Month 3:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5941:88 AM|
2Exodus 4/40, Omer Count - 7 x Shabbats + Day #21
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 23 June 2017
Not Lacking in Gifts
Of Discernment & Discovery
"I thank my Elohim (God) on your behalf, for the grace of Elohim (God) which is given you in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ); that in every thing ye are enriched by Him in all utterance and in all knowledge: even as the testimony of Messiah (Christ) was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift: waiting for the coming of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Lord Jesus Christ): who shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Lord Jesus Christ). Elohim (God) is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) our Master (Lord)" (1 Cor.1:4-9, KJV).
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and Mishpachah - grace be to you and from Yahweh our Father through our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
The Third of Three Visions
Three days ago, in the third of three connected visions, I was shown verse 7 of the passage I have just read to you, and it was specifically in the King James Version though I will read it in a more modern version now so that you can get the sense of it better:
"...so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (v.7, NRSV)
The Heavenly Endowments on Believers
Yahweh has endowed or blessed every single one of us with speech - the ability to speak, knowedge, spiritual gifts, and promises that those who will cling on to Him to the end will receive divine strengthening, that is to say, "confirming" or "establishing". These three - your ability to speak (and therefore witness), the knowledge that you have of the emet (truth) concerning eternal chayim (life), and the spiritual gifts you received upon first believing and which you continue to retain as you yet believe - are the foundation of your life in Messiah.
What if you cannot speak? What if you are mute? And what if, like Moses, you are timid in speaking? No matter. In the first of the three visions, Yahweh drew my attention to two women - the first was Swedish, and if I remember rightly, it was Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940), the Swedish writer of children's books who is famous in this country, being the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature. She used to be on our 20 Kronor bank note until recently. She was also a teacher. She was actually born not far from where we live, near Sunne in Värmland. What you may not know is that she was born with a hip injury and an early sickness left her lame in both legs, although she later recovered. Her father was an alcoholic, another disadvantage she initially had to deal with. Yet she was a fantastic story-teller. You may have heard of her famous tome, Gösta Berling's Saga.
Selma Lagerlöf was, as I said, one of two women Yahweh showed me in the vision. The second was the American Helen Keller (1880-1968). If Selma Lagerlöf was initially debiliated by being paralysed in both legs, Helen Keller's disabilities were far more challenging, and from which she never recovered. Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Some of you may have seen her story in the famous film, The Miracle Worker. She was born with the ability to see and hear but at 19 months old, she contracted an unknown illness which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis and it was this illness that left her both deaf and blind. She learned to communicate thanks to the dedication of her governess, Anne Sullivan, who spelled words into her hand and became her lifelong companion. She used to 'listen' to music by picking up its vibration. I recommend you see the film or read the book about her life story as it is quite an amazing account of the overcoming of a disability. One newspaper wrote about a lecture she gave:
Selma Lagerlöf (left) and Helen Keller (right)
"According to those who attended, Helen Keller spoke of the joy that life gave her. She was thankful for the faculties and abilities that she did possess and stated that the most productive pleasures she had were curiosity and imagination. Keller also spoke of the joy of service and the happiness that came from doing things for others ... Keller imparted that 'helping your fellow men were one's only excuse for being in this world and in the doing of things to help one's fellows lay the secret of lasting happiness.' She also told of the joys of loving work and accomplishment and the happiness of achievement."
The First Vision
It initially struck me as rather odd that Yahweh would show me these two women, of whom only Lagerlöf may have been a Christian. Indeed both Lagerlöf and Keller were rumoured to be lesbians - and Keller became an outspoken socialist. In the vision Yahweh wanted me to choose one of the two women and to write about her which seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to do at the time but which only seemed odd to me as the immediacy of the divine communion ebbed away. It took me three days to figure out why Yahweh had shown me this vision and why He asked me to write about one of the two women - in the vision I seemed to be sitting an examinatiion of sorts, the setting being local.
The Second Vision
The second vision I cannot share with you yet as the interpretation has not been given to me yet but even without that (which was a scripture like the third vision) because part of it was sealed and has to come through someone else, the message that Yahweh has for us is a fascinating one.
The Obstacle Overcomers
Both women overcame incredible obstacles and were great achievers, even if Keller never accepted or knew Elohim (God). Here, then, is the question that I have for you all today: if these two women, in spite of their disadvantages and disablities, were able to overcome, exercise the natural gifts they had been born with to write, teach and lecture, then why is is so hard for some believers to accept that through emunah (faith) that they are "not lacking in any spiritual gift as [they] wait for the revealing of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)".
Whether you know it or not - indeed, whether you accept it or not - you have, operating within you, a gift or gifts given to you irrespective of what you may, or may not, have done, and irrespective of how you may feel about yourself, positively or negatively. That does not mean that the gift or gifts do not require cultivation - the addage, 'practice makes perfect' holds true in both the material and spiritual realms - it is applicable whether you are possibly a believer like Lagerlöf or an unbeliever like Keller or whether you are proactively trusting in Yah'shua (Jesus) for your salvation. That you are gifted is a fact irrespective of whether you are cogniscent or ignorant of the fact.
For an unbeliever like Keller, who became brilliant in her own sphere, or indeed for believers developing career skills, for example, work and persistence are what pay dividends. How does this work in respect of spiritual gifts? Let me read the Amplified Version of this passage and its surrounding verses so that you get the gist of Paul's revelation:
Share More, Receive More
"[So] that in Him in every respect you were enriched in full power and readiness of speech (to speak of your faith), and complete knowledge and illumination (to give you a full insight into its meaning). In this way [our] witnessing concerning Christ, the Messiah, was so confirmed and established and made sure in you that you are not (consciously) falling behind or lacking in any spiritual endowment or Christian grace (the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in your souls by the Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit), while you wait and watch (constantly living in hope) for the coming of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and [His] being made visible to all. And He will establish you to the end - keep you steadfast, give you strength and guarantee your vindication, that is, be your warrant against all accusation or inducement - [so that you will be] guiltless and irreproachable in the day of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Elohim (God) is faithful - reliable, trustworthy and [therefore] true to His promise, and He can be depended on; by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), our Master" (1 Cor.1:-5-9, Amp.V).
The more you share, the more you will receive. In my case, I mostly write it, though I preach too, as now today. People wonder why I am able to write so much. It started, as I shared with you before, in learning to write long and informative letters home from boarding school. No one taught me, I just did it. When Yahweh shares something with me that He wants others to know and I publish it, He gives me more and more. When I look back sometimes I wonder where it has all come from. And the answer is, as Paul testified, through Yahweh's grace - His undeserved loving kindness.
I don't know what your gift of sharing consists of - it may be informally chatting, it may be through art, or music, or humour or any number of ways. It may simply be through smiling, being kind, thoughtful, generous and loving. It may be through a combination of these and other things. Whatever the gift-mix, it will be unique to you. And whatever your gift is, use it to His glory, and see how He develops and multiplies that gift.
Who Could Have Guessed?
Our life is like a blank canvass and what we put on it, through our choices and deeds, is largely up to us. Agency, in that respect, is a fearful thing, and the time alotted us on earth is limited. What are we going to do with it? Will we pursue our glory or His? Or will we procrastinate and prevarocate and do nothing? Will we dare to try out things we never imagined we could do? Who would have guessed that a blind mute, Helen Keller, would learn to communcate, go to university, and become a much sought out speaker?
Like Lagerlöf's Paralysis
Like my own mother, who had a paralysed right arm for many years which mysteriously got better one day, Selma Lagerlöf was paralysed in both legs for a while. There are times when my own brain gets so foggy and disorientated because of a lack of sleep caused by continuous pain day and night, not to mention my right arm freezing up in recent times, that it is a wonder I can write anything at all. I know very well that Yah'shua (Jesus) carries me when I cannot walk under my own steam. I simply persist and refuse to give up. So whatever you handicap, real or imagined, don't give up. Persist, trusting in Yah'shua (Jesus), and He will continue to develop the gifts that He has given you.
Not All Doors That Seem Closed Are Closed
It is through our identifiction with Messiah - His death and resurrection life - that we are enabled. And though a disablity or apparent lack of ability might appear to signal a closed door, don't automaticallty assume it. Look what Helen Keller achieved. She became a pioneer and proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world. She also taught that deaf people are capable of doing things that hearing people can do. And so it is that she has become one of the most famous deaf people in history and an idol to many deaf people in the world.
All Things Possible in Messiah
"I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me", Paul said (Phil.4:13, NKJV), so if an unbeliever like Keller can do what she did, imagine what a determined believer can do in the spiritual realm, storing up rewards in eternity and not just for this life? Allow Yahweh to prompt you to think big in His Plan for your life. But if it isn't according to His plan, you will not succeed spiritually even if you may accomplish something big in the material plane. A lot of atheists have done great things through applied will-power even if not unto eternal chayim (life).
Forced to Accomplish in Tribulation
Whteher we like it or not, millions are going to be forced by economic callapse to accomplish things they never dreamed possible just to survive. It's not the most fun way to learn but, as they say, "whatever works...". Most of us are reluctant learners in some of the necessary things of life, and equally reluctant doers. We all struggle and must learn to bear with one another.
City folk like myself are going to have to get rustic and acquire green fingers. We need to all become good gardeners producing food. That's not an option, if you want to live. You may also have to learn to handle a weapon both to feed and protect yourself and your family.
Fox by the Coop
We had to deal with a very persistent and desperate fox trying to force his way into our chicken coop yesterday morning and I am so glad we took the advice of our builder to make it impossible for him to burrow his way in. Foxes are smart and the one who appeared at 5 a.m. yesterday knew exactly where to try to force and entry on our outhouse. You learn as you go along, through constant application, testing and adapting. All skills are learned the same basic way.
Discerning People in Trade
How many of you know how to barter without being ripped off or giving away how much you have in your store? Can you discern between someone who means to trade honestly with you against a minor fraudster who means to either defraud you on the spot or a murderous fraudster who is adept at fishing for information so that he can later rob you and maybe even physically harm you at home?
Cunning as Serpents
It is not for nothing that Yah'shua (Jesus) instructed us to acquire the skill of being "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matt.10:16, NKJV). He didn't say this as a local mitzvah (commandment) for some believers but for all believers - the "you" in "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves" is all of us.
The Prophetic Fox Dream
Did you know that many months ago Yahweh gave me a prophetic dream about the fox who came yesterday? In the dream the fox had got into the coop itself but not into the chickens' sleeping quarters. I also remember in the dream being mesmerised by the fox's beauty. Well, the fox that came yesterday was incredibly beautiful, it really was! And the seconds I wasted admiring it were enough time for it to slip away before I could get my weapon into action and by the time I got outside he was gone.
Mesmerised and Deceived by Beauty
I knew at the time that the dream had a spiritual application - I knew it meant that we can get mesmerised by danger sometime, and that the cleverness of a deadly opponent can elicit admiration. What I didn't realise was that this was going to also be an actual incident. We forget that Heylel or Lucifer was, at one time, one of the most beautiful creatures that Yahweh ever made, and even though he has since fallen and has become a being of great evil and darkness, he knows how to put on a deceptive show. There are a lot of devilish humans out there who are charmers and can make themselves out to be angels of light (2 Cor.11:14). It's how my first wife was seduced into the occult - Satan appeared to her as a being of great beauty and she fell for it. Satan tried it on me, but I tested him and exposed him. You cannot be too careful. Test, test, test. Discretion is the better part of valour. Learn cunning but be harmless. It's a commandment. Learn it and teach it. Your life may depend on it. There are a lot of foxy pseudo-believers out there.
So having some seasoned mentors becomes critical so that you make fewer costly mistakes. I have seen so many people seduced and fall, including, to my great distress, members of my own family. Yet all are free agents.
Know the Word
The gift of discernment is one of the gifts of the Ruach (Spirit) given to all - be sure to use it. You can start by becoming acquainted with your Bibles:
Fearing Yahweh Boosts Discernment
"For the Davar Elohim (Word of God) is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb.4:12, NKJV).
So study it daily. Likewise, those who fear Yahweh rather than man, having the Ruach (Spirit) and obeying the mitzvot (commandments), will discern what's going on in people:
Accomplishment Does Not Guarantee Discernment
"Then those who feared Yahweh spoke to one another,
And Yahweh listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear Yahweh
And who meditate on His Name (character).
"'They shall be Mine,' says Yahweh of hosts, (Mal.3:16-18, NKJV).
'On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.'
Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves Elohim (God)
And one who does not serve Him"
The Selma Lagerlöfs and Helen Kellers of this world may be accomplished but without Yahweh they have no discernment, so don't be intimidated by them because of their temporal achievements:
The gift of discernment is one of the most important gifts Yahweh gives to His obedient, trusting children. Don't neglect it, particularly in the critical times ahead. It will be more important to you than a whole stack of things that are important to you now but which may become useless later.
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God), for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor.2:14, NKJV).
Thomas Edison said that "genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine percept perspiration". I think the same is true of developped giftedness, not forgetting that the one percent is absolutely critical. How far you go will depend on how hard you are prepared to work. May your life be fruitful to the glory of Yahweh-Elohim and to your great satisfaction and simcha (joy) is my prayer in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.