Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life (Pt.2)
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life (Pt.4)

Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life (Pt.3)

Season #1 - Winter 

In the natural, the winter season is a time of cold, rain and frost. It's a time to be inside keeping warm. It’s wet, cold and windy outside. In many parts of the world, winter is accompanied by snow and ice.

We can also go through personal seasons of winter. Everything feels cold and grey. The sun isn't shining and we feel no warmth. God may seem a long ways away. Everything seems barren. Nothing is growing. 

What do we do in winter? Do we just hibernate and hope for sunnier days? I would like to suggest that winter can be a time for dreaming and planning

During winter, the farmer begins to think about the coming change of seasons – a time to plant again for a future harvest. He sees or imagines in his mind’s eye what the next harvest will look like – the kind of seed he’ll plant and the size of the return. He sees it all before it actually happens and he begins to prepare for it. He thinks of the possibilities and the opportunities ahead, not the problems and the disasters that might come.

In the same way, we need to allow the Holy Spirit within us to impart a fresh sense of purpose and direction for our life. Without a revelation from God, we live unmotivated and undisciplined lives (Prov.29:18). One of the signs of the Spirit's work is the prophetic impartation of visions and dreams (Acts 2:17) ... and let's never forget that God is "... able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (dream of), according to his power that is at work within us."

Everything begins with a dream – within our heart and mind. It is first conceived in the spiritual realm then it becomes a reality in the natural realm. A dream is a mental picture or vision of a future reality imparted by God. A true dream from God is more than a simple wish, a whim or a daydream.

Unfortunately, we can tend to see more problems than possibilities. We need to re-evaluate our opportunities. We need to dare to dream again. Opportunity blindness happens when we see each assignment as a stepping stone. Opportunities we hope to find in another place often already exist where we are now. Your current post has a wealth of potential. Be creative. Use your imagination and be committed to the future. Break new ground. Turn opportunities into achievements.

A person never achieves more than their dreams. Every significant achievement or ministry started as someone’s dream. Many Christians have stopped singing and quit dreaming. God wants to renew your ability to imagine, hope, anticipate and dream. Hope shapes the direction of our lives. All things are possible with God. When you have a dream, everyone around you benefits.

Martin Luther King’s famous speech began with the powerful statement, “I have a dream.” What's your dream? Ask God how He wants things to be rather than simply accepting the situation as inevitable. We see things the way they are and they way they used to be. God sees things the way they are and the way they could be.

Recognize the potential God sees in your situation right now. See it from God’s perspective. Get a new grip on your life. Seek for a fresh anointing and a new perspective. Sometimes we’re looking for new places rather than seeing through new eyes and dreaming new dreams right where we are. Unpack your bags, stop longing for greener pastures and assume responsibility for your where you are right now. Cultivate your field - even the richest soil has to be tilled faithfully and frequently. Many apparently unattractive and overgrown fields are rich in opportunity beyond our wildest imagination. A bumper crops awaits the person who cultivates the land and plants God’s seed. Deserts can bloom. Barren fields can produce.

How to dream:

  • Get by yourself – alone with no distractions. Take time for dreaming.
  • Relax and be quiet. We need to learn to meditate. To still our minds in quietness and allow God to speak to us His thoughts, plans and purposes.
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s vision for your life. You can be what God wants you to be and you can do what God wants you to do. Conquer doubt and fear.
  • Begin to think about the future. Look beyond the struggle of the daily grind and think about what lies ahead.
  • Believe that you can rise above your circumstances and see you life from a new, higher perspective. 
  • Write down what you believe God wants you to do in 2011 – your mission.
  • Write down your calling based on your gifting, personality and passion.
  • Clarify and define your dream.

Think about the big issues of life. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What really matters (values)?
  • What is God like? 
  • Who am I (identity) and why am I here (purpose)?
  • What kind of a person do I want to be and what things do I want to do with my life?
  • What would I do with my life if resources were unlimited and anything was possible?
  • What things would I like to do but don’t believe I can do? Who told me I can’t and what stands in my way?

A DREAM gives us hope for the future and power in the present.

Tomorrow ... more activities for winter. 

Comments

I am SO enjoying these posts Mark. Thanks for taking the time to impart the wisdom here.

Thanks Mark. Very encouraging food for thought.
Love the new CLC webpage look! Gets better & better :)

Really encouraging and practical. Great thoughts for the start of a new year.

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