IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: HE CHANGES TIMES AND SEASONS
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“It is God who alters the times and seasons, and he removes kings and promotes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Daniel 2:21
The sun and moon were created to give light to the earth, to separate day from night, and serve as signs to mark seasons, days and years. Time, is a temporary interruption in eternity. It is a commodity that can neither be bought nor sold. The only thing you can do with time is use it. If you don’t use it, you lose it. If time doesn’t work in your favour, it will work against you. Time and seasons are instruments of measurement, assessment, planning and perfection. Time is an effective tool in the hands of God in planning and executing his plans. In time, everything that has a beginning must have an end. If God did not create time and seasons, there will be no end to terror, sickness, disease, misfortune, misunderstanding, quarrels, poverty and illiteracy, failure and disappointment, corruption and wickedness. In fact, there will be no end to evil.
Change is inevitable
Therefore the most powerful realities on earth are time and seasons. The most predictable truth on Earth is Change. Change is inevitable. Everything in Creation will change, nothing remains the same. There are massive changes will take place in 2014 ,e. g. there will be political, legal, social, cultural, ideological , moral, religious, scientific, technological ,spiritual, climatic and environmental changes will occur in the nations of the world. Change is the greatest Challenge of our time. One thing is certain, the Scriptures make a distinction between the “temporal” and the “eternal.” Paul says that the things that are seen are “temporal” but the things not seen are “eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). “Time” clearly does not relate to God and man in the same way. In describing God, the psalmist declares: “. . . from everlasting to everlasting, you are God . . .” (Psa. 90:2). Eternity is endless, but time is measured by a “beginning” and an “end.” The Bible commences with these words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN THE AFFAIRS OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT
The book of Daniel in the Bible emphasizes especially the sovereignty of God. God is called “the living God,” “the most high God,” “the God of heaven,” “the King of heaven.” This sovereign God is in control, even of mighty human empires: “He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings” Daniel also emphasizes the certainty of God’s coming kingdom: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever”
God’s people have always been, in some sense, at the mercy of kings and rulers. Throughout history decisions have been made by the powerful and for the powerful; with rare exceptions the good of the people doesn’t come into it. But we have in the Bible some wonderful promises from a King who is trustworthy and true, who is concerned for the good of his people. And this King is the King of kings. In Daniel 2:21-22 the eponymous prophet says:
God changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden highs; He knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with Him.
Do you know that God still reverses the irreversible? He can go into your past to affect your today, and He can also go into your future and make it glorious. He can even change your appointment with death to a future date, just as He extended King Hezekiah’s life by 15 years (2 Kings 20:6). This shall be your portion in Jesus’ Name!
God will turn the times and the seasons of your life around in your favour in Jesus’ Name. Have people written you off and said you will die childless? The Lord God will go into your future and say “I know you were supposed to die childless, but I am changing that so that on the day you will die and be buried, you will have at least four of your own children at your funeral.” If people write you off, God can write you in. Has somebody looked at you and told you to your face that you can never be rich, because poverty is a perfect fit for you? The Lord will reverse this pronouncement. Has your teacher told you that you are so dull mentally that you can never amount to anything academically or professionally? The Lord will change that. Has anyone in your extended family told you that you can never amount to anything in life? The Lord will also change that. God has the power to change anything, but the problem is that some of us have accepted the negative pronouncements that have been passed on to us by others. That is very wrong. As long as you believe their lie and accept it, God will not be able to change anything concerning you, no matter how much He wants to.
From man’s perspective “time” is uncontrollable. Even with all the advances of modernity man has yet to harness the hands of time. We have deadlines, but “the clock is ticking.” We set goals, but it seems “time is expiring.” We work overtime, but it seems that “the clock is against us.” But from God’s perspective time appears differently. As the Creator of time and existing outside its bounds, God rules it. Thus, our good and Sovereign Lord orders time to operate for our welfare. That’s why the writers of Scripture repeatedly use the phrase “at that time” or “at the appointed time.” In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon referred to twenty-eight “times and seasons” through which man courses. And the message is clear: “Our times are in God’s hands” (Psalm 31:15). As our loving Lord, He is there to help us in, out, and through anything life presents.
Let’s investigate that.
The Bible points out that Jesus appeared in human flesh “in the fullness of time.” In other words, God sent Christ at the foreordained moment! Existing outside of time, the wisdom of God determined the Messiah’s birthplace, ministry, life, and death. This is the meaning of Revelation 13:8 when it says Christ was “slain before the foundations of the earth.” Before the sun cast its light or the constellations glittered from the sky, God determined Christ Jesus to be the Timepiece of human history. He is the express One for whom time exists and it is He that gives time its context and meaning.
I want you to notice what all this means to you when you are devoted to Christ. It means God wraps every moment of your life with purpose, meaning, and destiny. Perhaps that is difficult to accept when life suddenly unravels, and you experience sickness, loss, or slander. But this is why the Bible unveils the narrative of Joseph.
For years, people misunderstood, misjudged, and maligned Joseph—even those of his own household! It reached the point to where his brothers conspired and sold him into slavery. You can imagine how Joseph recoiled from it all. That was no way to treat someone destined to be a Prince! But not long after his enslavement his master’s wife falsely accused him and he was hauled to prison! Time was ticking; years passed; Joseph seemed “trapped in time.” He probably wondered if there was any chance of his dreams coming true. But at each impasse, he heard God’s soft, assuring voice say: “Be still, Joseph. I’m priming you.” It wasn’t long until Joseph gained favor and ran the compound. Now with the keys he could pick a midnight hour for a jailbreak! But that would have made him a fugitive, and by then Joseph knew that wasn’t God’s plan. Thankfully, with a grain of faith settled in his heart, he knew God was still saying, “Be patient Joseph, I’m priming you.” And he was right, because at the appointed hour, Pharaoh called for Joseph to interpret his dreams. And when Pharaoh heard Joseph’s sagacious insight he knew the words originated with God. That’s when Pharaoh lifted him up and said, “Come here Joseph. I’m priming you. You are now my Prime Minister. All that I have is under your jurisdiction”!
Always remember: from slander to betrayal; from enslavement to imprisonment; from the prison to the palace “your times are in God’s hands”!
Now for a final thought about time. There are two Greek words that help us understand the concept of time. One word is chronos, and it expresses the ‘unfettered stream of time.’ The other Greek word is kairos, and it identifies “a moment filled with meaning and purpose.” It is a moment so significant that it can radically transform your life! Can you see the consequence of chronos intersecting with kairos? Along the stream of time events both adverse and advantageous occur. People hurt us or God promotes us. We stumble or we succeed. Either way, we wonder, What’s next? But regardless of what that next may be you can trust God. He controls your future! And He does have a glorious Next!
However, God’s sovereignty does not cancel human responsibility. God created human beings as free moral agents and has given this earth to man. Psalm 115:16 says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men” (New King James Version).
God has also given man the power to choose. So the choices you make today have a lot to do about the times and the seasons you enter into. Joshua told the Israelites in Joshua 24:15, “But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD” (New Living Translation). Times and seasons of abundance, suffering, etc. tomorrow are influenced by your choices today.
Preparing for a new time and season
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
Put God first in your life. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (New King James Version).
The New Living Translation says, “And he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Pursue God’s way of being right and doing right.
To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). If you obey the Lord diligently and follow his commandments, you’ll enjoy favourably refreshing times and seasons from the Lord. Deuteronomy 28 talks extensively about the blessings that follow obedience and the curses that follow disobedience to God. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (King James Version).
Cultivate positive habits or attitudes. Your habits determine your future. As it is often said, “Your attitudes determine your altitude.” Such positive habits or attitudes include faith, love, diligence, calmness, self-control, perseverance, selflessness, right thinking. 2 Peter 1:5-9 says, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (New King James Version).
If you want to experience a positive season you must work towards it. Hard work is a positive discipline in order to enjoy a new season. There are both seedtime and harvest times. If you’re not hardworking during planting season, when harvest season comes, you’ll miss out while others who are hardworking will enjoy a bountiful harvest. According to Proverbs 20:4, “If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at the harvest” (New Living Translation). Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night” (New Living Translation). According to 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (New King James Version).
A new season of promotion awaits the diligent. Proverbs 22:29 says, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (King James Version).
As I’ve said, calmness or lack of anxiety or worry is one of the positive habits or attitudes you should cultivate. Concerning anxiety or worry, Matthew 6:34 says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (New Living Translation). Don’t be anxious about a new season.
Right thinking is another habit. Concerning right thinking, the Bible says in Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (New King James Version).
You also need to cultivate the habit or attitude of living a thankful and joyful life. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always” (New King James Version). Verse 18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (New King James Version). Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (New King James Version).
In Ephesians 5:19, we are urged to, “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (New Living Translation). Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (New King James Version).
Make the best use of your current season. Whether the current season is favourable or unfavourable, make the most use of it. Don’t be fantasizing about a better tomorrow that has not come while you do nothing about today that is here. Ephesians 5:15-18 says, “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (New Living Translation).
Be faithful in your current season, and a new season, a better season will come upon you. The converse is also true. The unfaithful will continue to experience a downward slide. Luke 16:10-12 says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (New King James Version).
Follow divine leading, not what is trending. If you follow the trend, you may get lost; you’ll miss God’s direction for your life. God is usually not in the wind, in the earthquake, or in the fire. “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13 (New King James Version).
Follow the Word, not the world! The form of this world is passing away (1 John 2:17). The children of Israel were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people” (Exodus 13:21-22 New King James Version).
Exodus 14:19-20 also talks about God leading the Israelites by the pillar of cloud. This is similar to the ministry of the Holy Spirit today. You must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Be flexible in the hand of the Holy Spirit. Don’t be conservative. Don’t keep dancing to the old beats when God has changed the music. Don’t hold on to the old when God is doing a new thing.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
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