What Do You Do On The Eve Of Battle?

Psalm 20

May Yahweh answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.  May He send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion.  May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt offering.  May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose. Let us shout for joy at your victory and lift the banner in the name of our God.  May Yahweh fulfill all your requests.  Now I know that the Lord gives victory to His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with mighty victories from His right hand.  Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of Yahweh our God.  They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand firm.  Lord, give victory to the king!  May He answer us on the day that we call.

 We are God’s covenant people.  The Lord’s table is what He uses to establish the new Covenant.  If you accept that Jesus Christ is the Savior of your soul, you have entered into a covenant with the God of the Universe.  You are His and He is yours.  You are protected by His boundless love and you will know this love intimately at all times if you are in relationship with Him.

He lavishly gifted us with His Spirit to guide us victoriously in this life and to purposefully make choices that are pleasing to Him and that bring Him glory.  His Spirit resides in us and we therefore are called the temple (sanctuary) of God. (1 Corinthians 3:16)  As seen in 1 Kings 9:3, the temple was the center of a believer’s experience.  Do you find the ‘temple’ where the Spirit resides in you as the heartbeat of your experiences? Or do the majority of your experiences come forth from the motivations of your flesh?  The Israelites sought God’s favor before battle by presenting sacrifices and offerings to the Lord (1 Samuel 7:9-10, 13:9-12).  They did this not only to gain His favor but out of heartfelt dedication and capitulation.  Their sacrifices and offerings were meant to be a “pleasing aroma to the Lord”.

Some think they need to obtain ‘horses and chariots’ or what we might modernly call ‘assets’ to ramp up their perceived yet temporary strength in this world.  However,  God’s Word indicates our strength comes when we are actually ‘weak’ because we then rely on His strength in us and we become strong.  Do you believe the Spirit to be stronger than horses and chariots?  Stronger than any asset you can possess?  Do you believe the Spirit to be stronger than any amount of strength you can pull together on your own? That strength flows from the temple (sanctuary) where the Spirit dwells in you.  That is ramped up power in the Spirit!

Now I know“, are three words that express a powerful confidence in GOD as the One who brings us our victories!  He is the substance that allows us to boldly proclaim where our confidence rests! Are you willing to put your assurances in anything less? Are you willing to risk it?  You have complete authority to look squarely at your situation and boldly proclaim “Even now God can restore this!”  “I know…even NOW!”

Let’s remember the Lords table.  We remember the elements (bread and drink) represent His sacrificial body. Have you ever considered what has been supplied on His banquet table is your provision?  Forgiveness… Healing… Righteousness.. .Life… Blessing… Abundance… Glory… Acceptance…The new man.  Do you partake of the provisions He provides for you?  This is your victory at His covenant table.

So what do you do when faced with a battle?  Do you expect Him to “send you help” straight “from the sanctuary” in you?  Do you frequently offer sacrifices of praise to God because of His majestic presence in your life and because He is your covenant God and not just because you are in need of His assistance?

May the LORD answer you in your distress.  And may you rest in His complete peace and sovereignty as you await His answer.  When the answer does come make certain you lift the banner of God in your victory.  God is for you and is intent on your victory.  Answers from God may not always look like what we had pictured but lets remember even if the answer is no, anticipate a greater yes.  What awaits you is typically better than anything you can think to ask for.  He is always for you good.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May His face shine upon you and give you peace.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Feast of Tabernacles

“Rejoice during your festival — you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, as well as the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow within your gates. You are to hold a seven-day festival for the Lord your God in the place He chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, and you will have abundant joy.”  Deuteronomy 16:14-15

Greetings fellow sojourners!  This is the week of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth.  I love the wording of the above verse.  “Rejoice…because the Lord your God will bless you…”.  Amen to that! One of the ways people celebrate the Feast is by dwelling in booths (or tents) as a remembrance of the huts the Israelites lived in during their 40 year wildness tarry. Sukkoth is a Hebrew word meaning ‘booths’ or ‘huts’.  sukkahroofs260_tcm4-674873The biblical command is to “Rejoice” during Sukkoth for the blessing and provision God continually makes available in our lives.  It follows the days of the trumpet call to appear before the Lord in repentance and awe (Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement).  Since Tabernacles follows the time of introspection and repentance, this Feast represents renewed fellowship with God.  Again, it is a time to “Rejoice” because He “will bless the work of our hands and we will have abundant joy.” Let’s thank the Lord this week for allowing us renewed fellowship and for blessing the work of our hands.  I am not sure there is greater joy than this!

During the Israelites camp in the wilderness, they lived in temporary coverings. They learned to dwell in their strange new country with a complete dependance upon God.  What I am musing is how comfortable have we become relying on what we consider our ‘permanent’ dwellings?  Are we purposed to consider the places we lay our heads as our all-surpassing ‘covering’ of provision and protection?  No.  Have we become so accustomed to this earthly dwelling place we call ‘home’ that we cling to it and therefore our permanent eternal home that we are told to look forward to has slipped from the longings of our heart?  How do the following verses instruct you?

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”  John 14:2

“Dear friends, since you are foreigners and temporary residents [in the world], I’m encouraging you to keep away from the desires of your corrupt nature. These desires constantly attack you.”  1 Peter 2:11

“These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.”  Hebrews 11:13

“But our citizenship is in heaven.” Philippians 3:20


Let’s not get too comfortable as temporary residents on this earth as we know it.  The covering we are able to construct is only temporary and doesn’t come close to the all-surpassing covering God is willing to supply us.  Our everlasting covering is not subject to the elements nor any foe we might think poses a threat.  Under this covering is where we find our true freedom.  It is here we find our sins are ‘covered’ and where we walk out our days on this earth blanketed (sheltered) in a ‘covering’ that is as white as snow.  Thank you Jesus.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Day of Atonement

“This is to be a permanent statute for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month you are to practice self-denial, and do no work, both the native and the foreigner who resides among you. Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute.” Leviticus 16:29-31

“Perhaps the heart of the Old Testament teaching on atonement is found in Leviticus 16, where the regulations for the Day of Atonement occur. Five characteristics relating to the ritual of the Day of Atonement are worthy of note because they are generally true of atonement as it is found throughout Scripture: (1) the sovereignty of God in atonement; (2) the purpose and result of making atonement; (3) the two goats emphasize two different things, and the burning another, about the removal of sin; (4) that Aaron had to make special sacrifice for himself; (5) the comprehensive quality of the act.” (Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, s.v. atonement).

Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement begins sunset October 11, 2016  (Tuesday) and goes through nightfall October 12, 2016 (Wednesday).  Do you remember how the blowing of trumpets (or shofar) is represented as a summons, a war-cry, a warning to prepare, or a wake up call from slumbering.  Maybe you imagine it as your summons?

Atonement in the Old Testament we have kippur which means “covering”.  Sacrifices made on this day ‘covered’ the sins of the people for one year.  At the same time the following year, the people’s sins had to be ‘covered’ again.  This was no permanent remedy.   Atonement in the New Testament is represented by the word reconciliation, which for Christians we know that through the cross of Christ we are ‘reconciled’ to God.  God and the sinner “at one” (at-one-ment).  This was God’s remedy for a permanent solution to sin.

The New Testament presents the work of Christ as God’s ultimate provision for our atonement.  This atoning work of the Cross of Christ offers 9 exchanges/results for every believer:

~Forgiveness~
~Healing~
~Righteousness~
~Life~
~Blessing~
~Abundance~
~Glory~
~Acceptance~
~The New Man~

Paul refers to the Day of Atonement as the Fast in Acts 27:9.

Yom Kippur is celebrated with fasting because it was commanded by God in the Old Testament for the Israelites.  Isaiah 58:6-7 speaks of fasting in this way, “The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free.  Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.”  I have always seen fasting as the quickest way to humble myself.  What about you?  Another benefit of fasting is it centers our thoughts on what the Eternal is doing.  Do you desire knowing what the Eternal is doing and being part of it?

Reflection Questions:

1.  Are you coming to the Lord’s table and partaking of His provision?  How can you appropriate this?

2.  Have you ever considered fasting on Yom Kippur with the intent of making it a day of self-examination and thanksgiving to the One who provided reconciliation for you?

In His grace,

Amanda

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Next Generation Godly Leadership

Hey sweet things!  My daughter organizes a weekly devotional that is sent out through e-mail.  Our friend Jacob Mhyre wrote this one for the week and I am sharing it with you here.  He is a young adult that is a leader to those his age as well as those younger than he is.  We need male leadership like his for their generation!!  Please join me in praying blessing for his life of leadership.  I hope this blesses you!  Check out the new testimony of Ms. Williams on the post “Are you Wrestling with God?”.  Here is another opportunity to pray DIVAs!

 

Hey y’all, here are my thoughts for this week.

We cannot be afraid to ask for big things from God. Sometimes it’s easy for us to think that we are somehow offending God by asking for too much, or that we are in some way taking blessings from others. This notion is not only false, but antithetical in its result. The irony is that we think we are overextending or taking advantage of God when we ask for large blessings, when we are actually underappreciating and limiting God by not opening ourselves up to his best gifts.

One of the predisposed notions that I think we can fall prey to is the belief that God has put us in this life as a sort of purgatory to be endured before the reward of Heaven. But God wants us to be blessed in this life. In the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10) Jesus prays “thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” The take away from this is that God’s desire and perfected version of earth is that it would be just like Heaven, and Heaven is in all descriptions a blessed and awesome place. Further supporting this idea, Galatians 3:14 explains that Jesus sacrifice on the cross transferred the blessing that was on Abraham to the Gentiles. So God’s vision for us it to be blessed in the same way God blessed Abraham.

This doesn’t mean that we should never face challenges or battles. Indeed this world is the battle ground between God and the devil. But there is a significant difference between facing a challenge and getting steam rolled by a challenge. We will face challenges, yes. But if we keep our faith in God, no challenge can overcome us and we will have prosperous success. Isaiah 54:17 says “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” That is what God wants for us.

Hope this helped!
Jacob Myhre

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Feasts of Trumpets

feast_of_trumpetsThe Feast of Trumpets which ultimately heralds the return of Christ is celebrated this October 2-3. Trumpets were unique to O.T. Israel and they discovered the trumpet call was paired with unique and important messages.  The blowing of the trumpet during this specific season heralds a solemn period of self-preparation for the Day of Atonement.  It was an internal type of herald that was understood as a call to introspection and repentance.  This preparation was called “Ten Days of Repentance” or the “Days of Awe”.  Do you regularly take time to evaluate your motivations and repent as appropriate based on the condition of your heart meditations?  If not, please consider taking the time this season for such a thing.

As I mentioned, the trumpet sound was an alarm of sorts that can be understood as a call to introspection and repentance. I have included some references to trumpets I think are fascinating.   You can also search this site for further mentions of trumpets as I have written about it several times over the years.   The next feast is Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement and is celebrated October 11-12.  We will look at Day of Atonement next week.

The table below highlights some noteworthy similarities. Feast of Trumpets sets off the Jewish New Year and is the first of the Jewish holy days.  The biblical name (Hebrew: יוֹם תְּרוּעָה‎‎) means “day [of] shouting/blasting”.   Even though you may hear a voice shouting and/or a blasting of the shofar, when Jesus returns there will only be one blast of note because it will be the “Trumpet of God”!  If you have a shofar you will indeed blow it but if you don’t, how about giving a shout of praise to God on account of His all-surpassing majesty!

Listen for the sound of the trumpet! It is most certainly (as seen in the verses below) a summons, a war-cry, a warning to prepare, or a wake up call from slumbering. Which is it for you?  Let it be SOMETHING!

atonement-trumpets

Here are some incredible references to trumpets.  I just want you to be aware…there are MANY scriptures relating to trumpets.  As you read the verses try to imagine the impact it would have on your life.

“On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp shuddered.”  Exodus 19:16

“As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder.”  Exodus 19:19

“Then you are to sound a trumpet loudly in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month; you will sound it throughout your land on the Day of Atonement.”  Leviticus 25:9

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”  Matthew 24:30-31

“We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.”  1 Corinthians 15:51-52

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”  1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

“After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door. The first voice that I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  Revelation 4:1

In the book of Revelation there are references to seven trumpets that initiate the unfolding of events.  I have included the address if you desire further study.

7 Trumpets of Revelation
1st Trumpet – verse 8:7
2nd Trumpet – verse 8:8
3rd Trumpet – verse 8:10
4th Trumpet – verse 8:12
5th Trumpet – verse 9:1
6th Trumpet – verse 9:13
7th Trumpet – verse 11:15

Enjoy this video of How Great is our God which was has elements of  Jerusalem in it and is just lovely.

Here is an interesting link to an article:  Third Temple Closer Than Ever as Search Begins for Eligible Jewish Priests.  It is interesting to keep aware of events going on in Israel and their thoughts for the future as it relates to prophecy.

http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/64632/third-temple-closer-than-ever-search-begins-eligible-jewish-priests-jewish-world/#ocpeQgCpdQItoJHt.97

This Jewish prayer put to a song is recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  This song was personally requested by Shimon Peres to be sung at his funeral which was held during Rosh Hashanah.

Hear our prayer
We have sinned before Thee
Have compassion upon us and upon our children
Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine
Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth
Inscribe us for blessing in the Book Of Life
Let the new year be a good year for us

Maybe you would consider this prayer for your household this season?  Jesus tells us that no one will know the day or the hour of His return but he does not say we will not know the season.  May the Lord bless you this season as you seek Him in Truth,

Amanda

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