Smile politely, pray, and write

It happened again! While conversing with a friend at a community event the ERROR message began to flash in my head! Ding, ding, and ding. The words she spoke hit the “discernment switch.” Once that switch is triggered a decision must be made. Instantly I wrestle with the options in my mind, ‘do I say something, or hold my piece?’ So I chose this, pray, smile and write.

Maggie and I attend a Bible study that is a learning fellowship with gals from different churches. My home “church” is a synagogue, a Messianic Synagogue. The activating element was her statement, “We all have different ways of arriving at the same thing.” The thing- is Yeshua, (Jesus), and includes the way we walk out our faith, our “halakah”. In Hebrew thought faith encompasses both: whom we have faith in and how that faith is expressed in our life.

In my mind I wanted to say, ‘wait a minute. God says in Isaiah  chapter 30:21 With your ears you will hear a word from behind you: “This is the way; stay on it, whether you go to the right or the left.”

Hmm, does this mean He says different things to different people, based on who we are? Are his ways changeable?  Different strokes for different folks? To quote yet another friend “…according to our likes and dislikes.” In other words, what PLEASES us, what FITS our personalities, tastes, and mindsets? Often I hear “everyone’s interpretation is different.” Really, yes I know that is true; after all there are bazillions of churches and denominations, and if you don’t like something about where you are attending start a new one! But is that the way God sees it or wants it?  I thought God says what he means and means what he says. He states, “I am God, I change not.” Do we believe that  Yeshua (Jesus) is the same yesterday, today, and forever?

I am sad, as this is the premise of the current church/Christian today. Many, so unaware of the detrimental influence of “political correctness, and Babylonian “it is all about me “ norms of the culture we live in. There has been an INVASION of these into the “church”, and why not? Our human default behavior and thinking is conforming to this world, NOT being transformed.

In fact, Romans 12: 1 states: I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you.

WOW, the word sacrifice is not in our modern day vocabulary. Sacrifice means to give something up that is valuable to us, to surrender it. It is hard to surrender our will, to give it up to Ha Shem, and to accept His will. I know. I lived in my own will most of my life…I made a mess.

Let us continue in Romans 12:2 In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the ‘olam hazeh (this world’s system). Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.

To paraphrase Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.” His “ways” are not my ways, and His thoughts far above mine. But when it comes to approaching Him, and following Him, most of us will disregard what He says in His Word and determine to do it “my way.”

Over and over the Lord states his reason why he brought destruction on Israel, whether corporately or individually. They “did what was right in their own eyes, but not in Adonai’s. Remember the Torah, the first 5 books of Moshe. Ha Shem was explicit with his instructions on how his people are to trust him and conduct their lives, and the remainder of the Bible testifies to this. Every issue and aspect in our lives is covered in his Word.

Deuteronomy 10:12 “So now, Isra’el, all that ADONAI your God asks from you is to fear ADONAI your God, follow all his ways, love him and serve ADONAI your God with all your heart and all your being; 13 to obey, for your own good, the mitzvot and regulations of ADONAI which I am giving you today.”

Account after account of real persons, real experiences of real consequences of either obedience or disobedience. Battles were lost; people were killed for not obeying the Lord’s commandments and rulings. Did he change them, or give us in 2011 a “pass”? Hardly, in fact we are told in that these things happened to them as an EXAMPLE to us!

I Corinthians 10:11 These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim (end times).

Consider what happened to Israel when God tore the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand because…

1 Kings 11:33 I will do this because they have abandoned me and worshipped ‘Ashtoret the goddess of the Tzidoni, K’mosh the god of Mo’av and Milkom the god of the people of ‘Amon. They haven’t lived according to my ways, so that they could do what was right in my view and obey my regulations and rulings, as did David his father.

Let us examine ourselves and determine if it is indeed  “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Or are we following our own desire? (James 1:14)

Baruch Ha Shem for his unfailing Word!

Scripture quotations are taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, copyright � 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission.