"Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you."
Jesus, spurring his disciples to seek first the Kingdom, uses an analogy of weather prediction in Luke 12 (54-56) to depict the standard of spiritual sensitivity expected of his followers.
Then he turned to the crowd: “When you see clouds coming in from the west, you say, ‘Storm’s coming’—and you’re right. And when the wind comes out of the south, you say, ‘This’ll be a hot one’—and you’re right. Frauds! You know how to tell (discern) a change in the weather, so don’t tell (say) me you can’t tell (discern) a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now.
Here, Jesus presents unsettling challenges! First, he reveals that there are spiritual seasons, “God-seasons” or phases of time, loaded with divine purpose, which have definitive beginnings and endings. Secondly, Jesus places an obligation on his followers to accurately identify which season it is! Even the weather forecast, based on measurable, scientific parameters, is often misinterpreted, due to a sundry of unexpected variables. How can one be expected to discern spiritual seasons with accuracy? The use of Jesus’ strong language indicates a simplistic parallel between discerning the weather and the God-season, and failing at the latter is unacceptable.
The ability to discern the seasons is crucial to successfully running the race set before you, your journey!
To discern is to perceive, recognize, distinguish, or detect, indicators of differences and even the slightest change, with great difficulty, using spiritual sensitivity. Paul warns his readers in Ephesians 5:17 (MSG), “Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. The NLT reads, “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
So how exactly is this possible? I submit that the same emphasis on drawing one’s ability from the Holy Spirit’s power when applying other spiritual principles, is also required to discern the seasons. Draw from His Power activated in you (Ephesians 3:20)!
Jesus places a demand on what He has already provided.
The key is intimacy! Divine intimacy with humans is a consistent theme seen in Genesis 3:8, when Adam and Eve heard the sound of God in the Garden, a place of fellowship, in the cool of the day. Paul later encourages, “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you (James 4:8). This relationship as a worship-lifestyle is highlighted in Romans 12:1-2 (NLT).
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Giving ourselves to God engenders a transformational, intimate relationship, as we learn to know God’s will! Intimacy promotes spiritual sensitivity and sensitivity fosters clarity! It doesn't get any better than this! We will discover what the Master wants, including His purpose for us, which is directly linked to our Kingdom identity (mentioned in previous blogs). Our heavenly Father not only desires that we discern or know the God-season, but has issued a kingdom demand for it!
Father thank you for giving us all that is needed that pertains to life and godliness so that we will succeed in living out your desire! This includes the ability to discern the God-seasons. May it be said of us as it was the people of Issachar...
They understood the times and knew what should be done.