Patience, Discouragement, and Prayer

Today James posted in his Morning Meditation about his efforts and discouragement in the Tent of David project. It can be hard sharing news about the Jewish Messiah, and most churches do not want to hear it.

I know exactly what James means. I am not in the position that I may have an impact on a church, because I’m still just a young adult. But I have been working in my college ministries. And by working, I mean that I try to have God-focused conversations, and if I feel someone is ready I will share awesome stuff about Hebrew studies. I receive a variety of responses which is probably analogous to what you find among working adults. Some students are interested in the sense that they say “Oh, that’s cool, I didn’t know that,” but it does not actually inspire them to go deeper. A few people will argue with me, but they are the minority. But those few people are usually closer friends.

The other day I had a particularly disheartening conversation. I eat lunch a few days a week with some friends with my college ministry. (I should clarify that I participate in two ministries, and one is connected to the congregation I attend. Neither are Hebrew-based.) Our normal conversation is very mundane: Internet videos, the (very cold) weather, sleeping, exercise, the like. The Father, The Son, nor His Spirit hardly ever show up in conversation. Even my requests to pray for someone when they have a headache or anxiety seems strange to them. And these are Christian students.

I forgot how we got onto the topic, but I mentioned how a Biblical honeymoon is one year: “When a man has taken a new wife, let him not go out into the army nor let any matter be imposed upon him. He shall be exempt one year for the sake of his home, to rejoice with his wife whom he has taken.” (Deut. 24:5 ISR) The girls agreed that that would be nice, but one of the boys argued with me that he would not want that. I tried to teasingly argue with him about not really loving his future wife, but he insisted that you can enjoy each other without a year off. Getting back to work and having a life is more important. And in general the table opinion agreed with him.

Then one of the girls said that she and her husband would take a monthly Sabbath. I said, “Girl, God commands a Sabbath once a week.” She laughed and said, “I know, but like an absolute Sabbath.” And I replied, “Yeah, He demands an absolute Sabbath once a week.” But my declaration was clearly not appreciated or welcome. No one challenged me, but neither did anyone agree. I continued to speak, emphasizing how extreme a Hebrew Sabbath was, to the extent of not lighting fires. Then I made a verbal error, and it just turned into joke time.

My heart was broken for the Word of God. People are more concerned with their busy lives, their work, their school, than slowing down to enjoy the presence of God. Work is more important than a Holy rest, be it one day a week, a whole week, or a whole year. The Christianity we teach is about how to live a normal life and have your salvation too. It is really hard not to angry and start ranting about “The Church,” but that is not so Holy either.

But Papa comforts me. I read recently in Deutoronomy,

“You have today caused YHWH to proclaim to be your Elohim, and to walk in His ways and guard His laws, and His commands, and His right-rulings, and to obey His voice. And YHWH has caused you to proclaim today to be His people, a treasured possession, as He has spoken to you, and to guard all His commands, so as to set you high above all nations which He has made, for a praise, and for a name, and for esteem, and for you to be a set-apart people to YHWH your Elohim, as He has spoken.” (26:17-19 ISR)
An important scriptural principle is that knowledge of God, is always by grace. Loving YHWH does not come from our flesh, our own mind. You can not reason with someone. It is only by His Special Spirit that we can know and love him. And in the same way, this kind of passion for His Scripture and Holiness also only comes from His Spirit. I cannot just convince someone of its benefits. I can have the best argument, the best thesis prepared, but if the listener’s heart is closed off, my words are empty.
But then God does move, and come through in crazy ways. I have been feeling some level of discouragement since last semester, but God has finally answered my prayers!
There is a girl in my small group, in fact, the same girl who asked me back in November, “Are you a small group leader?” I have been tentatively introducing her to deeper and deeper concepts. I was not sure how deep she wanted to go. I had a sense, but no certainty.
Last night, we were coming home from a worship night at our church. It is a long bus ride, so we had a good amount of time. Papa allowed me to open up to her about some of the heavier matters of my heart. Namely, that my heart is broken every time a pastor says, “We’re not under the Law,” or some similar anti-Semitic sentiment about Torah, and how this has led me to consider trying a Seventh Day Adventist Church. (Actually, I did not know the full tenet of their practice until I looked them up online yesterday.) It turns out that she too had considered trying an Adventist church because she had read in scripture that Sabbath is on the seventh day, and wanted to worship at a church with a Saturday service! That’s not even the best part.
As I said goodbye to her for the night, I cautioned her, “You’re not going to be able to live a normal life after hearing the stuff I have to say. So if you like how you’re living, you can just quit now.” To my delight she replied, “Oh no, that’s fine. I want change.” I hugged her and told her that she is a blessing and an answer to prayer, and she said that I was her answer to prayer. “Before you met me?” I asked. She told me that she had been praying for someone who aspires for Holiness, whose lifestyle is different, someone who is willing to change.

Music to my ears!

I was so humbled and honored. Papa has chosen me as His vessel to teach her, and to disciple her in reading and applying Scripture. She may be one person, but she is one person with a hunger to go deeper, with a hunger for Holiness.

So yes, it is hard. People do not want change. They like their blindness. They willingly hold on to their blindfolds. But for every one hundred who tie and retie their blindfolds, there is one who bravely takes off their blindness and walks into the light, one step at a time.

Take heart. Pursue God. Pursue Holiness. Honor His Word. He works miracles, especially when you are not looking for it nor expecting it.

Shabbat Shalom,

Genevieve

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10 thoughts on “Patience, Discouragement, and Prayer

      • But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2: 27

        This is why we have to hear the word and hear it again and hear it again so that it will come to mind to guide us. ” 8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32: 8

      • I haven’t yet written about this. I have told the story verbally to several people, in person, however. A brief description very truncated is as follows. A woman preacher was teaching (1st Tim 2:12) and speaking on Lucifer’s head and the shape of it and the design of it and his form ( Isaiah 14, etc). And I asked the question: Where is that, what you have said, in the Scripture? And this lady said to me, sit down, it’s not in the Scripture, we are reading our prophet’s writings”. I got up in the middle of the congregation and having been shamed by being told to sit down, waited for a moment to see if any would apologize to me for that.
        Nothing happened, I got my coat put it on , and walked through the pews by many people, and walked out of that church.

        And I obeyed the commandment where it says Luke 9:5, ” 5And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.”

        That is where I learned that Isaiah 8:20 is a critical piece of information to have in the heart. And They only believe and keep the 4th commandment.

        Remember, the rat eats the rat poison, not because it is poison, but because it is 99.995 Percent good food. It is the .005 percent sodium Fluoride that kills the rat. So A little bad doctrine will lead you astray. So please be careful. Peace.

  1. I had just finish watching the video by 119 ministries, Walking in the Spirit, when I read your post. The two fit together nicely. “An important scriptural principle is that knowledge of God, is always by grace. Loving YHWH does not come from our flesh, our own mind. You can not reason with someone. It is only by His Special Spirit that we can know and love him. And in the same way, this kind of passion for His Scripture and Holiness also only comes from His Spirit. I cannot just convince someone of its benefits. I can have the best argument, the best thesis prepared, but if the listener’s heart is closed off, my words are empty. ” This was a great encouragement to stay humble, obey God, trust, and lots of prayer. Also, be gentle and patience with people.

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