It happens on a Sunday, near lunch time. Whatever is roasting in the oven wafts through the air and teases the taste buds. Everyone in the kitchen comments on something “smelling good.” As the time ticks by the mouth begins to water, the stomach begins to growl and sneaky glances are taken at the clock. The table gets set, the crockery and cutlery taken out and someone eventually asks: “Is it time for lunch yet?” No, not yet! It still needs so many minutes. Aagh! The frustration! But lunch has an appointed time determined by the chef of the house and the rest of us just have to wait. Well, it works like that in my house anyway!
God determines the appointed time as well, scripture refers to this as the “appointed time.”
- In Ps 75:2 we are told that there is an appointed time for judgment: God says; “I choose the appointed time, it is I who judge uprightly.”
- Jer 8:7 tells us about appointed times in nature that “Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.”
- Revelation (revealing) awaits its appointed time in Hab 2:3 “For the revelation awaits an appointed time, it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Through it linger, wait for it, it will certainly come and will not delay.”
- Even the demons know about appointed time and asked Jesus in Matt 8:29 “What do you want from us son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
In the beginning, God set up time and seasons. In Gen 1:14, God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.” Right from creation, seasons were established and determined by God. Ps 104:19 reminds us that it is the “moon that marks off the seasons and the sun knows when to go down,” and Daniel 2:21 reminds us that: God changes time and seasons just as He sets up kings and deposes them. God created seasons and determines their timing and their length. Gen 8:22 tells us that as long as the earth remains there will be “seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
So too God determines the seasons of our lives, just like He determines the natural seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. In Ecc 3:1-8 scripture confirms that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” and then goes on to describe all kinds of “times.”
Life is made up of many times, different seasons. Watching nature we can see that there is a season to gather seed; a season to plant seed; a season to water the seed and a season to reap the results. Spring is hopeful, emerging, budding. Summer is fruitful, blessed and growing. Autumn is weakening, fading, pruning. Winter is cold, lifeless, dead or asleep.
In nature, seasons have one purpose: to bring about maturity and fruitfulness. Each season is needed to obtain the full harvest. In our spiritual lives seasons are designed with the purpose of greater maturity and fruitfulness in our spiritual lives.
Maturity takes time, there are no shortcuts. Shortcuts result in tasteless fruit, but slow maturing, observing the work of every season results in good fruit. For good fruitfulness in our lives, two activities have to happen: A season of seed-time (preparation) and a season of harvest (reaping what has been planted in the season of seed-time). If we examine our lives carefully, we will be able to determine which season we are in based on activities and circumstances around us. Sometimes we may be experiencing different seasons in different areas of our lives, but all activity under heaven is related to a time.
So, what season are you in? Are you doing the work of that season? If you are harvesting now, was it good seed that you planted and did you do the work necessary to ensure a good harvest? If you are planting now, what are you planting for? Are you planting seed that will bring the desired harvest in your life and are you doing the necessary work to bring that seed to a proper harvest?
It is important to know the season you are in, so that you can do the work of the appointed season and be fruitful. It helps us to know, what we are supposed to be doing now in our lives. Ecc 8:6 tells us, “For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weigh heavily upon him.” Seasons are timeframes designed to bring us to greater maturity and fruitfulness, we need to learn to take advantage of the benefits that each season presents to us. We need to ask God to show us the right things to do during the season and then do them. The Lord tells us in John 15 that His goal for our lives is that we “bear much fruit” and in verse 8 he says that we “show ourselves to be his disciples” when we bear much fruit.”
It has been good to spend time thinking about the season I am in, it has explained a lot of what is happening in my life. What season are you in?
Lord help me to recognise the signs that tell me which season I am in so that I can better understand the purpose of these appointed times for me. Thank you Father, that seasons change and that they are designed for greater fruitfulness in my life.
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