Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."
This is true in every area of our lives—in our relationships, jobs, personal growth, our walk with Christ, and even in our hobbies and interests. I've been through many different seasons at this point in my life, and each one has been challenging and rewarding in some way.
For example, as parents, Dave and I have gone through different seasons with our four children. There was a period when we had to help them with everything and give them guidance in every decision. Then, as they grew, we let them begin making decisions on their own. And later on, when it was time for them to leave home, we had to disengage from them so they could pursue their own lives.
We've also gone through different seasons in our relationship. Dave and I used to be together most of the time, building the ministry we have today. Now, after 53 years of marriage, we still love being together and are closer than we've ever been, but we can also give each other more space to do things we each enjoy.
There are friends I used to spend a lot of time with and now I don't see them often or at all. And I've had different jobs through the years with various types of responsibilities to manage.
I like change because life gets boring if everything is always the same. But change isn't always easy, especially when it comes to our inner life and our spiritual growth.
Knowing When You Need a Change
It's important to be able to discern when it's time for a change. Because if we hang on to something that God is done using—a place He no longer needs us to be or something He no longer wants us to do—then we'll become miserable.
I've discovered that just because I've done something for years, it doesn't mean God won't give me a new direction in life. And as I've aged the last few years, I've really been impacted by this statement: Only a fool thinks he can always do what he's always done.
I've had to make some big changes in recent years because of issues I was having with my physical health. I was tired all the time and realized I needed to stop doing everything I'd been doing because it was just too much for me.
I'd reached a crisis point and was forced to make some changes. That meant trusting others to take care of some responsibilities I didn't need to keep managing so I could focus on the things God wants me to do.
I remember one instance when the thought crossed my mind, Well, I guess I'm not really needed anymore. But the truth is, I just needed to let some things go so I could be free to do what God has called me to do. And that's a wonderful place to be!
The Seasons for Your Inner Life
More than any other area of your life, God is concerned about your inner life—your character, godly mindsets and attitudes. First Samuel 16:7b says, "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
We need to pay more attention to our inner life. What would the world be like if every Christian spent more time getting spiritually ready for their day than they did showering, shaving, getting dressed, fixing their hair, putting on makeup and so on? I remember when I didn't spend time alone with God at the beginning of my day, and although I looked good on the outside, I looked ugly to God because my heart wasn't right. I didn't treat people right, I had bad attitudes and I was hard to get along with.
I went through years of waiting on God, letting Him work in my heart and mind to change me from the inside out before He put me in a position to help many people. At the time, it was so frustrating, and I didn't understand what He was doing.
But looking back now, I am so glad that God made me wait until He knew I was ready before He gave me the opportunity to teach His Word to people all over the world. It's scary to think about how I could have hurt people more than helped them had I been given this ministry too soon.
What season of life are you in right now? Are you facing a major change in your family, your friendships, your work or your health? Are you in a season of waiting on God to work in you so He can do something through you?
Wherever you are today, I want to encourage you to trust God's timing for change, knowing that He will cause all things to work out for your good as you follow His lead. More than anything else, pursue a closer relationship with Jesus, and He'll guide you through every season of your life.
For more on this topic, order Joyce's three-teaching CD series "When, God, When?" You can also contact us to receive our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling (800) 727-9673 or visiting joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times' bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Your Battles Belong to the Lord (FaithWords). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.
Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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