July 18, 2018

From the teaching: The Kingdom Manifesto: Assimilation

 Greetings!  We are in the throes of what seems to be a nationwide heat wave in America.  With temperatures daily reaching over 100oF/38oC, it's safe to say that we've spent lots of time indoors.  I've never experienced weather that was too hot to even go swimming, but now I have.  With that mentioned, I am so thankful for YeHoVaH's continued blessings on us and His people.  I was telling my son that we are so blessed to have shelter to escape the heat because there are some that have to find ways to escape the elements.  Father is a source for refuge and provision in every situation!

As I listened to Brother Marcus teach this lesson, I contemplated what the title would be and I immediately thought about a term I learned in grade school biology - "symbiosis".   According to Merriam-Webster, symbiosis is the living together in close association of two dissimilar organisms.  The three types of symbiotic relationships include mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic.  The first two are relations in which two organisms interact in a way where there is one or more beneficiaries and where there is only one, no harm is done to the organism that doesn't benefit.  The last however, as its name suggests,  is a relationship where there is a beneficiary and there is a victim.  Assimilation of God's people with the world is just like a parasitic relationship.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, parasitism is a relationship between two species of plants or animals in which one benefits at the expense of the other, sometimes without killing the host organism.  As we read in Deuteronomy 28, if we obey the Lord, He promised to establish us as a holy people unto Himself.  This ultimately means a disconnection from the life we used to know and live in order to walk in the ways set forth by the Father.  

If we accept a lifestyle of assimilation with the world, we are indeed in a parasitic relationship.  We may not perceive that we are being harmed, but we absolutely are!  This is one of the difficulties we have as YeHoVaH's people living outside the confines of His physical and institutional nation Israel.  In the Diaspora, we are living shoulder to shoulder with those that worship other gods.  How do we live in this world while not assimilating to its customs?  We are still called to be a set apart people, but we have real challenges that we have to navigate.  Yeshua and the disciples of the Bible give valuable examples of how to do that.  Yeshua set the example of one that is wholly committed to the Father in word and deed even in the midst of a nation that was foreign to living out the Word of YeHoVaH.  He lived during a time when Israel was subject to pagan Rome and the Israelites were steeped in a religion that was opposed to the Word that was once delivered to His people.

The harm that we experience as a result of this parasitic relationship with the world comes at the expense of our life on Earth and in the life to come.  If we allow it, we will live a life of defeat, never achieving the plan that Father has for our lives.  Merely surviving day to day trying to make ends meet so that we can pay our bills only to go to bed and get up to next day to do it all over again.  Pursuing pleasures of our own imagination in exchange for a life lived in service of our Creator.  When our life ends, we wonder if Matthew 7:21-23 will be spoken to us when we stand before the Righteous Judge.  This is the result of assimilation with the world.   It manifests in a variety of ways, but the outcome will be the same.  The key is to remember that we are not aware that we are playing host to a bloodsucking parasite.  We may not be aware that we are assimilating with the enemy.  We may not be aware that we have joined ourselves in service to religion because men have told us that is the path to God.  We have to make sure that WE, not any other person on our behalf, are knowledgeable of His written Word.  His written Word explains His character, expectations, and plan for us.  We have to know His voice.  I've come to learn just how important this is because I grew up with the understanding that simply reading the Bible and being a "good" person was all I needed to be concerned with.  Knowing His voice is absolutely PARAMOUNT to walking in step with Messiah.  We can quote Scripture all day long but, if we do not know His voice, we are in serious trouble.  I first heard this warning last year and it shook me to my very core.  Up until that point, my focus was the same as it had been as a youngster, but with a Messianic touch.  This is also essential for breaking any assimilation that we've accepted in our lives.  

Yeshua has perfectly equipped us to stand in today's world with power and authority to proclaim the will of the Father.  We have to ask for guidance in our own unique situations as to how we are to navigate being in this world without assimilation.  It is definitely not without challenges, but if we are aware that the enemy desires for us to water down His will, then we will be better able to see just what tools he uses to accomplish that.  We need to remain close to the Father daily, practice His Word, seek to hear His voice and the strength to accomplish it, and endure every day until the end.


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