Reading prophetic websites, I see many prophetic people saying that we are entering a new season. I am not sure what that means. It suggests that God is going to do something new that he was not doing before. It implies that the Holy Spirit is working in one place and not in another. It makes it seems like God stops and starts, or moves in one place and not in another.

God is not Fickle

God is not fickle or capricious. He is not lazy. God does not speak like this.

God has released his Holy Spirit into the world. He is always at work. He does not turn the flow on and off according to his whim. God does not engage in trial and error. He does not try things to see if they will work.

God does not come and go. He does not arbitrarily jump from offering his blessing to withdrawing it. Blessings that were not available last week do not suddenly become available this week, because the year has a different number. God is not in a stingy mood one day and in a generous mood the next. He is not miserable last year and happy next year. The angels are not tired one week and strong the next.

God operates consistently according to the principles that he has revealed in the scriptures. He has been working on a long-term strategy that began when Adam and Eve sinned. His strategy is consistent with the way he has decided to operate on earth. His way of dealing with the earth does not change. His judgements are fair and consistent.

Covenant Seasons

A true change in season can occur, but only if there is a change in the covenant relationship between God and his people, or change in the authority situation between God and the power of evil. For example, the giving of the law to Moses began a new season, because Godís people on earth had something they did not have before. It gave them the capability to live in peace with each other and with God. It also gave the spiritual powers of evil the right to accuse them of their failure to keep the law.

The true seasons in human history are marked by epochal events that change the relationship between earth and heaven. The death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus was the ultimate epochal event that brought in a new season, because it totally changed the relationship between God and humans. His death on the cross dealt with the sin, which destroyed the authority of the powers of evil. Forgiveness of sin opened the way for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on all who believe.

The last big season change occurred in AD 70 when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, bringing the old covenant sacrifices to an end. This opened a season called the Times of the Gentiles because the Jewish people chose to remain under the old covenant and lost their spiritual protection because they have no sacrifice for sin.

The next epochal event is the Fullness of the Jews when the majority of Jews come to faith in Jesus. This event will bring in a season of great blessing for the world. (These seasons are described in detail in a book called Times and Seasons).

In between these big season changes, there is spiritual warfare. What happens on earth depends on the state of the ongoing war. Success or failure depends almost entirely on the church. Changes in the spiritual realms come from binding and releasing on earth, not the other way around (Matt 16:19).

Because the Jews have not yet received Jesus as their Messiah, we are still in the season called the Times of the Gentiles. Until the epochal event that ends this season occurs and the Fullness the Jews comes in, we must be careful about calling a new season. If an epochal event has not caused a change in the spiritual realms that brings about change on earth, there is unlikely to be a new season.

God has a Plan

God sent Jesus to win back the world for him. Jesus did everything that God needed him to do. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he poured out the Holy Spirit on those who believed in him. The Holy Spirit has been at work since the day of Pentecost. He has not stopped working. The plan for restoring the world by the Holy Spirit working in the church has not changed.

However, the activity of the Holy Spirit depends on the degree of cooperation that he receives from his people. God gave humans authority on earth, so the Holy Spirit needs our permission to operate on earth. He has no arms and legs, so he needs people to carry him where he needs to go. He has no mouth, so he needs people to speak through.

God has poured the Holy Spirit out on everyone who trusts in Jesus. Everything that God can do is available through his Spirit. We can grieve him, but God does not withdraw him from the world. He is always seeking to work where hearts are open to his grace. When you have done something as wonderful as giving the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is hard to do a new thing that is better. So, the idea that God is about to do a new thing does not make sense. He cannot do more than he has already done by sending his Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of those who have chosen to follow Jesus.

If the Holy Spirit begins to move in a place, it is not he has changed his mind, but because he has found people willing to do what he needs them to do. If the Holy Spirit stops moving in a place, it is because people have stopped cooperating with him. The problem is never with God or his plan. The problem is always with us.

If we understand God's times and seasons, we will not see fickle and arbitrary changes in the way that God works on earth. The Holy Spirit came in the fullness of his power on the day of Pentecost, so God cannot send more of him. The powers of evil were fully defeated by the cross, so God cannot defeat them further.

When the Holy Spirit seems to be moving in a new way, it is most likely because he is able to do what he has always wanted to do because a group of people have opened their hearts to his purpose and allowed him to do it. Or possibly, the spiritual powers of evil have lost some authority, which prevents them from obstructing Godís purposes.

God has a Plan

The problem is never with God. Lack of action on earth is never Godís fault. Lack of progress with the gospel is never the Holy Spiritís a failure. God always wants to do something better on earth. He is always looking for people to work with his Spirit to accomplish his purposes. If Holy Spirit has not been able to bring in the Kingdom of God, it is not because he couldnít be bothered, but because his people have been unwilling to work with him in his way to achieve his purposes.

We should be careful about saying that a new season has started, because it suggests that God is going to start doing something that he was not doing before. It implies that God is the reason why nothing was happening. This makes him the problem, which is not fair to God. It also removes responsibility from us, which is dishonest. Blaming God for our problems is a serious sin. Not only does it grieve God, but it gives the spiritual powers of evil access into our situation.

Greater Cooperation

God will not force people to do things against their will. The Holy Spirit nudges and guides, but he will not force people to obey him. This means that God can only achieve something different on earth if his people cooperate with him more than they did in the past. If something different happens on earth, it will be because people have allowed him to do what he always wanted to do.

If a new level of activity begins in a place, it will be because people in that place have started cooperating with the Holy Spirit in a way that they were not before. It is not because God has changed his mind, and is doing something he was not doing before.

If something new is happening, it is not because God has woken up, or changed his mind. Something new can only happen if Christians have a change of heart and agree to do what God needs them to do, or because humans have removed a place of authority that the spiritual powers of evil used to obstruct God work.

There can be a new season of cooperation if the people of God have a change of heart, but we must be careful how we describe it. A season of cooperation is not something that God can make happen, regardless of the response of his people.

We can have a new season, but we establish it, when we change our hearts and do cooperate with God do his will.

Questions

When I hear prophetic people say that we are moving into a new season or that some new blessings are being released, I want to know the answer to four questions.

Christians looking for a new season should understand that God does not change his mind. He does not change his plan or the way that he does things. He does not stop and start. He is never the reason that the kingdom of God is slow to come on earth. Humans are the reason, we need a better season.

Our failure to listen to the voice of the Spirit and do his will is the reason we are not receiving the promised blessings. If we are doing the wrong thing, God will not change his mind and bless it. Rather, we should be asking him what we need to do differently to receive his blessings.

In any season, they key is alignment with the will of God. If we align with his will, we experience his goodness. His goodness is not just blessings. His goodness might mean blessing with persecutions. If we do not align with Godís will, then things will go badly in every way (although he will work it for our good in the long run).

We do not need prophets giving vague promises about season changes that are disconnected from our circumstances and alignment to Godís will. What we do need is prophetic insights into God willís in our current situation, so that we can obey him fully and receive his blessings. We need fewer prophecies telling us that God is changing, and more telling us how to change so that we can do with his will.