Audio Version: LORD… DO I STAY?… DO I MOVE?… DO I WAIT?

By Pr Justin and Jacquie Ryan, Issachar Academy

Daniel 2:21 says “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. He changes times and season”. How amazing is it that we serve a God of change. Christian living entails different seasons and it is our responsibility to know the season we are in at different stages in our lives and know what we should and should not do in that season. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 the tribe of Issachar spoke about this in saying that we should “understand the times and know what to do.”

As full-time missionaries and founders of Issachar Academy, this is our core value. Our desire is to help people understand the season God has placed them in and what they need to do to adapt to that season rather than stay in a comfort zone. When we understand how God is at work in our lives and move in His direction, we find ourselves going through lesser struggles because we are in the same flow as God. It is difficult to swim upstream against the current. However, when we move with the flow, less effort is needed or sometimes none at all.

You may be in a stage right now where you are unsure of the season you are in. Do I stay? Do I move? Do I wait? These are common questions that flood our minds and keep us up at night. We have all been there. Lying in bed tossing and turning, staring at the ceiling and asking God…Why? We yearn for an answer that will give us some deep satisfaction, but sometimes we don’t get the answers we want.

I believe that it does not mean that we should give up asking. We just need to understand what God is trying to teach us in the process and how it will make us stronger in life. If you are at this season in your life… Do I stay? Do I move? Do I wait? Lord…what do I do?… Then I pray that these 3 points I am about to highlight will give you some perspective in life.

#1 Don’t get stuck in season you are no longer in

God is accustomed to giving us signs and signals to get our attention. All too often we are so caught up in our own world and our own way of doing things that we miss those signs. Could it be that you are feeling the way you do because your current season is already over?

Perhaps the time is up and God wants to move you to the next level or a new level, but you have become so accustomed to what you are doing. It has become your comfort zone.

If you stay in your comfort zone too long, then you may end up losing out on new opportunities and life lessons that will help you grow to become a better person. God never created us to be complacent and unwilling to move. A comfort zone may cause you to settle into a norm, where you lose your drive and do not have a desire to reach your best. A comfort zone keeps you trapped and limited in your potential and that is certainly not God’s plan for our lives.

If you feel stuck and do not wake up excited about the day, could God be saying that your season is over and a new one awaits you? If you feel dry and empty inside, could it be there is something greater to be filled inside you?

God called Abraham to leave his home and go to another land because his current season was over and another better one awaited him. Abraham obeyed God and moved. Perhaps it’s time for you to also do the same?

#2 Don’t try to go back to a season that has ended

In the first situation, you are sitting in your old season and do not want to move, but in this, you have seen the new season, you have tasted of its goodness. In fact you know how great it can be, but the enemy comes in to discourage you and tell you that you can’t do it. So, human as we are, we take a step back. We back away. We go back to the old.

Isn’t that what the Israelites did while in the wilderness? Their season of slavery was over and God had a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey ready for them. It was a process to get there with its own fair share of challenges but they were not happy with that. Each time things got difficult, they grumbled and complained and said it would be better to go back to Egypt.

In Numbers 13, as they explored the Land of Canaan, fear gripped the hearts of some as they felt like grasshoppers in the midst of giants. They saw their new season, it was good, but they felt a u-turn back to the old was better! In Numbers 14:3 – 4 they said “Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt? We should choose a leader and go back.” This is only one of the many instances, when God showed them the new season, but when things got a little hard, they always wanted to run back to the old.

Perhaps in your life, God has already shown you all the new opportunities and blessings in store. You have tasted of His goodness, but fear has gripped your heart and made you want to go back to the old season. You tell yourself that what is safe and predictable is safer than stepping into the unknown. Guess what? It is not the unknown when we serve an all-knowing God. He is already in the new waiting for you.

#3 Don’t try to prolong a season that has ended

In our normal lives, each time you try to do more than what is intended, it only makes matters worse. Take kneading dough for instance. If you over knead it, you may think doing more helps, but the results will be disastrous. You will end up with a rock-hard, dry and dense dough.

Sometimes in life, we tend to play God! We think we know better. The common idiom “to take the reins” means to take over or to take control of a situation.  There is one interesting definition of the word “rein” which is the seat of feelings and passion. Sometimes in our lives, God says the current season is over and He shows us a new and better season to step into, but we think we know better and we take over the “seat of feelings and passion”. Rather than moving ahead with what God is passionate about for our lives, we move with our own passion and end up prolonging what God has ended.

What do you find yourself doing today? Are you stuck and feeling empty inside? Are you trying to go back to the old? Are you trying to take the reins? In our lives as missionaries, we obeyed God, gave up our full time professions as teachers and stepped into the season God had planned for our lives. Having been in missions for 12 years (and leaving our jobs 6 and a half years ago), we can honestly say from experience that when you obey God and walk into your new season, you will be blessed. In 12 years, God has opened up 10 nations to us, used us to plant 2 churches among the aborigines, and set up a Missions School to train and equip others to find their season and calling in life.


About the Writers: The Ryans have been involved in the missions field for more than 12 years. Recently, the Lord has led them to found Issachar Academy where they provide training specifically for missions in a hospitable environment. Besides missions, the Ryans also help Christians recognise and move in their seasons with God. To find out more about their ministry, you may visit their website at http://onevm.net/

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