Happy Fall Feast Season Saints! We finally have an empty house and are waiting to move into temporary lodging in a week and a half. I'm glad that we will be able to work around the Feast days, however that means we'll be flying out in the middle of Sukkot. Even though "Pharaoh" determines when we have to depart Germany, we had input as to the exact day we'd fly out. I consulted the projected calendar at that time to see what would be a good day, knowing that we wouldn't be completely sure until Yom Teruah was confirmed. I'm just happy that we'll be able to honor the appointed times. My husband wants to hit the ground running when we get to our next station in order to find housing, but I had to inform him of the double Sabbath occurring two days after we arrive. We know that no good will come from willingly violating His commands and we are trusting that Father will lead us to the right place to live. I've learned to let a lot of worrying go since being on this walk. I didn't even know that I was a worrier, but I realized that's exactly what I used to do. For the most part, I just try to honor Father and allow Him to take care of our needs and that's done wonders for my peace of mind; knowing that I can find peace in Him.
So, the series continues with the subtitle "Mixing Your Words with Faith". I liked how Marcus talked about how we behave differently depending on the people we are around. This is an important thing to recognize when developing godly integrity. We have to discern and judge how to properly interact with people across differing environments, but that doesn't mean wearing different hats. We should be the same person no matter whose company we're in. What may change is being aware of individual sensitivities. You just can't talk to everyone with the same level of bluntness. Some people are more sensitive and if you care about them, you'll try to meet them where they are and allow Father to show you how to deal with that person or how not to deal with them. We don't need to be slipping off the snapback when we leave the comfort of our friends and donning the fedora around people we feel will judge us according to Father's standards.
One of the earliest memories I have of acting differently in the presence of authority figures was when I was caught cursing by my fifth grade teacher. My teacher overheard me saying a profanity in a group of friends and when she asked the group who made the comment, they wasted no time pointing fingers in my direction. I don't remember if my mom was notified, but I think that was the last time I was ever externally reprimanded for swearing. Now, that doesn't mean I stopped, I was just never caught saying those things in the presence of adults. I was never a person that used a great deal of profanity and Father allowed me to check myself when I was younger to get away from profane language, but lo and behold, it tried to come back during grad school when I was assigned to the football team. I remember listening to myself one day and then saying out loud after a profanity laced comment, "what in the world am I saying?!" I just became sick of speaking like that and allowing my environment to influence me. I checked myself again, but then it turned covert. I would use it in my mind when I was angry, but at least I wasn't verbalizing it right? That's what I would tell myself and in my eyes it was my way of progressing away from swearing. It's a good way of illustrating how we can keep commandments, but our hearts aren't cleansed. You wouldn't hear me curse, but you wouldn't know unless I confessed it, that I was using it internally. If it's still in the heart, eventually it will come out though. The mind must be renewed for us to be free from unrighteousness.
Matthew 12:36 warns us that we will have to give an account for our empty, idle, casual words. Make sure your words are light and life by speaking the things that Yeshua has charged us with. Now, every single conversation we have is not always speaking about Father, but He should ALWAYS be in the midst. I'm recovering from the mindset that I always need to speak at length about my beliefs to people. To be honest, no one likes an unsolicited preacher. I used to just wear people out about the Bible, like if I said something the right way, they'd be convinced to follow Scripture and drop their religion. I try not to do that anymore. My desire is that Father will use me how He sees fit and for me to be ok with however He wants to do it. Sometimes you don't even need to preach to others, your life will speak for itself. When you display the goodness of following His commands, that speaks volumes to people. If you're always complaining about how you have to cook and clean because, "ugh! Shabbat is tomorrow!". Who would want that in their lives? "No we can't go to the birthday party or football game because it's on Shabbat?" We can't do this; we can't do that; we can't eat this or that (sad face). No one is going to remotely be interested in your walk. Why? Because you've advertised discontent and bondage. They may think you're in bondage because you've showed them you're in bondage.
If we speak the same words the unfaithful speak, we are indeed being unfaithful to our Father. I had this outlook for a while and I didn't know that I was being like that. I remember when I decided to honor Shabbat and read the do's and don'ts regarding the holy day, one of my first responses was, "You mean to tell me I can't do anything on Shabbat?!" That was my errand, fun, lazy, work, or cleaning day and now I had to do things differently. Obviously there is a maturity that takes place in all of us, but it was hard in the beginning. When we desire to please Father and exalt His ways over our own, then we can move past the feelings of loss. Coming into covenant with Father is not about you losing yourself, it's about you letting go of everything that you think gives you life and pleasure, and exchanging it for what is the true pleasure of life - submitting to the pleasure of the Creator. You're not losing yourself, you're walking in the fullness of what you were created to be and losing this false idea of who you are. Father is not trying to just make us robots. He knows that we have desires, goals, and creative tendencies that He is happy to facilitate as long as they remain in their proper place and are not unrighteous. If we expect that life in covenant with Father equals being poor, miserable suffering, lack, grief, destruction, discontentment, unhappiness, and oppression, then what does that say about our faith? I would be sad if my son felt that way about me and I'm sure it grieves Father when our actions and words reveal that is exactly how we feel about our relationship with Him. He desires that we have life and have it abundantly John 10:10. The problem is that we have to decide if we believe that we are committed to Him or are we actually committed to Him. Maybe some of us are not ready to let go of the world in many ways. Now, everything won't change in one day, but we have to stop making excuses for bad behavior and just take ownership of where we are. Like Ezekiel 20:39 implies, if we want to go and live like heathens we are more than free to do so, just leave Father's name out of it because this pollutes His name among the nations. He desires to have us reach the nations so that they will know the way of salvation, not to show them that His professed followers are down trodden, faithless, and living under the "bondage" of His law.
Watch over your words, your idle words and your prepared words. Operate in the faith/trust that Father has revealed to you in Scripture and in person. He is faithful and has given us the solidity of His Word and promises. He waivers not and we can take that to the bank. He is going to do His part, now we need to do ours. What are you waiting for? Until next time...
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