Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Winter (11/14/05)
TITLE: TheWinter Season Of The Spiritual Life
By Doug Laird
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Through spiritual maturity and the discernment that comes along with it, we can see the significance of the winter season and acknowledge that it has its place and purpose in the plan of God.
The Bible records natural life spans of nearly 1,000 years for many of those who were a part of the earliest generations of the human race. The Bible also speaks of a coming time during the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, when the latter generations of the humanity will also experience similar life spans in natural bodies.
In comparison to all of eternity, however, even such longevity as this will seem to have been no more than a passing phase of time.
The psalmist accurately reveals that for most of us, the span of time to be experienced in our natural bodies is 70 to 80 years. For some it may be a little longer than others, but only to find these years to be dominated by “…trouble and sorrow (Psalms 90: 10 NIV).”
In every generation, there will be those who do not live through infancy and those who live much longer that most. Each soul is placed here to fulfill its divinely ordained purposes and then returns to his/her Creator. It took 930 years (Gen 5:5) for Adam to accomplish his purposes, yet it took less than 35 for the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ to accomplish His. Truly, from the divine perspective, it is not the quantity of our days that matters, but what it is that is accomplished during the time that He has allotted to us.
The mature believer will not desire to live one second longer or to die one second sooner that what God has ordained. Accepting the timing and circumstances of death, be it our own or that of others, is a test that comes to all of us.
My wife and I lost a stillborn baby boy in the ninth month of a “normal” pregnancy. I lost my mother to a stroke when she was 48. I lost my father to cancer when he was 53. All three of these events occurred in less than two years and before I was 25 years old.
Over a thirty-year career in law-enforcement, I saw death come to all ages for a variety of reasons. Making unexpected death notifications is one of the most stressful duties that law enforcement officers are called to perform.
I am in my third year of remission following a stage three-cancer diagnosis at the age of 49. I have been in “ the valley of the shadow of death (Psalms 23:4 NIV).” It can be as challenging as death itself.
The winter season of the spiritual life has the same purpose and meaning as the other seasons that preceded it. Without these objectives giving our lives purpose and definition, our lives will be nothing but an existence of vanity, no matter how otherwise successful we may be (Matt.16: 26).
The primary purpose that every soul is created is to glorify God. We glorify God when we are born again (John 3: 3) and enter into a relationship with Him by believing in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once born again, we then have the opportunity to further glorify Him by developing the “mind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NIV) and applying it to the daily events of our personal lives that He sends or allows to take place in the post-salvation spiritual life that follows.
When under satanic attack (Eph.; 6:12), remember that one of the secrets to ensure a fantastic winter season is to allow the events that we experience in the preceding seasons to make us better, and not bitter, individuals.
Success in the winter season can be the greatest testimony and legacy that we leave behind.
Failure in this area will provide the means for skeptics to question the reality of all that we, as Christians, claimed to have believed and professed during our time here on Earth. This, perhaps more than any other issue, reveals the significance of the winter season of the spiritual life. It’s where our talk is given the final opportunity to be our walk as well.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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