Luke 12:54-56 – He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” NIV
Here Jesus is addressing the crowd about their inability to read the spiritual “signs of the times.” He makes statements about the weather signs that they readily read to help determine what the next day will bring and how to plan to use it; but they fail to read the spiritual signs that are all around them.
Reading spiritual signs can fall into two extremes: 1.) Some people just don’t believe that such signs exist. By denying the existence of such signs, everything becomes coincidence or just random happenstance. 2.) Some people believe that everything or almost everything is a spiritual sign. For example, the number of bubbles in your Starbuck’s drink of choice might determine how “bubbly” your day will be!
The follower of Jesus has been given some pretty awesome help in determining the “signs of the times.” First, we have been given the Bible, God’s Word, which contains prophecy both fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled. Understanding these passages can help us understand what is happening both in our individual lives and in our world. Secondly, God has given the Holy Spirit to every believer/follower of Jesus. We are told that He will help us discern or learn what is from God (John 14:16-18,26; 16:13-15).
A lot is happening in this world and in our individual worlds. People often say, “What does this (whatever is happening) mean?” Some people offer their own interpretation of the signs of the times and offer their solutions. Others offer the politically correct or most popular interpretation of the happenings and their advice for adjusting to those signs. How many seek the spiritual meaning of the signs of the times and seek to live in light of what the Bible and the Holy Spirit seem to be saying? How do many of us as Christ-followers respond to the signs of the times?
Some questions to consider: What do I consider “signs of the times?” What are some of the spiritual implications of these signs? What do I use as my interpretive guide for these signs? What would the Bible and Holy Spirit say about these signs? How do I follow Jesus in light of these signs?