In this 3rd Rosh Hashanah blog, now Ten Days of Awe, I’d like to continue to explore the theme of the shofar blast as a WAKE UP call. In my first two blogs, I emphasized that the sound of the shofar at this appointed time was a WAKE UP call to repentance, and a WAKE UP call to be prepared for Yeshua’s return. Today I will focus on the theme of the shofar as a WAKE UP call to battle. In biblical times, shofars were often used as a signal to the start of war (Josh 6:4; Judges 3:27; 7:16, 20).
In this season, let the sound of the shofar remind you of the SPIRITUAL battle that is warring over you, every minute of every day. As we read in Eph 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. And, in 2 Cor. 4:18 – So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The enemy, however, wants us to fix our eyes on what we CAN SEE, our circumstances, our spouses, family members, friends, co-workers, ourselves — and to view these as our enemy! “If only they would ….,” or “If only it would….., then I would have victory.” However, “they” are NOT the enemy, Satan is our REAL enemy, and he is working relentlessly to steal, kill, and destroy our lives – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally (John 10:10).
It is absolutely critical in this battle that we become aware of all the ways we give the enemy a handle (or we could say foothold, influence, opening, authority) in our lives. He’s been defeated, but he’s a sore loser and until his ultimate destruction in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10), he’s going to do everything he can to gain ground in your life.
The easiest way he gets a handle is through your strongholds — lies you believe about yourself and about God — after all he’s the father of lies (John 8:44), and through sin and disobedience in your life such as fear, stress, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, blame, shame, self-condemnation, hopelessness, accusations, performance, rejection, control, dread, guilt, envy, and jealousy. Just to name a few!
Now we might say “but I’m justified in thinking, feeling,or behaving that way. Anyone in my situation would be stressed, fearful, angry, discouraged, ________” you fill in the blank. Well, that may be so, but unfortunately, Satan doesn’t care if these things are justified or not. He’ll grab hold of any handle he can, justified or not! He knows just what will “push our buttons” every time, and then we make his job is easy!
The next time you find yourself feeling justified for being stressed, fearful, holding onto resentment and anger, talking negatively about others, etc., ask yourself, “Is it worth giving Satan a handle or influence in my life?” “Is that what I want, or do I want all the intimacy I can have with the Lord?”
We need to grow in and sharpen our discernment of what is from God and what is not. Sometimes I think we make our lives too complex. We justify, analyze, discuss, try to figure out our own and others’ behaviors, but when we keep our eyes on what is unseen, all we need to know is whether the thoughts, words, emotions, attitudes, actions are of God (Eph 5:22) or of the enemy (Gal 5:19)! Since the enemy has already been defeated, he has no authority in our lives unless we give it to him. We don’t have to take into our hearts anything that is from him. We only have to take into our hearts what is from God.
For example, God would never talk to me in a condemning, harsh, negative manner using guilt, pressure, or shame. Even when He is convicting me, it is in love and it brings peace, life, and a desire to move forward, not to shrink back or below. He has not given me a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7), so I don’t have to allow fear, anxiety, and stress into my heart. When others are expressing anger, frustration, guilt, rejection, bitterness, accusations toward me, I don’t have to take that into my heart and let it define who I am, how I feel and how I act. These things are not from God, and when I do let them control me — I’m putting others on the throne of my life instead of God. Accusations are the nature of the enemy (Rev. 12:10) and so I never have to accept them into my heart.
To me, that’s what freedom in Yeshua is all about! I am finally free to “say NO” to anything that is not from God, justified or not!
When you keep your eyes on the unseen, you know that your weapons HAVE to be divine, spiritual weapons, not earthly weapons of your own wisdom, skill, control, manipulation, problem solving, striving, gossiping, etc. Earthly weapons don’t stand a chance in the spiritual battle!
All throughout the day you can wield your spiritual weapons such as praise, giving, intercessory prayer, fasting, thanking God in advance, blessing others, taking your thoughts and words captive; and when you “mess up,” and allow those things from the enemy into your heart, you can experience freedom in Yeshua once again using your weapons of warfare of confessing, forgiving, canceling Satan’s authority, and asking God to show you His truth and allow Him to heal your heart.
God desires to give you rest from your striving. Yeshua has already done all the work. He has already won the victory. He has already purchased your freedom. You just need to claim it and enforce it in your moment by moment life. Let the sound of the shofar be a WAKE UP call to the reality of the spiritual battle. Let it remind you to keep your eyes on the unseen, and to fight with spiritual weapons of warfare!
What will you chose to focus on today? The seen or the unseen?