Today marks the end of day two in a time period that is referred to as the 10 Days of Awe. These days are generally in between what is known as the Jewish holy-days of Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). As Christians, it is good to participate in this time because we are grafted into the Vine, Jesus Christ, and the Hebrew lineage. Whether Jew or Gentile, if we are in a relationship with the Heavenly Father, we all need to take time to just “BE” with our Savior, get things settled within ourselves and our hearts and meditate on God’s Word.
Let’s ALL take some time to slow down, get back on track…to breathe in the very essence of the living God…to be washed once again with the cleansing fountain of the Blood of the Lamb. [Selah]
As part of these 10 days, for me personally, I have elected to take a break from my greatest cyber-community obsession. That ever-present love/hate relationship with Facebook. I spend many hours throughout the week interacting with “friends”. I love a good debate, keeping up with what’s going on with family and friends, or having a few moments to encourage, minister to, or pray with one another. Mostly, I love that connection to like-minded people (or not) that I’ve never met personally from all around the world. And there’s nothing wrong with any of that unless it gets in the way of real life or honest-to-goodness time with God and His Word! Frankly, I don’t have the time I used to for Facebook with a wedding to plan for our daughter and a Bridal Tea to get my home ready for, among all the other things I do for my family and friends. So, thankfully, I’m not a bored housewife spending the hours of her days inside this Internet community living my life vicariously through faceless names. However, I do enjoy my early morning time, and late evening hours with my social media friends!
With this being the second day of my Facebook sabbatical, I’ve already subdued several times a hankering to log on and see the latest statuses and world events in my Newsfeed, or comments from my last posts. When I read my email yesterday, I had notifications that two people had been commenting on my final status of the next several days. One friend who commented is a brother in Christ whom I greatly appreciate and with whom I discuss the present dark condition of the world as the end-time fast approaches, and the plan of God that is in progress in a powerfully evident way in all of this. With tremendous zeal, we relay back and forth the numerous scripture verses that fit the occasion. Each discussion is filled with fiery spiritual truths and passionate love of the Lord and for His people. The other friend who commented is a wonderfully down-to-earth brother in Christ who has quite a different take on the world and God’s plan. His viewpoint is more along the lines of loving others through absolute grace, not getting wrapped up in the dark concerns of the world because it’s basically a waste of time to do so, and just be about the business of “being Jesus” to others. Our discussions often end up in debates between the misconstrued ideas of grace and righteousness, but I appreciate his mercy toward others that he imparts, even if he seems rather nonchalant toward sin and unbelieving that the world as we know it will actually come to an end one day.
Anyway, both have left comments with two very differing viewpoints. But my reply, however monumental or insignificant, will have to wait. By then, it probably won’t even matter anymore. Come to think of it, even if I could reply now it probably won’t make that much difference anyway. Hmmm…that thought puts things into a different perspective!
These 10 days are also known as the High Holy Days, (0r Yamim Nora’im) and the Days of Repentance. As we reflect during this time, we examine ourselves. We not only settle things with God but with others. We repent for things that have crept in and grabbed hold of our souls that we may or may not know of. We ask for forgiveness of those we have wronged and make things right between anyone there may be issues with. For a Believer in Christ Jesus, we know that we can ask for forgiveness anytime and are washed and cleansed in the blood of the Lamb. But it is also beneficial for us to set aside days of reflection, prayer, reaffirming our faith and spending quality time with the Lord and His Word. I have personally seen God do mighty things and bring amazing revelations during these times of examination and meditation.
The last day of the 10 days is called Yom Kippur. Jewish people fast and pray from sunset to sunset the following day. In Judaism, Yom Kippur is the actual 25 hour period for complete turnarounds and making things right. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes a person’s fate for the coming year into the Book of Life on Yom Kippur. Jewish people believe they are absolved from wrongdoing on this day according to the amount of atonement they’ve made.
What Jesus did on the cross and through His resurrection is the atonement I have as His child and follower. He did not do that to abolish the Law but to make it right…better. It is a New Covenant, a fresh agreement, a promise. In essence, Jesus became the Law, and all we have to do is love the Lord God with all of our heart. If I am in this Covenant, I am not under the Law but within it…within the Vine that gives life everlasting. I am promised that I am part of a living, breathing organism where I can have total peace, and be protected and nurtured. It is not something I have to work for or pay a penance for. It is done. That doesn’t mean I lay down and just let things come as they may without any regard to my natural sin nature or the wickedness of the world. I do have to wear my armor, to intercede on behalf of others and myself, to contend against a very real enemy and very real carnal passions that will never be completely gone until I’m in heaven with the Lord, or He returns with the New Jerusalem.
Until then, we may grow weary in the battle. We may become discouraged at what we see in the world. We may get tired of the daily things that arise that try to mess with our peace; within ourselves and with God. We may feel we are losing the battle as assaults come that threaten to bring destruction in our lives. But we have a Savior who has already won the ultimate victory! We have an Eternal God whose kindness brings us to repentance! We have a Lord who is King of kings over all! Though we will have trouble in the world, we have a Warrior who fights for us! We have an assurance that He has His hand on things and nothing is out of His control! So we must take the time to go to that place of quietness with Him…to honor Him…to thank Him…to praise Him…to become one with Him again. We must have those periods of time that we step away from the things in the world that grab our attention, causing the very Person who should be at the center of our lives to be left behind. We must have a time in which we come back to the Lord. A time to reflect, to meditate on the Word, to examine ourselves, to repent, to take a deep breath of His presence. He alone is worthy to be glorified, and He is always near…if we just pay attention.
“Be still, and know I am God. I will be honored among the Nations. I will be honored throughout the world.” (Psalm 46:10)
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23)