Transitioning Into and Preparing for Spiritual Awakening
Rosh Hashanah is one of the highest holy days on the Jewish calendar. I have come to understand that God works in times and seasons and never does anything haphazardly. Over the last eight years since God first launched us out into the healing ministry I always noticed that each year September would be a significant month spiritually for us. It was in September of 2002 that our ministry was birthed and each September following God has brought a significant change and transition. It was only this last year that I discovered that September marks the first month of the original Jewish calendar with Rosh Hashanah marking the first day of the New Year. I gained a revelation and understanding that the Jewish Feasts and Holy Days mark important times and seasons in the Spirit. God still works in line with His original calendar.
A TIME OF TRANSITION AND CHANGE-REALIGNMENTS ARE HAPPENING
September, coming into the Jewish New Year, is often a time of transition and change. Often times when the Lord brings change there comes a realignment of things and there is a cutting away that happens. This brings a realignment of the Body so that we are in the right place at the right time for the purposes of the Kingdom. I believe for many in the Body of Christ they are entering into a new season in their lives where God is calling them to leave the old behind and step into the new. Things of the past that have hindered and impeded our forward motion must be left behind if we are to move upward in God’s purpose and call. It truly is a time where God is stripping and removing everything that would hinder our race in Him. As we transition into the new we must understand what He is doing and what things He is requiring of us to leave behind. This transition will be different for each one of us depending on God’s unique plan and destiny for our lives. We must have an ear to hear Him in this season.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO CARBON COPY OLD PATTERNS
God is breaking out of the box. We must be very careful in this next season not to pattern ourselves after models of the past, even good models. We must not carbon copy ourselves after patterns of ministry that worked in the last season. God is doing a new thing. To move into the new wineskin we must remain very pliable and sensitive to what God is doing and how He is moving. This will require a keen sensitivity to His voice and a boldness not to blend in and go with the flow. It will require a heart of total obedience and death to self.
Lev. 23:23-32 share about the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.
There is both historical and prophetic significance in each feast. The first three feasts deal with the first coming of Christ while the last three look forward to His Second Coming. Each feast will be fulfilled historically through the life of Christ.
The Feasts still hold great significance for us today.
Jesus said in Mt.5:17 “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law, or the prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”
Col. 2:16-17 also indicates that these feasts are a “shadow of things to come.”
Things that have been concealed in the Old Testament have now been revealed through the life of Christ.
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS – BEGINNING A NEW YEAR SPIRITUALLY
Sept. 9, 2010 marks the day of Rosh Hashanah, beginning the spiritual New Year. This day begins the period known as the Ten Days of Awe and ends in Yom Kippur and the Day of Atonement.
Rash Hashanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets. According to the World Book Encyclopedia during this festival the Jewish people pray for God’s forgiveness, for a good new year and for long life. According to Jewish tradition this day is the beginning of God’s annual judgment of humanity.
During this spiritual season the eyes of God are searching our hearts. It is a time to:
1. Humble ourselves before God and let Him search and judge our hearts. We must have a contrite attitude and repent of all sin.
2. Pray God’s blessing over the New Year.
3. Pray God’s blessing for a long and healthy life in Christ.
The World Book Encyclopedia indicates that Jewish services on Rash Hashanah emphasize judgment, penitence and forgiveness. A shofar is blown to call the people to a place of repentance of sin and to be awakened to holy service to God.
A MOVEMENT OF HOLINESS AND POWER
During this season there is a call going out to holiness and power!
As we transition into the new season we will see two very important streams running parallel to each other in the Church. There will be a stream of very deep holiness along with a stream of extraordinary power.
The days of mixture are over where people have operated in the anointing in public and lived in sin in private. God is calling us to a higher standard and to a place of spiritual maturity. God is bringing the Church into a place of true son-ship. For this to happen we must experience His holy, loving discipline so we can mature into the place of holiness and power He is calling us into.
God is dealing with all mixture in the heart of the Church, corporately and individually. There is a greater glory coming and in order to hold its weight we must have a firm, strong foundation. As the power of God increases on the Church we must have an even more solid foundation. God is taking all the mixture out so we can handle the pure power of the Holy Spirit.
In this season of Awakening we will see two parallel streams: holiness and power.
We don’t always know what is in our hearts. If there is something that must be purged, God will purge it.
This is a time and season where we need to humble ourselves and let God search and cleanse our hearts.
WHAT WE SOW NOW WILL DETERMINE THE DIRECTION FOR THE COMING YEAR
The position we take before God will determine the direction of the rest of the year. What we sow now will release a harvest for the coming year. Rosh Hashanah is known as the “Head of the Year”. Jewish tradition says that this day marks the anniversary of the creation of the world and is the day when God takes stock of creation. Just as the head directs the body so God’s judgments on Rosh Hashanah direct the events of the coming year.
I shared earlier that it is very important what we sow during this season. The seeds we sow will come into quick harvest. Since Rosh Hashanah begins a season of God’s judgment, we must be very careful not to sow seeds of judgment into the lives of others. When I talk about God’s judgment some will jump on that and say ‘Yeah! Man is so sinful God is just going to destroy the world!’ When I say judgment I don’t mean God’s destruction. God’s judgment is always redemptive and His discipline is always in love and with encouragement. Correction that comes without encouragement is not from God’s heart. His discipline always encourages us to rise higher; it never discourages us nor knocks us down. That is usually the work of a critical, judgmental spirit.
In Mt 7:1-2 Jesus exhorts His disciples “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
We must be sure to keep a humble heart and not sow critical, fault finding judgment into the lives of others. That kind of judgment will release a harvest you don’t want in your life. The measure you sow will equal the measure that comes back to you.
God will allow this reaping to expose what is in our own hearts. Many times we don’t even know everything that is within us, nor what is driving us to feel the things we feel. Usually false judgment starts with an offense. That offense may not even be grounded in absolute truth. It may result just from a difference of opinion or style. We think our way is better and become critical of others. This is actually a self righteous spirit and does not communicate the pure heart of God.
DISCERNMENT V. ACCUSATION – KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE
It is important to understand the difference between discernment and accusation. Spiritually immature people don’t know how to distinguish the two. They begin to operate in a spirit of accusation thinking they are operating with the heart of God when they are actually coming into agreement with the wrong voice, the voice of the enemy. The enemy’s voice can sound very self righteous and indignant. If we are not spiritually mature enough to check our inward attitudes we can easily come into agreement with this voice and become a ‘crusader’ for judgment and accusation thinking we are helping people by pointing out everything we think is wrong. This can be a dangerous place when we step into agreement with the accuser of the brethren and begin to sow division rather than love, encouragement and restoration in people’s lives. God has called us to be agents of healing and love, not division. Be very careful that your discernment doesn’t cross the line into accusation. Those are seeds you do not want to be sowing.
When we are operating in true discernment from the Holy Spirit our hearts will overflow with love for that individual and we will respond like Jesus. Jesus laid His life down for others. The main purpose for discernment is prayer. If we lay down our lives for others in loving prayer, then God’s hand will move beautifully in their hearts bringing the change that is needed and we don’t even have to say a word. Our job is to pray with a right spirit and then speak only if we have earned that place in a person’s life through loving relationship, trust and humility. Prov. 27:6 says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” The key word here is ‘friend’. These wounds are easily healed because they are full of heartfelt love.
Jesus never threw stones or spoke hurtful words. He rebuked the religious people from time to time, but never cast stones at those caught in a sin. He would confront sin when needed but at the same time would offer perfect, eternal love with a heart of mercy and restoration. We must hate sin, but always remember to love the sinner. We must also be careful not to judge someone just because they have a different style or way of doing things. Style is not a sin issue. Man judges by the external, but God always looks at the heart. We must be careful to look with God’s eyes and not our own.
A GOOD TIME TO TAKE STOCK
If you have ever been the victim of false accusation or judgment, it is a good time to take stock of your own heart and ask yourself, “Have I ever sowed this into someone else’s life? Have I ever had a critical, fault-finding attitude toward someone else?” Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t. But it is good to check. Sometimes we have such a sense of conviction with our judgments that we are sure we have God’s heart. Not always. We can be sincere, but sincerely wrong about another individual. We are all susceptible to this deception if not careful.
As we move into the next season God has for us, the position to take is that of humility, searching and judging our own hearts so that we ourselves are not judged. It is also a time to pray for God’s blessing and favor on the New Year.
Following Rash Hashanah is the Ten Days of Awe leading into The Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement is the day the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and apply the blood of the sacrifice to the mercy seat to atone for the sins of the people from the previous year. There was no barrier between the High Priest and the full manifested glory of God.
I believe that as we humble ourselves before God and embrace the sacrifice of the cross in a new way in our lives, we will experience a depth of intimacy and communion with God deeper than we have ever known before. There will be no barrier between us and the glory as we embrace the work of the cross. Humility opens the way for us to go deep into a pure communion with God.
It will be out of this place that we reap the amazing Harvest that is awaiting us. Not only a harvest of God’s mercy and love in our own lives, but a harvest of global proportions as we see the heart of humanity turn towards God in this last hour. Get ready to move in His extraordinary power based in a life of holiness, humility and extraordinary love. The best is yet to come!
SOW A SEED INTO YOUR HARVEST FOR THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS! AS WE ENTER INTO A NEW YEAR SPIRITUALLY CONSIDER ALSO SOWING FINANCIALLY IN GOD’S KINGDOM AND HELP MATT REACH MORE LIVES WITH THE POWER OF GOD!