a total of 3 hours a week “thinking” on Kingdom principles by attending a church service that we barely pay attention in. Most of our time is exposed to the world’s values and morals in which do not mind. So when do we even have time to place our mind on heavenly things if we do not take studying Kingdom Principles seriously? I believe this cliché is an excuse for us to live the life we want to rather than submitting our lives totally to God.
If we are going to be effective here on earth, we must increase of heavenly mindedness. In everything we do, we must consult God. I remember someone tried to encourage me to travel more, buy land, move out of town, etc. I told her that I must pray to God to make sure this is what he wants for me. She asked if I needed to consult God on every decision I have to make? I told her yes. Even though it may sound like a good thing, it may not be God’s plan for my life at this moment.
Stay heavenly minded, or kingdom minded. Understand and know the principles, ideologies, and concepts of the kingdom so that when decision-making moments come, you know what to do. Do not allow external influences of the world affect your choices. Carrying out the kingdom is not religious, it is right and mandatory for us to do if you are a child of God. God is looking for us to carry out his will on earth and you must have the mind of God. Cliché disabled! Walk in God!