Month 3:09, Week 2:1 (Rishon/Pesach), Year:Day 5936:068AM|
7 Sabbaths + Omer Count Day #1
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 29 May 2012
Are You Happy? VIII
Abiding in the Secret Place
Continued from Part 7
One of the nice things about gifts is that when received they invariable surprise...or at least, that is the plan. Every first union that is based in ahavah (love) always brings a very pleasant surprise. My first union with Elohim (God) - that day I was born again - came as a huge surprise. I could never have forseen what it would be like. And the happiness and the simcha (joy) that flow from it are given not on the basis of a reward for having 'done' anything but as what one minister called "a sheer gift".
"He who dwells in the secret place of El Elyon (the Most High) shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Yahweh, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my Elohim (God), in Him I will trust'" (Ps.91:1-2, NKJV).
And yet there is some part of us which always feels it must merit salvation, merit ahavah (love), merit happiness, merit simcha (joy). Why is that? Because until we have encountered the living Elohim (God) from whom every tov (good) things proceed, life's experiences teach us that fallen human beings tend to expect some sort of a quid pro quo arrangement - 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'. And sadly, until we are taught the divine way, that is how we tend to love too.
The happiness that comes from union with Elohim (God) is a free gift, an outrageous thought to both religious and secular men. The whole world system teaches us that nothing is free - you have to earn it. It teaches that if you follow the Rule Book - the rules of men - you will be rewarded; if you don't, you will be punished. Do you want something from the government? Then you'd better make sure you've paid your taxes. No taxes, no benefits - no 'goodies'. What almost no one seems to realise (unless they think long and hard about it) is that the government can't give you anything free anyway - it's either your own money, or someone else's, that you're getting from them.
But that's the difference between Yahweh and governments. Yahweh is the origin of infinite resources - man has none that he can speak of his own because everything ultimately comes from Elohim (God)...even the things we work for such as the produce of the earth.
This is a most critical emet (truth) that we must understand so as not to fall into the error of legalism: our union with Elohim (God) does not depend on our own effort any more that the connection we as parents with our own children depends on their own effort. The shalom (peace) and happiness that proceeds from Yahweh through Yah'shua (Jesus) is quite simply an indestructable reality. Why? Because Messiah is with us and within us.
This does not mean, though, that there is nothing we can do to make this reality of shalom (peace) and happiness more truly a part of us. We can so apprehend this reality that it does not simply sit at the top of our mind as a nice idea but becomes a part of our very being, something that we then become conscious of moment by moment.
Isn't that what we all want? Then how do we go about it?
Today's passage speaks of a "secret place" to which we can go. It belongs to El Elyon (the Most High) and to those who dwell in it "under the shadow of the Almighty". Those who do this can then confidently and experientially declare, as David did: "He is my refuge and my fortress; my Elohim (God), in Him I will trust".
Now obviously this "secret place" is not a physical place or we could just pack a bag and hike to some location like a Temple where Yahweh's Name is known to have once lived. Many Messianics and not a few Evangelicals are most keen for the Jerusalem temple to be built again so that they can go and meet Yahweh in a special way, forgetting Yah'shua's (Jesus') teachings on the New Covenant Temple as compared with the Old:
What temple, then, does He dwell in?
"El Elyon (the Most High) does not dwell in temples made with [human] hands" (Acts 7:48; 17:24 NKJV).
If you're looking for that "secret place" you don't have to go on a long journey. It's right there, inside you, in this amazing construction of such intricate and complex design known as the human soul - your body, mind, psyche, spirit - all that makes you 'you'.
"Do you not know that you are the temple of Elohim (God) and that the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of Elohim (God), Elohim (God) will destroy him. For the temple of Elohim (God) is qodesh (holy, set-apart), which temple you are" (1 Cor.3:16-17, NKJV).
We'll talk more about that place tomorrow.
Continued in Part 9