Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, March 6, 2021
TIKKUN RESTORE CONFERENCE, please consider attending. Every year (except last year – for obvious reasons) Tikkun puts on a great weekend conference. There are 4 sessions beginning Friday nigh (plus Saturday morning, Saturday night and Sunday morning. 4 meals are included. (Hotel reservations must be made separately.) It’s held at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, MD. I wish I could tell you more about the program. We’ll hear more about it from Ben Juster when he comes to Shomair on March 27th. By then it will only be 2 months away. https://www.tikkunrestore.com/
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 6 March-2021 22nd of Adar, 5781 Parashat Ki Tisa Shabbat Parah
Ex 34:27-35 Nu 19:1-22 Ez 36:16-38 Heb 9:11-15
Drinking In God’s Spirit by David Harwood
I’m really glad you’re reading this.
Abba, I desire to give Your presence pleasure.
In the name of Yeshua, please lead me in how I am to relate to myself before Your throne.
May the words of my mouth and my heart’s deepest thoughts give Your presence pleasure.
In Yeshua’s name. Amen.
We’re identifying elementary transformative truths and are emphasizing holy realities which comprise a godly spiritual root system. These roots are designed to drink in the spiritual nutrients found in the soil of God’s love for you. They will nourish an inner-narrative that gives God’s presence pleasure.
In Ephesians you can read of your roots and where they are planted.
being rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17 TLV)
You are called to be consciously planted in Yeshua’s love.
The Scriptures are given to guide us in our understanding of the Lord’s affection. These posts stress our reliance upon our sacred writings, the Holy Bible.
To benefit from the Word we must yield to the Ruach ha-Kodesh as He ministers to us. Obviously, our willingness is involved. That is why we are exhorted to allow God’s work, best described as a metamorphosis, to transpire. Let’s cooperate with God. Paul wrote:
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed (μεταμορφόω metamorphoō) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 TLV)
The following is the first group of Identity Matters we isolated: a) You are in Yeshua; b) You are beloved; c) You are the recipient of mercy because God loves you (and you need mercy).
Identity Matters 2
Let’s progress into something else that is important concerning your inner-narrative. Here it is:
Your love for God is Important to the God you love.
Much of what I’m going to share will have a common theme. I intend to stress that, to give God’s presence pleasure, your inner-narrative must be wisely, and obediently, founded on the reality of God’s love for you.
Along these lines, allow me to share a fundamental, biblical, view of your identity that can help shape your deepest inner-narrative. Here it is:
Humanity was created to be the type of creation whose love for the Creator is meaningful to the Creator.
Each person is, from the core of his/her existence, truly, thoroughly, powerfully, consistently, and moment-by-moment, loved by God. That means you. You are created to be so significant to God that your love for God is meaningful to God. God treasures your love for Him. To deliberately give God pleasure this needs to be personalized and internalized. Please do this in reliance upon the Scriptures.
For instance, personalize this: it has been revealed that Father loved humanity so much that He gave His Son.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 TLV)
Now personalize that. Not “whosoever believe” but “for me who believes, in Him, I shall not perish….” Paul informed the Ephesians that the Son loves the believing community to the degree that He sacrificed His life for their salvation.
Husbands, love your wives just as Messiah also loved His community and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25 TLV)
Through Paul’s testimony we have the opportunity to learn that the Ben-Elohim loves you, the individual, so much that He gave Himself up for you. Yeshua values you to the same degree, and in the same way, He loves the sum of humanity. He gave Himself for the sins of the world AND He gave Himself just for you. In addition, He loves you as an individual to the same degree, and in the same way, He loves the entirety of the Messianic Community.
and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20b TLV)
This is the solid, level ground on which we are to be built. It is upon this foundation that we find stability. This is the context of our inner-worldview. When this is not settled, our inner-narrative cannot be one that consistently gives God’s presence pleasure.
And so, we pray:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Acceptable in Your sight? How does He see us?
God sees us as we are, and we are called to see ourselves according to what He has revealed to us, about us. Yet, we can have deep, below the surface, blockages to believing and receiving His love. Our unexamined inner-narratives are inclined to stay warped. In the same way a parent would rejoice if a self-harming adolescent stopped cutting himself/herself, so God desires to deliver us from self-misunderstandings that inflict self-harm.
It is difficult to take in that our love for God is important to the God we love. Classical theism has reinforced a Greco-Roman outlook that God is not affected by anything outside of Himself. Israel’s Scriptures, including the Apostolic Writings, proclaim something very different.
Your love is important to God. Your love for the Messiah is more than meaningful to Him. Yeshua wants you to see yourself as significant in His sight.
Some of what we need to see is out of the range of our unaided insight. We can become those who presumptuously exalt our experience and self-accusations against the testimony of the Scriptures. We don’t have to live like this. We can ask God for help.
The psalmist wrote:
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Examine me, and know my anxious thoughts, 24and see if there be any offensive way within me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23 TLV)
Pray with confidence. God will respond.
God knows us.
Adonai, You searched me and know me. 2Whenever I sit down or stand up, You know it. You discern my thinking from afar. 3You observe my journeying and my resting and You are familiar with all my ways. 4Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, Adonai, You know all about it. (Psalm 139:1b–4 TLV)
God is not deceived. He knows everything, perfectly. That includes us. He is willing to tell us what we are, who we are, and where we are.
Begin here: God wants you to know that you are loved by Him. That type of faith gives His presence-within-you pleasure, and He wants you to believe that your love for Him pleases Him.
The Father seeks to provoke your love for Him by demonstrating His love for you.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. (Romans 5:8 TLV)
Rightfully understood, this love provokes a commensurate response:
So we have come to know and trust in the love that God has for us. God is love. Now whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. … 19We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:16,19 TLV)
God treasures you. He treasures your love for Him. When you determine to see yourself like this it gives His presence-in-you pleasure.
This is a foundational identity matter, and we are called to guard this truth and nurture this awareness.
Keep yourselves in the love of God, eagerly waiting for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah that leads to eternal life. (Jude 21 TLV)
See yourself as God sees you. It will give His presence pleasure. Deliberately talk to yourself along these lines:
My love for God is a response to His love for me.
My love for God is meaningful to Him.
Please pray for greater insight and grace to believe this more deeply than you already do:
Father, in Yeshua’s name, help me view myself as if my love for You is important to You.
May the words of my mouth and my heart’s deepest thoughts give Your presence pleasure.
Let’s use our imaginations to help us see ourselves from God’s point of view. Imagine being the Father interacting with believers.
You created them and said that what they are is very good – You loved them.
To reconcile them to Yourself You gave Your Son to die for them because You love them.
You forgave and cleansed them because You love them.
You clothed them with the righteousness of Yeshua because You love them and do not want their true-moral-guilt to separate them from Your love.
You transformed them because You love them.
You live within them because You love them.
You want them to receive Your love and return Your love because You love them.
And what do they do? They believe things like this:
He doesn’t really love me. I am unlovable.
I am not worthy of His love. Yeshua is worthy, I’m worthless.
He made a decision to act as if He loves me. His love is not sincere. It is an act of His will.
He redeemed me so He might be praised.
He acts lovingly towards me because that’s the way He is.
He acts lovingly because He is merciful. (Has His mercy run out? I’ve done so many bad things. I’ve neglected doing so many good things…)
These things could have been said by the children of Israel during their wanderings in the desert. These elementary misunderstandings help reinforce a skewed inner-narrative. And tell me, if you were God, would such an inner-narrative give You pleasure?
What would please you from your throne on high?
What do you think pleases Him?