“For a Good Year!” or “Happy New Year!”
This is my first blog written from our new location in Dallas, TX! How appropriate that it be on the Feast of Rosh Hashanah, a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, open doors, and a renewed focus on God’s call for our lives. I love God’s perfect timing!
Now that I’m finally starting to breathe again after the intense labor of the move from Newport Beach, CA, I hope to be able to write more often! I just returned home to Dallas from a weekend retreat in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. While teaching there, I focused on how we can apply the themes of Rosh Hashanah to our daily lives, and that’s what I’d like to do here in these next several blogs.
The first theme that comes to mind is that of the blowing of the shofar. That is the primary biblical commandment for the Feast of Rosh Hashanah, and it’s found in Leviticus 23:23-24 “Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first day of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder (memorial) by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.’ You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.”
I believe that one of the purposes of the Rosh Hashanah shofar blast is as a wake up call, a wake up call to repentance! It’s time to WAKE UP to the sin in our lives. It’s time to stop making excuses — calling it our personality, or our issues or dysfunctions; and stop blaming our circumstances and others — spouses, parents, family members, leaders– for our sin. You see unless we WAKE UP, and learn to call sin what it is — sin — we will never be able to break free from it. That’s because our battle is spiritual, it’s not against flesh and blood. So when we fight with earthly weapons – blame, denial, accusations, self-condemnation, gossip, endless talk about the “issue,” manipulation, control, negotiation, justifying our sin, etc. – we fight a losing battle.
However, when we wake up to the sin in our moment-by-moment lives, then we have hope because God has given us spiritual weapons of warfare to fight this spiritual battle, to break free from sin. Examples of moment-by-moment sin? Romans 14:23 tells us that anything that is not of faith is sin! That would include holding onto fear, stress, anxiety, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, resentment, blame, self-condemnation, rejection, criticism, gossip, guilt, performance, dread, hopelessness. It would include holding onto lies that we believe about ourselves (i.e., I’m bad, I’m not wanted, I have to be perfect, I’m on my own, I have to hold all things together, etc.) and lies that we believe about God (i.e., He’s disappointed in me, I have to be perfect for Him, He’s with me until I make a mistake, He’s just watching, He’s mad at me, etc.). Can anyone relate?
Its time to take responsibility to deal with whatever blocks us from our purpose here, and that is to know God intimately and show forth HIS life to others. It’s time to wake up and take responsibility for the sin in our OWN lives. This Rosh Hashanah, let’s get our eyes off of what needs to change in our circumstances, or what needs to change in others and what they’re doing wrong. Rather, look for the good in others, and look for ways to bless them. Let’s put our focus instead on what needs to change in US. Let’s put our energies toward using our weapons of warfare (i.e., confess, repent, forgive, cancel Satan’s authority, ask God to show you His truth) to deal with the sin in our own lives.
In doing so, I believe you will have a very sweet new year, experiencing intimacy with God like never before.
For more detail and teaching on this topic, please click on this link.
Happy New Year and Blessings,