There was a song playing on the sound system. And old song called, “Seasons in the sun,” and it speaks of joy and fun and having had a season in the sun. It’s so true, we definitely go through different seasons in our lives and some of them are in the sun, while others lean sharply towards winter. There are also dry, hot seasons where everything seems to be dying. I am reminded of the seed that has to be put in the ground and die before it can grow.
John 12:23 – 26, He replied to them, “Now is the time for the Son of Man to be glorified. Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.
“The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever! If you want to be my disciple, follow me and you will go where I am going. And if you truly follow me as my disciple, the Father will shower his favor upon your life.
When we decide to make Jesus the Lord of our life, we undergo a change – a huge change – something so big that the very person we were before disappears. We basically die and are reborn as a new person. A new greatly improved version of your old self. And then you are perfect forever. If only…
That is when the work begins. Once we have experienced the love that the Holy Spirit pours our into our hearts it feels like we are going to be walking on this glorious cloud forever, but once the initial euphoria wears off we enter an entirely different season. A season of learning and growing and questioning, but still a very good, if somewhat confusing season. We are confused by the attitudes of some seasoned Christians speaking of attacks and dry places. We don’t understand how they have lost the joy that is so obviously part and parcel of a Christian life. Most of the time we only see glimpses, although there are others who do live life to the full and seem to be invincible. Very confusing.
Then the next season hits. This is the season of attacks and as far as I can discern, this season never passes. It fluctuates between difficult and a lot more difficult. We are attacked from all sides and if we can’t stand strong in our faith we are in danger of losing it altogether. This is where the dying of the seed comes in. To be able to stay standing we have to die to self all the time. What does that mean? That means that the devil operates through people and people hurt. They hurt where it hurts most. We have to be able to put our own feelings and our own egos away and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. We cannot take offence every time someone says something hurtful. We cannot retaliate every time someone lashes out at us. We can not! This is when we have to follow the example of Jesus and forgive and forgive and forgive some more. Not for the sake of the other person, but for ourselves. We have to strap on the armour of God early every morning before the devil wakes up. We have to be armoured plated and bullet proof. Dying to self allows us to do this because when people say things we cannot take them to heart. We are to be hidden in Jesus. We have to love our enemies and pray for those who use us. We can do all these difficult things because we aren’t who we used to be. We are now new creatures and we are under the blood of Jesus. No matter what season we are in, we have to make sure it’s a Jesus season.