Season's Change 5
by Janice S Ramkissoon
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“A time to be quiet and a time to speak up” (7b)
Hearing God's Voice
Learning the art of obedience. Knowing when to be 'still' and increase in the knowledge of God, as well as knowing when to speak up with the authority given you by God.
There was a period in my life when I was very quiet. You would never get me standing up to give a testimony; sing a song or doing any public speaking. There were times when that was just shyness. But I once heard ‘Be still’ and knew it meant that it was time to learn and grow. I was quiet for a period after that.
During my quiet time, I had requests to teach Sunday school, develop a youth group and head up a newly created department within the church. I didn’t say never, but I did let the people who were asking, know that I would seek God’s direction before giving a reply. It turned out that, though I had experience in these areas, it was not the direction God was leading me in (for that season). God had other plans for me.
Had I been disobedient and take up these offers, my spiritual growth would not be at the level that it is now. And I would not yet be reaching those He intended my ministry to reach. From this, I learned that sometimes God needs to get our full attention in order to take us to the next level of our spiritual growth. And that often requires ‘isolation’ which comes during our ‘quiet’ time with Him. Having been obedient to the call to be still, I am now seeing the reverse in progress which was a natural process, developed through my relationship with Christ. The fears are all gone because I look to Him for my strength.
Knowing when to speak up and what to say can only happen under the influence of the Holy Spirit, for it to be effective. If ‘self’ takes centre stage during this process, there is a very high risk of people losing faith. This is why the process described in part three of Season’s Change is very important.
During this ‘quiet time’ I was paying close attention to the Word of God. I was being taught by the Holy Spirit. It was during this quiet time that all my flaws were revealed and dealt with. It was during this quiet time of drawing closer to God that all the clutter in the closet of my brain was removed. I could finally think clearly and make good decisions which would eventually shape my future. This quiet time saw the evidence of being born-again. All my “sorrows and shame…sickness and pain” were traded in, at the foot of the cross, in exchange for the “joy of the Lord.”
When I totally submitted to Christ, I heard ‘Time to speak up.’ I didn’t need to fear because He had been training me up for this purpose, through His Word, via the Holy Spirit. Through that quiet period, I was led to write down what I was learning. So when my Pastor called me to read one of the articles I had published, I was equipped to do the job. And through the leading of the Holy Spirit I knew what The Lord wanted me to say. I just needed to stay in His presence, to present the case well.
Through my quiet time, I learned that some will hear and heed the warning while others will refuse the message and in some cases attack the messenger. I was unfortunate in this case to receive the latter and my spirit was crushed. But fortunately, I quickly bounced back.
If God says “Speak up!” It is for you to bring the message to the people without fear of how they’ll receive it; which individual will be offended or whether they will receive or reject it. You speak up! Give the message and let God deal with the rest. And this time being ‘still’ becomes a comfort, reminding you that God is the great ‘I Am.’ Fear not for God is with you and He gives you the strength to do His will. He will go ahead of you and clear the path, just like He did when He part the red sea, you just need to be an available vessel. He will work through you.
© 2008 J. S. Ramkissoon
Season's Change continues under the Leadership theme and is an analysis of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. This is in relation to the spiritual growth of a believer. Some of these areas, though vital to a believer's growth, are often marginalised or ignored. This action then contributes to the spiritual death of many believers and the de-motivation of our leaders.
Verse one gives an overall picture of bringing us to the knowledge that there is a designated time for everything. "There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heaven." This flows through the series and shows the importance of each activity on our journey as believers.
This series developed, from the article ‘My Beloved Child’, as a leadership tool to help the church towards growth. Though the articles are targeted at leaders, they are written in a simple form so that any believer reading the articles can find tips within, to help towards spiritual growth.
To read the other parts of this article you can visit: http://www.write2shine.com/Season_s_Change.html
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