Month 1:18, Week 3:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year:Day 5936:018 AM|
Chag haMatzah (Firstfruits): Annual Moed #2, Day #4
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 9 April 2012
Chag haMatzah 2012 IV
The Toxin of Unforgiveness
Continued from Part 4
Chag sameach haMatzah kol beit Yisra'el and welcome to the fourth day of this festival of Chag haMatzah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Our theme is spiritual detoxification which I want to expend upon today.
As we saw yesterday, spiritual detoxification isn't something that you can plan because we are operating according to Yahweh's plan first and foremost. We talked about His unique tailor-made curriculum textbook for our personal spiritual education and in particular we saw how He uses the (for us) complicated circumstances we find ourselves in and the people we interact with, all of whom are important to our development in some way, as we are to theirs. The last page of my textbook will be the last day of my life in mortality whether I fully yield to Messiah or not because Yahweh has designed out lives, based on the foreknowledge of all the choices we will make. He knows whether we are going to bury our talent(s) in the ground or multiply them. If we have fully trusted in Yah'shua (Jesus) and obeyed Him, by the time we come to that last page, we should be like Him.
It is not uncommon for people coming to Messiah to expect that all their difficulties and hardships will evapourate upon being saved. We have no such promise. He does not promise that we can be at ease and enjoy a more comfortable life than the rest of unsaved humanity. The only promise that Yah'shua (Jesus) actually makes is that He will be with us always and will, if we trust and obey Him, empower us to overcome every difficulty and as a result become the spiritually stronger and become more like Him for it. The goal of being a talmid (dsiciple) is not to have a good time - the goal is to become like our Saviour and thus become completely whole and spiritually free human beings.
The reality of the becoming a true talmid (disciple) is that we will be in continuous battle with occasional respites to allow us to charge up our batteries. And this battle does not end until death. Those who delude themselves into thinking that they will escape this battle by abandoning Messiah for a hedonistic lifestyle are in for a rude shock because the hedonistic path leads only to oblivion and unhappiness. Please don't experiment with that - I have know many who have and all have come to deeply regret it. None have been truly happy.
The moment we are reconciled to the emet (truth) that mortal life on earth is a struggle - a battle - and not a rest home or a vaccation camp - the sooner we will be able to make the best of it and complete the tasks that have been given to us in coming down here. Remember, that mortality is only a part of our existence - it's the obstacle course part, the training ground for eternity, the place where we make the most important choices of all.
Learning discernment between light and darkness and all the various, complicated mixtures, is part of that training. I had a most interesting dream last night to remind me of this principle as well to share some truths with you today. Many people had come to me for help in the dream - perhaps 15 to 20 - most of whom I had never seen before and one or two whom I had. Of all of these, only 1 or 2 really wanted help and were prepared to become proper talmidim (disciples). All the rest wanted to be free of their problems but did not want to become talmidim (disciples). Some just wanted to have attention but exercise no personal responsibility for their lives, others just wanted to make trouble, and yet others were just so lost they hadn't a clue whether they were coming or going. If was conference time (as it is now) though most of them had come for a 'worshop' of their own invention - I didn't even know they were coming. Most were quarrelling and were completely unteachable - there was no point their being there at all. Indeed, as it turns out, only one had come on this occasion with the right motives at all.
If you are a believer, many will compete for your attention but few will actually want to submit to Yah'shua (Jesus) or actually change their lives. It is our duty and responsibility to witness at least once and then, as with Yah'shua (Jesus) and the rich young ruler, we are to challenge them to make a choice and if they refuse to let them go their own way. We are not to pursue them. Some will return, most with the same attitude as before, in which case we are to again challenge them to make a commitment or once again let them go. Most of these will seek other believers and try to get the same terms as they wanted before - terms requiring that they exercise no personal responsibility for their choices.
It can seem cruel making an ultimatum (in grace, of course) but really it is for these people's own good. We have to warn them of the dire consequences of burying their talent.
In my dream, one man made a bizare childish display of removing all his clothes and urinating on the ground and whining like a small child. Though I didn't recongise him in the dream, it's someone I recognise from the past. Others just argued amongst themselves and had not come to listen at all - they just wanted a forum to complain. It would have been comical if it had not been so tragic. Only one came with a humble and contrite spirit, having lost all. And so it is with souls seeking after Yahweh's servants and it is important to discern them so as not to waste valuable Kingdom time. There is at least one season of opportunity for repentance and change for every soul in their life and we need not assume that just because someone is coming apparently to search for the Emet (Truth) that this is his season. Nine out of ten times it is not.
I wasted years trying to help one man - he's still the same today as he was then. He every now and then makes a pretense of wanting to get his life right but in reality all he wants to do is gripe. Such one has to hand over to Yahweh. The devil will waste our time in this way if he can - he will do anything to ensure we do not disturb his kingdom! Therefore we must be discerning and wise, something usually acquired with experience and time, making the counsel of elders important in the ministry.
Yahweh does not have to create 'extra good' or 'extra bad' circumstances to teach us important spiritual lessons, even though we are often tempted think that way. What we get is what we have always needed. Yahweh carefully uses everything that comes along on the road of our life and couples these with the spiritual battles we are involved in. If we have made wrong choices and gone down wrong paths, sometimes we must wait as the grand drama of life is orchestrated through other people around us who have either similarly wrong turns or who are actually on the right Path. Those on the right path will serve us pure emet (truth) where as those who are on the wrong one will be used to buffer us until we make the necessary life-adjustments to get on the right path too. All is done to persuade us to be more conformed to the image of Messiah.
As we learn the valuable lessons of life, we will come to view our trials, disappointments, persecutions and victories as opportunities for the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to rebuild and remould our lives. Then, during the most difficult and painful times, we will be able to say: 'Yes, Master!', better able to trust Him with the knowledge that He is using these things to bring us one step closer to Him.
Why, many ask, can't Yahweh just be satisfied with the fact that we have chosen His Son and are saved? Because Yah'shua's (Jesus') great desire is to present us before Yahweh the Father at the end of life as His pure allegorical Bride, which He cannot do unless that Bride is without spot or wrinkle. He has to be able to say that we are fully purchased by the blood, fully submitted and obedient, His workmanship, in His image, completed, lacking nothing, truly a part of Him, truly in tavnith (pattern) grafted into Him as branches. If we aren't, then we cannot remain in the Father's Presence, where the Son dwells, and will have to live elsewhere in a lesser glory. That is why we have to go through this purging - this spiritual detoxification process. It's the price for dwelling in the presence of Elohim (God), where the fullness abides, for ever.
Of course, if you want less - but nobody in their right mind actually does - then you can opt out of the struggle and just let yourself be tossed around and buffetted by the storms of life, to suffer with no reward. Just as a man must confess his wife before the Throne of Yahweh, testifying that she is properly grafted in tavnith (pattern) for their union to be eternal, so Yah'shua (Jesus) must do the same of us as His allegorical uniplural wife. It's the same principle. It is not for us to try and get Yah'shua (Jesus) to conform to our life, but to allow Him to conform ours to His.
This may all be obvious to you, and indeed this is very elementary theology, but it's that essential part of emet (truth) that is so missed and so resisted. If we can't get beyond this, then we can't get beyond even Chag haMatzah. You see, the goal is not just to be accepted by Yah'shua (Jesus) but to be accepted by the Father too. For one day Yah'shua (Jesus) will hand over the Kingdom back to the Father, having accomplished His Great Task:
Only then will Creation be complete and whole once more, as it was before the rebellion of the malakim (angels) and the fall of man, and everything be properly in the hands of the Father. If we have not made it back to the Father - and we can only do that if Yah'shua (Jesus) presents us spotless to Him - then we have not attained the purpose to which we were called, but have settled for something less glorious. And do you know the main thing that prevents us from coming up to the Father and to the fullness? A lack of forgiveness.
"Then comes the end, when [Yah'shua/Jesus] delivers the kingdom to Elohim (God) the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power" (1 Cor.15:24, NKJV).
One of the worst nightmare scenarious possible for a human being is to come before the Judgment Bar with unforgiveness on our hearts. This learning how to forgive is a lifetime's effort and takes us all the way to the autumn festival of Yom Kippur which is preceeded by the period of mandatory teshuvah (repentance). It is only by working with forgiveness that we discover how pride has lodged itself in us an exacted its terrible tribute. Not only do we typically fail to see that we have done wrong but those who hurt us are usually similarly blind. I know I am. We all are. I venture to suggest that this is always the biggest stumbling block in the process of spiritual detoxification. It's the greatest challenge to the proper exercise of our free agency that there is and is no better encapsulated than in the words of Yah'shua (Jesus):
A short phrase is that, only three words, but, oh, it is the hardest mitzvah (commandment) in the Scripture - the biggest and greatest mitzvah (commandment) in the whole of the Cosmos. So long as the toxins of pride, hate and unforgiveness are in us, we will never be able to fulfil this mitzvah (commandment).
"Love your enemies" (Matt.5:44, NKJV).
Continued in Part 6