Knowing how to Handle the Seasons of Life

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Adequate information on Christian seasons of life and our responsibilities

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Knowing How To Handle The Seasons Of Life:

Knowing How To Handle The Seasons Of Life Dr. Oyewole O. Sarumi

The Scriptures:

The Scriptures 1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant , And a time to pluck what is planted; 3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4 A time to weep , And a time to laugh; A time to mourn , And a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones , And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace. The God-Given Task 9 What profit has the worker from that in which he labours ? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11  He has made everything beautiful in its time . Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end . ( Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 )

Introduction :

Introduction King Solomon was a knowledgeable man who thought a lot about the way life goes. He wrote these words in Ecclesiastes 3 . He makes it clear that there is an appointed time (season) for everything on earth. Seasons and times change as we progress in life. Every now and then things and seasons change and we need to adjust to these changes.

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We all know that life never stays the same. Think back on your life and break it up into compartments. Build a mental timeline of your life until now. O ur life is probably made up of: A few sustained and meaningful friendships, Several failed relationships, Countless missed financial opportunities, Varying degrees of success, Betrayal, emotional and/or physical pain, Personal victories, etc.

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We all experience change and transition in life. Sometimes life is exciting, dynamic, and we feel on top of the world. At other times we just want to go away and escape the situation – as King David said, "Oh that I could fly away with wings like a dove". We must understand the seasons. If we do not understand that there are seasons in life, we may draw the wrong conclusions about what is happening in our lives, or the reasons for it .

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God has a plan and a purpose to make your life beautiful. God has us in a process. We can't see the scope of God's work from beginning to end. We are short sighted. In tough times where health, money, friends, marriage is not looking good we may wonder what is going on. But God makes US beautiful through all the trials, circumstances in life.  

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It is during the tough seasons that we often grow the most in our character. It is difficult to form outstanding character in seasons of pure prosperity. This is one reason why God ordains seasons where we have to fight, where things do not come easily.

What is a Season?:

What is a Season? Period for particular activity:  A period of the year during which a particular activity usually takes place in the human world or among plants and animals e.g.   planting season or mating season. 

Some examples of Seasons:

S ome examples of S easons Being single and wanting to be married – for most people, it’s only a season . There can be seasons of study, unemployment and other seasons of prosperity where work is abundant. If you try to hang onto something that is in the past, it can turn it sour. Don't try to push something in the wrong season. We mustn't look back all the time wishing for our favourite season of the past to return. Instead we must forget what lies behind and push forward to what lies ahead.

Introduction:

Introduction A .   Seasons and Cycles, and Patterns in life are many times very confusing B.   Most people ignore the seasons of life, and have no day of rest in a week; have no time just with God; have no regular sleeping patterns; have no job or season of work; have no regular season of eating - always helter-skelter C.  God made seasons, and cycles, and expects us to know about them, and understand them.

Some Background:

Some Background A .  Seasons are all about changes - called cycles - they affect us 1 .  The sun is cycling - every 11 years - and changing 2.  The human body is changing, and going through seasons 3.  The heart does the same

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B.  Seasons are normal (Gen 1:14; 2 Kgs . 4:16,17) - don't be ashamed C.  Seasons are NOT forever (Gen 40:4; Josh 24:7) D.  Seasons are subject to change (Dan 2:21)

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E.  Some things are NOT to be affected by seasons 1 .  Right Judgment (Ex 18:26) 2.  Right Preaching (1 Tim 4:2) 3.  Soul-winning (Acts 1:7,8) 4.  Right Living (Act 20:18)

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F.  Some seasons never come (Acts 24:25) Acts 24:25 – “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you."

The Six Seasons of the Christian's Heart :

The Six Seasons of the Christian's Heart  A.  Begins with the Season of Testing, Temptation -  the Night Season  (Ps 16:7; Luke 4:1-13).   1 .  This is where most people are - it is where all of the seasons bring you back through to if you are not careful! 2.  It is the time when it gets dark (Ex 5:1-23)

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3.   There are two paths a .   You can either give in to the testing - results in Sin (Heb. 11:25 ) 1)   Results in another season - the season of Chastening (Heb. 12:6; Acts 13:9-11) 2)  If chastening does not work, then your next stop is Home (Jam 1:14,15; Rom 6:23; 1 Cor 11:28-32) 3)  But , if chastening does its job - or rather you respond to its work on you, then you go to the next season ( Heb. 12:11)

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b.  Endure hardness (Jam 1:12; 1 Pet 1:6; 2 Tim 2:3) 4 .  Every event in your life has only two paths - period! You have to choose one or the other, and then deal with the consequences. 5.  The best thing is to know that the hardest path is worth it all

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B. The Season of Rest  (Rev 6:11; Jer 6:16; Mt 11:29). 1 .  This is the time in your life when nothing is happening - this is when you just need to rest, and have patience (Ps 27:14), and trust in the Lord to do things in His way, in His time!

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2.  Two paths again: a .  Patience (James 5:8; Heb 10:36) - Wait on the Lord, just stay on track. You find rest when you trust the Lord, and just stay following Him, and obeying Him, and waiting on HIS timing. b.  Get impatient - You will go back to the season of temptation, and darkness (James 5:9)

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3.  This period of time can be long or short - you just have to sometimes wait it out (i.e., Joseph in prison - didn't complain or get impatient).

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C.  The Season of Fruitfulness  ( Ezek. 34:26; Ps 1:3; Josh 1:8). Two paths: 1.  This is a time in your life when everything starts paying off - all your faith, your obedience, all your prayers, and time in the Bible, and soul-winning (Isa 55:11) - it paid off in Joseph's life didn't it ?

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2 .  It is a season where you watch God bring the increase (1Cor 3:6). Sowing is not in here yet, because we need some grain FIRST to start sowing, and God will GIVE you what you need to start sowing, so that you can reap more later. 3.  Two paths:

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a. Start labouring to reap the results of your walk with Christ - almost want to bottle it up for the later days - Joseph started working everybody in Egypt for the NEXT season that God had said was coming up! b.  Ignore the need to bring in the sheaves ( Pro. 27:23,24) - just think it will always be there - die like the people of Noah's day!

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4.  Everyone has a season of fruitfulness - of accomplishment - we just don't stop and smell the roses, and take note of the little things, because we always want so much more than we have!

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D.  The Season of Reaping - Harvest Time - Time of Joy (Ps 126:5,6; Gal 3:9; 1Cor 15:58) 1 .  This season is considered before sowing because for the Christian it is more important right now - was it not in the garden (Gen 2:5)? 2.  Two paths:

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a.  Re-investing the fruit of your labours - tithe, and planning for the next planting - investing in the future b.  Neglect the harvest (John 4:35)

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E .  The Season of Sowing  - Planting - Investing in the Future 1 .  There is a time for sowing, and planting, and investing - but you only can do so much - the rest has to be left up to the Lord ( Prov. 3:5,6) 2.  You do not reap right away - there are three seasons you have to go through before you can start reaping from your Christian walk with Christ

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3.   Two paths : a. Diligently plant and plant, and plant as much as you can, and then wait in patience (James 5:7,8; Heb. 4:9,10; 2Cor 9:6), knowing again that God will bring the increase! b.  Be lazy ( Prov. 20:4) Slack off in your Christian walk and get attracted by something you think is more important!

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What Causes Seasons to change

1. Prophetic Declaration:

1. Prophetic Declaration One of the most important causes for the change is seasons is when a true man of God declares something prophetically. You will realise that in II Chronicles 20:20 we are told that our prosperity come when we believe in the man of God. If you act according to the word of the man of God, you will reap prosperity. Elijah declared a famine and seasons changed, and the same with Joseph.

2. Change of Places:

2. Change of Places This means as an individual you need to shift places in the spirit world. If you remain doing things the same way, things will not change. David was a shepherd boy, but there is a time when he is given a task to give food to his brothers, there he finds an opportunity to move from the pastures to the king’s palace. Seasons changed for him after that. Also Moses was a prince but when he fled to Jethro seasons changed and he became a shepherd. So you need to move in both the natural and the spiritual and you will see seasons changing in your life. So where are you in the realm of the spirit? If you move from demonic worship or ancestral worship to Christianity season will change .

3. Change Time :

3. Change Time  Seasons will also change with changing times. Generations will come and go and things will change as that happened.

4. The Depth of one’s revelation:

4. The Depth of one’s revelation The revelation that you have and the changes in the revelation that you have will also cause changes in your season. When Christ left the disciples went into the upper room and waited for the Spirit of God. On the day of Pentecost they were in public ministering Christ. The difference between these two points and seasons is revelation .

5. Growth and Maturity:

5. Growth and Maturity As people grow and mature, you will also see changes in seasons. There is a season when you are doing school work, but there is also a season when you are in relationships and there is a season for being a husband or wife and later on father or mother. Also in the spirit world, such changes happen as well. If you do not grow, you might not move to your next season. Paul grew and at every stage of his growth we see different emphasis in his ministry. When he started he was growing with Barnabas, but at the end he was grooming Timothy and Titus .

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Things to know about

1. Peculiar Season’s Work:

1. Peculiar Season’s W ork In each and every season there is work related to the season (be it natural and spiritual). In the climatic season you will discover that there is a season where you plough the field and there is a season where you need to be harvesting. When you look at Israel in the time of David they were more of fighting their enemies but the time of Solomon was mainly the building of the temple and the establishment of the kingdom. There is a season where you need Joab , but there is a season where you will tell Solomon to kill Joab .

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So when you enter into a new season do not be lazy but with revelation and wisdom understand the work to be done in the season you are entering and do it diligently. When Abraham and Sarah received the word that they were getting the promised son, they did not just wait. Abraham acted and Sara became pregnant.

2. Season’s Changes:

2. Season’s C hanges Seasons  normally cause changes in the atmosphere. Take note of the fact that there are change which will happen both in your life and your environment. You will realise that someone who was one your boss could become your subordinate and vice versa. Changes will take place in the way you will relate with other people and the way you are perceived by the community .

Seasonal Changes in Joseph’s Life:

Seasonal Changes in Joseph’s Life Look at the seasonal changes that took place in Joseph’s life. There is a season where he was dreaming, then the season when he was a leading administrator in Portipher’s house , then there is a season when he was in prison  and the season when he was the Prime Minister of Egypt.

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These were all changes in his life. In each season he related differently with his environment but the most important thing is that he kept integrity and diligence in all those seasons. Abraham and Sarah had to cope with the pregnancy at a very advanced age. Those were part of the changes that they had to go through in the new season .

3. Season’s Relationships:

3. Season’s R elationships There are also people you need in a season and there are people you will need to talk to and to be close to. In a season of sowing you need someone who is good at sowing, who understand plant needs, soil types and weather patterns. When it comes to the harvesting season, you need someone who understands markets and market trends .

Paul & Seasonal Relationships:

Paul & Seasonal Relationships Paul was good at that. At one point he went to Ananias and he started ministry travelling with Barnabas, he also walked with Luke the doctor and in the last days he was operating with Timothy. Paul separated with Barnabas because of John Mark, but at another point he says send for me John Mark. This shows that there are relationships which you need for specific seasons.

4. Season’s Fruits :

4. Season’s Fruits   Every season has fruits which are a result of that season. In the season of mangoes not everyone who loves mangoes will enjoy the mango fruit. Some will miss because they are not in the area where mango trees are, some will not have money to buy the mangoes, some will be lazy to look for the mangoes. I f you miss the fruit, do not think that you are not in the season yet .

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In the season of their escape, Lot’s wife lost it and turned into a pillar of salt. There are fruits coming with the coming season, but be prepared to receive and partake of the fruit of the season. W hat would have happened if Abraham did not know his wife after the prophetic word? There would not have been an Isaac. Also, you will not receive the fruit if you do not sow the season’s seeds.

5. Opportunities:

5. Opportunities Whenever there are changes in seasons, there are adjustments to be made. As people and communities try to adjust to the change, opportunities present themselves, for e.g. when it rains people, will need umbrellas and raincoats, winter needs winter coats. So whenever there are changes in seasons, there are opportunities created. There are opportunities to seek God the more, opportunities to minister, opportunities to pioneer projects whenever there are shifts in seasons .

1. No Matter What Season You Are In, No Season Lasts Forever.:

1. No Matter What Season You Are In, No Season Lasts Forever. " This too shall pass". Change is always on its way. Like a coin with two sides, life has a way of changing . Good seasons come and go, as do bad seasons. Bad seasons do not last forever. e.g . if you are heart-broken due to a failed relationship, you may think it is the end   Good seasons of external blessing do not last forever in this life. In   Ps 30:6 , King David said : “ Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved .” Good seasons of prosperity do not last forever. The Psalms teach us that good times and bad times come and go .

2. Change Of Seasons Is Not A Sign That You Are Good Or Bad Person:

2. Change Of Seasons Is Not A Sign That You Are Good Or Bad Person When bad things happen, its not a sign that you are a bad person. Its just a sign that bad things are happening. Bad things do happen to good people, e.g. Job. He had good seasons, but he is remembered for the terrible time of oppression and loss he faced. Yet he was a righteous man. Do not assume that you are worse than others if you suffer loss or go through a trial .

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Genesis 8:22  says, "As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, winter and summer, day and night." There are going to be seasons until Jesus returns and maybe beyond. Don't read too much into negative things that happen. Different things happens in life.

3. Never Let The Season You Are In Define Who You Are.:

3. Never Let The Season You Are In Define Who You Are. Don't change what you believe according to what season you are in. People often made bad decisions in tough seasons. When you are in a challenging or difficult season, don't do too much. Be careful what meaning you give things in the tough seasons of God . In the life of Joseph, we see that the season of prosperity will always be preceded by pits and prison. Character is developed in the pits and prisons . God's plans don't change just because seasons do. God's plan for Joseph to be a great ruler never changed because he was put in the pit or in the prison . God is still with you whether you are in a pit, prison or a palace .

4. Most Seasons Are Followed By Opposite Seasons.:

4. Most Seasons Are Followed By Opposite Seasons. We don't control everything in life. There are a lot of things we can't control. Life has a way of showing up with different things . KEEP THE DREAM IN YOUR HEART AT ALL TIMES. Don't give up your God-given dreams because your circumstances have turned sour. You don't know what God can do .

5. We Need To Build Consistency In Every Season:

5. We Need To Build Consistency In Every Season Paul told Timothy: "Preach the word of God, be instant in season and out of season .“ Young preachers don't always understand the seasons. There will be times when things go well in church life and ministry, and other times of incredible hardship and transition. Wherever there are people there is going to be problems. Just expect it. Be patient, patiently rebuke, encourage and give good teaching consistently. Give good teaching no matter what the season. It may be a season of harvest, or a season of ploughing and sowing. Doing what is required now will enable you to benefit during the harvest season .

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Be consistent! Do the work that the season you are in requires. Farmers do different work in different seasons. There are times for planting, resting, watering, harvesting. There is a lot of preparatory work required in order to reap a harvest. Marriages also go through seasons. Work through the season you are in. Prov 20:4   “A sluggard does not plow in season. So when the harvest time comes he looks but finds nothing”. We need to do the work that corresponds to the season .

6. Learn From Every Season That You Are In:

6. Learn From Every Season That You Are In Every season has lessons of life for us. In Joseph's life, the plan of God was for him to rule, but before he ruled he was ruled over. What I am learning now will help me be wiser when I next go through this season, or it will be useful when I have a friend that goes through this season. You can learn things in your dark seasons that enable you to minister hope and stability to others who will face these kinds of things in the future. So don't despair if there are trials. God is with you in it, and will bring you through .

7. Keep the Right Season in your Heart no Matter the Outside Season:

7. Keep the Right Season in your Heart no Matter the Outside Season It’s only the water that’s on the inside of the boat that causes danger, not the water outside the boat. Even if there is conflict, trouble in the exterior, GUARD YOUR HEART. Our heart condition greatly influences the course and situations of our life. I believe this is because God crafts circumstances according to the lessons we need to learn . We can't control what happens around us, but we can control what happens inside. You can't control how people treat you, but you can control how you respond to what they do. 

8. Prepare for the Next Season:

8. Prepare for the Next Season “ Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”  Ecc 11:4   When things are tough, do what you know you need to do.   You can have financial loss along the path of doing God's will, but God can turn it around.   Prepare for the time when the favourable wind will blow again.   Don't resign yourself to anything. Have a sense of fight. Don't allow the season to make you resign to whatever is happening .

9. God is at Work in Every Season:

9. God is at Work in Every Season The Lord was with Joseph in Potiphar's house. The Lord blessed him and favoured him . If you are a favoured one, you are favoured no matter where you are . There are seasons of fruitfulness and there are also seasons of hard labor. Farmers keep planting even if they lose a whole year's work due to events in nature, like floods or droughts .

BENEFIT FROM YOUR SEASON BY EMBRACING IT LIKE JOSEPH:

BENEFIT FROM YOUR SEASON BY EMBRACING IT LIKE JOSEPH

The Life of Joseph in Brief:

The Life of Joseph in Brief If you look at the life of Joseph, he went from a season of son-ship when he was with his parents and brothers. Then, sold by his jealous brothers, he lives life as a slave. Soon after, Potiphar realizes that Joseph is of great use to him in his own house. Although still a slave, he experiences a season of freedom and responsibility until Potiphar’s wife decided she wanted him. If you are familiar with the story, then you know how it goes – Joseph kept his integrity and denied her sexual advances but he was still framed for something that he didn’t do. So, once again, his life changes as he is thrown back into prison. With his God-given gift to interpret dreams, Joseph helps Pharaoh interpret  his dreams and, as a result, Joseph finds himself in a position of great trust, blessing, and responsibility .

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Joseph’s story is one of incredible endurance, patience, hardship, triumph, and also exceptional leadership. We live our lives from one season to the next.  Seeing these different seasons for what they are will help us to respond to adversity differently.

1. Recognize the Seasons in Your Life are Temporary and Subject to Change:

1. Recognize the Seasons in Your Life are Temporary and Subject to Change “ while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal ; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  (2 Corinthians 4:18 ASV) What if Joseph felt sorry for himself and complained that his brothers sold him into slavery? He would have missed out on the rest of his amazing life! Look into your past; those periods in your life may feel insignificant to your current situation, but if you’ll recall back to those times, some of those seasons  felt like they would never end , offered no solution, and made you feel helpless.

2. Prepare for Battle in Seasons Free from Adversity:

2. Prepare for Battle in Seasons Free from Adversity When the “going gets tough” the “tough get going ,” What happens when the “going gets easy?” The best time to train and condition for a championship boxing match is  several months before the actual fight . The best time to prepare troops for war is in  the absence of conflict.

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When the “going gets easy,” that’s when it’s time to: 1. Commit as much Scripture to memory as possible. 2. Spend more time in worship and prayer. 3. Read, read, read, read. Study, study, study, study. If you do these things, the next season of your life  will present the opportunity to implement the truths you meditated on!  

Preparing for battle has a way of making sure that you find yourself in one.:

Preparing for battle has a way of making sure that you find yourself in one .

3. Tell Those Closest to You What Season You are in So They Can Pray for You:

3. Tell Those Closest to You What Season You are in So They Can Pray for You Don’t tell your business to everyone because not everyone can help you and some will not have the right motives to help you.  Never  air your personal business to a coworker or acquaintance for attention and sympathy

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The only people you should share your struggles with are: Those that know how to pray, have a proven relationship with God, and have a genuine care for others. Your spouse (if you are married) A spiritual mentor (pastor or elder) or counselor that you have a personal relationship with.

4. Ask Those Closest to You What Season They are In Pray for Them:

4. Ask Those Closest to You What Season They are In Pray for Them The devil loves to make believers think that they are experiencing circumstances that no one can else can identify with. Sometimes simply showing a genuine care and concern for others is all that is needed for people to see that they are not alone in their struggles .

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“No temptation has overtaken you  that is not common to man . God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV) You shouldn’t be surprised when adversity or hardship comes. Jesus said that we WOULD have trouble in this life, but that we shouldn’t make a big deal out of it because He has already overcome the world !

5. Don’t Repeat Difficult Seasons that You Caused:

5. Don’t Repeat Difficult Seasons  that You Caused Stop blaming the devil.  I believe that we give him too much credit for the difficulties in our lives. If you really believe the Word of God, then you know that the devil doesn’t have any authority to mess up or ruin your life unless you allow it.

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You are your own worse enemy!  Jesus already defeated the devil, but your flesh is something that you will always have to contend and fight with. When you are your enemy, you are also the solution! You are the only one that can make the commitment to become more like Christ, and…. no one will do it for you.  No one can pray enough to make you live right. Identifying the bad seasons in your life  that you caused  will help you avoid a repeat performance .

6. The Only Weapon You Have to Change Your Season is the Word of God:

6. The Only Weapon You Have to Change Your Season is the Word of God Satan’s #1 goal is to keep you away from the Word of God. If he can keep you distracted through success, through problems, and through relationships, hardships, etc., then he can keep your attention off of the Word of God, and onto your situation.

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You must read AND study your Bible as though your life depends on it! If you do not take God’s Word seriously, then you will live beneath your privileges as a child of God, and will live defeated your entire Christian life. As a minister, the Word of God is the only weapon that you have .

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“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.   Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,   and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.   In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;   and take the helmet of salvation, and  the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God …”  (Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV )

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You cannot “reason” or “think” your way out of temptation. Like Jesus, your response to a demonic attack must  be “it is written.” Do not live a passive life; commit to be a student of God’s Word and trust in His faithfulness to perform His Word and to change you to be more like Him. Nothing else in this world yields more excitement than living a life completely dependent on God’s Word, and nothing is more fulfilling than  living a life free from sin . This is the evidence that the Word of God rules in the heart of a believer’s life. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  (Psalm 119:11 ESV )

Conclusion:

Conclusion We can be confident that God is working things out for our good no matter how things are going in our external world. God's main purpose is to prepare and form us for eternity, to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. When we understand that, we can understand that we are not going to have easy seasons all the time.

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Even the blessed man of Psalm 1 who meditates on the word bears fruit "in its season" ( Ps 1:1-3 ). Whether we see fruit in our current season or not, God is still at work, preparing something good for us.

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