“A Season of Refinement and Upgrades”
By Anne Ballard
In this season, God is releasing upgrades and transitioning people into their most
strategic places. He is releasing grace for humility and grace to let go of areas of pride and stubbornness. He is refining us in our character and using disappointments and setbacks to grow us into the most refined versions of ourselves. It’s time to
partner with Heaven, listen to what God is doing, and place your “yes” on His.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)
God is a master chess player. In this season, you may see Him moving and rearranging people, relationships or roles in your life.
Transition can feel unsettling, especially if we are resistant to it or unprepared for it. However, we need to understand that God is working things out on our behalf (Isaiah 64:4), even working on our issues while we sleep. He knows our needs before we tell
Him about them. He knows the dreams within our hearts and He wants us to share them with Him.
This season may look like new jobs, new roles, new relationships, loss of relationships, physical moves, changes and life restructuring.
All of these changes are for our ultimate good. God plans to grow us, bless us and advance His Kingdom through us. That doesn’t mean the process of change will be easy or feel good. In transition, it is important to be open-handed about the process.
When you’re frustrated or it feels hard, choose to focus on what God IS doing rather than what you don’t see happening. We must hone our discernment to pick up on what God is doing, because He is always at
work. It’s always better to join God where He’s working than to try to get Him to join what you’re doing!
Good things are happening, but your perspective and old beliefs may prevent you from seeing that.
Focus on the good that you do see and stay open-handed to however God wants to accomplish His purposes.
God is aligning hearts and vision for His purposes, bringing like-minded people together. There is a synergy and strength
in their collective efforts.
He is moving His people to more strategic locations on the chessboard of life. Even though there are some goodbyes that will happen during this time, it is for everyone’s
best. God has the 40,000-foot aerial view that we may not yet be able to perceive. When you don’t understand what is happening, spend time in His presence, asking for His perspective on the situation.
an invitation for an upgrade on the way we see in the spirit. God is releasing peace along this journey to guide you in the changes. This word is for people who are feeling the struggle of transition. They may have been feeling their relationships
change and don’t quite understand the big picture. They may have felt quite tired, emotional, sad or excited recently (even all in the same day). They may feel like there are lots of moving parts in their life right now…because there are!
Focus on the good things you see. Hold onto the promises that God has given you, and put your faith in His goodness. He has given you or He will give you a word that will carry you through this season.
Ask Him what the word is if you don’t already know. Cling to that word when things feel confusing. Upgrades are just around the corner!
opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6, NKJV)
We have all encountered pride before, whether it is in ourselves or in others. It is ugly and it often looks like stubbornness, unwillingness to hear
another viewpoint or not being open. Pride is often deeply rooted in fear. We can project pride and arrogance when we feel inferior or insecure. Pride can be subtle and insidious and it may be shocking to you that you have any pride in your heart. Pride may
also manifest as stubbornness. God spoke a sobering truth through Samuel to Saul in 1 Samuel 15:23 (NKJV):
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected
the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
Could God mean here that stubbornness is like idolatry because at its core it is worship of self?
or stubbornness elevates what we think or believe over what others think or believe, or even what God is communicating to us. Before excluding yourself from this category, have you ever discounted something God said because you didn’t want to
God is uncovering some surprising places in us that pride has been hiding. Our circumstances are allowing God to shine a light on areas of our lives where we may not have realized that we were being rigid or motivated
by fear. These ‘hiding places’ may even be good or godly things, like knowledge of Scripture, confidence that you’re right or even what you believe a Bible verse means. God’s grace is available as He shines His healing light on the
places we weren’t able to see clearly before.
This word might be for you if you feel like you are quite rigid on some things. Things in your life might have felt hard lately, like you’re facing lots of opposition; or maybe it’s
been a while since you’ve surrendered to the Lord your plans and your ways.
Our part is to surrender to God our hearts, that they might be searched, just as David did in Psalm 139 (and throughout
the Psalms). In the process of surrendering, we must be open if God is leading us in a new, different way than we might have initially thought was best. God can use us if we humble ourselves, but He can’t use us if we’re set in our ways and not
open to feedback or correction.
“…we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that
tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:2-4, NKJV)
There have been seasons where we felt like we heard God, we stepped out in faith and obedience, and then things
didn’t go smoothly or progress like we expected or wanted them to. It can feel confusing, frustrating and even defeating when this happens. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we missed it.
There are limitless
reasons why this may happen, but spiritual warfare tops the list. During these times, it’s important to lean into God’s leading. We must stand firm when things become challenging. A trial doesn’t necessarily mean we did something
wrong or that God is closing a door. Sometimes, it simply means we are facing spiritual opposition. These challenges or delays can yield good fruit in us if we allow them to. Both James and Romans reference these types of seasons.
What fruit can these seasons yield? Perseverance, maturity, completion, lacking nothing, character and, ultimately, hope. When everything is smooth sailing we don’t have to work on our character very much, but the Bible tells
us to rejoice when we face trials because they grow us.
It is time for the Body of Christ to step away from “microwave culture.” We must dig in deep, lean into the presence of God and do the deep
heart-work. We’re called to live a life that’s set apart; a life of perseverance and longevity, not one where we receive everything in nanoseconds.
Developing character takes time and endurance, which is
vastly different from our instant “microwave culture” that wants to bypass the process of growth.
Jesus promises us that we will have trouble, but to rest assured that we are on the winning team (John 16:33).
God is inviting the Body of Christ into a new level of maturity and character development. He is with us in the trials, for we are never alone! This season is a time of applying what we’ve learned, digging in and
remaining faithful. Memorize Scripture. Worship. Pray without ceasing. This word is for those who feel like they have suddenly come up against a battle (even though they’ve been obedient to God’s leading). Stop complaining. Be faithful. Stand
firm. Do what is required of you to move forward while listening to God’s leading. At the end of this chapter, you will feel closer to God if you choose to draw near to Him now.
Partnering with Heaven
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14, NIV)
Often, we can feel overwhelmed at the injustice in the world, believing that the
things which are wrong are too big or impossible for us to do anything about. We can be paralyzed into inaction. God is able, and prayer is an opportunity and an invitation for us to partner with His will for the earth.
Bible tells us that angels are sent to assist us, and therefore I believe that their role (in part) is to assist in the answering of our prayers. It is always important for Believers to pray. I think it can be challenging at times to know how to pray, or to
know God’s will in a certain situation. One method of prayer, when we are at a loss for how to pray, is to pray in the Spirit. The Bible tells us that when we do this, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
8:26-27 (NKJV) tells us: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the
hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
At times like these it is important to remember that 1) nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37);
2) “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) and 3) that He sends angels to help us and carry out His will (Hebrews 1:14).
As God is revealing things to us and giving us eyes to see and ears to hear,
we must cling to our knowledge of Him and His ways. What is His good, pleasing and perfect will in each situation? How is He leading us to pray about what He’s shown us? God is not hopeless about any situation, so if we are feeling hopeless,
we need to spend time in His presence until we feel peace again.
This word is for people who have felt like their prayers are not powerful, or like they are too overwhelmed to even know how to pray. God wants to fill them
with fresh hope, anticipation and expectancy as He partners with them in prayer. As situations arise in your lives, be intentional about seeking the Lord. Pray in the Spirit if you don’t know how to pray. Pray regularly over situations and people in
your lives who need it.
Declarations in this Season:
• I am seeing the goodness of God in the moving pieces of my life.
• God is
giving me fresh eyes to see what He is doing.
• I am surrendering to God and walking in humility.
• I rejoice in challenges, as God is refining my character.
is filling me with fresh hope and expectation as I partner with Him in prayer.
By Anne Ballard
The Crowning Jewels