** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 34
Forty Days of Teshuvah – The Season of Repentance
It was during those days that Yochanan the Immerser arrived in the desert of Y’hudah and began proclaiming the message, “Turn from your sins to G-d, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!’ Matthew 3:1-2 Complete Jewish Bible
The beginning of Teshuvah was marked one special day when Yeshua walked along the Jordan and desired to be “Immersed” or Mikvahed by John. Rebuffed, Yeshua replied in verse 15, “Let it be this way now, because we should do everything righteousness requires.” Then John let him. As soon as Yeshua had been immersed, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, He saw the Spirit of G-d coming down upon Him like a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, Whom I love; I am well pleased with Him.”
Chapter 4 begins the forty days of Teshuvah with Yeshua being tempted by the Adversary in the wilderness.
I fear, we who have been brought up with this story, having read it over and over pass over it with a yawn while saying “Yes, I know this already.” But do we? Yeshua walked into the wilderness to be tempted, to have everything the Adversary throw at Him. From my studies of Torah, it has been revealed in part that the wilderness is the place of Abba’s Divine provision. Remember the Egyptians who were led out of bondage by Moses? Provisions for “forty years”. It was in the wilderness Yeshua knew Who He was and received Divine provisions.
This story we skim over is for our understanding of how important it is to live out these forty days in repentance. Yeshua believed it necessary and provided us an example, why shouldn’t we? In verses 15 and 16 of Chapter 4, we read, “Land of Z’vulun and land of Naftali, toward the lake, beyond the Yarden, Galil-of-the-Goyim the people living in darkness have seen a great Light; upon those living in the region, in the shadow of death, Light has dawned.” Isaiah 8:23(9-1)-9:1(2) We have seen with our spirit and our soul our Savior, should we not push through and follow His example?
After forty days had passed, it was and is, Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, symbolic of the coming “day of the Lord” which is the reason for this ominous tone of the day. The Day of Atonement is fast approaching, after that Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. Are you ready? Should He return from the field, will He find you wearing the wedding garments of the Bride? There is much to do yet. Our own Tabernacle must be examined and cleansed. If there is any thing that presents itself, “leave your gift where it is by the Altar…” Matthew 5:24 please note, He didn’t say take your gift with you, He said leave your gift where it is by the Altar, meaning, this is not a suggestion, go, take care of business then come back and take care of your business with Me. He desires you!
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 33
Daniel’s Prayer of Repentance
When I think of prayers of repentance I recall the prayer Daniel offered up in Daniel chapter 9. Daniel was seeking the LORD for insight and understanding on the prophecy in Jeremiah regarding when the captivity would end in Babylon. Many of us probably have pondered when our own captivity would end.
Daniel displays an interesting protocol when petitioning The Almighty. He details that he sought the LORD by prayer and supplication with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. It’s interesting that Daniel chooses to humble himself three different ways here to bring himself before the LORD.
Now that the table is set, Daniel is ready to begin protocol. First, he praises the LORD by stating how great and awesome He is for keeping covenant with lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments. Next Daniel confesses on behalf of the entire nation for they have sinned, committed iniquity and acted wickedly against the LORD. The nation has rebelled and turned aside from His commandments and ordinances. Daniel goes on to state Israel has not listened to the LORD’s prophets who spoke to Israel’s kings, princes, fathers and people.
Daniel acknowledges righteousness belongs to the LORD. Open shame belongs to Israel in all the places He has scattered them for the rebellion and unfaithful deeds they have committed against the LORD.
Daniel continues, according to the Torah, a curse will be poured out upon Israel for choosing sin, rebellion, disobedience and turning aside from the Word of the LORD. Great calamity is a result of turning away from Torah, the foundation
of all matter.
Daniel also acknowledges compassion, forgiveness and blessings belong to the LORD. He pours these blessings upon those who turn away from sin, iniquity and transgression.
Now comes the amazing part, Daniel realizes that the LORD is righteous in keeping the calamity in store for the disobedient. The LORD is righteous in administrating punishment because He is doing what He has promised. The LORD is keeping His oath.
Following protocol, Daniel asks the LORD to turn from His wrath because He alone is righteous. He asks the Almighty, listen to this, “shama” his prayer, to incline His ear and “shema”. Daniel asks the LORD to open His eyes and look and see the condition of His people. Oh LORD “SHEMA”, Oh LORD forgive, take action and do not delay, because we are called by your name is Daniel’s plea.
Do you see the protocol Daniel took to ask for insight? Many of us would just simply say, Oh LORD please give me insight and wisdom to understand your prophecy. Daniel followed a protocol for petitioning the Almighty.
Daniel’s prayer protocol is so moving to the LORD that He immediately, while Daniel is still praying, sends the Angel Gabriel. Another interesting note is that Daniel understood the protocol of what time of day to make the petition, notice in verse 21 it states that it was about the time of the evening offering. Wow, that is the 3 pm time.
Perhaps we should consider Daniel’s protocol when approaching God Most High. The LORD was so pleased with Daniel’s prayer that an answer to his request was dispatched before his prayer was finished.
Gabriel says that Daniel is “highly esteemed.” Daniel was assured that the insight and understanding he sought would be granted.
During the 40 days of repentance may we keep Daniel’s prayer protocol in mind when we approach The Creator of heaven and earth, the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDS.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 32
The Sin of Small Things
While we seek the Father’s Face for the ability to make Teshuvah/gain repentance
during these 40 days, the sins of our actions and words may become the primary focus. Certainly we will be reminded of the things we have done or perhaps failed to do as well as the words that we have spoken that injured or grieved someone. While I stand guilty among the many for these things, I am sensing the Ruach haKodesh leading me to deal with failures in my thoughts and motivations more than anything else.
Consider with me this line of thought. Avram was called in B’reshith/Genesis 12 to come out from among his culture, family, and history to walk in a new place, taking on a new life, receiving a new inheritance. This man and his wife are still among the most honored and respected people of all time for their obedience to this call and rightly so. But, what if Avram had obediently left his past and then failed to embrace his future. Let’s suppose for a moment that he entered into the Land, Eretz Yisrael, but never did anything proactive as far as engaging those around him in order to influence their understanding of Who Yah is. He might have simply entered into the territory and sat there, missing his opportunities and failing to grasp the grand plan of Yah for him and his family. Thankfully, he rose to the occasion, influencing peoples, challenging rulers, and receiving the Covenant of Redemption that has continued into our own day.
One year ago this month, August of 2018, I clearly heard Yah speak to me saying, “Barry, you need to open up your mind and think bigger than you’ve been thinking. There are BIG things that I want to do through you but you are thinking too small for Me to do them. Think BIGGER so that I can do what I want to do through you.” Where I thought I was walking humbly as a servant before Him, counting my lack and small returns to be the result of servant heartedness and sacrifice He was seeing that I was limiting His work through me. I had heard others encourage me from Zechariah 4:10 about not despising the days of small things. I had assumed that my assigned lot in life was to have a limited scope of influence. I was trying to be faithful in the small things so that He would make me a ruler over many. My plan wasn’t working, leaving me broke, broken, and barren. What was worse was that I was limiting and frustrating Yah’s desire and plan for Laura and me, all the while thinking that I was being
Our minds, our thinking about ourselves, our opinions of ourselves, and our imaginations all have an impact on how our Creator uses us to bring about His will and plan for us and those around us. Consider that the entire work of Yah, His entire grand plan for all the ages is filtered through our minds and willingness to believe in Him great enough to be moved into action. If we would take the limits off of Him and began to think bigger, with greater possibility and imagine that all the power necessary to do what needs to be done, not only could be but would be able to flow through us, then His Kingdom could be made manifest in our day and with enormous explosive impact. Sometimes we have to progress from thinking that something has potential, to thinking it is probable, to believing it is possible, to then experiencing its power.
YHWH, forgive us for thinking too small, limiting Your power and ability in us. May You forgive our willingness to remain insignificant in the Earth, leaving too many without righteous influence. Awaken Your people O Yah and grant to us a renewed mind, with the ability to see what You are seeing, calling the impossible to be possible, calling weakness to become strength, calling sickness to become healing, and calling a scattered divided people to become a unified nation called Yisrael.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 31
We talk to our children often about stranger danger, predators, and about guarding who and where they place their trust due to peace or safety concerns. It is wise to build trust in a secure environment.
When discord enters a safe and secure relationship, trust exits and honor and respect quickly follow. Spirits of hate, jealousy, anger, bitterness, hurt, strife, sorrow and fear can rush to fill the place where honor and respect once stood.
Thoughts that lead to words and actions are the cause of trust fleeing relationships between man and his Creator, husband and wife, parents and children, siblings, friends, family and acquaintances.
Safe and secure relationships can be healed and restored if we are willing to recognize and repent for moments that we have caused broken trust within our relationships.
Once trust is reestablished, honor and respect can return conquering the spirits that invaded their place.
Abba, forgive us for our thoughts that became words and actions that caused trust to escape any area of our relationship with you or with others that bring us no harm.
Be our help in building a firm foundation of trust in your promises that guide our steps in discerning and guarding trust in our relationships.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 30
Thanksgiving For a Genuine Friend
Most of us have imagined being a king or queen, ruling over a country, living in a palace and being attended to by servants. We may have watched some Medieval period movie or a Queen Elizabeth documentary and become intrigued with the life of royalty. Reading the words of King David reveals a different picture as he often speaks of being encircled by unscrupulous men like ravening dogs, by those who seek to bring him down to the depths and to the grave. It doesn’t seem as if the ministers in his court were to be trusted.
David had at least one genuine friend and brother in Yehonatan/Jonathan. When David first went into King Shaul’s employ, he may have been inferior in his dress for the king’s court. Yehonatan loved David as his own soul and gave him his own robe, sword, and bow. [1 Shemu’el/Samuel 18:3-4] It was Yehonatan that warned David to flee from the king who meant to kill him at first opportunity. To have someone in your life who only seeks your good, to promote and protect you is a rare and wonderful gift. For that precious relationship we should be most thankful.
One aspect of this level of friendship is offering reproof and correction. Mishlei/ Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” In verse 17 we read, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of a friend.” How many times has Yah sent a trusted friend to us to gift us with reproof and correction, allowing us to see that we are missing the mark in some area, but instead of heeding their words, we reject or even cast aside our friend? When we approach someone we love seeking to help them understand their need of walking at a higher level or of taking corrective steps, we put our friendship at risk. However, to say nothing is to allow them to continue in a hurtful path; for themselves and for those around them.
I suggest that we take time in our seeking Him to express thanksgiving to the Father for loving us so much as to grant to us those that we can trust as genuine friends. I also suggest that we repent for those times that we failed to heed their words that may have wounded but then also granted us healing. If we have rejected such a one, may the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit prompt us to seek reconciliation and the restoration of friendship.