A New Season - Bob Sawvelle


There is a hint of fall in the air. The air is cooler and dryer, the days are shorter, and plants and trees are beginning to display their majestic fall colors. I love the fall season!

For most, discerning the transition of natural seasons is easy. But what about your ability to discern spiritual seasons of change?

Jesus discussed this dynamic with the multitudes,

Jesus also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud forming in the west, you immediately say, ‘It’s going to rain.’ And indeed it does. And when a south wind blows, you say, ‘A heat wave is coming.’ And it does. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret conditions on earth and in the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret the present time? Luke 12:54-56 CEB

Jesus knew humanity could easily recognize changes in the weather and seasons, but they were slow to discern God’s kingdom and the spiritual changes his kingdom was bringing. The “present time” refers to the inbreaking of God’s kingdom on earth—inaugurated through the life of Christ.

I’ll come back to this in a minute, but let me ask a question. “What time and season is this?”

What Time and Season are We In?


Last weekend Passion Church hosted Iris Global for a Live to Love Conference. It was an unforgettable, life-changing weekend with teaching and ministry from Will Hart, Surprise Sithole, Herbert Barbutti, David Wagner and worship with Steve Swanson. It was a “time” for us to gather and encounter God together.


Pastor Surprise Sithole at Passion Church

Sunday morning, Pastor Surprise Sithole from South Africa preached a poignant message to Passion Church asking, “What time and season are we in?

One of the scriptures that Pastor Surprise referenced was 1 Chronicles 12:32-38. This passage mentions the sons of Issachar, of the tribe of Manasseh, “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…” (1 Chr. 12:32)

Israel was in a time of transition, it was time for a new king. In verse 38, all the tribes of Israel come to Hebron to make David king over all of Israel. The sons of Issachar understood the moment and how Israel should respond.

In the Old Testament, we see other references to those who understood the “times.” For example, In Esther 1:13 we read that there were wise men in Persia “who understood the times…” The English word times used here is from the Hebrew ‘et. The word denotes a particular time, season, age, occasion, or some period of time; current times.

Like the sons of Issachar, these men of Persia, filled with wisdom through their understanding of Persian law, were able to make the right decisions at the right time (season). Knowing the season you are in is vital to making the right decisions in life.

Back to Pastor Surprise’s message last Sunday. He also referenced Revelation 14:6-7:

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Jesus, King and Lord over All!

What time and season is this? It is the season to make Jesus the King and Lord! To proclaim the everlasting gospel to all who dwell on the earth—to every nation and people group!

Church, it is the season to make Jesus King and Lord over every part of our lives—step in and watch things shift in your life! Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:31-33:

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Many today are looking at the “clouds and rain,” thinking they are rightly discerning the season we are in. While we can recognize the fall season upon us, current events don’t always reveal the spiritual truth of the moment we are in. They may indicate national and global change, but there are deeper truths that God wants us to discern.

Jesus will return, His second coming is prophesied more in scripture than the prophecies of His first coming. However, Jesus said that we are to “occupy until He returns.” In other words, we are to be busy about the Father’s work, proclaiming the good news of the everlasting gospel, healing the sick, freeing the oppressed, helping the poor, and ministering to the widow and orphan. God’s kingdom is not bound by political strife or geopolitical conflict.

What time and what season are we in? We are in the season to make Jesus known through the everlasting gospel—despite the “wind, rain, and storms” that may be around us. It is a season to celebrate the goodness of God and bring hope to a world that longs for what only Jesus can give—peace amid uncertainty. It is a season to let faith triumph over fear and to display the love and hope of God to the nations—starting right here in Tucson or wherever you live.

The sons of Issachar understood their time. What about us? Are we focused on negative news or the good news of God’s kingdom that is expanding around the globe at an unprecedented rate? Are we agents of peace, ministers of reconciliation, and ambassadors of hope to a word wondering “what time is it?” Or are we paralyzed by fear, wrongly discerning the time and season we are in?

Let the words of Paul build hope and courage for this hour:

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV

You can watch Pastor Surprise’s recent message to Passion Church, “What time and season are we in?” here:

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Bob Sawvelle

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