In life, we all go through seasons. Some are wonderful. Some are very rough. We go through mountain-top experiences and we go through deserts.
Which are you in right now?
Chances are, your answer is based on your life experiences right now. Me too. Perhaps, you just received a great new job or perhaps you are without a job. Perhaps, you are having a great season with your children right now or perhaps they are being very challenging. Perhaps, your marriage is in a great place, or perhaps you are struggling.
Let me ask a second question. What is your “season” with God right now; Is it a “mountain-top” or is it a “desert?”
If you answered “desert” to either question, let me encourage you: Although “desert” experience may be very painful, whether it is in our life circumstances or in our relationship with God, that doesn’t make it bad. As a matter of fact, God can absolutely use that to grow us and mold us to be more like Him. But we do need to realize it will happen over time, and in His time.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV
It is natural for us to experience the ebb and flow of emotions connected with the variation in our life experiences and seasons. So, how do we deal with these peaks and valleys, these various seasons of our life?
As I read more and more stories of the Bible, I see that God used many flawed people in many great ways through many peaks and valleys. These people also seemed to eventually get in the flow with God’s way of doing things. And I figured, if it worked for them, it can work for us! So, let’s look at what I mean by getting in the FLOW.
The point of getting in the flow is to help us always keep our focus firmly on God and follow His ways for us.
So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Deuteronomy 5:32 NIV
So here are some ways we can get in the FLOW, keep our minds set on the things above, and level out our peaks and valleys.
Place our faith actively in God
We need to live with active faith in God, His Word and His ways. Where we put our faith is demonstrated by our behavior and the choices that we make. Here are some questions to consider when determining where we are putting our faith actively in God …
- Is my faith in my agenda or God’s agenda?
- Is my faith in God or in my comfort?
- Is my faith in God or in my circumstances?
- Is my faith in God or in my money?
- Is my faith in God or in my career?
To place our faith in God means we need to spend time getting to know Him through the Bible and through prayer and through community fellowship. Faith in God is built up over time and we build and grow in our relationship with Him. This faith in Him helps us give Him thanks in the good times and the bad, and to weather the storms of life.
Love God and love others without judgment
God calls us to love everyone, even those who are against us. Are we loving others the way we are called to? If we love and forgive in God’s radical way, instead of based on what we think people deserve, we will offset the lows of relational circumstances that often sends us into our “desert” periods.
Loving God and others also helps us take the focus off ourselves and our own circumstances. It puts us in a posture of serving and helping others. This also helps tremendously when we find ourselves in those flat “desert” seasons of life.
Obey God in His timing
Are we obeying God in what we are supposed to do and in also what we are not supposed to do? For those of us who are parents, are we asking our children to obey us and then turning around and disobeying God ourselves? I have been in seasons where I have done this over and over. It feels awful and it doesn’t work. We need to go to God with repentant hearts, ask for forgiveness, and then make a change. Often, we need to get help from a friend, a pastor, or a professional counselor or support group.
Following God’s ways can be difficult and counter-cultural. Jesus demonstrated this all the time. But He also demonstrated what ultimate obedience and victory look like—they look like eternal life in heaven! They look like Kingdom living on earth and in heaven. It is not easy, but it does result in tremendous blessing and fulfillment.
Worship God with a thankful heart
Do you like it when someone praises you for a job well done or gives you a “pat on the back?” Do you like to be loved and wanted? So does God!
Living life with worship in our hearts is pleasing to God. And just like loving others takes the focus off ourselves, so does worship.
How do you worship? Is it through worship music? Is it through being thankful for every day God gives you here on this earth? Is it by showing God how important He is to you by taking time to pray?
Let us worship God every day, regardless of our circumstances!
No matter what season you are in, staying focused on God and staying in the flow will help us experience His peace and love regardless of our circumstances, the way that the Apostle Paul described:
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13 NIV