A path is typically prebuilt with a beginning and an end. It is built with a purpose, leading to a destination. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read that YHWH has a plan for our lives, we were created in love for a purpose. Do you realise this? Be encouraged as you read this to know that you are loved beyond measure and that Yeshua Messiah is waiting to walk with you on your life journey.
The path near our home is concrete and it runs alongside the dunes. The native Paperbark trees spread a canopy across the path shading pedestrians from the sun, wind, and rain. Within this canopy there is abundant bird life and they share their song with those who pass beneath. I love this pathway and it is my escape. I have also spent many hours walking and praying along this path and have received many messages during these hours. It has to be one of my special places. This path is not exclusively used by me, there are many people on the path at any given time of day. There are joggers, runners that pass you like steam trains, walkers, couples and families that amble along, cyclists, dog walkers and pram pushers. Each individual is dressed for their specific occasion in line with the purpose of using the path. The attire, pace, and level of effort indicating the commitment to the activity. Some focus on pace, others chat away on their phones drowning out the sounds of birds, and the pace of others is determined by companions. Everyone moves along the same path at different paces with different objectives. These persons have different beginnings and destinations, but they all move along the path in the same direction. You have no idea who they are, what they had for breakfast or what is going on in their lives, the only common factor is that we share this path.
At intervals there are gates that are used to access the path and beach. There is a continual joining and departing of people. People on this path walk with purpose and are not distracted by these gates, unless it is the gate that they need to take to get to their destination. This made me consider my walk with Yeshua. When I walk in His will do I walk with purpose, focus, and understanding? Do I really know where I am going? Am I appropriately dressed in garments that show my love for Him? Where is my focus, or am I distracted by gates and the walk of those around me?
When I walk I use a Smartwatch so that I can gauge my heart rate, distance, and speed. This allows me to adjust my pace and reach my fitness goals. However, I wonder how often I monitor my heart, pace, and spiritual fitness when walking in His will. I have set a notification to vibrate when I am not putting in enough effort. My lack of effort during a walk may be because I become distracted, feel a little lazy and don’t really want to exert myself. This vibration is enough to refocus my attention. How often do you really pay attention to the nudge of His Set-Apart Spirit of Truth? The Set-Apart Spirit was sent by the Father to remind us of the teachings of Yeshua; to convict us of sin, righteousness and judgement; and to guide, council, and prepare us for the return of Yeshua. Do you pay attention to the prompting of the Spirit? Do you adjust your focus and pace in keeping with revelations and your walk?
I use to think that I went for my walk on this path, then it dawned on me that I walk with a Companion. I need to adjust my pace and direction so that I keep up with Him. Perhaps this is why I enjoy walking on this path so much. I am walking with Him, sheltered by His canopy of love, grace, and mercy. Surrounded by His amazing creation. For the eyes of YHWH are on the way of man, and He sees all his steps. (Job 34:21) May your walk today be regulated by the Spirit of YHWH, may you feel His canopy above, behind, and before you as you step one step before the other.
There are four types of people redeemed within this Psalm and I took great comfort in the knowledge that no matter where I might be in my journey YHWH’s loving-commitment to me is great. Our Father is waiting to restore and save us.
The persons referred to in the Psalm come from all walks of life and it is evident that the strife they find themselves in is of their own doing. There choices have led to adversary, distress, hopelessness and homelessness (being out of relationship with Him). Regardless of their situation they come to a point where they recognise that they need help, that they can’t do things their own way. This is when they reach out to YHWH.
The first group of people referred to in this Psalm have lost their way, they are without a home (church, fellowship). They are hungry and thirsty and cognisant that they need YHWH. There are so many people like this today, people who have perhaps wandered from the Truth, those who may have been hurt by people in Church and walked away. These people are often very close to us and might even be living in the same home. Often those who may have taken offence and wandered around from church to church, they are lost and without a home. Then there are believers who sit next to us in services who have disengaged, fallen asleep and fallen out of relationship with YHWH. These people often know the answer, but have lost the Way. However, when they realise that they need help and cry out to their Father He responds out of loving-commitment. YHWH delivers them, guides them, shows them where to live, He satisfies and fills their needs (verse 9).
Then there are people who are bound and held captive by sin. These are often those who have drifted away, or do not recognise that they need YHWH. They may tried alternative beliefs, be indifferent to the Word and follow false prophets, thereby rejecting the Word and YHWH. YET, the Father does not give up on them, He humbles them and causes them to cry out to Him (verse 13). Then He brings them into the light and breaks their bondage and captivity setting them free in Yeshua. This shows the intense love of the Father and encourages me to never give up praying for those who are in bondage. We serve an amazingly good YHWH and His grace and mercy is immeasurable.
The third group of people are those whose sin has lead them into affliction, they may be addicted to something and this has drawn them away from seeking the Truth, and contradicts the Truth. In verse 18 the Psalmist described these people as being near death – both spiritual and physical. It is important to not think of near death experiences within the spiritual realm as being something very dark or extreme. I have shared my testimony before in one of the blogs, but am going to reiterate it here as it is relevant. I was a healthy, fit and ambitious teacher at a Christian school. I was on top of the world, BUT I was dying spiritually. I was so focussed on my career, body and life in general that I was addicted to me. I attended church, home groups and taught Bible at school, but these things were not done in relationship, they were to keep up appearances so to say. I was not involved in dark and extreme things but I was not focused on the Light. I had not rebelled against the Word, I had become addicted to myself – in short. However, the loving-commitment of our Father is unending and when you cry out to Him and admit that you need His love His Word – the Truth restores. Yeshua Messiah is the healer and He brings wholeness and freedom from addictions no matter what they may be. Yeshua delivers us from destructive habits that can be categorised as addictions. AMEN!
The fourth group are sailors (verse 23). These sailors work and experience the power and might of YHWH, yet these experiences do not prevent their being from melting with evil. I related this to those who may become oblivious and familiar with His Word. For example, Breaking Bread brings us into the very presence of the Father, yet I have been in churches where this has become a ritual, habit or just something they practice. There is so much power in breaking Bread and remembering Yeshua and His love. In finding a church home how they held communion become a criteria for us. There appears to be a lack of fear for YHWH. People having private conversations during worship is another example, we gather together as His bride to worship Him, to exalt His Name – not to have a discussion. I feel that there is a complacency that has crept into the church. Perhaps some Christians take things for granted, they are staggering around and off balance spiritually because of familiarity, a lack of fear and even a lack of respect for His Church. In verse 27 the warning is that these attitudes swallow up wisdom and I would add that familiarity might also have the same result. Yet, once again when these people recognise their waywardness and repent YHWH rescues them. He leads these people to safety and calms the storm around them. I believe the storm is not a visible storm but rather a spiritual storm as they ‘drift’ away but still seem to be ‘onboard’.
There is a pattern within the Psalm that reveals that our Father desires a relationship with each of us. No matter how far away you are, no matter how lost you are, or how addicted you are HE LOVES you and is waiting for you to recognise that you are loved. In verse 1,8,15,21,31 we are told to give thanks for His loving-commitment and wonders. There is no condemnation, YHWH does not condemn, He convicts and restores. This Psalm encourages me to check where I am, to reflect on my relationship with Him and to never stop praying for those around me. I know all to well that addiction to self is as dangerous, if not more, than other addictions. There is a song by For King and Country, and the chorus has the words, “if the world is listening then I will say You are my obsession”. Let’s become addicted to Yeshua, let’s ask Him to teach us to fear again, to NEVER stop praying and crying out for those around us who may be bound, lost, addicted and familiar. May this encourage you to cry out to Him, to know that you are so so loved by the King. Than you were created to fulfil a purpose, to be in relationship with your loving Father. Amen.
The Bible highlights a history of conflict between the Philistines and Israelites, especially David. The Philistines are described as a large nation who served other gods. They taunted the Israelites and came against their borders on numerous occasions, this reading narrates one such occasion where the Philistines hear that their enemy David, has been anointed as King and they take up arms against him.
David had the loyalty and command of a mighty army and he had built up many alliances during his years of fleeing from Saul and living a nomadic life. In 1 Chronicles 12 there is a record of his alliance with 303 622 trained men and their commanders. I often flip through genealogies and numerical records, but this particular chapter (12) made me realise how YHWH provided and prepared David as a military man and leader of Israel. Although David is surrounded and supported by these trained men and commanders, he turns to YHWH for advice in facing the Philistine advance. In 1 Chron 14: 10 David directly inquires of YHWH. He askes two questions: Do I go against them? Will You give me victory over them?
These questions are contrary to the way I ask for help. When I am faced by difficulties or giants my go-to question is not a question but rather a panicked plea: Oh YHWH, help me please! There is a lesson to be learnt from the approach taken by David, a man after YHWH’s own heart. David admits dependency on YHWH, and his questions demonstrate a relationship of trust and fear for the Father. Remember this fear is not a knee knocking fear, but a respect for the greatness of YHWH. David acknowledges that YHWH is a living Elohim (1 Chron 13:12). He has an undivided heart and faith that YHWH will show him what to do. David does not panic and plead, he seeks guidance out of relationship and trust. It is important that we recognise David’s dependence and humility in seeking the will of YHWH. He is cognisant of the power and sovereignty of YHWH in all matters.
David not only seeks the will of the Father, but he enquires as to what the outcome will be. He asks, “Will You give me victory over them?” This question stopped me in my tracks and made me reflect on how often I expect a good outcome, how often I must act like a toddler who wants everything to go their way. David exposes that he will accept the will of the Father, victory or not. All too often I ask “what is Your will?” but neglect to seek the outcome – good or bad (as in not what I want). YHWH’s answer is immediate and concise, to the first question He answers – Go. The second, “I will give them into your hand.” There is no second guessing here. David actions the army and YHWH’s word is fulfilled.
BUT – these Philistines are not done yet. In verse 14 we read how David approaches YHWH again. He does not rely on his passed victory, he does not take it for granted that the outcome will be the same. This is a big lesson for me in seeking the will of the Father consistently to make sure that I stay in His will. This time the instructions vary. First of all David is told NOT to go AFTER the Philistines, but to go around and FACE them. Not to chase them but to confront them face on. I love the fact that YHWH tells David that the army must not attack until they hear the wind rustling in the Mulberry trees. No dramatic charging, just the wind rustling. YHWH tells David, “For YHWH shall GO BEFORE you.” David is obedient, this mighty leader and king does exactly what he is instructed. He does not consult with his commanders, make an auxiliary plan or add extra precautions. He does EXACTLY as he is told.
So, how do you fight battles in your life? How do you approach the enemy who is warring against you? How do we are the bride of Yeshua battle against the attacks on the Church? Are we offering panicked pleas without seeking explicit answers, do we make our own plans or even “reinforce” instructions from YHWH because in our minds these are too simple or scary? Do we ask for help but not seek His way, or listen to His instruction and end up disheartened and hopeless? In 1Chron 14 there were two attacks from the same enemy. Both times David trusted and was dependent on YHWH – regardless of the outcome. YHWH said that David was a man after His own heart, and when Samuel anointed David as a boy YHWH told the prophet that He looked upon the heart of man. This would signal that when we approach YHWH in time of battle we need to check our heart/motives and make sure that we seek the will of the Father, no matter what the outcome is.
David showed humility, he had a relationship with YHWH and loved Him with an undivided heart. Although David had great position in life, he recognised that he was a vessel in the hands of the Father. He was also very aware of his responsibility and the lives of his followers, his motives and heart were in line with the will of the Father. Perhaps the lesson here is that we should not chase our enemies, but rather face them in the knowledge that Yeshua Messiah has already overcome battles, He has already won the victory. YHWH has a plan for our lives, it is HIS plan – not ours – and to stay in that plan we need to enquire of Him. What and how? Then we need to listen and obey without amending the plan. Jeremiah 29: 14 -15 follows the famous verse about YHWH having a plan of good and not for evil. These verses are key to unlocking these good plans, and tell us to seek Him, and He shall be found. That we are to ask and we shall be heard.
What a glorious day He has created, as I lift my eyes from the busyness of the day, allow my mind to focus on nature I hear birds exalting His name. I can see the blue sky with a few clouds that remind me of His ever-present and unending love. I am aware of the wind moving trees, rustling through the leaves – yet nobody knows where the wind comes from nor where it returns to. Only the King who created and upholds His creation. A creation that is alive and vibrant, bringing glory to the King by being what they were created to be. As a primary school teacher of many years, I am mindful of the cells, microsystems and life that exists beyond that which I can see with my bare eye. This microscopical world that I believe is even more amazing than what we can see. I think of the big Banksia tree that grows in our garden, a beautiful tree that attracts multiple birds that feed of the flowers and seed pods.
I think that we are a lot like trees, individuals with a definite purpose to fulfil. We are continuously growing, deep within us YHWH is strengthening us and pruning us. We all have different root systems that vary in depth and width. What people see may make them stare in wonderment. Trees that are not deeply rooted may not be able to withstand storms and pose a great danger to themselves and others. This signals the importance of being deeply rooted in Biblical truths, putting our roots down into the Living Water and drawing from this stream. A tree that is beside deep waters grows strong, producing healthy foliage, and bearing good fruit. Likewise, those that are in Christ will reflect His image. There are many verses that refer to trees, but Ps 1: 3 and Matt 7:17-19 provide analogies of our faith and walk:
Psalm 1:3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Matthew 7:17-19 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
A tree has its own ecosystem, it bears fruit, and disperses seed to promote the growth of other trees. Trees also offer shelter to those that need a place to rest by casting an unconditional shelter for those in need. I use the word unconditional as I have never seen a tree reject a bird or person from resting in its branches or beneath it. Are you someone that provides an unconditional safe place where a friend or neighbour can just be? Are you able to listen unconditionally, without judging?
Trees also prevent soil erosion by holding fast to the ground surrounding their root system. If a tree is not deeply rooted it is in danger of toppling when storms come along. We are similar, the depth of our spiritual roots and faith determines how we weather storms. Tall trees catch the most wind and in a forest trees grow up out of the canopy to reach the sunlight. This is a beautiful analogy to how we should be, deeply rooted in belief and faith so that we can grow strong and toward the Son. How tightly do you hold onto the Word of God, do you stand firmly on His Word?
Trees are a significant part of the air and water cycle. When man was created YHWH breathed the breath of life into Adam, and all living things. Oxygen is a component breath necessary for life and trees produce oxygen as a by-product!! Trees also transpire – this means they release water vapour into the atmosphere that they gather from the ground they are rooted in. Therefore, if we are rooted in the stream of Living Water we should be releasing life-giving by-products. We should be speaking and breathing Word of YHWH through His Spirit. Our actions and words should bring life to others, fill them with hope and love. Do you offer others a drink from the Living Stream that you are rooted in? Trees are air purifiers, they bring freshness. How about you? Are you a peacemaker, do you bring peace and calm? This aligns with the blog, “What fragrance do you leave?”
Trees bear fruit that varies in form, size, purpose, and nutrition. Some trees bear fruit for a season, others bear fruit for a very specific purpose but each tree has a life giving function. When a tree produces fruit it does not hide the fruit, rather the fruit is on display and provides nutrition to the hungry. This fruit produces seeds that are dispersed in various ways. Trees have a variety of fragrances, not only the blossom, but the wood itself has a distinct fragrance, some trees even produce oil. So should we produce and bear fruit according to the gifts of the Set-Apart Spirit. We are all one body, but made up of many parts. Being part of the body of Christ is NOT a competition, it is a lifestyle where we acknowledge the beauty of Yeshua in our brothers and sisters.
I pray Father, that my roots would be deeply grounded in Your Word. That I would draw from the stream of Living Water and that I would be a place of rest to those who need a moment of peace. Let Your Spirit within me produce fruit and foliage that brings You glory. When the storms of life come, may I stand firm, may I grow in strength toward Your Son. Prune me and shape me to grow in the way You desire, that I may serve You, and may the seeds that I disperse bring You honour and grow Your Kingdom. Amen
While running on my treadmill this morning I popped a Louie Giglio sermon from the series, “Label Maker” into the DVD. It is the second time I had watched/listened to his sermon on the label, “Heir”. I do not wish to write a review on the sermon as this is not what the blog is intended for.
What touched my heart was the reference Louie made to being adopted by YHWH. Paul writes in Ephesians 1: 5, “..having previously ordained us to adoption as sons through Yeshua Messiah to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His desire.” I know of a few families who have adopted children and the process was not easy, in fact at times it can be best described as a battle. BUT, the families were so determined to provide a loving home for the child that they mortgaged homes, jumped through multiple hoops, and never gave up hope. These families took children into their homes and lavishly provided for them, giving them a hope and future. YHWH is no different, He did not give up on you, He chose you and has paid a price for you. His plans for your future are to give you an expectancy and life (Jeremiah 29:11). Being adopted into the Kingdom means that you are saved, accepted, loved, and blessed beyond what you need (not want). I am grateful and eternally thankful to YHWH for adopting me. The price of adoption was the Blood of Yeshua, and now we can approach the Father, Yeshua said, “For I am the way, the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the Father but through Me.”
Louie commented that people who wish to adopt a child lay all they have on the table, their love, commitment, hopes, emotions and costs (finances). These people are willing to give all of this with no guarantee of reciprocation from the child they are adopting. It was this very thought that YHWH, before the beginning of the world, adopted me and you, laying it all down on the altar. He, Abba, made a loving-commitment out of the desire of His heart to have us as His children, and to achieve this Yeshua gave His life that we might be called children of the Most High. We remember this price when we break bread, the Table of adoption, where all was laid down without guarantee, in hope that I would reciprocate this unfailing love through obedience (John 14:23) and fulfil His awesome plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11-14), accepting His love as unconditional, eternal, and insurmountable.
When last did you, just you…come to the Table and break bread and remember what Yeshua did for you? Thank Abba Father for adopting you, bringing you into safety and protection. Ask the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth to reveal the love YHWH holds for you.
It is with pride that we wait and watch our young crawl. Crawling is the first stage of walking and an essential stage where humans learn to coordinate hands, feet, legs, and arms. Crawling soon gives way to a ‘monkey’ walk, many children will raise themselves off their knees and walk on their hands and feet – bottoms raised in the air. The child is slowly gaining confidence in exploring the world around them, and with great joy they shuffle around. Then with baited breathe parents celebrate the moment when this little human takes a step of independence, letting go of all support and they walk. Soon walking becomes a voluntary process that eventuates in running, skipping, hopping, and dancing.
It can be an easy analogy to our spiritual life in that we are rendered incapable before we meet Yeshua, we are so tied up in our bondage and sin that we can’t move freely. When we start our relationship with YHWH we crawl, Paul refers to the eating stages of infants and relates this to our maturity. Hebrews 5: 13-14: “For everyone partaking of milk is inexperienced in the Word of Righteousness, for he is a babe. (14) But solid food is for the mature whose senses have been trained by practice to discern both good and evil.” We all need to crawl before we can walk, we need to dig deep into the Word to align our spiritual being with that of the Almighty so we are set-apart from the world. It is during this time that we focus on becoming strong and in being coordinated with His will and direction. From crawling we start to walk, never alone but guided in the strength of the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth, holding the hand of our beloved Yeshua. When we can walk in confidence and certainty, we seek His right-ruling, His Word and Spirit guide our feet and we set our sight on the incorruptible crown.
I want to focus on the parent in the picture. When a baby starts to crawl the parent takes great care in ensuring that things are safe for the little one. Items are lifted up higher as they are not suitable for that youngster yet. There may be areas in the house that the baby can’t get into yet as the skills for navigating this area have not been developed. Once baby starts walking the parent hands are never far from the child, hovering in place to catch and comfort should the child fall. Hands that are there to pick up and restore confidence, encourage, and motivate to continue strengthening legs and balance. YHWH does not slumber nor sleep, He watches us and sees every small detail, He is waiting for us to grab on to Him and to seek His guidance as we walk. He will never let you be somewhere where you can’t manage the walk, it may feel like you are not ready but you need to learn how to deal with one step so you can climb the stairs ahead. If a child that has learnt to walk decides to wander off and hide, he/she has that choice and freedom through the independence that walking brings. However if a child calls out to a parent for help, they are found quickly. Yeshua told us the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin to let us know that if we call out He will come and find us where we are.
However, you can’t set off running without direction, YHWH has a plan for your life – a plan that has been set-apart for you by the Almighty, Most High. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, “For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares YHWH, ‘plans of peace and not of evil to give you a future and an expectancy”. Another scripture written by Paul in Ephesians 2: 10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua unto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should WALK in them.” These verses speak not only of a Father that is there to guide His children, but of a Lovingly-Committed Elohim that prepares the walk/run for His beloved sons and daughters. This walk has obstacles and difficult bits, but when we trust in His strength and not try to do these bits on our own, there is victory and growth. Remember that Paul stated that he needed to be severe with his body, making it his slave. Yeshua stated that He is the WAY, Truth and Life. Messiah Yeshua died so that you and I could walk and run in freedom, without bondage. So that we could run the race of life bringing Him the glory, so to gain the incorruptible crown. The cliché is, ‘no pain, no gain’.
When we see those around us that forget how to walk in grace, forget how to walk with the Lord or have wandered off and hidden themselves and are unsure of how to call out, we need to be the hands that gently and lovingly guide them back. We need to get alongside them and help them regain their balance – without judgmentally knocking them off their feet. Being aware that the Master has a plan for their lives and we need to carry these brothers and sisters to the Feet of Yeshua and place them there. One of my favourite miracles is when the four friends carried their lame friend and lowered him through the roof to the feet of Yeshua. Yeshua looked up and saw their faith, that is inspiring. NEVER underestimate your faith when you bring people to the Feet of Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua healed many lame people, there are spiritually lame people all around us that need healing. You can’t run from the arms of the Saviour – we are running, walking or crawling to get into His arms. Help those around you join in the race.
YHWH, help me to walk in Your way, help me to love the path of righteousness and to remain on the way that you have planned for me. If I stray off the road, pull me back. I pray that You would set brothers and sisters around me that would not ignore my stumbling but gently convict me by shining the Light of Your Son on my path. May you use me to gently and lovingly bring those that are spiritually lame to the Feet of Yeshua where there is healing and peace. Amen
YHWH desires a new song, a freshness in our worship that comes from the renewing of our minds. He provides a new day, a fresh start and we need to walk forward. I often find myself going around in circles, making decisions based on past experiences and I think that in doing this I miss new blessings. Recently, I have learnt that you can’t change the past, no matter how often you replay it in your mind. There has to be a focus switch on what YHWH desires of us for the present, the NOW. The past has gone, it is over. When YHWH spoke to Moses, He said, I AM (Exodus 4:14). This teaches us that we serve a Living God, a Father that walks with us NOW – He IS. Lot’s family were warned not to look back. Not to linger in the past, but to move forward into the blessings and the plan that had been set-aside for them. We serve a Father that knows the big picture, everything has already been prepared. He IS, and never changes. YHWH is holy and righteous, the King of all things seen and unseen.
A price has been paid for your salvation and redemption. You have been chosen and set-apart by the blood that Yeshua shed, you are redeemed. Sometimes we get stuck in the past and dwell on what was, or what we did. BUT, we need to accept that salvation is done. You now have access to the Father, Yeshua said that He IS the way, the truth and the life. We can enter into worship and come into His presence, and sit at His feet. There is no need to bring an animal to sacrifice for the atonement of sin, IT IS DONE.
If you have experienced a miracle in your life, a healing or a mountain that was moved it is a victory. Victory in our lives should change us and strengthen us, making us strong funnels for His esteem and purpose. We are equipped to move forward in Him, through Christ we can do ALL things. We need a new perspective. If you drive and keep looking in the rear view mirror you are going to get yourself and others in a heap of trouble. We focus on the road ahead and use our review mirrors to check only. We can use our past experiences and victories to remind us of His mercy and love for us, but not to fixate on them and never look ahead. We need to be seeking what it IS that God has in store for us, what we need to step into that has already been done.
Ask the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth to give us a new perspective, a now perspective. Nature is God’s creation and it speaks to us of His creative nature. If you water a dying tree it will grow new shoots, it brings about new life. After a little pruning and feeding it can even bear fruit. We are the same, we need to show new growth, we need to allow the Spirit to prune us and we need to feed from the Word and drink from the Streams of Living Water. Then we will produce fruit of the Spirit. We can’t harp on what were, what we have achieved. We live in the NOW and if we proclaim that we are filled with Yeshua (John 14:23) then we can’t live in the past because HE IS.
We need to become relevant and fruitful, we are redeemed and forgiven. Don’t hold on to what you have done in the past – don’t let satan lie to you and call you unworthy because of what you did. Jesus IS alive and it IS done – walk in faith. Let things go, move on. Release old grudges – you may still be holding onto. It is most likely that the other person or persons have forgotten about the incident. MOVE ON, if you find it difficult remember what Jesus did so that you can walk with Him and be with Him. Thankfully He does not hold grudges!!!
I AM reigns in you, not I was. You ARE His chosen one, not a has-been. I recall one morning as I worshipped Him, I clearly heard within my spirit, “I AM, therefore you are.” Present tense, now – His chosen ARE loved, ARE forgiven, ARE created for a purpose. We are called to serve, to worship and love. BUT my favourite is you ARE loved by a very present Father – therefore you are. I would encourage you to renew your mind daily, seek Him, know He loves you and is lovingly-committed to you. You ARE His child, the bride of Yeshua Messiah. Walk in victory, walk in His will and step forward into all He has for you. Be a funnel in His hands, obedient and serving Him with an undivided heart. Look to the future where our hope IS in Him.
YHWH IS, this very minute He IS and we need to in His present presence. You have a choice to say “I am here Father, at Your feet, in Your presence.” Where are you really? What are you dwelling on? What is hindering you from moving forward? Nature brings glory to YHWH every day. New seeds are germinating and sprouting, bringing new life as the rain nourishes and the sun shines. Are you growing more and more in love with Abba Father? Do you depend more and more on Him as you lay yourself aside? God is now. Don’t sit around waiting for something that may never happen? Don’t worry about what has happened, or hold onto grudges and unforgiveness (yourself and others)? Be in the now.
I have read the recount of Mary and Martha numerous times in Luke 10:38 – 42. There is a buzz in town as Yeshua Messiah has arrived. Martha sets her house in order and starts preparing to entertain the Messiah. Mary, well she finds a spot at the feet of Yeshua, she hangs off every word He speaks, she is close to him. Luke 10: 38 As Jesus and His disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to what He taught. However, this displeases Martha, who is upset that her sister is not helping with the meal preparation. She is so disgruntled that she asks Yeshua to send Mary into the kitchen to assist. Verse 41 But Jesus said to Martha, “Martha you are fussing over all these details. 42 There is really only one thing that you should be concerned with and Mary has discovered that and I will not deny her this.
It is likely that Martha and Mary had been preparing for this meal from well before Yeshua arrived, and it may be that Mary considered the preparations to be sufficient. Another explanation may be that Martha was so efficient that Mary decided that she would only be in the way. So she positions herself with intent in a specific spot, signalled by the word “AT”. This delineates a specific place, there is a focused decision as to where she sits: at His feet. In the Scripture we are introduced to Martha, the sister who kept the house, this would imply that she was older than Mary. Mary was younger and in love with Yeshua. She was seated at His feet as He reclined at the table because she wanted to be close to Him, she wanted to be ready to jump up and serve Him. What she had discovered was being in love with Yeshua Messiah.
Martha loved Yeshua too, but she was preparing for Him, she was serving Him out of love, but she had not discovered being in-love. She was fussing about detail, showing that she cared, she wanted everything to be perfect for Him. Yeshua does not reprimand Martha, rather He tells her that Mary is in the right place spiritually. Mary is in-love, she recognises the importance of being close, of not fussing and having everything perfect. Mary chooses and desires to position herself at the feet of the one she loves.
After a little reading I discovered that not much is known about Mary, yet she is mentioned again in John 11:28-32. Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary had passed away and they were in mourning. We know that Jesus was very fond of Lazarus and spent a good deal of time with him. A distraught Martha goes out to meet Jesus as He approaches their village. Martha returns to the house and informs Mary that Jesus is on His way. In verse 29 we read, “So Mary immediately went to Him.” and in verse 32, “When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell down at His feet..” This is the second time that we read of her positioning herself in a humble position, being close to Him. Mary positions herself at His feet once more time in John 12:3 when she took a jar of nard oil and anointed the feet of Jesus. This was a prophetic act as it was in preparation for His burial. Once again she is found at the feet of Jesus, this time anointing Him and drying His feet with her hair. She is close to Him, but in humility.
In Ruth 3 we read about Naomi telling Ruth to lie at the feet of Boaz. It was customary for servants to lie at the feet of their master and Naomi advised Ruth to do this to demonstrate her submission and willingness to serve. So for Mary to place herself at His feet, she was demonstrating her willingness to serve, she was humbling herself before the King and she was doing so in-love. Where do we position ourselves? Are we fussing with things that we consider important to prove that we love Him? Or are we humble, ready to serve, listening to His words and in-love, so much so that we desire to be as close as we can to Him.
Take time out of your busyness and put aside the fussing. Just place yourself at His feet, humbly sit there so that you can listen to Him and feel His grace, mercy, and love wash over you. Discover what Mary discovered – be in-love with Jesus.
This morning I wanted to mix an oil and went to open the bottle of Myrrh that I had ordered. The lid was stuck tight and I could not get it open. I tried various types of pliers that I sourced from my hubby’s toolbox. I tried prying it open with a knife, tried these grippy opening clothes that always help. Each attempt left me feeling frustrated. The essential oil is too precious to discard and was an essential part of the oil I was mixing. BUT no matter how hard I tried I could not get the bottle top off. Out of desperation I boiled the kettle and used heat to try and loosen the plastic cap. I was not expecting this to work at all. Too my surprise it did work and I was able to unscrew the lid. It was then that I discovered why the lid was so difficult to open. There appeared to be a residue of Myrrh that had become sticky and formed a gluey substance that sealed the lid shut.
The irony is that this ingredient was for an oil called Brokenness which relates to tearing your heart, being open and broken before YHWH, so to receive healing, restoration, and cleansing. The sticky residue was hidden from sight and it was only after multiple attempts, using multiple methods that I was able to see the problem. The cap was stuck and was stopping my access to this precious oil, an integral ingredient to a bigger oil. This spoke to my spirit and I began to wonder if I had hidden stickiness that was stopping me from accessing blessings, oil, and anointing. I wondered if there was a residue in my life that I was ignoring that might keep me from being a fragrance.
Once the bottle was opened I was able to smell the Myrrh, the scent is heavenly. It took a while for me to clean off the residue, and I had to pry off the drippy part as it was blocked. While cleaning the bottle I had to take great care not to spill this precious oil. I replaced the cap and was able to use the oil as intended. Needless to say my devotion was one of brokenness. The blood of the Lamb cleans away all sticky residue, He provides you with a new life that enables you to be open and pour forth His oil and fragrance. May this encourage you today to ask the Spirit of Truth to reveal any sticky residues that may be inhibiting YHWH from using you to be a fragrance to others, or from pouring out His love to those around you.
The Israelites were instructed regarding the sacrifices they were to present before YHWH in atonement for their sins. They sought forgiveness to restore their relationship with Him. Leviticus records the number of sacrifices and the purpose of these, along with the rules for offering these sacrifices. Even more amazing is that by the age of twelve, Jewish boys could recite the first five books of the Bible/Torah on demand. This speaks of a commitment from parents to teach their children the Torah.
However, as His chosen ones we no longer required to know when, what and how to sacrifice to restore a relationship, or atone for our sin. Yeshua came as the ultimate sacrifice! No longer do we need to build altars, sacrifice an animal to receive forgiveness and restoration. Yeshua came so that we are free from these laws! YHWH made restoration and forgiveness more accessible, and provided an open approach through Yeshua Messiah: “I (Yeshua) am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
BUT, when we approach YHWH we still need to check our attitude. In Malachi we read that the Lord was dissatisfied with the attitude with which the Israelites brought their sacrifice. The people brought their offering to the priest and the priest would sacrifice on their behalf. What was happening was that the Israelites were not bringing their best to the priest. The priest was accepting this, and in doing so was comprising his position. Do we as priests of YHWH compromise? The attitude of “Not 100%, but it will do” or “could be better, but it will do.” I find myself shaking my head in judgement at the nation. How could they think that second best would suffice? What were they thinking? The Set-Apart Spirit of Truth tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Oh, and do you ALWAYS give the perfect offering of worship, devotion and time?”
We read that YHWH was angered by the LACK of respect, and fear, that the Israelites had for His Majesty. He was angered by the casual attitude of worship, the rituals that had become habits, and ruts, ingrained in daily worship. YHWH seeks an undivided heart, not half-heartedness. These people brought a substandard offering but expected supersized blessings. They kept the best for themselves, signalling that they put their own importance and will before that of YHWH. Do I bring half-hearted worship and expect things to fall into my lap? Is daily devotions a chore, done out of duty? Do we close the Bible and shut our minds to His Word as we face the busyness of the day? Yet we expect Father God to answer prayers, and often become despondent when He does not answer immediately. Yet, perhaps He does answer but we don’t like the answer, or neglect to stop to listen?
When Yeshua was in the garden, He was on His knees sweating blood and He asked His Father, “If this cup can but pass me by, yet Your will not Mine.” Soon after this an angel appeared and strengthened Him. Ever had an answer like that before? I asked for healing, but was told that I needed to walk through the valley for spiritual healing. This valley was chemotherapy and radiation sessions, but during the treatment period I was strengthened as He carried me daily in grace. In today’s society we praise a child for saying ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’, ‘please’.. general manners. I think that manners matter to YHWH too. It is all about respecting the Creator. Do we really respect the King of Kings? I think many people have lost their fear because life is easy. We get away with things because everyone is too politically correct to point sin out. We are presenting substandard sacrifices to the King.
We arrive at church, ready to go home. We hope the sermon is short because the garden needs attention, shopping needs to be completed, the house needs cleaning or the ironing is piling up. We sing “How Great is our God.” while we are wondering about earthly issues – our lips move but our heart is divided. What is your heart offering? Do you sit and criticize the worship, the pastor and the message? Do we enter the building and leave the same way? Paul tells us that this is like a man who looks at his reflection in a mirror and forgets what he looks like. When you look in a mirror and notice something is not right we naturally fix it, be it hair a whisker or parsley in teeth.
How is your devotional time? Is it a quick, rushed ten minutes ending with a list that is prayed, followed by a quick verse? Or do you put aside quality time that is enough time to come into His presence and sit at His feet. Time enough for the Father to talk to you and for you to hear Him. Time where you push through prayer and allow the Spirit to reveal God’s Word to you. Is your time with Him an habitual ritual? Do you do devotions to stay in His good books? We are told to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul – undivided. Jesus tells us to come to Him and He will give us rest. Mary sat at the feet of the Saviour, she received from Him. Martha could have done that too, but she was too aware that if she did not present her human best effort it would not go down well, pride. Jesus told her that Mary had taken the right choice. Mary recognised that spending time with Jesus was more important than what others would say about the presentation of a meal.
Who is your time with God about? 90% you and 10% worshipping His name? I know that we are supposed to give our tenth, but that is earning not spiritual time. Quality matters to YHWH, not quantity. He desires your full and undivided attention. I know we all have jobs (God-given), homes (blessings from the Father) and families (more blessings) and these things need attention, but we need to prioritize. We read, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and ALL things shall be added unto you.” This speaks of not only physical things, but most importantly of the spiritual tools to bring glory to the King.
Verse 17, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.” Bring an honourable act of worship to God. Adjust your heart before you approach the Almighty God. Sing His praises with true meaning, thinking of Him and putting aside yourself. Take up your cross before you approach the throne. Don’t let your time with Him be crippled with the burdens that you are dragging around. Don’t be deafened by your inability to shut out the noise of the world and hear His voice – take time to listen. If you are singing and dancing to Him, do so with a contrite heart. Don’t sing songs that have no meaning or don’t make sense – be selective in what you sing to the King. In Revelations we read of simple songs that are sung to YHWH, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty’. Put aside your TV remote, laptop, iPad, iPhone (they all start with I???). Pick up His Word, become quiet and soak in His love for you. Receive His rest and peace that is freely available – sit at His feet. Open your eyes, look outside and see His glory in nature. Whatever you do, do it unto God and not man. Don’t try and serve God with human rituals and habits, He is far above us and nothing we do can bring Him the glory and honour He is due.
Give YHWH the best of you, give Him quality time and song. Sacrifice your will to honour Him. He desires the worship worthy of a King. He is to be awed and esteemed above all. He is and was and is to come. We fear Him, not because we are scared, but because we love Him. We need to fear YHWH, with a fear that is based in respect, fear that is healthy and brings a desire to serve, worship and want to be called, ‘My loved servant, whom I am well-pleased with.’
Nobody can change your attitude, you need to do that. Don’t blame the worship team, the air conditioning, the sound team or pastor – they are NOT your sacrifice or worship. Your heart, soul, and mind, are your vessels of worship and sacrifice. What will you bring before your King? What will you lay on the altar of praise? But by the blood of the Son can we approach the King of Kings. Chosen ones, the bride of Yeshua.
Oh Lord, may my worship and prayer be pleasant to You. May my deeds and motives be pure in Your sight and bless You. You are omnipotent and awesome and I want to fear You, I desire You to be proud of me and say of me that I am your servant and that You are well-pleased with me. Amen