Seasonal Shifts: How Do You Respond to Shifts?
Seasons come and seasons go. Some seasons can be tough and others can be beautiful. The key to seasonal shifts in life is to embrace and learn about them. Seasons come and go in life to constantly progress or move us into new levels and phases. How do you respond to life changes? Last time I talked about how God forewarns us when the seasons are changing in our lives. But are we sensitive to the transitions? Do we take heed of the warnings?
Growing up in school I was the biggest procrastinator when it came to studying and school work. I was on honor roll but I knew that I could have done better in many of my classes. In my first year of college, I realized that I could no longer wait to study and do assignments. Especially in accounting. After closely failing accounting one, I realized that I had to change my way of studying for test and doing assignments. I actually started reading assignments ahead of time, asking questions, and making sure that I was ready for the test. So when the test came, I scored in the top percentage of my class. I went from an “D” to an “A”. Why? Because I prepared myself and realized the mistakes I was making. I had a choice to either stay in the cycle or go and put forth the effort.
When you take to time to study, ask questions, observant of things around you, and praying all the time, you are more prepared to handle life situations. Many of us have a habit of waiting while we are in the turmoil to pray rather than praying and preparing ahead of time. God speaks and He speaks a lot. He loves His children so much that He has the best motives and thoughts for us. The next time you feel in a place where you cannot discern the seasons or understanding what is going on in your life, stop and pray. Ask for guidance and direction. Then the season will start to make sense. You will pass the test with flying colors!!
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. In order to turn man from his deed, And conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, And his life from perishing by the sword.- Job 33:15-18
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.
First I want to say hi to those who may be new to the Monday’s Life Blog. Make sure you learn all about Monday’s Life Here. I hope you will enjoy taking this journey with us of making Monday a great day.
In the month of June, The Lord told me to prepare for a 30-day fast in the month of July. I knew that the fast was coming because then I was feeling very emotional and burned out. I was not connected to God and I know when I feel this way, The Lord wants my attention. I have been more preaching and teaching than usual and in that, every time I finish preaching or teaching, I would feel discouraged and would be very hard on myself. So imagine preaching 4-5 times in one month and feeling down after each event. That was taking a toll on my emotions. I began to question a lot of stuff include His existence. I remember at the end of 2017, I felt the same way and The Lord shifted my life tremendously by showing Himself to me. So I knew something was about to happen during this 30-day praying and fasting moment.
So before entering the fast, I had an expectation that God was really going to show Himself to me! I mean a tangible moment. Little that I knew, the Lord began to show me myself! Ugh! The Lord began to show me what was really in my heart. He was showing me how to become a better leader. When I am faced with situations and they do not go as well, I am always very hard on myself. The Lord ALWAYS jump on my case about handling situations better and be the bigger person in an argument. Even if I am in the right! That was the hardest because I felt since I am in the right, I do not need to apologize. I did not even need their apology. I said what I said. Well, that did not sit well with The Lord and told me fix a situation that occurred during the fast. I said to The Lord, “I will not apologize!” Instantly I felt the anger of God and I heard, “You will not have good sleep until you do”. For two days I did not have good sleep! He literally placed me in a situation that I had no choice but to apologize and it literally shook the mess out of me! But once I apologized, The guilt from myself and anger of The Lord went away.
From this, He began to teach me about leadership. I would always say you will never know what type of leader you are until you are placed in situations to be a leader. I realized in many situations that I was not a good leader. Even though I had people looking up to me, I just did not handle situations in a godly manner. Even if peers around me agreed, God did not agree! God told me the one thing that I was missing in my leadership style was LOVE & COMPASSION! It was not like I did not love the people that I was leading, I did not have a drop of compassion when it came to them not carrying out assignments. My motto was: You only have one chance to mess up big or not complete an assignment when told. That sounds tough but my belief was we are all adults, we should not have to be told twice to do something and if you have a problem, lets talk about it. If you need help, let me know. God began to show me that there are levels to maturity. There are people that will be vocal with their concerns and there are those who will sit there until someone approach them to see if they need help.
If we expect the church to fully operate in its capability, we have to love one another. Love rules all! God is love. We have to show love and compassion toward one another. As leaders we should always position ourselves to learn and we should always be in a position to assist and teach. This season of my life, God is teaching me about love, and I will teach about loving others. Even the most difficult people we encounter, we must love them as well. Even the people that talk about you in your face and behind your back, we must love. My heart is constantly being changed and The Lord is always showing me to myself. I am able to slow down in situations and hear from The Lord what to do rather than reacting so fast to the point where I would miss the instructions of God. What God suggest always goes against the human grain. But I know for sure, whatever God suggests, it is right and good. It is God!
Next week I will talk about what my fasting and praying entailed…