I keep going back to the idea of manipulatives. I want my heart to always be kneeling towards the Father. I want Him to be in my thoughts all day long. I want the love of Him to saturate all of my actions. I want His esteem to be made known in everything I say or do.
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.
Sometimes it just takes faith.
When things are going hard.
When nothing seems to be going right.
When your sorrows are stacked, and stress is every other word.
When it seems you have no options.
When you cannot get a solid night’s sleep.
When you are too tired to care.
When you slip in your discipline.
When you just feel so far from God.
When the world is against you.
It just takes faith.
Faith will hold, faith will keep.
Faith will keep you from slipping, and help you to hold on to hope.
Faith will bring you through.
God is gracious, and oh so good.
Just wait on Yahweh.
Wait, I say, on Yahweh.
There are moments in my life when I realize just how young I am, and I learn the importance of weighing things against the test of time. This moment in my life is one of them.
I could list many things that I have held onto as definite, that turned out to be not so defined or long-lasting. Just to name a few, early high school I thought I was going to be a film score composer, freshman year of college I thought I’d for sure teach English in Japan, this time last year I thought I would be with my (now ex) boyfriend forever, and this past May I thought I would be following the Paleo diet for the rest of my life. Each time I make these resolutions, I mock my previous self as knowing nothing, and that I know so much better now.
I shared James’ post, Christianization of Acts 15, on Facebook, and a friend commented and it turned into a small exchange. First, he asked about the purpose of the Law, and why observe it if it’s a shadow of Jesus? After my response, he asked about whether or not I am Jewish, and if not what is my reason for following Torah. He also asked about going to a priest for certain functions, and such. I don’t want to quote his entire comment, but below is my response. It was something that I had been pondering anyway, so his question hit me at a time when I was prepared. Thanks Papa!
I am a gentile, and proud of it! Thank you for your questions. The question of why I observe Torah is something I am often asking myself, to make sure I’m on the right track. Why would a gentile who has salvation through Yeshua need Torah, or even WANT Torah?
A Hebrew in Modern Babylon.
That’s the name of this blog, right? Well, how did Daniel do it? He was PRIME MINISTER, but his religion was completely different than almost everyone else in government. How did he get there? By YHWH’s favour. But what about the details of his life? What about how he did business and had conversations?
We only get a small number of instances in Daniel’s life. There’s his arrival and his choice of diet, interpreting Nebuchanedzar’s dream, the firey furnace, another dream, the writing on the wall, the lion’s den, and his end-times revelations. Every story recounts Daniel completely obeying Yahweh and trusting in Yahweh! Daniel doesn’t have methods or plans. YHWH gave him a direction, and he moved. YHWH was faithful in guiding Daniel along the way.
As I start my year at university after a year abroad and summer break, I am thrown back into the liberal sphere. My Modernism professor introduced us to the class talking about how key thinkers like Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud eliminated our need for a “God”, and that there is no plan, and that humans are not special. A brief conversation yesterday was about the fluidity of gender. I had a conversation with a different friend about modesty standards, she on the liberal side.
These are topics I face everyday, and topics I have to write papers on. I’m not even sure where I stand on some of these issues, and on some I’m not sure where the Scriptures stand. To clarify, by “these issues” I mean those issues that are hot and relevant to academia and young twenty-somethings. In most of these issues, the “Christian” stance is seen as outdated, racist, sexist, elitist, or just plain wrong.
As I shed the traditional Christian layers of my skin, I have to be careful with just how much I shed off. When I first started on my Torah journey, I threw off just about everything. But then I was alone. I had no opinions to lean on, no scriptures to defend my case. All I could say was, I don’t know.
Okay, actually I wish I had the humility to say I don’t know all the time. Often I try to make up something that sounds right if I don’t have the answer. But what did Daniel say?
“The secret which the sovereign is asking — the wise ones, the astrologers, the magicians, and the diviners are unable to show it to the sovereign. But there is an Elah in the heavens who reveals secrets, and He has made known to Sovereign Nebukadnetstsar what is to be in the latter days…” Daniel 2:26-27 ISR
So, in a world of Post-Modern Humanistic Babylon, how do I walk in righteousness? Just as Daniel did, by leaning on YHWH, because the Father is faithful.
Know Him in all your ways, And He makes all your paths straight.
It’s not about me, or how much I know. Actually, it’s probably better in the academic sphere to have a different opinion than everybody else. They don’t want someone who follows the crowd. Good, because I follow YHWH!
I know this and still, I want to make plans and figure out how to have those conversations But as I’ve said before, it is a day by day journey with the Father. Everything outside of His plan is as vapor. My plans, my schedules, my theology will fade away with the wind. But He is more real than the earth I stand on. He has all the answers, and He knows the truth.
It’s time to let go of opinions, let go of my pride, let go of my ambitions. For YHWH will direct my path. He is always faithful, and He will never let me go.
I’ve got a lot of things on my mind that I’d like to share, but it’s been a long day of classes and homework. So, to be brief, I have some praise reports.
Yahweh has just completely blessed me in my first day of school. He just amazed me over and over again.
1. I had to apply for a loan for textbooks this morning, something I’ve had trouble with in the past, and it went well without a hitch. HalleluYah!
2. I went to Jamba Juice to get a wheat grass shot. They took forever in getting my shot, so I got a double! HalleluYah! As a bonus, it took away my abdominal pain. HalleluYah!
3. I bought the textbook for Russian right before the class, not knowing if I’d need it, and I did! Well, a special workbook anyway. The other textbook was almost $200 new, but I don’t need it for a week so I was able to return in and used the money to buy a cheaper book, as well as bus tickets to go home this weekend. HalleluYah!
4. Leaving my Russian class,
I stumble upon Yahweh directed my path to a friend who also just got back from a year abroad. (She went to France, I went to Japan.) We were able to reconnect and enjoy each other’s presence. A totally unexpected blessing. HalleluYah!
5. At the dining hall, I had no idea who to sit with, so the Father showed me a girl to sit with. Turns out, she is a Christian and went to the worship service for my campus ministry last night! I had no idea of any of that when I sat down, but Yah gave us the chance to connect. How cool. HalleluYah!
6. At my next class, again I asked YHWH to show me where to sit. I introduce myself to the girl, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Just before class started, I saw a friend from a previous, related course. After class I go to talk to him, and he’s a friend of the girl I sat next too! Now I’ll be able to continue to sit with this girl and my friend. Totally unexpected. HalleluYah!
7. At my next class, I turn to talk to the girl behind me. What is she studying? RUSSIAN! We were able to connect and chat about Russian literature. I see a friendship forming here. HalleluYah!
8. My dance class was a blessing in disguise. It turns out I don’t remember the basics as well as I should, and if I stayed in this class I would struggle. I decided to drop a course I had been eagerly looking forward to. This decision could not have been from anyone but Papa. He had blessed me all throughout the day, so why would that moment be any different? Actually, my ambition told me to keep going and try, but it was a small voice compared to the overwhelming peace of Yah encouraging me to drop the course. Only He knows what pleasures I will reap from this blessing. HalleluYah!
Other students may not have felt as positively about their first day, but I proudly proclaim that my day was great and the glory all goes to YAHWEH!!!! He is good, and He is a moving force in our lives. He loves us so much and blesses us in more ways than we know. He deserves all of the praise and all of the esteem. He is so worthy, so so worthy.
Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the blowing of the ram’s horn; Praise Him with the harp and lyre!