UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES YOU ARE IN
There is an incredible need to be well aware of the physical, spiritual and economic times that we are in. The global economic trends are a pointer to the need for discernment in investment, in the workplace and in business practices and relationships. The same applies to the physical and the spiritual atmospheres we currently create around ourselves. There seems to be the need to belt up, closely analyse and reflection on the varied elements of what we call our ‘status quo’. Let’s examine three stories (case studies) from the bible to help us with our reflection.
King David (1 Samuel 30: 1-31)
Just around the corner from a great victory over a formidable enemy, distress, contention, and a form of defeat or failure assaulted David. The enemy kidnapped the families of David’s men, including his own wives. Imagine going out to war and vanquishing the enemy, only to return and meet a raided camp! In response, he encouraged himself in God – he remembered the faithfulness of God over the years and he believed that God had the answers to his current problems. He deliberately spent time seeking God’s opinion concerning a course of action – he did not go in his military might. He asked God for specific instructions concerning his response to this affront by the enemy. He understood that the battle was won by the wisdom and direction of God Himself and all the glory must, therefore, go to God alone. He was not selfish with the booty – all the warriors had a share. He believed in the team, active and inactive.
Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17, 18, 19)
Elijah had many highs and lows in his lifetime, some he seemed to manage well and others not so well. His most popular high was when he called fire from heaven on a sacrifice during a time of famine. That was swiftly followed by his most popular low point; when Queen Jezebel threatened his life and he fled. A careful study of chapters 17 to 19 will reveal a great deal of passion, faith, as well as uncertainty and, in his peculiar case, a transfer of baton.
Samson the Judge (Judges 13, 14, 15, 16)
Samson was a man ordained to be different, selected from birth the bring deliverance to his nation. He needed to fully understand his specific instructions for life and walk by them – regardless of what anyone else thought. He started off abiding by his unique code of conduct but then veered off course when he was drawn away by his sensual desires. In this case, he had specific instructions concerning relationships and marriage which he disregarded, and which ended up costing him his dignity, his honour and ultimately, his life. Such a high price to pay!
These three men had some understanding of the times they were in but responded differently. We – of necessity – must seek to understand the times we are in economically, physically and especially spiritually.
It is a good idea to make a note of the thoughts and ideas that come to mind as you reflect on these questions over a few days.
- What’s my budget for expenses? What ‘spare money’ can I play with?
- What can I save? What do I need to save?
- What can I invest? In business, in myself for career development, in property, etc.
- What can I give to the kingdom?
- How am I taking care of my body? Do I have a healthy lifestyle?
- Where am I in terms of my relationships with people? Am I at peace?
- Single – Am I ready (getting ready) for the responsibility of marriage? How am I preparing?
- Married – Am I building up stronger ties with my spouse and my children? What’s my household like?
- Do I know what God is saying about this season?
- Do I believe I must hear God’s specific instructions to be successful?
- How am I building up myself in the knowledge of God?
- How do I preserve myself from defilement, compromise, fear and doubt?
Know who you are; know your season; know your instructions for life!