We have lost the corporate “knowing” of how much is just enough to soften the earth or nourish the plantings. Forgotten is that fretful anxiety over a possible dearth that will shrivel the crop at critical times. We have forgotten to pray for the rain.
Ready or not, we are coming into the last-days harvest season. This may sound like a presumptive statement to you. However, as I look at world events: drought, earthquakes, and continual and escalating Middle-East unrest, a variety of world-wide pestilence, Muslim beheadings and a sharp rise in both Antisemitism and Christian persecution, I think it is very difficult to ignore the alarm bells even if you are a hardened skeptic! Coincidentally, this is also the season of the Jewish Holy Days. We are just days away from the celebration of the Fall Feasts of the Lord: Trumpets/ Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles/Sukkot. This is also a Shemittah year beginning on Sept 25th to be followed by a Jubilee year and virtual dump-truck load of Blood Moons and a solar eclipse happening on these special days. I don’t know about you but my “Spidey Senses” are tingling in a very big way!!
Things are really starting to pop, people! And like it or not, we are living in VERY exciting times! It is into this charged atmosphere that I received these repeated “words” last week: “Fire and Rain” and “Press into the Fire!” What could it mean?
Real, seasonal rain in the Old Testament was used as a physical expression of God’s grace and blessing falling forth when His people were walking in obedience and, conversely, that rain blessing was withheld if the Hebrew people disobeyed and began to follow the pagan customs and idols which were strictly forbidden. (Deut.11:11-16, Deut. 32:2, Amos 4:7, Gen 7:4, 1 Kings 17. )
“Spiritual Rain” is another of those Holy Spirit, water-related metaphors. Songs have long pled with feeling and verse for the Holy Spirit to “rain down on them”. Unlike the physical rain, one cannot have too much spiritual rain. Even if we have never experienced it before, we as Spirit-filled believers intuitively cry out for this spiritual rain, for that heavy fog of His Glory to envelop us with His promised peace, power and healing.
We often equate this rain with the coming of needed revival to the church, like a refreshing monsoonal burst of life-bringing moisture. Just as actual monsoonal rains start new things growing and rejuvenate the parched, arid regions of the country, Spiritual Rain does the same for us.
Revival not only brings new souls to repentance and salvation in Christ Jesus; It also pours new life into those Believer’s hearts who have wandered away or lost heart. It refreshes and reclaims those spiritual areas that have gone dormant with disuse, or are withered in discouragement. Revived, we all come surging back to life as we step into that Glorious Rain of the Holy Spirit! Just as with natural precipitation, we require this Spiritual down-draft of blessing for empowerment, growth, refreshing and cleansing: to fill to overflowing our personal tanks and reservoirs for the times of want.( Lev 26:19-20, Zechariah 14:1-21, Rev.11:6, James 5:7, Deut. 11:11-16, Deut. 32:2, Hosea 6:3, Amos 4:7, Psalms 78:24,1 Kings 17.)
Israel, like America, was once a country of Farmer/Soldiers. In peacetime, everyone was happy to plant their crops, raise their sheep, tend their vineyards. However, when the shofar blew and called them to war, they would drop their plows and assemble for the coming battle. This should be our example. Even several generations off the family farm and employed in a capacity far removed from the land; as His dicsiples, we are always called to sow His seeds and share that wonderful story with everyone we meet. Likewise, when the shofar blows we have to be armored up and ready to engage in Spiritual battles as well. Never a dull moment!
This is the month of Elul, the 6th month in the Hebrew Calendar. Back in the day, this is the month where the shofar would be blown once every day from the wall. Every day, a call to repentance. Every day, a reminder to the people, a wake-up call to cleansing and holiness. Every day, a blast of the horn telling you to get your life all squared away before that all important Feast of Trumpets/ Yom Teruah. On The Feast of Trumpets the shofar would blow 99 times before the last trump! (Zech. 9:14, 1 Thes. 4:16-17, Isa 2:17)) This “Feast” Day will begin on the New Moon, the first day of the 7th month of Tishri; that Day that no man knew the day or hour when it would come! Messiah is coming! Repent. Get ready- spread the News! (Leviticus 23, Numbers 29, Isa. 59:20, 55:6, Psm 2:12, John 3:16)
Ezra, the scribe, tells us that the Temple altar was rebuilt, and sacrifices were reinstituted by those who had returned from Babylonian exile. Nehemiah reports to us that sweeping revival took place in Israel that same day as Ezra stood and read God’s law in the ears of the people. Something sparked and hearkened in their spirit just HEARING Ezra read the Word.
Just a reminder: Jesus fulfilled the Spring Festivals on the very days, at the very hours with His first coming. The sinless, perfect, Lamb of God was nailed to the cross at the very hour of the morning sacrifice.( John 1:29) Jesus died at the exact moment that the High Priest, said that “It is Finished” and cut the throat of the sacrificial lamb at the Temple at the Feast of Passover. Jesus was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Rose again on the Feast of First Fruits. The Holy Spirit arrived with a Mighty Rushing Wind at the very moment of the morning sacrifice on the Feast of Weeks/ Pentecost. Our God didn’t give us these Feasts just for grins. They are a very exact, appointment calendar showing us when He is showing up. Every single Feast is a special Dress Rehearsal pointing Jew and Gentile alike, if they chose to pay attention, to the time of his First Coming as well as His Return on some future Rosh Hashanah. Are you watching? Are you ready?
Interestingly, what we see linked here in scripture: Words of Wisdom from the Lord regarding a new Revival-like release of power and glory, The 7th Month of the Hebrew Calendar,Tishri (which begins for us next week on Sept 24,2014 at Sunset) The Feast of Trumpets, sweeping Revival and hearing the word of the Living God during a Shemittah year!! ( every 7th year is a Sabbath year) Am I the only one who feels something tangible shifting in this atmosphere?
* We will finish this up next time! Thanks so much for following along!