Just as God created the seasons in nature (Genesis 1: 14), so He creates different seasons in our lives.
As we grow in Christ through these, we eventually become “seasoned disciples.”
This truth is found in a statement Jesus made: “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another” (Mark 9: 49-50).
As you can see, every believer will go through periods of trials, likened here as fire and salt, in order to “season” us. It’s part of what makes us seasoned men and women of God, fully equipped in His service.
Are you being seasoned with some salt trials now?
It’s vital we partake of Jesus during these times so we don’t lose our “flavor”- the fruit of the Spirit of Christ in us, such as love, joy and peace. If we are losing our peace, for example, we are beginning to lose our flavor.
Therefore it’s important for us to discern the purpose of our season God has brought us into and cooperate with Him to fulfill it. It will definitely be for our good, our maturity, and our usefulness to Him.
Here’s our Light Word:
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven… a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4-7).
That statement: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose,” shows us just how important it is then to discern the purpose of the season we are in, embrace it and walk it out.
Every excellent athlete knows this principle. They know when it’s time to workout and start training. And they are motivated because they know that soon it will be “game time.” We too, as God’s people, need to know when it’s time to workout spiritually, and when it’s time to train. And it’s wisdom to discern this because “game time” is coming when we will need to exercise what we have learned and been trained in.
Here’s some good examples of this from Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior by Cooke: Process is Discipleship 101- it’s how we grow:
* The process is always about our development into the place that the Father has set aside for us in Christ. Through all the ups and downs of our life’s journey, when we commit ourselves to the process of God, we grow up in all things in Christ. Immature people only focus on the crisis itself, not the bigger picture of their own development.
* Prophecy: One thing it does, and one thing it doesn’t do:
The Father gives us prophecy so that we can get a handle on our identity for the future. And that’s important. Yet all our life circumstances after that are designed to produce the character, quality, personality, and attitude that we need to develop in order to become the person He foresees us to be in Christ.
* Process is where we discover God at work in our lives. It is where we submit to the work of His hands. Process is everything. There is no growth or maturity without it. If we do not submit to the process, we will stay at our current level and not mature to the next level of maturity in Christ. The process is also the foundation for our obedience which results in our authority. There is no authority outside of our submission to God.
* Process is Discipleship 101 with the Holy Spirit. We are personally mentored in life by the third member of the Trinity! He is the best teacher, facilitator, and mentor. He loves to lead us into experiences of truth. He is so amazingly wise about everything- a genius, in fact.
* And He is our Comforter on the days when the lessons are really tough. We learn obedience by the things that we suffer (Heb 5: 8). In saying yes to Jesus, we must say no to our old immature ways of dealing with things.
* The process that the Father seeks to commit us to will be the breaking and the making of us. He will break our independence and self-reliance. He will break the power of our own soul (1 Peter 1: 22).
Process is our own personal action plan for growth and development.
* We learn in process that the purpose of problems is to produce faith.
The aim in allowing demonic opposition is to develop power and authority in us.
The intention behind human opposition is that God will use it to teach us grace.
Tribulation is designed to produce patience and endurance.
The objective behind conflict is to increase endurance, and to increase God’s love in our hearts and bring us to full maturity in His nature.
When God allows temptation (that doesn’t mean He causes it- He cannot tempt) He seeks for us to be advanced in righteousness. When our resources come under attack, He teaches us how to give so that all our needs can be supplied in Christ.
* Process is where we discover God to be all that He ever said and all we will ever need.
* Personal Questions:
What’s one area of struggle and what is being revealed to you in Christ?
What godly attribute does God want to cultivate in you?
What problem is He using to develop it? How must you cooperate?
Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” And that is where the Spirit is taking us.