Changing Seasons

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We must keep our focus upon God in all things. God does not control our lives, He inspires our lives from within. He gives us the freedom of knowing the Spirit of the Lord within our hearts. I have been addressing the testimony of Elijah in the book of 1 Kings. Elijah was commission by God to bind the blessing of God in the earth for a season, but then God commissioned Him to bring the word of release for the loosing of God’s blessing. It was no longer a season of binding but now a season of loosing. Elijah had to transition from where he had been to where God desired him to be in his present situation. As leaders, we lead others into seasons of change in Christ. In doing this, we must release the expectations of our past for the realities of God in our present world.

I wrote last week that Elijah had certain expectations of ministry. He expected the change to come about immediately according to his view of what that change should be. We all have these same tendencies. We must seek God’s will and way above what we think His will and way should be. Elijah’s expectations made him vulnerable to receiving the messenger of Jezebel and it put him on a road to being disillusioned and discontent.

When faced with the intimidation of Jezebel, Elijah ran from Jezebel into a dry, wilderness land. It was in this desert place, this place of isolation and separation, that Elijah found himself resting beneath a broom tree. The word for broom tree is the Hebrew word “rotem” which means “to bind”. Elijah had just “loosed” the blessing of God in the earth, but the spirit of Jezebel had caused him to retreat to “binding” again. The broom tree is a leafless shrub (juniper) which grows 4 to 12 feet in height. It provides shade in the desert regions. It has “no leaves for healing”. It simply provides a minimal shade from the heat in the desert. I believe that Its purpose represents something that is self-focused. One person can find a little relief beneath its shade, but it cannot provide shade for many. Its pliable branches were often woven together and used as ropes for binding. Its roots were burned for making charcoal. It can burn hot and intense and can perhaps provide an impressive flash of fire in the dark, but it provides no food, healing, or strength to others.

1 Kings 19:5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.”

In Job 30:4 it speaks of those who eat the roots of the broom tree. They are those who find themselves in a wilderness and desert land. They are those who find themselves in a place of separation, isolation, and despair. In a time of loosing the blessing of God, it is not good to be found in the isolation chambers of a desert prison. The only food that one will find in a place of isolation is that which will poison the heart and drive one to further depths of despair and isolation. The broom tree root is bitter, it makes you nauseous, and it is even poisonous. I believe that this is what happens when we eat the food our own self-pity or any inward focus of selfishness. When we become concerned about ourselves, rather than God and others, we eat a food that will make us lethargic, further bound, and destined for a ministry of death and not life.

1 Kings 19:6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again.

God was calling Elijah into His presence, but he was bound up in his own loss. Because he was bound in his own loss, he was tired and couldn’t find a focus or purpose for any future journey. He lay down again. Like Elijah, when we become inwardly focused, we become lethargic, and we become ready to give up on our destiny in life. This is a classic response to receiving the influence of the “Jezebel spirit”.

1 Kings 19:7 And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

Forty days and forty nights is the length of time used by God to manifest the effects of death and bring forth the fruit of His covenant life: the ark in the flood, Moses on the mountain, the Israelites in the wilderness, and Jesus in the wilderness. At the end of a “forty-day experience” there is hope of the new thing of God. I believe that Elijah’s forty-day journey symbolizes our need to lose our old ways in order to receive God’s way in every new season of life. The new ways of God only come by faith and God wants us all to be empowered to come to faith in every season of our lives. Faith is the substance that causes the fountains of life to spring forth in our heats. Faith comes by hearing the word of God’s own mouth. It is God’s desire that we all come to the place of hearing His voice so that we can inherit His precious promises in the land. If we can’t come to faith in a “forty-day experience” then we will miss out on the promise of God that lays ahead. The children of Israel didn’t “come to faith” in the wilderness so they “didn’t enter the Promised Land”. The old generation died in the wilderness, but a new generation was also born during that time that would enter the Promised Land that was before them. God wants us to enter the Promised Land of today and not be bound to any past season in our lives.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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About ted4leaders

Ted J. Hanson is the leader of House of Bread Ministry and Christ Life Training Ministry Academy. He has dedicated his life to raising up the generations of God with a 100-year plan to become the testimony and power of God's life and grace in the earth.
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