If you want it to be.
Yup. This day marks the beginning of a whole new era in your life … or it can.
How and why? Because right now, the Lord is ready to release you into a new era of power, victory, and most importantly, intimacy with Him.
IF you get alone with God. IF you seek Him. IF you cooperate with His plan for your life and seek to obey His Word in all things.
Below, I am going to answer a ton of reader questions that you have sent me about entering your new season.
But first, I have a special resource for you that will help you if you'd like to use it. It's a tool that will help you start your new season right.
It's called “Arise, Shine: A Vision Retreat Handbook.” I wrote this book for my personal mentees, and it provides you with the resources I use myself when I'm entering a new season.
“Arise, Shine” is a downloadable, printable, step-by-step guide that will help you walk through your personal vision retreat from beginning to end.
It's a workbook that includes 6 faith-building teaching sections about hearing God and developing intimacy with Him. It also includes exercises (with forms) on the following subjects:
- Building a Memorial;
- Soaking & Prayer;
- Listening & Writing the Vision;
- The Reason You Exist;
- Your Mandate From Heaven;
- Values & Priorities;
- Defining Success for Yourself;
- Your Personal Life;
- Marriage & Family;
- Making Written Goals; and
With this resource, I also include awesome BONUS MATERIAL:
- My personal tool for evaluating how I'm doing with life balance, the “Shine-O-Meter” (incorporates left brain and right brain and helps you stay on track);
- My reading list form;
- Personal vision forms for men and women; and
- My personal weekly goal forms that I use (3 different versions for different walks of life).
All of these materials are downloadable, printable forms. (They are not available in hard copy format.) They are also formatted in the lighthouse design you see on the book cover above, to remind you of the Holy Spirit shining His light into your future. 🙂
This material will help you stay on track with the vision God gives you and keep shining all year long!
The price is $15, and trust me, it's worth more than that. It contains years' worth of mentoring and my learning about intentional living, as well as much spiritual truth. It's the best of the best of the best, because I made it for my spiritual sons and daughters. So you're getting the benefit of my pouring my life into them… for only $15.
So are you ready to map out your new season? If so, get Arise Shine today! It will be of invaluable assistance in helping you step purposefully and joyously into everything God has for your new season!
And now for your FAQs! I emailed our readers and asked you this:
If you heard Father God's voice speaking directly to you from Heaven and saying, “Beloved, I'm about to do a new thing in your life,” what would be your top two questions in response?”
And I got a TON of answers from you. (Thank you for your help!)
Here are the questions you said you would ask the Lord, and my thoughts on each one:
(And no, I'm not pretending to be God. Just trying to provide any helpful thoughts I can. Some of the questions below are really just things for you to get alone with the Lord and ask Him. But for other questions, practical wisdom and guidance from the Word will be helpful.)
1. How will I recognize this new season? How will I know when it’s time?
It may sound too simplistic, but it's actually profound: NOW is the time for whatever God is doing right now. It may not be the time yet for what WE want to do right now, but “now” is ALWAYS the time for what God wants to do right now. So, the time for your new season is NOW.
If we can get this revelation deep in our spirits–that we have to hop on board God's train and go along with what He's doing–then all of a sudden, things get easy. We don't have to strive anymore. We can simply REST in God, follow His instructions as He leads us each day, and know He's at work.
When we follow His lead with our nose to His back, we will see maximum flow and effectiveness in our lives.
You may also wonder when specific parts of God's design will happen. If so:
- Some of the practical parts will happen as soon as you move on them. If He's telling you to start doing a new thing, He can only bring you the results you desire after you've obeyed and started.
- Some parts will be total surprises. We simply have to follow God's lead moment by moment to see those things happen.
I've had radical, total surprises happen after I followed God's prompting for one simple thing, like: “Send an email and ask this,” or “write this down,” or “send this Facebook message.” One prompt. No apparent promise behind it. But when I've been obedient, I've seen God use those simple acts of obedience to start chain reactions that catapult me into my destiny.
2. Would You guide me through this new thing You want to do in my life?
Yes. Oh, yes, beloved. He will. Hear the Word of the Father:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
“… for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” (Hebrews 13:5b AMP).
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:1-3).
You have the promise of the ever-living Father, who cannot lie, that He will guide you, teach you, lead you, give you wisdom, and never, ever, EVER forsake you or leave you without support.
So claim these promises in prayer. Pray them back to Father again and again. He's your Papa, and He's faithful, and He loves you, and He'll never let you down. He'll be right beside you every step of the way.
3. What should I do to prepare for this new season? Do I need to be equipped for it? What’s the next step?
You may already be equipped, but if not, you will definitely need to prepare and get equipped. Here's the thing, though:
- If you're not equipped yet, your next season will likely be a season of equipping.
- If you're already equipped, your next season will likely be a season of doing …
- … and sometimes the two blend together. 🙂 Sometimes experience is the best teacher.
Knowing that, the next step is to get with God and write down what His vision is for your new season.
Remember Habakkuk 2! Write the vision, and make it plain, that they may run who read it!
Your written vision will lead you to the next step. For example:
- If you get alone with God and He tells you to study His Word more, but you don't own a Bible … your next step is to go buy one.
- If you get alone with God and He tells you that now is the time to go back to school, the likely next step is to go pick up your college application.
- If God tells you that He's calling you into prophetic ministry, your next step might be to start attending your church's prophetic ministry class (or even sign up for an online course).
- If He tells you that He wants to teach you to be an intercessor, your next step might be to attend intercessory prayer meeting or start reading books about intercession.
- If He tells you that you're to write songs, your next step might be to pick up your instrument or set aside time for singing.
Your next step will be dependent on what He gives you for your overall vision. But if you'll sit down with Him and get His instructions, He'll give you the next step with it. He may only give you a baby step–but if you'll obey in that baby step, the step after that will become readily apparent. 🙂
4. Why does this new season scare me?
Fear is not from the Lord; so if you're feeling fear, it's because the enemy is trying to keep you away from what God wants to do in your life.
GOD, on the other hand, gives power, love, and a sound mind, according to 2 Timothy 1:7:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
So what's the antidote to fear? It's not faith, like you hear most people say. It's actually love. Love is the antidote to fear:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
So if you're feeling fear, soak in and meditate on God's perfect love for you. As you receive His love, the fear will go away.
5. Will it hurt? (Or, how much will it hurt?)
I can't guarantee that it won't. Growth hurts sometimes.
However, tomorrow I'm going to tell you a story about the most painful “new season” God ever put me through. I'm going to be very open with you, and it's going to encourage you. Because even if your new season hurts, it's for one purpose: to promote you. And if God needs to do a painful work in your heart, IF YOU WILL SUBMIT to Him, the painful season will be over faster and you'll be promoted.
6. What do I need to remove from my life?
The “Arise, Shine” workbook above, along with the Shine-O-Meter in the bonus material, will help you with this. Once you start to look at God's vision, the things to be removed usually become readily apparent.
One other note: whenever you're evaluating what to remove from your life, look at the fruit of everything you do:
- What do you do that brings only frustration?
- What's bringing you results, and what's not producing anything?
- What do you do that just seems to FLOW? (Don't get rid of the things that flow!)
- What activities are you doing that just seem hard, dry, and dull?
- What does wisdom dictate?
For example: When I started writing this blog, I had to cut out watching TV for the most part. I'm not knocking TV. But it was a waste of my time, and I could either chase God and His plan for my life, OR I could watch TV. The choice was easy.
Also, when you're reviewing what to remove from your life, review your relationships as well as your activities. Get rid of close relationships with scoffers, haters, and negative people who pull you down. Life is short. Go after things that produce Kingdom righteousness, peace, and joy in your life.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Removing things is necessary when new things arise. But the new thing from God will be better than the thing you got rid of, every time. 🙂
7. How will I know it’s God and not me? How do I know something is Your perfect will, Lord?
Awesome question. Here's how you know:
Discerning God's perfect will when you launch into new territory is often a process of elimination … of sticking your toe in to obey what you feel God telling you to do, and seeing if He confirms it.
This doesn't apply to obvious things that are His perfect will, like studying the Word, prayer, worship, fasting, being faithful to your spouse, walking in love, telling the truth, etc. Those are obvious. Those are God's explicit commands in Scripture, and they are always His perfect will.
But when you're evaluating your next step in life in regards to life direction …
… such as:
- Should you attend college right now or not?
- What occupation should you pursue?
- Should you pursue that ministry opportunity?
Then here's how you discern what God is smiling on vs. what He's not:
- Does it line up with the Word? (If not, then stop right now. If so, then proceed to next question.)
- Will this thing interfere with more important things in my life? (Again, “Arise, Shine” and the Shine-O-Meter will help you with this.) (Red light if the answer is “yes” to this question.)
- Have I sought godly counsel? What have my godly advisors said? (Green light if your godly counselors–pastors, teachers, mentors, etc–agree. If they don't agree, but you choose to proceed anyway, do so as under a yellow light, with extreme caution.)
- Is there flow? When I work on this thing, does God come up under me and help me do it with ease and joy? (Good sign if yes.)
- Do I have peace about this? (If not, stop. If so, proceed. See Colossians 3:15 below.)
- Does this thing produce the fruit of the Spirit in me? Do I exhibit love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control when I do this thing (Galatians 5:22-23)? If not, stop. If so, proceed. 🙂
Divine flow, peace, and the fruit of the Spirit are HUGE indicators about whether what you're chasing is from God or not.
Colossians 3:15 says:
And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”
An umpire makes the call about whether something is legal or not. In the same way, peace can show you whether what you're pursuing is God's best for your life right now–or if it isn't. It's an awesome life hack from God's Word to keep in mind always!
8. Will I be strong enough to do this?
Yes and no. Not in your own fleshly strength, you won't–but in Christ, you can do all things. Check out God's promises:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
“For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). (And by the way: this verse, literally translated, means, “No rhema, on-time word from God comes without power to perform it.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
God will do it through you. He will help you. His grace (divine empowerment) is sufficient for you, and HE will birth through you what He has ordained for your life.
9. How do I know I have Your favor? I want supernatural favor in my life!
You have favor with God simply because of your relationship: if Jesus Christ is your Savior, then you are God's child.
However, there's more favor to be had. The favor you receive with your gift of salvation is the minimum amount of favor. Increased favor comes with increased intimacy with God. It's as simple as that. So, do you want more favor? Draw closer, closer, closer to Him:
- Spend more time with Him.
- Seek His face in everything.
- Obey His Word in everything.
Great friendship with God comes with time, but more importantly, it also comes with obedience. Jesus said, in John 15:14:
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
Thus, relationship with God grows as obedience grows. And favor comes from relationship, every time.
Now. See question #1 for more on that.
11. Would there be a big change? What will the new thing look like? Show me!
Ahh, hunger. I love it. Yes. God wants to show you! Here's proof positive from the Word:
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).
“You have heard;
See all this.
And will you not declare it?
I have made you hear new things from this time,
Even hidden things, and you did not know them” (Isaiah 48:6).
God is ready, willing, and EAGER to talk to you about His plan for your life. The question is: Are you ready to listen?
12. How can I accelerate the coming shift?
That's an awesome question too. The answer is: Go ALL IN.
When God tells you what He’s doing and you begin to see it happening, you have choices to make. Will you go all-in and jump on board, submitting to His Word and His work even if it’s new, different, uncomfortable, or even sometimes painful? Or not?
If you will give yourself completely to Him, making yourself mouldable and pliable in His hands, then you will accelerate that season of your life.
But if you won’t, then you’ll become like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness: you’ll get to go around and around that same mountain, wondering if you’ll EVER get out of this part of your life.
The secret to accelerating your new season is submitting to God's work and Word. Every time.
13. How can I position myself so that You receive all the glory and I receive all that You have planned?
The key to God receiving all the glory:
Position yourself at the feet of Jesus. If you're that close to Jesus, ain't nobody gonna look at you when they see that spectacle. In that kind of close proximity, all they will be able to see is Jesus. If you're lost in Him, He'll get all the glory. Don't worry.
The key to your receiving all God has planned:
Humble yourself and serve. When God promotes you, serve more. Submit to authority. Develop a servant's heart, and the higher your level, the more you should serve.
As God moves you into your new season, be sure you're following the example of Jesus, who said:
And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’
But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.
For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:25-27).
14. Is there anything I need to do to get OUT of this current season of waiting and INTO the next season, that I have not done?
When you're alone with God on your vision retreat, ask Him this question. Then listen for the first spontaneous thought that comes to mind. If it's something that God has told you to do and you haven't done it, that's your answer.
15. How do I keep the faith that a new season is coming when it seems like I keep failing or am in the same place?
Because His mercies are new every day; so if you will receive it, every day is a new season.
God’s ultimate desire is to make all things new. That’s why we see His powerful statement in Revelation 21:5a, at the ultimate culmination of all things: “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.””
God is obsessed with newness. That’s why He’s the Redeemer who buys your life back from the pit and destruction and makes you new again. That’s why He’s the Restorer who destroys the work of the enemy in your life and repays everything to you that’s been stolen.
God's mercies are new every day. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us:
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
God is a God of new beginnings. He specializes is new starts and do-overs.
HE never has to do-over, but He does make YOU new. He is God who will restore all things (Acts 3:21) back to His original intent, so He’s always making you new.
Feeling like you're stuck in one place is a faith issue, and faith issues are based in not receiving the truth of His Word. To fix this, hide God's Word in your heart. Meditate on it. Eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Calendars come and go, but the Person and nature of God never change. Once we know His Word and start to understand Who He is–that newness is founded in God's very character–then we can have faith for a new beginning every day of the week.
16. How can I ensure that I am following God’s will during this time?
- Get in the Word every day.
- Obey the Word.
- Pray and ask God to keep you from sinning against Him.
- Get wise counsel and mentoring.
- Pray about the specific parts of your day, every day.
That's what Mary asked, when the angel Gabriel told her she would bear the Christ-child. And you know what Gabriel said? Luke 1:35a tells us:
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you…”
God had given Mary a seemingly-impossible assignment, but He promised that He Himself would carry it out.
It will be the same with you. The Lord knows you can't fulfill what He has for you on your own. So He will do it.
Lord, God, I love You. Isn't that beautiful?
All you have to do is stare at Him.
Seek Him. Glue yourself to Him, and He will make it happen. As you walk and seek God first, and His Kingdom, all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
Also, check out these verses:
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).
And Revelation 3:7:
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:…” (emphasis mine).
God Himself will supernaturally open doors for you that need to be opened. He will also shut doors that need to be shut. The Holy Spirit will rest upon you and move in your life. And He will do the work.
18. Will this be the time for my specific dream (new car, spouse, etc)?
I don't know. But if you keep praying the specific prayer directives God has given you for those things, He will answer in due time. And it's guaranteed that your new season will certainly get you closer to those things than you were before. 🙂
19. Can I know You better? Can I understand Your Word better? Will you teach me to use the gifts You’ve given me? Will you give me a supernatural understanding of grace?
Yes, yes, and yes. God is always His Own Best Gift. Every part of Him is freely available to you in Christ Jesus. You can be as close to God as you want to be.
And, as Bill Johnson says, you can have the measure of anointing in your life that you would give your life to protect.
So if you're hungry for God–if you desire to draw closer to Him–if you want Him to teach you …
… make the changes in your life that you need to make to seek Him more.
Study the Word. Get in God's face. Plan your time and focus your energy on this one thing:
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
Make this verse your life's purpose statement. Because at the end of all things, this One Thing–Jesus Christ–will be the only thing that matters.
That's all, folks. I pray this series has blessed your socks off. Get alone with God. Go on your vision retreat. Enter boldly into the new season God has for you.
And get “Arise, Shine” quickly. It will help you. 🙂
Here are the 5 posts in the New Seasons series:
1. Heavenly Downloads For YOUR New Season: Here's how to discern when the seasons are shifting, and how to hear God's downloads for your new thing!
2. Heavenly Directives For Your New Season: A heavenly directive is a specific instruction from God that unveils His strategy for your next season. When God downloads His heavenly directives into you, you can pray and move into His strategic plan as He opens doors–and you can start preparing those doors to open. Here are the three kinds of directives God will give you, and how to act on each of them.
3. How To Get Heavenly Design For Your New Season (My #1 Technique): Do this to get a very clear picture of what God's design for your next season is. ‘Nuff said.
4. Answering 19 Reader FAQs About Entering Your New Season, plus a special offer of mentoring material I wrote for my personal spiritual sons and daughters (that I've never released to anyone else before). This post is the most in-depth question and answer posts you'll find about new seasons. HUGE amount of encouragement and helpful information.
5. No Need To Fear Your New Season (My Story About A Season That Hurt): One of the questions submitted by a reader was, “What if my new season hurts?” In this post, I share from my personal, heartrending experience why you don't have to be afraid… because even the seasons that hurt will only promote you.
Are you ready for your new season? God is! Read these posts, get my mentoring material, and get alone with God to get His design for YOUR new day!
Image courtesy of Randen Pederson on Flickr via Creative Commons license.