Jesus said, “You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matt 16:4)
Discernment is one of the most critical gifts to have when God changes the seasons.
God made four seasons in nature. Our lives, our families, our nations, our time in history has seasons also. God is a seasonal God.
We are invited to not only know how to discern the weather but the times we live in, be it individually or collectively. God wants us to know what the season is. The word for discern used here in Matt 16 is ‘diakrino’. It means to “separately thoroughly, to withdraw from, to differ, to judge”. This is how we are to transition with seasons.
God wants us to know how to move! He is not a ‘fixed term’ God. Nor are our lives! We are the people of God on a journey! (Vatican 2’s definition for the Church)
The journey has seasons & God wants us to know how to separate thoroughly from one season to the next. He wants us to know how to do this well & by his Spirit. God chose a cloud, fire, tent & ultimately the human body to be His dwelling places – Tabernacles. All these are temporary & moving. Even the huge Temple made of stone turned out to be temporary. So the invitation is, if the cloud moves, then so do we!
But how do we discern?
Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I speak to you, they are spirit & they are life.” (John 6;63). Jesus words are spirit & life. The knowing & discerning of the seasons & what to do, comes in the words He speaks to us. His words, his utterance to us will be of spirit & life.
Where does Jesus get his words from?
The amazing thing that Jesus claimed was that none of his words were of himself, he only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5;19). So here is Jesus, fully God & fully man, speaking & moving only as He SEES His Father do.
How’s your seeing these days? What are you looking at or to?
Do you see the face of Father or just the face of the sky? Do you know what the face of the Father is like?
Jesus declared, “..The Father loves the Son, & shows Him all things that He himself does..” (John 5:20) This is not just for Jesus, the Son of God, but also for us. We are the Tabernacle of God where “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you..” (Romans 8:11).
Yet we are not only the space where God houses himself, we are also sons of God. For as we are “led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). As a son of God we are loved passionately & totally; & we are shown things by the Father who leads in Spirit (John 4:24). He is for you!
Do you want to see the things the Father wants to show you?
Discernment comes from hearing the words of God not by what search results you get on Google. The words of God are spirit & life, they will require of you a leap of faith, not a leap of understanding or knowledge gained from your world of experience & reference.
God’s words come from His face. From His face we can know the life & spirit of & for the season.
“The Lord bless you & keep you. (It is He who does the keeping of you!!!)
The Lord make His face shine upon you & be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up His face upon you, & give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)