Before autumn leaves leave us, they vibrantly show their true colors. The oak tree, for example, will normally turn to copper, yellow or even bright red hues. This is a given under most circumstances, because it is how the tree is designed. When trees die out in the fall, they normally display some of the most brilliant colors of their season. Their "great transition" from a live tree to a winter tree with no leaves reminds us of how vulnerable we become as we yield to the changing seasons of our lives. When rapid change occurs, it can sometimes come as an unpleasant surprise. The way we leave one season and enter another reflects our true colors—especially in our relationships and how we view God.
Forbearing One Another
"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye" (Colossians 3:13, KJV).
"Forbearing" means to be patient and restrained. Another way of putting this is to love each other, regardless of our differences. This is also when we say to each other, "I'm not going to let you go because I care for you way more than you know. You are not getting away from me just because we disagree on something."
The person who is least like you and sees things so differently may be the best asset for your future. God's purpose for you can come packaged in a way we may dislike. The person that you least agree with might be the person that you need the most!
Relationships this fall that are "straining" are actually in "training" to win future spiritual battles. God works through the least likely people and channels. He is anointing the peasant to one day handle kingdom finances. He is empowering the shy and timid to one day speak boldly to thousands. He is commissioning the illiterate to write profound kingdom revelation and godly principles. He will use you in unexpected ways; He will use the least likely around you as well. Supernatural breakthrough will come through unexpected circumstances!
Misunderstandings Can Be the Enemy's Trap
Misunderstandings come and go. We've all had them. However, in this current season (fall of 2018), the enemy will attempt to use basic miscommunication and simple misunderstandings to try to bring division within the church. The enemy knows that if he can divide the church, then he has a divided country. Unresolved misunderstandings and personal offense can kill relationships and ministries more than anything else. As Christians, we must move quickly to prayer and humility to resolve these types of issues.
The Lord is saying, "I have put certain gems of wisdom in some people you may not like. Love everyone for their own good and well-being. Yes, that does include your enemies."
(From Bill Yount) I will never forget what the Lord said to me during a time that I was deeply wounded. He said, "Son, if you will bless your enemy, I will bless you." My desire to be blessed by the Lord made it so much easier to forgive and bless those who had hurt me. So I did, and it all worked out.
God is healing the local church and Christian relationships during the fall season. He will cause us to walk out forgiveness. He will give us the desire to make things right.
Don't Forget the Duct Tape
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger" (James 1:19, MEV).
Have you ever wished you could take back the words you said to someone?" The next time you are tempted to say something out of your emotions, pretend that you are placing duct tape over your mouth and don't speak about that situation for the next 24 hours. While you're waiting, pray! (We are not saying be in silence during this time. We are suggesting that you not say anything about the situation that is upsetting you until after you have prayed for a day.)
Once you have peace about the situation, then remove the "duct tape" from your mouth and do what the Lord tells you to do. With all of the tension in the world right now, Christians must be committed to walk in self-control and patience toward one another. It is through the power of the cross that we gain victory in our relationships. The cross transitioned Jesus for His greatest honor. What He could have denied, He chose to embrace. Embrace your cross (your relationships). It's promotion time!
Remember How We View God
"You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for You have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created" (Rev. 4:11).
Transition can rattle us all. Whether it is expected or not, normally there are some things that we run into during a transitional season that we didn't anticipate. Transition is rattling our country and our churches right now. Lately, we have received report after report on how so many people are running into unexpected circumstances that are out of their control. These are situations that were well-planned and prayed over for several months, but while the process is finally being worked out, something bizarre and unexpected arises and nearly throws the entire project into a frenzy. If this is happening to you or someone that you know right now, believe us, it is happening to many others as well.
(From Andy Sanders) About a month ago, something that I had been working on for almost a year fell right through the floor without any warning. I was extremely frustrated and torn within my spirit. I took some time off to pray, only to realize that there were some "bad leaves and bad fruit" that I had allowed within this project. This caused me to reestablish my priorities, and it brought me back to why this whole project was so important to begin with. You see, I started to get sidetracked from God's original plan. When it all came crashing down, I fixed the mess, and now it is kingdom-focused again.
God doesn't shake His body, because His body doesn't need shaking. God is shaking what was never intended to be. If your life or church ministry is being shaken, it is because God is bringing up to the surface that which didn't belong with you in the first place. God doesn't shake fruit that is whole (ripe); He picks it, not letting it fall to the ground and get damaged. When something is shaking, it is because the tree has some bad fruit and dead leaves, so He shakes the bad stuff off to reveal and preserve the good fruit. During a "shaky time" in our lives, we need to be careful that we're not becoming angry at God for the wrong reasons. Sometimes He is shaking something to reveal to us a better way. This is His grace in action—and not His wrath. Losing a job now can mean that a better one is on its way. God's plan is always restoration! He is constantly working ways to bring us into a deeper love relationship with Him.
Andy Sanders had a drug overdose and an encounter with God just before his high school graduation. He has been supernaturally healed on more than one occasion. Sanders is an avid writer who has been involved with the publishing industry since 1999. His writing venues include Charisma Media, The Elijah List, Morning Star Journal, Identity Network, Spirit Fuel and The Oak Initiative. Sanders is happily married to his wife of 24 years, Cathy, and has two teenage children. They reside in Syracuse, New York.
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is Handfuls of Purpose. His prophetic email list is: billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill's website at billyount.com.
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