“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, “by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
We have now entered into the Hebrew Year 5782.
In Hebrew their numbering system is integrated with their alephbet. So, each number can be read as a series of letters and then the letters can be read as a series of pictures.
The word picture meaning of the year into which we have now entered is: To reveal the Lamb to speak as the House of the power of the Covenant.
What is the House of the power of the Covenant?
Is it not the Body of Christ on the earth, a people indwelt by the Spirit of the Lamb.
Right now everyone and everything (even the Church) seems to be speaking out of fear and frustration regarding covid's impact on life.
Is time for a change of focus where we begin praying (speaking to God) as a people of the
power of the covenant rather than as victims of the pandemic?
Likewise, is it time the world heard the Body of Christ speaking as the House of the power of the Covenant rather than victims of the culture?
Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.
You may have noticed that I have been writing less and less since the onset of the covid virus.
Why is that?
Could it be that I have been doing a Gideon??
Before answering that question it is worthwhile noting that Gideon seemed to be going to great lengths to hide from the Midianites. The name Midianites means "strife".
Over the last two years our world has been in quite a bit of strife due to the direct and indirect effects of covid.
But what on earth has Gideon hiding got to do with the strife of Covid 19?
Interestingly, the picture behind the word hide is: life prop.
Basically Gideon was seeking refuge in a life prop rather than recognising that God was his true refuge.
So, here is my confession. In the midst of this strife of the past year or so and the barrage of media attention given to it, I have found myself seeking refuge (or in my case hiding) in life props such as binge watching YouTube content and binge watching Netflix and other entertainment streams. These "life props" have served to undermine my daily recognition of He who is the the Way, the Truth and the Life: Yeshua.
For Gideon the strife of the Midianites turned out to be the pathway into his God given purpose as a mighty man of valor.
Could it be that this growing strife, that is gripping the world in which you and I live, is the opportunity for us to discover the greater fullness of our God given purpose?
I have a growing sense that the enemy believes this to be true and he is feverishly lining up a succession of life props to undermine our reliance on He, who is the true foundation of life: Yeshua.
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come!’
Then He will save the humble person.
Remember the little guy in the picture?
In frustration our inclination is to do the same thing and just persist in pushing against the "wall", against the delay, against the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Yet Job 22:29 puts forward a radically different mind set, that is to humble ourselves. To cease pushing against the wall and lie flat on our faces in humility.
The word picture for humble in Job 22:29 is: "destroy the wall".
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Have you ever felt like the little guy in the above picture??
Does the word "frustration" spring to mind??
The phrase "to give you a future and a hope" is rendered in the Hebrew as "to give you an expected end"
Believe it or not this picture illustrates the word translated as "expected end" in Jeremiah 29:11.
Here is the word picture: to strongly fence a person to work to make a covenant; to make covenant from what comes after the nail.
From the disciples perspective the death of Yeshua was an insurmountable fence or road block to the Kingdom.
The three day road block or delay that followed the crucifixion actually encapsulated both the hope and the joy of the resurrection. You see, what follows the nail is resurrection!!!
So, the next time you feel frustration rising within you, take a step back and ask the question: is this roadblock (delay) actually the Three In Me working to make a covenant of hope and joy in me?
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The word picture for reckon is: to protect the floor plan of victory of good over evil.
At the end of last year we had a new kitchen installed. Consequently, the floorplan and positioning of everything in the kitchen changed. Over the ensuing weeks I discovered all the habits I had developed for living in the floorplan of the old kitchen that simply did not apply to the new kitchen. The only way to break those habits was for me to learn to live in the floorplan of the new kitchen.
Likewise, my old man of sin caused me to develop sin habits that worked just fine in the context of that old floor plan. However, they do not work well at all in the new floorplan of being alive to God in Christ Jesus.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
The word picture for turn (repent) is: to destroy the house; or if you like destroy the existing floor plan.
It's been nearly 6 months since our new kitchen was finished, but every now and then I will find myself caught out by one of my old habits and I will be standing in the wrong part of the kitchen looking for something.
Such is our journey into being alive to God in Christ Jesus. There are days when our old sin habits position us in the wrong place looking for something that is no longer there.
Truth is, the "floorplan" of life in Yeshua is so amazing and so vast that only the Holy Spirit can teach us how to find our way.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
My sister-in-law Robyn Gillies was and will always be to me a formidable women of faith.
Robyn ended her encounter with ovarian cancer in the early hours of Friday 30 April 2021.
All her life Robyn had a love and an insatiable passion for horses and today's word picture is my tribute to Robyn's life.
The Hebrew word picture for horse is: to lean upon the support of the connecting force between heaven and earth.
This is a picture of Yeshua, the one in whom Robyn trusted as faithful and true.
I am convinced from scripture that there are horses in heaven, so just maybe Yeshua will give Robyn a ride on His white horse!!!
“Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand.
“Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD,
“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
The word picture for almond is: the humble man who has the Word that brings revelation of the dome of God as an all consuming fire.
With this in mind I invite you to follow this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1aIO1PkCK4
I trust you will be blessed by the insights shared by Jim Staley and see how they flesh out this wonderful word picture.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Over recent months I have been struck by a phrase which Graham Cooke has begun to use on a regular basis. Yes, that is where the title came from: 'the Three in Me".
In light of this, I wanted to share with you one of the declarations that has formed in my mind around this poignant phrase.
The Three in me living out Their love.
The Three in me living out Their joy.
The Three in me living out Their peace.
The Three in me living out Their patience.
The Three in me living out Their kindness.
The Three in me living out Their goodness.
The Three in me living out Their faithfulness.
The Three in me living out Their gentleness.
The Three in me living out Their self-control.
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
In the above verse we see this fascinating connection between Yahweh being able "to make all grace abound toward you" that you and I "may have an abundance for every good work".
Let me attempt to explain how I see this fitting together.
We know that the word grace in Hebrew means 'a fence that protects life'. Also, that the word life means 'fence work'. It follows then that if we are to have a life of "abundance for every good work" then we are going to be involved in Yahweh's 'fence work' in the lives of the those around us.
This then begs the question: what do our fencing tools look like?
Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are in essence your 'tool bag' in life. With this 'tool bag' in hand, you have the unique opportunity to co-labour with Yahweh as He performs 'fence work' in the lives of those you encounter day to day.
Yeshua was a 'tradie', a carpenter by trade, who undoubtedly had a tool bag. We are also then working alongside Him in building fences that protect life.
Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
You may recall our previous discussions around the word picture for grace as "a fence that protects life".
Well here is another element we can all add to our understanding of His amazing grace.
In the above verse the word life means "fence work".
I don't know about you, but I find this revelation stunning!!!
From mankind's very first breath, the Father's focus has been on His work of grace, His fence work.
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
May every breath you breathe be a reminder that Papa is doing His fence work in your life.