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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Change of Garments for the New Season

What does it mean to be in a New Season?
There are times when we fail to fully appreciate the meaning of so-called prophetic jargons. A very important prophetic phrase that we have been hearing is the dawn of "a new season". Undoubtedly, an excitement rises within us each time we hear that we are in a new season. However, to fully appreciate the significance of this prophetic declaration, we should ask ourselves, "What does it mean for me to be in a New Season?"

For different individuals, the New Season is being understood and perceived differently. Essentially, the prophetic thrust is that a change is taking place. In this post, we are going to look at one significant change that must first take place which in turn will help us appreciate the full impact of the prophetic declaration of a New Season over our lives.

New Season, New Garments. New Wineskins for New Wine.
In the natural world, we change garments with the change of seasons. To illustrate, we cannot be wearing winter clothings during spring and vice versa. Just as in the natural realm, the same is applicable in the spiritual realm. Hence, it is imperative that we catch this truth for us to fully appropriate what God is doing in our lives, families, ministries and nations. We are to put away the garments of the past season and to be ready to put on the appropriate garments for the New Season.

The parable of the wineskins aptly paints the picture of preparing for the New Season (new wine): -
Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved (Matthew 9:17)
And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins (Mark 2:22)
And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. (Luke 5:37-38)

Just as it is necessary to pour new wine into new wineskins, it is vital for us to remove the old garments and to put on new garments as we step into the New Season that God has ordained for us.

Joseph's Life, Our Story
This truth is beautifully exemplified in the journey of Joseph rising to his God-given destiny. In Joseph's younger days, when he was given the multicolored coat, it marked a new phase (season) in his life where he was looked upon as one who received special favor and attention of his earthly father. The next season of his life unfolded as this first garment was forcefully removed by his brothers. Against his will, Joseph was sold as a slave to Potiphar and we can see that after the multicolored coat was removed, he was then dressed in only a slave's garments.

Subsequently, we witness the next transition in his life as his Heavenly Father's favor upon his life quickly promoted him to be the overseer of Potiphar's house - obviously, now in a new set of garments fit for his newly promoted position. It did not take long for him to enter into the next divinely ordained phase of his life. Yes, it has to do with his garments again. With a little unexpected twist in his lifestory this time around, he inadvertently left his garments in the hands of Potiphar's wife when being pursued by the temptress. And a new set of garments await him - the prisoner's garments!

Joseph entered into different seasons in his life each time he changed his garments, whether willingly or against his choice. Finally, he entered into his divine destiny when Pharoah clothed him with the garments of fine linen along with a signet ring and golden chain.

The Word of the Lord tested Joseph
We read in Psalm 105:19 which says that "Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him." The whole journey of going through different phases and seasons in his life was described as "the word of the Lord tested him." Each time he passed the test, a new garment awaits him. Unlike how our natural minds would understand, it was not just promotions all the way - it included both promotions and demotions - from a natural perspective. But from a spiritual viewpoint, he was nearest to his destiny, especially when he was at the lowest point from a human perspective - confined in a prison and his only lifeline, the Pharoah's chief butler forgotten about him altogether.

From a spiritual perspective, we are now in God's ordained New Season, both individually and corporately. Circumstances are taking shape in the natural realm as this New Season materializes in our lives and the world around us. Some of us may have experienced a forceful removal of our garments (against our will) perhaps in the recent months or years. Take heart, it is a necessary transition for us to be rightly positioned so that we can be clothed with the new garments for the New Season. On the other hand, there may be others who have been looking forward to a promotion but somewhat experienced a demotion. The Spirit of the Lord is saying to you to be strong and take courage. You are on your way to your God-given destiny. There is also another group of people who have been longing to step into their God-given destinies for their lives and had in one way or another been tested by the word of the Lord - the word of the Lord for you is to get ready to step into the Kairos moment when you will be summoned to take your position and be clothed with the garments reserved for you.

"Garments"
Having seen the importance of the change of garments for the New Season, let us take a brief look at the spiritual meanings of "garments" in the context of this post. Firstly, "garments" speaks about our mindsets. We are exhorted to renew our minds. Each time we put off the old garments and replace them with new ones, we put away wrong mindsets and allow kingdom truths to be established in our minds. The Bible also teaches us that the spiritual battlefield is in our minds. Therefore, we are led into different phases in our lives as God's word tests us, refines us and renews our minds. Secondly, "garments" also speak about divine enablement. We are to be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit for each new assignment in lives and also for daily living. This speaks about receiving the mantles that have been assigned for us. We can be receiving different mantles for different assignments in our lives or specific mantles for the divine calling and destinies in our lives.

A third understanding of the word "garments" includes a fresh revelation of Jesus. The Scriptures talk about the saints being clothed in garments of salvation and righteousness and we know that Christ is indeed our righteousness and our salvation. Each time we receive a fresh revelation and a fresh understanding of Jesus, His attributes and His nature, we receive new garments in our walk with God. Fourthly, "garments" also speaks of position and identity. It is imperative for us to step into the spiritual position and identity that God has prepared for us for each phase of our lives.

Joseph's Secret
Joseph's secret of triumphing in each season of his life leading to the day he stepped into his God-given destiny was the recurrent theme that "the Lord was with Joseph..." Let's get into the place where God is pleased to be with us all the time. This is called practising the Manifest Presence of God. This is the key to us entering to the season God has divinely ordained for us.