What is your favorite season?
It’s Autumn here now; the season that inevitably arrives every September for those of us in this part of the Northern Hemisphere. I have to rally my dismal heart when I look at the leaves that are still green, knowing they won’t be green much longer. Even though the art work of God displayed during autumn can be breathtaking, I basically dread the cold months. (All you cold weather lovers don’t hate me! I get cold during the summer, so winter is just torture to me.) With all the changes that happen here with this season, I start thinking about spiritual changes.
You have probably noticed changes in your walk with God, but have you ever noticed any patterns? God is into patterns. Consider the many patterns in nature: the Water Cycle, the Life Cycle of a Seed, the Seasons of the Year. Patterns exist all around us…including spiritually.
We can have a Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer with God, so to speak. In thinking about the changes that take place to bring us to one season of the year to another, we can relate spiritually. They are the Four R’s:
Autumn = Revelation of specific sin
Winter = Repentance and denying self
Spring = Renewing the mind
Summer = Righteousness
One time I heard a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. During those teachings I asked God to show me where I wasn’t measuring up with the Fruit of the Spirit in my life. That was a big order. God didn’t reveal every fruit I was lacking in, but was merciful and specifically showed me one, long-suffering. I guess you could say I would have been a good Christian if I had dealt with it the first time He showed me, but I didn’t. It was more of a series of times over a few weeks when I didn’t respond properly to yet another person or circumstance and I would recognize that gentle nudge and remember my request. After a while I recognized that I was spiritually in autumn, where I finally came to the revelation that there was a habit pattern that I needed to deal with.
What was my spiritual winter like? Just like real life. Cold, dark, and dreary. Dying plant life, just like my flesh. I know what you’re thinking, I can’t wait to get into that! But I decided not to mope around, just remembering about my problem, but actually deal with it. I didn’t stop after praying just once, but I took time to look up a couple of scriptures to wash me clean. (I used Galatians 5:22 and Proverbs 25:28.) Doing these simple things were actions of repentance and denying myself.
When I found myself responding with a lack of long-suffering, it was a time for me to think differently. I would stop my old self from rising up and say, no! Quoting, meditating and deciding to do my two scriptures each time transformed my old habit pattern, a process of a spiritual spring. I love spring! I get so excited when I see the new growth appearing on trees everywhere. A spiritual springtime is an exciting time because you are starting to see a change in yourself when you are renewing your mind in a specific area.
One day I looked around and saw that I was more and more responding the way the Bible says I should. I was changing! His righteousness in me was evident. This, my friends, is SUMMER!
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
When God shows us something in us that does not glorify Him, He expects us to deal with it. The natural seasons are supposed to continue from one to the next. In the same manner, consider each spiritual season a passage to continue through. We can’t pass to the next season until we go through the season we are in currently.
What season are you going through on your spiritual journey?