As the temperatures drop and mornings become crisp and cool, I find myself busy preparing for the season ahead. Preparing for winter.
This is nothing unusual; it is something I do each year. This year is a little different. I find myself helping several other people prepare for winter as well.
It began when I was asked to help pick up walnuts from an 80-year old woman's yard. Her neighbors were concerned she would step on them and fall. My daughter and I went out to her home one day and picked up all the walnuts out of her yard.
Two days later, we found ourselves helping split, stack and haul wood for a couple who needed wood for their fireplace for the winter.
The next day, we were in another city, handing out bags to the needy and homeless. Bags that would help prepare them for winter and all it brings.
Knowing God often speaks spiritual things to me through natural processes, I felt strongly God was showing me something vital. Not only in preparing myself for winter. But also in helping others prepare for winter.
There are seasons in our spiritual lives—that includes winter.
Here are five important factors of winter seasons:
- Spiritually, winter represents dormancy.
Winter is a time where there is no visible growth. It often feels cold and isolated. We may feel alone during the winter seasons of our life. We may even feel we are not hearing God clearly during this time.
Since everything appears dead in winter, it can be one of the most uncomfortable seasons we experience in our spiritual walk.
- It allows our root system to grow.
Winter is also a time, if we allow it, for our roots to go down deep into Him in search of living water.
"The surviving remnant ... shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward" (Isa. 37:31).
- It is time for a Comforter.
Winter season is a time to find comfort in the Comforter. It is in the winter seasons of life in which we find the voice of the Comforter is the only one that will warm us and bring life to us. All other voices sound like pure noise.
As we enter another winter season on the calendar, I hear the Lord say that it is a time to become intimate with Him and snuggle in with Him. We need to shut out the world and cultivate intimacy. It is a time to build our foundation in Him alone.
- Winter is not a time to fear.
Whether we recognize it or not, the deepest revelations and the best lessons come from the winter seasons of our lives.
Secondhand spiritual knowledge will not sustain us during winter seasons. Simply being around spiritual people will not be enough. A prophetic word will not be enough. If you are OK with simply receiving a prophetic word from someone else in this hour, you will have a hard time during the winter seasons. For it is a time to learn to discern His voice for ourselves. It is a time for deeper intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God will give us something nothing else can. While prophecy is good, no prophetic word will give us the intimacy of relationship. Intimacy with God should be our number one priority, for it is vital to a fulfilling life. It is the key to absorbing all that He is, so that we can share it with others.
- It is a time of waiting.
We learn to wait well by developing intimacy with God as mentioned above.
I love all seasons. Even winter. To me, the quiet of winter is deeply soothing.
I love to sit on my back porch and watch the snow. I love the silence of the snow as it gently falls to the ground and covers everything in its path. It brings a sense of serenity that can be felt deep in the soul. That's what comes to mind I think of winter.
During the winter seasons of our life, if we will allow it, God will take us to a deep place of serenity. But that only comes when we learn to wait well and choose to develop intimacy with Him during winter. If we allow His presence to gently come upon us until we are fully covered in Him, we will experience that deep quiet of our soul.
How, then, do we spiritually prepare for winter seasons?
First, we check our heart.
We need to pray and ask the Lord to make sure there is nothing in our heart that will cause us to stumble during the winter season. This will enable us to ensure that our faith in God and in His faithfulness is intact.
Second, we need to make sure we don't allow our faith or our passion for God to grow cold. Just as we are to keep a continual fire burning in our homes for warmth, so in our heart we need to keep the fire of His love burning by meditating daily in the Word of God. We must cultivate a heart of thanksgiving and praise and spend time in His presence to keep the flame burning and keep the coals hot.
"Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness" (Col. 2:7, NLT).
As our roots grow down deep into Him, our lives become built on Him. Our faith then grows and remains strong, and we reach a time of overflow where we can share what we have with others. This is the fruit of winter seasons.
So, grab a warm cup of tea and the good book. Settle in. Prepare for winter, for it is almost here. It can be the most fruitful season of your life.
Kim Potter is the founder of A New Thing Ministries, which sends a daily teaching to over 10,000 people all around the world. Her articles have appeared on The Elijah List, Charisma, Spirit Fuel and iBelieve.com. Kim's message is one of hope. She speaks to the heart of those who have grown discouraged and disappointed by the circumstances of life and imparts the desire and ability to stand against all odds to stand for victory. She encourages people to press into God and discover that He is who He says He is. For additional information, go to anewthingministries.com.
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