Early this summer I was working in the yard at the home of my dear friend, Elizabeth. She had been allowing me to live in her lovely home, “house-sitting”, until I sorted myself out or got hitched. Anyway, in preparation for her annual, summer visit to Colorado I was picking up fallen aspen branches and pulling a few weeds. There is a lovely little creek that bubbles down beside her property, dips under the driveway and pops out into a pretty pond in a stand of stately, old-growth aspens. Having espied a tangle of branches just at this opening to the pond, and just out of reach from dry land, I proceed to kick off my sandals and roll up my pants a little bit.
To reach these branches my plan was to step out on to what appeared to be a well-placed, little sand bar with very little water running over the top of it. Easy as pie. Nothing to it. Looks can be so deceiving! What looked like a sturdy sand bar was in reality a deep mud pit. I immediately sank up above my knees into the sucking silt like a Wooly Mammoth in the La Brea Tar Pits. In a moment, and with the best of intentions, I was firmly caught in quicksand and hoped, sincerely, that I could extricate myself without benefit of a John Deere tractor and a photographer from the Silver World newspaper!
It seems lately that everyone I talk to is mired and struggling under a weighty burden from which they desperately want to escape. There is a stressful, desperate awareness that some of these folks are hanging on by a raveling thread. Life, for them, has become a quagmire and they need a helping hand right now. Some of these burdens are serious, chronic physical or mental issues, some are fractured relational issues. Large financial stresses abound and many problems when closely examined, are at their heart, spiritual. Each and every one of these problems is an enormous pack that must be hoisted up onto these friend’s backs every day and lugged along with them. They need help. They need rest. They need peace. They yearn for freedom. At some point, we all do.
Well, you say, they need to know Jesus. They need to become Christians. They need more faith. Well, yes, as do we all. Some of these folks are deeply committed, Spirit-filled Christians.(Christianity is no guarantee of a trouble-free existence, by the way…only a Guarantee of forgiveness and Eternal Life!) Some of these folks were raised in Christian homes and believe that their childhood “baby” relationship is all there was or ever will need. They have wandered away distracted by the allure of their busy life. Some of these folks, while Believers in Jesus, were never taught that many of the issues that they are struggling with do have Biblical solutions that are valid today if they would only have eyes to see. Some of these folks have been so bruised by life or circumstance that they can’t see beyond their bitter disappointment to believe that there really is a loving Father that cares for them. Some of these folks have spent a lifetime curiously observing “Christians” and just can’t tell any difference, so why bother going there. Ouch!
I have written posts in the past that deal with quite a few of these issues and I encourage you, if you are a new reader to dive into the archives. I am not saying that there are no answers, only that sometimes we can’t see them in the midst of our current situation: remember in Keys, Cockle Burrs and Hand Grenades the discussion of how Satan has a focused, vested interest in keeping us tangled up and occupied with anything other than keeping our eyes on the Lord. Admittedly, our time here on earth can be tough, it can be a nasty quagmire…but it is temporary.
Hard as it is to believe, now, when you are stuck in something unpleasant, we are supernatural beings temporarily residing here in this temporary shell of a body. When we get down to it, it is our eternal supernatural life that lasts forever and really counts. There is a God who loves you and wants not just a “religious”nod that you believe He was a real historic character…but that you and He are friends, that He is your Lord, and that He wants to build a relationship with you. Lasting relationships, after all, take time to build. And this is well illustrated by the Feast of Tabernacles; our 7th Feast of the Lord.
If you’ve read my posts for very long you know that I believe in healing. I believe that healing is just part of the Salvation work that Jesus accomplished and pictured for us on the cross at the Feast of Passover. I believe and have written about Dominion authority or Deed issues that were lost with Adam and then were restored to us at that mysterious time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of First fruits teaches us to give back in obedience to the Lord the best and the first of our crop or “increase” but, is truly a beautiful illustration of the Messiah as the First fruits of the dead. He came as God’s First and only Son for a purpose, to swap His life for mine so the Death Angel, just as on Passover, would pass me by. He rose from his grave as the first fruits of the resurrection. Others, like Lazarus had been brought back from the dead but they ultimately died again. Jesus did not. I believe in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
I believe in those incredible gifts that are accessed through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They were given to us purposefully and in prophetic fulfillment at the Feast of Pentecost and are still necessary today to encourage and build up the Body of Christ and also to share with a lost world just how wonderful and amazing our Lord is. We have discussed at some length that King Jesus is slated to return soon and we must be ready as pictured in the Feast of Trumpets, just past. My last post, Escape Plan, explored the symbolism of this coming Saturday’s, Yom Kippur, which shows us that all sin comes with a death sentence. Judgment day is coming. Sin (anything that is contrary to God’s perfect nature) must be addressed, repented of and placed under the blood of Jesus. We have been bought with a price. Jesus purchased us with his blood on that Mercy Seat. Now, because I have acknowledged that He did that for me, I wear His righteousness and I am acceptable to God. Through Jesus we, who Believe on Him, have Eternal Life and are saved from that ultimate death penalty.
The Hebrew word for Salvation is Yeshua ( coincidentally the Hebrew name of Jesus!) and carries a much broader inclusive meaning than we see in the English word. Hebrew Salvation involves not only saving us from God’s judgement but a restorative wholeness, perfect health, peace, a rest, a freedom. It involves our adoptive status now, today, as co-heirs in His Kingdom which comes with incredible Joy and Authority. We are a chosen generation, kings and priests, that have been brought from the darkness into his marvelous light! (1 Peter 2:9)
This has been just a brief overview of the Feasts of the Lord, how they illuminate and fulfill scripture as well as our lives today and why they are important to remember every year and teach to our children. The 7th and final feast is that of Tabernacles and next time we will explore that beautiful story. By the way, this year The Feast of Tabernacles is being ushered in on October 8th with a large celestial show in the heavens: the second Blood Moon. Prepare to stay up late and be amazed at the Lord’s signs and signals!