After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.”
Learn to recognize when it is time to move on.
After paying for my meal at the cafeteria, I sat down, hungry and eager to enjoy lunch. As I opened the carton of milk to take a sip, I tasted a chunky substance that felt like yogurt on my tongue. That particular flavor, however, is definitely not available or marketed in any grocery store. My taste buds were pleading with me to ignore social customs and quickly remove the foul-tasting mass. Instead of a liquid, the milk entered my mouth in solid form, and I knew something was wrong. I immediately checked the expiration date (it is not a good feeling to read the previous month written on your milk carton) and discovered that the milk should not have been sold!
As with milk cartons, sometimes in life, you need to check the expiration date. Seasons end. Have you ever tried to hold on to something when you knew deep down that God wanted you to move forward? Let go of your controlling effort to preserve the status quo. Jesus said that you cannot pour new wine into old wineskins (Mark 2:22) because they will literally burst. Old wineskins are also symbolic of patterns, ideas, habits, and ways of thinking that attempt to limit what God wants you to do in your life.
God also has expiration dates for different aspects of your life. People often tried to pressure Jesus to conform to their time demands. Be like Jesus, aware of the difference between man’s timing and the Father’s timing. The more you desire to keep in step with God, the more He makes His timing known.
I remember when a woman in her seventies boldly told me at a Presbyterian Bible study that I would be leaving to seminary in the very near future. I had not asked for her opinion and was not ready to embrace her statement. As God made it clear to me in the days that followed our conversation, her prophetic words were indeed true. When changes appear to be unsettling, remember, God will also pour out His comfort and guide you into new seasons. As you walk through personal expiration dates in this section, be mindful of God’s character, which is an anchor for your soul.
How are you responding to the transitions that God wants you to make now?
For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org