During a Women's Night ministry at World Worship Church in Charlotte, NC, Pastor Pam Bustard discussed ways to identify and flourish in different seasons. Although it has been more than a year since I heard this sermon, it impacted my thinking so significantly that I find it helpful to refer back to the notes I took. I believe you will also be blessed by this message so I will share the notes below:
1) It is important to recognize the season that you are in so that you may understand the purpose for the season.
** You often do not understand why in the winter season nothing is happening or bad things have happened.
** In this season people often try to make something happen on their own but it doesn't produce fruit because God is not in it. (Galatians 6:9, Psalm 1:3, Eccl. 1)
** Winter is a time to plan. Stop wishing and daydreaming. (Yes, great ideas often begin as a daydream or a wish IF you plan.)
** Winter is spiritual Sabbath. It is a time to rest, reflect, and gather strength for the Spring.
3) Spring -
** This is a time of opportunity. If you spent your winter planning then you're ready for action.
** For every act of faith, a multiplicity will come back. For every act of love, an abundance of love will come back to you.
** The pain of DISCIPLINE weighs OUNCES, but the pain of REGRET weighs TONS.
** This is a time to protect. You must guard against the bugs and weeds.
** Bugs and weeds exist to test our spirit. ALL good will be attacked.
** It is in the time of trial that our character is developed. (Luke 8, Levit. 26:16)
** To prevent the enemy from stealing our seed we need to be obedient. It is often the one act of disobedience in the midst of every obedience that is keeping God from blessing your seed. (Obedience is better than sacrifice ... I Samuel 15:22)
** Your seed will grow f you meditate on God's word.
** Questioning Him and His word chokes and aborts your seed.
** This is a tie to reap. In this season it will be obvious if you did not do what you were supposed to do. Excuses will not change the circumstances. (29:11)
** Affirmation - Discipline = Disillusion
** Your body is a temple so stop treating it like a woodshed.
** Don't allow circumstances to write your life story.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't pray everyday for this season to end, but as Ecclesiastes 3 states:
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.2
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.3
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.4
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.5
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.6
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.7
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.8
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. (NLT, www.biblegateway.com)
I see the snow melting and the first tiny buds poking through the soil. Spring is coming!