20 January 2011 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #310, 5934 AM
Life's Flaming Cocktails
Searching for Paradise Yahweh's Way
I am surrounded, as some of you know, by a great many books in my library. At last count it was somewhere in the order of 7,000 volumes. Yesterday I picked up a dusty, unused volume in search of some theological illumination from the past, published in 1932. How rich the language was then. They seemed to have a way of condensing thoughts into a few succinct words, but then those were the days when English-speakers had a wider vocabularly than they do today. Perhaps, in part, it may have had something to do with the cost of printing. With the internet there are no such constraints - you can woffle on ad infinitum at virtually no cost at all.
The world in 1932 was, in so many ways, a much simpler one than is ours today. Sometimes I envy them until I realise the advantages of our own. There are always plusses and minuses in every age and in every situation. Life seems uniquely constructed and designed to ensure that we have our mixture, a flaming cocktail of the desirable and undesirable. And those who go in search of a place, situation, person, or lifestyle that will adjust this balance exclusivly in favour of the desirable rarely, if ever, find it. Wherever you go, whoever you choose as your companions, whatever type of life you embark on, you will always find that disagreeable combination of what you like and what you don't. And you'll never be able to escape it so long as you are in mortality.
Once we accept that this murky cocktail exists in life wherever you are and whatever you do - the next question then inevitably presents itself: Which one? Since we can't escape it - since every Eden has its serpent, every rose its thorn, every drink its dregs, every season its winter - the only thing we can realistically achieve is a knowledge of the one Yahweh wants us to be in.
He alone knows where we are supposed to be because He alone ordains that which will bring maximum blessing to us, to others, and glory to Him, if we will but choose it. He promises no primrose path though plenty of lovely Beulahlands inbetween. He promises no permanent Paradise down here in the external world even though there may be seasons when we find it. But He does promise that what He ordains is best for us, though our finite powers of observation at times might convince us otherwise, and though we may still not until some considerable time has elapsed and we can see what these circumstances have actually done to shape our character for the better (if we make the right choices) or the worse (if we don't). And until we are resolved to discover what it is, and are then equally resolved to see it through, we can never know whether what we have lived was the best for us or not.
Arguing with Elohim (God) about our circumstances does not, of course, help. True, we may be in them because of wrong choices, and true, we may sometimes be able to exit them if we follow His instructions carefully, but still His permissive will it not nearly as good as His absolute will. The new destination may not be, in any case, at all what we expected or wanted, for do we really know what is best for us?
We are all instinctively looking for something better. Many of you reading this are in living hellholes. Yahweh does have a gathering place - a place of safety - for for His people but we must perform the tasks He gives us and make our preparations for gathering beforehand, and usually that is the work that must be done in our hearts, work which is often (and necessarily) painful. Those who refuse this suffering inevitably remain in their hellholes.
Getting Yahweh's perspective is the hardest part and we can only do that by seeking our biblical tavnith and walking in it, however initially perplexing and disturbing, as we are removed from demonic comfort zones into the reality of His Paradise within. You can't ever prepare yourself for it other than to trust Yah'shua (Jesus), execute the lifestyle changes laid out in Torah mandated on those who call themselves His people, and then to follow Yahweh's personal plan for your life by listening carefully to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Then everything will come together, but not before.
"Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock (Yah'shua) from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug (your home in Him). Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him. For Yahweh will comfort Zion (the redeemed), He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of Yahweh; sasown (joy) and simcha (gladness) will be found in it, towdah (thanksgiving) and the voice of melody. Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation (Messianic Israel): for torah (law) will proceed from Me, and I will make My justice rest as a light of the peoples. My righteousness is near, my salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands will wait upon Me, and on My arm they will trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation (Yah'shua) will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished. Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My torah (law): do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation (Yah'shua) from generation to generation. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Yahweh! Awake as in the ancient days,in the generations of old" (Is.51:1-9a, NKJV).