If you haven't had an opportunity to read Blessing In Goodbye, I encourage you put a bookmark here and browse that quick read before reading this post.
In Blessing In Goodbye, I talked about moving from season to season, whether in friendships, employment, relationships, your thoughts, etc.
In this post, I'll review some of the signs you can look for that will help you know when it's time to say goodbye and move into your next season.
Let's take a practical look at some of the signs that present themselves... I will approach this from the vantage point of questions that you should ask yourself.
QUESTION 1: What have I heard from God? Psalm 32: 8-9, John 7:17
If you have discerned the voice of the Holy Spirit about moving on from where you are, then all you have to do is walk into your next season... with wisdom, of course. There may be some situations that require a process to exit. Don't stop seeking God.
If you happen to have a sudden desire to be better but aren't quite sure what to do... SEEK THE FACE OF GOD. Some examples of the types of desires that can be experienced that can prompt us to ponder if it's time to move on are: "I want better for myself", "I am not growing where I am", "I feel stuck", to name a few. Ask God to show you if your season where you currently are is up. Seeking the face of God is so important because our feelings are so fickle! They change as often as the wind blows. Also, I believe that God is so honored when we seek His face instead of doing what we want, that He will be ready to grant your request. Now, don't be fooled. Often time when our prayer is answered, it is NOT in the way WE desire or think; BUT, it is in the best way -- God's way. If you are still unclear after spending time in daily prayer, ask that God would make His will for you as it relates to staying put or moving on, clear. He will! Be still. Be patient. Be open to receive.
If neither of the two aforementioned items apply, I encourage you to review the following questions for some signs that it may be time for you to say goodbye and move into your next season. God is ALWAYS speaking... are you listening???
QUESTION 2: Is this [person, activity, thought...] bearing good fruit? - Luke 6:43-45
Take the real-life example that I provided in Blessing In Goodbye -- The fun times that I was having with my friends weren't so fun after some time, the content of our discussions, not so appealing, the places we hung out, not so safe or necessarily appropriate, for that matter. What was once a fun-filled environment, was not so much anymore. I was no longer growing as a person, nor were the activities I participated in with my friends producing good fruit. It was a negative environment that actually fostered hatred, gossip and lies. Look for the good fruit in your situation. If you can't find it, prayerfully move on.
QUESTION 3: Does this [person, activity, thought...] align with my values? - 1 John 2:6
What are your values? Knowing your values is the only way you can answer this question. As I'm sure you've heard before, "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything". So, do you stand for honesty? Do you stand for respect? Do you stand against drug use? Do you stand against violence? The list can go on from here depending on what your values are. If you are in a situation that goes against your values, it's time to evaluate your situation. Notice I didn't say MOVE but to EVALUATE. Now, there are situations, such as in the workplace, that will present various challenges that compete with your values (maybe a disrespectful, lying boss) -- these types of situations will require you to use the tools at hand (HR) while you seek the face of God about moving to another place of employment. Why seek God's face? Simple. This may just be a setup to purge you of some things, or, to prepare you for what's next in your life. It could also be an setup for you to minister the love of God to that person(s).
QUESTION 4: Do the authority figures in my life approve [of this person, activity, thought? - Ephesians 6:1-4, Hebrews 13:17
What does your parent, mentor, big brother/sister, pastor, etc., have to say about your current situation. Have you shared? If you can't share what's going on in your life and if you feel that you have to hide what you're doing/are involved in -- chances are it's time to give it up! That simple!
QUESTION 5: Am I growing [with this person, in this activity, with my current way of thinking...]? Hebrews 5:12-13
We are designed to grow, to learn, to accomplish.... God did not create stagnant creatures; but created us that we may be sharpened throughout our lives. This really is a simple question to answer..... ARE YOU GROWING??? If not, prayerfully give "it" up!
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for being a God who is limitless in the many ways that you speak to me. Help me not to place You into a box; but instead, to submit all of me to You to receive all that You have for me, the way You desire to give it to me. I pray that you would help me discern when it's time for me to move into my next season. I pray that you would exchange fear for confidence and faith; and that You would give me peace. If I happen to be delayed in discerning Your voice, please show me Your will in a way that I will clearly know. Thank you, for this season and for the seasons that You choose to bless me with. I pray that You would help me to not rush; but to appreciate every facet of what You allow me to experience, even if that means tears some days and laughter other days. In whatever season, help me to be immediately obedient to You. Amen.
****So often we trap ourselves by thinking that God is too big to be concerned about what may be a small or "not important enough" request. This is a lie from the devil! God is concerned about EVERY aspect of your life and wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of your life.