Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
May you be blessed and encouraged and may The Lord be glorified and blessed and hear our heartfelt praise. For HE ALONE IS WORTHY. Yeshua − The Lamb of God.
As the huge winter storm dumps a year’s worth of rain on our dry thirsty ground in 2 days, effectively ending the drought that has been with us for the past 7-10 years, I remember the words to an old song: “It’s a happy day, and I thank God for the weather. It’s a happy day, and I’m living it for my Lord, Halleluiah…”
Some of you may remember a lesson that I learned during my first days in our homeland during ulpan (language class). That year, 1994, was also an extraordinarily rainy winter. Monsoon floods made the daily wet trek to class uncomfortable and learning while shivering in wet clothing for 5 hours in the unheated stone rooms made it difficult to be thankful.
One day there was more then the usual murmuring along with the chattering teeth in the classroom. The teacher, who was a religious lady, taught us, with an inner authority. “THANK YOU, LORD, FOR THE RAIN. THANK YOU FOR THE WATER FROM HEAVEN AND YOUR MERCY TO US. ALWAYS BE THANKFUL FOR THE RAIN AND NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT IT LIKE YOUR ANCESTORS DID. REMEMBER: WE LIVE IN A DESERT AND THE RAIN IS A GIFT.” I have not forgotten that particular lesson.
I was able to repeat that lesson MANY times today at work. I must admit that I dressed like a snowman this morning to swim to work against the wind. Many others forgot to dress warmly. Nonetheless, each time a patient grumbled their way into the clinic this morning, they got to hear the lesson I learned twenty years earlier. They didn’t get to leave until they were thanking God for the gift of His blessing of rain. And THAT, my friends, is from a people who don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving.
BLESSED Thanksgiving to all of my dear American friends. I miss this wonderful day set apart to be thankful, but I have learned the lesson and have chosen to be thankful with every breath. HE IS WORTHY.
HE IS WORTHY and we must be thankful in the storms of life. It is incredibly stormy here both within AND without, that is for sure. As the record storm outside rages, and the basement of our building fills with water, which reminds me of the wise man building his house upon the rock. I then wonder how this nation can stand so much and not blow apart as a stick house built on the sand in a tornado. It FEELS as if we are inside a whirlwind.
Is there one country in this world that is not frothing at the mouth against us, more and more openly each day? Yes, I DO know that there are many believers who stand with us, so please don’t feel as if you have to apologize. I understand and it DOES have to be this way for it is written, but it is astonishing to see the rapidity with which antagonism is turning into deep hatred. Or is it just that the hatred has been hidden and is finally coming to the surface?
But it is not only from outside of our borders, and I am not even referring to the riots, murders, attacks, uprisings and the increasing battle for Jerusalem. The government is in crisis as the frustration and constant attacks from outside strengthen the opposition within. Our Knesset meetings look more like a boxing arena with members of Knesset (Parliament) being ushered out for causing disruptions, even fist fights. I do not know how our Prime Minister is able to withstand this magnitude of criticism being hurled in his face.
My constant question to The Lord is: “How do YOU want me to walk in the midst of these troubles to bring You glory?”
I MUST trust Him with the progression of events too large for me, but HE has called me to walk in the midst of this. And we are told to Glorify HIM in the midst of the fires and ALSO the flood and the whirlwind.
Well, I KNOW that we are called to “Look away unto Him” and to “Worship Him” and to “Know Him” and to “Walk with Him in His Spirit.” This brings me to the topic that has been very much on my heart to speak about: the Jewish Roots and or the Hebraic Roots movements.
FIRST of all: I need you to KNOW that I KNOW NOTHING OF THESE MOVEMENTS PER SAY. I am NOT an expert for sure. But I have a front row center seat to observe some of the storms that appear to be raging about them, and even then I would not have commented. Oh boy! Lord, please help me choose the words so carefully. It is a two edged sword that comes out of the mouth of The Lord in the Revelation to John. That two edged sword divides asunder between soul and spirit, bone and marrow and is a divider of the thoughts and intents of the heart. He tells us to contend for the Truth that was once given…
I never had any teaching about Jewish roots etc. I never went to a Messianic congregation. I am Jewish. I was born Jewish and raised in traditional, but not Orthodox Judaism. I was taught the basic Bible stories and knew that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Job, and Jonah were ours, but Jesus was NOT. Yet, at the darkest moment of my life, I met Him − this forbidden Jesus − face to face. And I was drawn up out of the miry clay pit into His wonderful Light and davka (wouldn’t you know it?) There was Jesus and He was Jewish. Now THAT changed my life.
Yes, I thought I was the only one that this had ever happened to. I didn’t know where to turn. So I turned to Him and He told me to read The Bible. So I did, from beginning to end. Well, actually, I started with Job because that was the only book name I recognized, but what a place to start! In His wisdom, it was the right place for me.
THEN from beginning to end, again and again. All along the way I asked Him how to proceed and He led me in tender faithfulness. My DEAR first Pastor, Jim Hill, taught me a great and precious Truth: that our Lord IS Perfect Balance. “Balance is extraordinary. It is NOT something that comes naturally to me. My nature and my flesh can be extreme and emotional, but He is BALANCED. YES LORD, I WANT THAT in my life.
And so I prayed (and still do) that He would balance me. And I found out that The Holy Spirit IS Balanced, so when I am filled with His Spirit I am also filled with His Balance.
So what does His Balance have to do with Jewish Roots? A lot! You see, now I was a Jew, but I believed in Jesus. How can this be? How do I walk? I went to a wonderful Church and each time we moved to a different area He led me to the Church for me to continue to grow. Yet, I was ALSO a Jew. Balance? Where Lord? I found that as I kept reading His Word from beginning to end, and as His Spirit grew within me, I UNDERSTOOD things that I hadn’t understood.
As I followed Jewish observances (holidays for example) when I was with my family growing up, they were a shadow, not just to us children but to the adults as well. I know because I asked later on. But suddenly the meanings for them were GROWING in me. So I could partake of them, not because I HAD to, but because I LONGED to in my heart. It was wonderful and brought me joy. I felt that I was worshipping Him and bringing HIM joy, too. When I shared these things with my Gentile brothers and sisters, it wasn’t for them to BECOME Jews, but to share because that is what His Light does. It spreads and shares. His light, just like plants, causes us to grow.
I had MANY identity crises as I grew up, and it didn’t quite end when I became a believer. Identity crises are part of our fleshly lives perhaps, but NOT a part of the kingdom of God. There HE is our identity and, in this kingdom, His identity is neither Jew nor Gentile, man nor woman etc. Now we KNOW that in the flesh there are many crises. It is foolish to say that there aren’t because we are men and women, Jews or Gentiles, in the flesh, and yes, we live in the flesh. But as I see it, the key to walking in BALANCE is found in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24:
“17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.
And 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
When it comes down to it, it is not who we are that matters, but it is Who HE is and to be found IN HIM, we need to be looking at Him. Yes, I believe with all of my heart that ALL of His Word reveals who HE is, so as I see it, it seems sad that some would miss or even REJECT learning about what He has to reveal of Himself through His holidays and directions (laws) when He gave them to us to lead us to Himself. But it is also sad to see some try to shed the gift of who they were made to be, to try to become someone else. This could be through pride or even to embrace man’s traditions that have kept those men from finding Him as He is. And that in doing so without balance, some even sow discord and rebellion in the body, unintentionally I’m sure. BALANCE. Oh, blessed BALANCE.
I am afraid that I may not be sharing in a way that is clear, and this is such an important topic because it IS touching the apple of His eye and the very heart of what He is doing now in this time and this age with the Jews, with Israel, with the world and the Church. We have got to find HIS heart. There appears to be not much time left to be neutral or “on the fence.” AND LORD KNOWS THAT ISRAEL AND THE JEWS NEEDS THE TRUE CHURCH TO STAND WITH US. FINE-TUNED AND MATURE AT THIS VERY TIME. THIS IS THE TIME! THIS IS THE HOUR!
You have no idea how thankful I am for each of you.
Lovingly, and for His glory,
your sis J in Jerusalem, where the battle has begun.