Shalom, Kulam [Everyone],
There is a lot of talk about faith right now, and rightly so, as there is a lot of cause to fear, if one does not know G-d. But, there are so many proponents of a version of faith that is not ‘faith’ at all, but more ‘wishful thinking’ that is stubbornly rooted in the evil desires of man’s flesh.
There are so many preachers that are teaching that one’s faith in G-d should produce all the worldly desires materially into the lives of those who have this ‘faith.’
Israel did the same thing, EVERY time they first repented, turned to Him in truth, and then He began to bless them, they took their eyes off of HIM and put them on His blessings, gave Him ‘lip service’ of praise, not having HEARTS full of Him and His truth.
I will remind all of us that there are some RICHLY blessed sinners in this world! Riches, prosperity, and ‘all the right stuff,’ a man of faith does NOT make.
Yokhanan writes, “To those who trusted in His Name, to them He gave the power to become “sons of Elohim.”
What does it mean to become a ‘son of Elohim?’ It means to become like HIS Son, Yeshua the Messiah, the firstborn over all creation, the firstfruits from among the dead.
Is that rooted in riches, blessings, happiness, having all our needs met?
Ask Iyov [Job]. I assure you, the answer is NO.
It is rooted in being willing to CHANGE, even IF that change requires great pain and denial of SELF.
The ‘power’ about which Yokhanan spoke had nothing to do with miracles, healings, material blessings, wealth, better jobs, etc. The power about which he wrote was the power to TRANSFORM, to change one’s own mind.
It is by His Ru’akh that we transform ourselves, and it is a lifelong transformation. Sha’ul, at the end of his life, said this:
“But these [worldly] things which once were a gain to me, I counted a loss for the sake of Mashi’akh. And I still count them all a loss for the sake of the abundant knowledge of Yeshua HaMashi’akh, Adonai, for whom I have lost everything, and I have considered all those things as refuse, so that I may abound in Mashi’akh and be found in Him, since I have no tzedaka of my own gained from the Torah, but the tzedaka which comes through the faith of Mashiakh; that is, the tzedaka which comes from Elohim, so that through this tzedaka I may know Yeshua and the power of His resurrection, and be a partaker of His sufferings, even to a death like His, that I may by any means attain the resurrection from the dead. Not as though I had already attained or were already perfect; but I am striving that I may reach that for which Yeshua HaMashi’akh appointed me. My brethren, I do not consider that I have reached the goal; but this one thing I do know, forgetting those things which are behind, I strive for those things which are before me; I press on toward the goal to receive the prize of victory of the highest calling of Elohim through Yeshua HaMashi’akh.”
The power of the resurrection is not reserved for the future! It is the transformative power of the Ru’akh to change us from “death” to “life”! And it is NOT rooted in ANY way on material things, or ‘blessings.’ It is rooted in a great desire to be devoid of ‘self’ and full of MASHI’AKH. To be ‘changed’ by His Ru’akh, under the guidance of Torah, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Yeshua perfected the walk, because of His Divine Nature. He imparts that ‘Nature’ to us, but not without a price: “and be a partaker of His SUFFERINGS.”
Yeshua suffered in His body and in His soul, taking all our sin into Himself, and having it ‘purged’ from His soul in JUDGMENT, being punished FOR us, for what WE did wrong. Then, He gave us HIS POWER to do the same thing in our own soul, to purge ourselves of what self wants, so that we DESIRE to do the WILL of Elohim.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, kadosh, and acceptable to Elohim, by means of reasonable service. Do not imitate the way of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, that you may discern what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of Elohim.”
How do we ‘renew’ our minds? By reading HIS WORD. NOT human commentary on it, but HIS WORD, prayerfully. His WHOLE WORD, by STUDYING IT, not parroting doctrine.
“Mashi’akh loved His congregation and gave Himself for her, that He might consecrate and cleanse her by the washing of water and BY THE WORD, in order to build for Himself a glorious congregation, without stain or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that she should be kadosh, and without blemish.”
So, the POWER to be transformed is given to us, but it must be USED. He washes us, indeed, but He also commands us to be conformed to the image of the Son: that “IMAGE” is HIS TORAH, the BASE, the ROCK, the FOUNDATION of the WORD of Elohim.
From that process of ‘transformation,’ implanting the WORD deep in the nefesh, in the “lev”, in the ‘neshamah,’ [soul, heart/mind, and spirit], by the Ru’akh [Spirit], from THAT, fruit is produced, and that fruit produces blessings. Yeshua taught this VERY clearly, telling us NOT to concern ourselves with material blessings AT ALL!
“You cannot serve Elohim and mammon. [money] For this reason, I say to you, do not worry for your life, what you will eat, and what you will drink, nor for your body, what you will wear. Behold, is not life much more important than food, and the body than clothing? Watch the birds of the sky, for they do not sow, neither do they harvest, nor gather into barns, and yet your Father in Heaven feeds them. Are you not much more important than they? Who is among you who by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Why do you worry about clothing? Observe the lilies in the wild, how they grow; they do not get tired out, nor do they spin. But I say to you that not even Shlomo with all of his glory was covered like one of them. Now if Elohim clothes in such fashion the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow falls into the fireplace, is He not much more to you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry or say, ‘What will we eat,’ or ‘what will we drink’, or ‘with what will we be clothed?’ For worldly people seek after all these things. Your Father in Heaven knows that all of these things are also necessary for you. But you, seek first Malkhut HaElohim [the kingdom of G-d] and His tzedaka [righteousness], and all of these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry for tomorrow; for tomorrow will look after its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”
We are to busy ourselves in the study of His Word, in being transformed by it, and Abba will take care of the rest. Really!
Look at King David’s first song:
“Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה; and in His TORAH does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its FRUIT in its season, and whose leaf does not wither; and in whatsoever he does he shall prosper.”
How did David know this? How did Yeshua know this?
IT IS IN HIS TORAH!
“And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to observe to do all His commandments which I command you this day, that יהוה your Elohim will set you on high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you, and overtake you, if you shall hearken unto the voice of יהוה your Elohim.” Deut 28:1-2
What makes it a matter of the heart, however, is that one is NOT doing it for the blessings! One is doing it because it is RIGHT! EVEN IF the measure of blessings He pours out on this earth is ‘small,’ or riddled with struggle, poverty, pain, etc. OR TAKEN AWAY!
“Hold your peace, LET ME ALONE, that I may speak, and LET COME ON ME WHAT WILL…. Though HE [ יהוה ] slay me, yet will I trust in Him….” Iyov 13:15
“I have been rich, and I have been poor, but I have learned in all circumstances to be content.”
Riches are NOT evidence of faith. Riches are NOT the reward of faith. The reward of faith is LIFE ETERNAL; taking one’s eyes off that is very, very dangerous. Because, even if one is poor, he is blessed if he has faith! His ‘measure’ of wealth is a different scale! He is content in whatever he has that day, and GRATEFUL.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing BY THE WORD OF ELOHIM, not by money and comfort.
יהוה gave, and יהוה has taken away; blessed is the Name of יהוה .
REAL faith praises HIM even AFTER He takes blessings away, knowing that our place in Him is NOT determined by blessings…..