Issachar was one of the twelve sons of Jacob who received a blessing. The blessing over Issachar sounded more like a curse, as he was bound to a life of hard labour. Not much is said about Issachar except for instances when there were battles. What is notable about this tribe was their mention during the times of David’s battles. These men had wisdom to understand the times and knew what Isreal needed to do. This skill can seem trivial, except if you consider the value that Solomon placed on wisdom and understanding. God blessed Solomon with wealth and influence, because his request was for wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15).
It was Solomon who also taught us about the times and seasons for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). What is significant about this, is the need for the body of Christ to understand times and seasons. We have to be watchful to discern patterns and cycles. There are particular months of the year for example, that seem to be characterised by major atrocities. What should be the response of a Christian, if they realise that every year, around a particular month, that there is an increase in demonic activity. Many believers have described the months of September and October as being quite difficult months.
Some people have seen an increase in atrocities, bloodshed and major disasters. Perhaps someone will say that this is merely a coincidence, that events like 9/11 and other calamities have happened around this time. Some believers have chosen to increase their prayers, intercession and fasting ahead of what seems like difficult seasons. For other people, it may not be autumn, but they can notice particular patterns of difficulty and resistance around certain times of the year. We can simply accept this and resign ourselves to what will be, or seek the Lord to discern what is the cause of these activities. Some families may notice that a family member may die at a certain time one year and then every year after that, around the same time, there may be another death or some major disaster.
Could you be dealing with a demonic cycle or pattern, which has been created to target your family? Some families may also come under attack from a spirit of death for example. Are people willing to rise up and cry out within the porches and pray for redemption? There are also other seasons of intensity which are characterised by breakthrough. People may feel the pangs of travail and can mistake these for spiritual attack. Sometimes the pain is an indication to push through in prayer, as we have come into our due season. “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world” (John 16:21). These are seasons to push through and travail until you experience joy.
Whether we are dealing with cycles of spiritual warfare and attack or a season of breakthrough, we need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to understand the times. What is your current season and how are you positioned in the place of prayer and intercession? Do you know when you need to increase your fasting, prayer and intercession? Do you also understand when you are in a season of rest? Are you able to discern those seasons when you need to press in the place of prayer and push in order to give birth? We need the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of God to maintain a victorious life, as we continue to discern and understand seasons.