The weather here in Tulsa has been ridiculous lately. 80*s in February is like Christmas for me, while others are shaking their fists at the skies, yelling, "Where are you, winter?!"
I was in shorts and a tank top for this wonderful weather. However, any normal person could have assumed that it was February in Tulsa and a coat, hat, and gloves would be the proper attire.
I recently had a season change, and realized that metaphorically, I've been wearing a coat in 80* weather. Let's just say it's been a little sweaty and uncomfortable. Often these are the signals that it's time to change.
I'm not real big on New Year's resolutions, but I do pray and ask God for one word for the new year. This year, my word is "Connected."
Truth be told - real, raw, true connection is kinda scary. It's risky. Vulnerability is hard. I have avoided it with all sorts of armor and self-protective tendencies.
One recent Sunday in church, I saw this picture in my head of what Ive been doing. In this picture, while talking with someone close to me, I pulled out this massive, rusty, cumbersome breastplate, and put it on during our conversation. It’s hideous and heavy. But it’s my habit.
I shared this insight with a mentor who is working with me in this area, and as she prayed, she was reminded of Ecclesiastes 3. “There is a time for war, and a time for peace.”
I knew immediately that I have been operating outside of my season. It is not wartime. Especially not with those closest to me!
It is a time for peace.
It’s time for me to bust up that breastplate like a piñata, and move to an open, connected heart-posture.
That all sounds good, but how do I GET THERE?
One of my favorite verses is this obscure little verse hidden in 1 Chronicles. It describes the tribe of Issachar and says:
Wouldn't it be great to have people describe you like that? I pray for that. I pray that over my family. I want to understand the times and seasons and know what we are supposed to do.
How do we KNOW what season we are in, and then adjust our HABITS to the current, fresh season?
The thing is, only God can show you what season you are supposed to be in.
Some of you may need to get your game face on, sharpen your weapons, and armor up. It’s a season to fight for what God has prepared for you.
Some of you may need to start something new - a business, a book, a bible study - and it’s a season of strategy and sowing and planting.
Others of you may need to allow the Holy Spirit to transform some thinking and habits… pull up some weeds that aren’t in line with the Word of God.
Maybe it’s your season of Joy - of enjoying the fruits of your labors and resting from past seasons of struggle.
Transitioning from season to season can be challenging, but as the people of God, partnered with the Holy Spirit, I believe we can do it well. These strategies can help:
- Look to God for your current season. Others around you may be in a different season, and we can’t pattern our life after them. What verse keeps coming to mind? What Word shows up over and over in your life? When you get quiet before the Lord, what does your heart know to be true about where God has you? If you need some direction, pray through Ecclesiastes 3 and ask God to show you specifics. Put a name to your season and write it down.
- What current habits/thought patterns/commitments are no longer needed in your new season? Ask God to show you! You may need to course-correct and lay some things down - even some things that are good. Realize that this process could take some time and that’s ok.
- What new habits/thought patterns/commitments do you NEED for your current season? As you lay some things down, you may also need to pick some things up. Is there a new skill you can work on, a book you need to read, or a mentor that you could reach out to? What would set you up for long-term success? Take steps in that direction.
- Surrender it all to the Holy Spirit. We can do our part in the natural and get our practicals in place, but the Holy Spirit is the one who brings about heart transformation and guides us through our seasons. Lean into Him. Trust that even though it may be hard to leave one season and enter another, He always has our good in mind. Always.
Do you understand the times and have knowledge of what you should do? I believe you can. Ask God for that wisdom, like the Sons of Issachar. He freely gives wisdom when we ask, and wants us to walk in step with Him.