Most of us have heard the term “be instant (or ready) in season, and out of season” thrown around our Christian circles but what does that mean really? We know the context that it’s used in today. When someone says it nowadays they typically are referring to the idea that you should be ready and able to preach, teach, witness, or do some form of ministry whether you’ve prepared something or not. While the phrase is applicable to that scenario it’s original context goes much deeper then simply being unprepared to the degree of lacking sermon notes or sheet music.
When we read of “seasons” in the bible, sometimes they are physical seasons but many times they are spiritual seasons as is the case in chapter 3 of the book of Ecclesiastes. We all go through them, a season of grace, a season of learning, a season of growing, a season of trial, a season of correction, a season of brokenness, a season of positioning, a season of humbling, a season of elevation, a season of elevating others. There are times in our lives when God is training and using us when the gifts seem to just pour out of us like warm honey, and then there are times when we feel like we’re passing through a dry and weary land. There are times when we are given a platform and it’s easy to preach truth, and then there are times when we are stripped of our platforms and persecuted for truth’s sake. In all these seasons must we be ready no matter what may come, (no matter how easy or difficult, no matter how rewarding or punishing, no matter how honored or hated, no matter how excepted or rejected) to preach truth even if it takes reproving, rebuking, and exhorting. Be ready to do it or be judged by the God who promises to judge the quick and the dead, either at their going, or at His coming.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:1-5
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:7-9