The walk of life leads us to many directions in its distractions, accomplishing a lot, sometimes, but again, not a lot of great significance. At the end of the day, we ask ourselves, What did I accomplish today? Priorities get misplaced in the order of which we favor most. The things that demand more from us are those which we dearly care about. But what do we make of Paul’s words to the Colossians? If then you have been raised with Christ…How can we have been raised with our Messiah, if we are still in this body of decay? That’s a question we must consider in our spiritual walk. For many of us Christians, there is the thought that our salvation was free and that there is nothing else we have to do. I do pity the idea, for first of all, salvation was not free for our Lord, Who paid it with His life; and it is not free for us, who must deny ourselves, carry our cross and follow Him. We are not exempt from our duty before God to do our part, if we are to be saved.
Read the words from Paul: And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also; heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory (Rom. 8: 17). To be raised with Christ, it is to have died for oneself; raised with Him is He controlling our inner being; it is losing all that has to do with one’s desires; it is, “not I, but Christ lives in me.” The mind, the control center of the body, Paul says to keep focusing on what matters most- on the things above, where YAHSHUA is seated at the right hand of God (Col. 1:1). Dead to the world, we are of no concern to it, neither should it be to us. We, believers in YAHSHUA, are seeds which went through the process of death in order to be alive. The seed that does not die, will never become a tree. In YAHSHUA’S death, he planted in us the seed of life eternal; however, it does not finish there. In dying unto self, the believer gains sanctification, which is a process to attain glorification. Without it one cannot see God. When we go through the new birth, the Holy Spirit seals us with Himself. I call this a ring that unites us with YAHSHUA, confirming our engagement with Him. And that is the most important thing we must pay attention to while in this world. Although, the human heart tends to lean more toward the things of the world than heaven’s. We must make an effort to switch the priority’s direction to heaven. Our citizenship is not of this world; the longing of every Christian should be heaven, because Paul said, Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord YAHSHUA Messiah, Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Phil. 3:20-21)
God’s banner- the protecting and comforting covering over us is His love. Under His wings we find a place of refuge and strength as the storm passes by, with faith, believing that He is preparing us a place; and someday, not far away, He will come for us with the loud cry of summons, with the voice of the Archangel and with the blast of His trumpet. (John 14:1-3; I Thessalonians 2:16). Under His wings, oh glorious feeling that is, being covered with His peace! The Lord has promised complete peace for those whose minds are set on Him with trust. In the midst of chaos and confusion, YAHSHUA’S promise is certain and comforting: Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God believe also in Me….I am going to prepare a place for you, come back to fetch you, so that where I am you will be also.(John 14:1-3). The beauty of God’s love through YAHSHUA’S words fills our hearts with peace. Under His presence we find comfort and refuge in times of storm. Only by being close to Him will we be the recipient of His protection. There is no better place to be than close to Him, as we read in Psalm 91:1: those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.
And Israel said to Moses, you speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die… And the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was (Exodus 20:18-24).
When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid themselves from the presence of God, at the sound of His voice while walking through the garden (Gen.3:8). A routine of the day when God would come to commune with them in the cool of the day, became a fearful experience. Peace was replaced by fear and guilt, when they made the decision to believe the serpent, instead. Sin had taken them away from the presence of God and robbed them of their relationship with Him. No longer could they feel comfortable in the presence of the holy God. What was so important to them, they lost in the decision they had made. Now, instead of welcoming God in their midst, they hid from Him as if to tell Him, leave us alone. When Israel experienced the holiness of God marked by thunders, smoking mountain, lightning, they feared Him and begged Moses to speak to them, instead. It had been three months since Israel had left Egypt in a supernatural and powerful way, when God expressed His love, His faithfulness through miracles and signs, when He walked ahead of them providing shelter from the sun and light for the night through a pillar of clouds and fire, when He opened the Red Sea and guided them through it in dry land and at the same time killing their enemies. But seemly, Israel lacked God’s holiness, and in their sinful condition, they acted like Adam and Eve – fearful.
(Song of Solomon 2; Psalm 91)
The beauty of this Song lies on the fact that this is a
picture of a marital relationship with spiritual roots and meaning between
Christ and His bride. She confesses to finding delight under His shadow, the
secure place for her to be, as Psalm 91 so declares: He who dwells in the
Secret Place of the Almighty shall remain fixed and stable. While the bride of
Christ delights to be in His presence feeding on His Word, she makes a
proclamation that His fruit was sweet to her taste. His Word, like a fruit, nourishes
and satisfies the craving of her soul. I will say of the Lord: He is my refuge,
my fortress and my God, in Him I will trust. He delights in covering His bride
with His love. In His presence, she experiences the abundance of a banquet- a
spiritual banquet. While He spreads His love over her she is sustained, and
protected, refreshed and completely absorbed in Him. She is enveloped by His
embrace, a symbol of complete protection from all evil. He covers her with His
pinions and under His wings she finds refuge. No one will be able to harm her.
His truth and faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. He is to her a Protector
and a Defender. Therefore, she will not fear terror, arrow, pestilence, and
destruction that attack and surprise at any time of the day. Even though a
thousand may fall at her side and ten thousand at her right hand, nothing will
even come near her. Secured under the shadow of the Almighty, she becomes only
a spectator or a witness of all that is happening around her.
(John 11-12; Luke 10)
Mary and Martha were close friends of YAHSHUA. They lived in a village called
Bethany on the slope of the Mount of Olives, two miles east of Jerusalem.
Bethany is identified with the West Bank today, the city of Al-Eizariya- place
of Lazarus in Arabic. Bethany is often mentioned in connection with important
events in the life of our Lord, YAHSHUA. Lazarus, Mary and Marth, each had a
memorable and personal experience with Him. Lazarus seemed to be the youngest
of the three, for he was uninvolved, and passive. His name in Arabic was
Eliezer, meaning, God will help. Eliezer was the name of Abraham’s eldest
servant; he was from Damascus. He was a trusted servant, who found Isaac a wife
at the request of Abraham.
Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you (First Samuel 7:5).