I am coming into a massive season of change. The change will include, but is not limited to: a move to a new city, a new home, a new schedule, a new church, new neighbors and friends, new daily walks…you get the picture.
This season of change was precipitated by the unexpected and sudden decision to accept a new job assignment located 4.5 hours away. At this point, we have made the job assignment decision by faith. However, we don’t actually know how all of the subsequent changes will work out practically speaking.
When I’m in my right mind, I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us. I am excited to see His purposes fulfilled in and through our lives. I am trusting in God’s faithfulness, which I have experienced time and again in the last 23 years of marriage and 7 moves. As I think rightly and walk in the Spirit, the good fruit of joy, peace, and faithfulness bubbles up to the surface in my thoughts and words.
When I allow my thoughts to become fearful and anxious, the fruit of the Spirit shrivels up. The work of the Spirit in and through my life is quenched in the here and now.
It’s not that I don’t want to display the good fruit of the Spirit in the midst of this changing and uncertain season of life. I genuinely do! The breakdown comes when I don’t do the thing I want to do, which is walk well through all of the tumultuous moments, by faith. Rather, I walk by sight and respond with fear and anxiety, which causes me to do the things I don’t want to do and dishonor the Lord.
It’s not that I can’t display the good fruit of the Spirit in the midst of this changing and uncertain season. Second Peter 1:3 declares…
Therefore I know it is possible to walk well and display godly character and good fruit no matter circumstances.
And yet, there are a few quick and sure ways I can, and unfortunately have, hindered the fruit producing work of the Spirit in my life. Perhaps you can relate.
I try to be Omniscient (All Knowing) rather than trusting God to lead in His timing.
It all begins with research rather than prayer. Yes, numbers are numbers and facts are seemingly facts but God is above all of those things. Because I do not know the end from the beginning, I don’t even know which numbers and facts I should be considering. Research is good if done with the proper perspective. However when my research causes fear and anxiety, it is no longer helpful. Instead I need to spend less time researching and more time praying, allowing the Lord to make plain and obvious His good plan for this next season of life.
I want to be Self Sufficient rather than depending fully upon God to provide for each ounce of strength, wisdom, grace, and finances needed in the moment.
Again, this comes back to prayer. Prayer is the perfect opportunity to confess my circumstances to God as I see them in my flawed mind’s eye. However, the truth is He is the vine and I am a branch. Apart from Him I can do nothing. Even my desire and feeble attempts to walk well through this season will not yield good fruit apart from the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in my life as I depend upon Him.
I am hoping to be Omnipresent (everywhere all the time). I am also desiring to be Omnipotent (all powerful) to some extent.
I have obligations and responsibilities where I currently reside. I also need to be actively working toward doing the practical things that will make this move possible. How can I be successful in doing all of this at one time? Only through prayer, and following the leading of the Spirit, will all of those fine details align in such a way that God is glorified.
When things all seem to “fall into place”, it is never because I have been everywhere all at once, keeping all of the balls up in the air. It is never because I have been so wise and powerful as to bring things to pass. No, it is only by the work of the Lord that things ever turn out well. In fact, they turn out exceedingly, abundantly above all I knew to ask or even think!
Rather than trying to do the things only God can do, I need to focus on what I have been called and enabled to do, namely abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit.
What does this look like practically in my life, in this season?
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.1 Thessalonians 5: 16-19