Very early in my journey of faith, our Lord communicated to me the importance of keeping a journal of what He communicates to me. The reason for this is when we write down what we receive from Him, as well as watch and wait with and through Him, it becomes plain to us by His Spirit. Often we are given the pieces of a puzzle to a picture (and seldom in chronological order). As we are trained to watch and wait with Him a pattern will emerge.
What types of words and pictures do we generally associate with the seasons spring, summer, autumn and winter? For example, when we hear the season spring, we associate the following words for this season: awakening, delight, hope, renewal, thriving, flourishing, refreshing, joy, birth, new beginnings, and on the list goes. If this is a recurring theme that we have noted whilst journaling, we then pray about it and give this to the Holy Spirit to confirm what is from Him and what is not from Him. We wait for the Holy Spirit to guide and counsel us as to where each piece should go; and as He does this with confirmations in His appointed time, He will provide us with His understanding, context and perspective. And this requires practice and persistence where patience and commitment to Him is tested, and we are trained in discernment over many years. (Hab. 2:1-3, Isa. 55:8).
As we submit to and obey Him, we are able to discern His times and seasons in (and for) our lives, as He permits, and align ourselves to His purposes. We unite with Him and His Church in accomplishing His purpose. This encourages and strengthens our interdependence with His Church and dependence on Him. We are trained in understanding and respecting authority and boundaries in the natural and spiritual realms, and we learn accountability.
In every season, we are to seek God’s revealed Will (what His Spirit and written Word expect from us and what are His commands to us). That is, as we saturate our minds in the Bible, our minds are renewed and we progressively understand the seasons we are in as He permits. We receive an improved understanding of His revealed Will for us and His ability to execute it. (Rom. 12:2, Josh. 1:8). When we pray and speak His Word and obey Him according to His Will, we demonstrate we agree with Him. And as we fulfill the condition or conditions He has instructed to be fulfilled, we are positioned for transformation and breakthrough. (2 Cor. 3:18, 2 Cor. 1:19-20).
The Bible cites the word “if” numerous times, which indicates a condition has to be fulfilled for a promise to come to pass. For example, in 2 Chr. 7:13-15, it is written, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, [if] my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” (Emphasis added)
We learn what He can do and what we cannot do. We are equipped and trained to respond appropriately to His will and ways. We recognize and acknowledge His sovereignty, His Lordship and that He is our merciful High Priest. It is in our dependency on Him in every season that we experience His presence and involvement in our lives, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the finished work of the Cross: His grace, mercy, wisdom, strength and discernment.
This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours. Isaiah 55:8-9