Through The Lens – 11/26/20
Shalom and welcome to this edition of Through the Lens. I’m Rabbi Eric Walker.
I am extremely blessed to spend every day engaging in meaningful dialogue about the Lord. Each day I get to speak to authors and subject matter experts about this faith journey we are on. The ability to exchange ideas and insights and biblical perspectives is a gift I cherish. These past 4 years have fostered over 1800 1 hour conversations that we get to share with you.
I have come to realize that in both reading the Bible every day and the books that I cover on each show that we, as a body of Believers, are living in the most exciting prophetic times since Yeshua walked this earth. While it is true that the world is facing a global pandemic and anxiety levels are at an all-time high, there is a certain peace that, if you are willing to fully embrace it, is an incredible source of comfort especially in these uncertain times. There is no greater comfort than knowing that I will spend eternity with the Lord and that my daughter and my granddaughter, even at 16 months, is learning about Jesus. But, as comforting as that is, there is the daily struggle in the midst of all that we are contending with. I would love to tell you that you will not get the virus, or suffer financial or personal hardship, but then I would be simply tickling your ears with a feel-good message. That is not where my peace or yours will come from. Not only has it by my experience, but is also as shared view of many I interview and the scriptures themselves, that a personal cleansing after we have given our lives to the Lord brings great peace.
I have found much comfort in the confession and repentance found in Daniel’s prayer beginning in Verse 3: 3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. 8 To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 “O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”
The word of God says that if we say we are without sin we are calling God a liar. Our sin may not be as overt as others, but we all struggle with unforgiveness and hold into to grievances and offense. In order for our prayers to be heard and answered we must cleanse ourselves. Certainly, the Lord’s prayer covers much of this, but does it get down to that which is really disrupting your peace. Maybe going a little deeper into a more repentant attitude would not only set us free from our own unrighteousness, but would also release us to forgive ourselves. Isn’t that at the core of much of our unrest? When God has forgiven us and we have accepted the atoning blood of Jesus and withhold self forgiveness we are literally putting ourselves above the cross. Is God’s grace not sufficient? Is His forgiveness not enough? Must we struggle with the pride that robs of our peace and walk in self loathing and shame? We all have said and done regrettable things to our neighbors and ourselves, but that peace that eludes you can only take hold of your life when you accept all of God’s forgiveness including forgiving yourself.
We all claim John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” In your search for peace, even in the face of these troubling times, why not use this time to cleanse yourself through Daniel’s prayer and accept the full weight of the price paid for your freedom including forgiving yourself. For it is in that freedom you will find your peace.
John 14 makes this clear as Jesus says before He departs, “7 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
It is only through Him that you will find your peace even in these perilous times.
And that my friends is this edition of Through the Lens.
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