Torah Portion MATTOT/MASSEI – Bamidbar (Numbers) 30:2(1)-36:13. Haftarah: Jer.2:4-28, 3:4
“Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the sons of Israel remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they did set out. At the command of YHVH they camped, and at the command of YHVH they set out; they kept YHVH’s charge, according to the command of YHVH through Moses.” Numbers 9:22-23 STB
So, they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; and they came and filled both boats to the point of sinking. Luke 5:7 CJB
Shabbat shalom, dearly beloved!
As I was praying for the message for this Shabbat Letter, the Holy Spirit spoke to me the words: Careful Obedience.
I have been thinking about some events lately that have left me pretty puzzled and wondering what is really happening in the spiritual realm. Some great people in the Ministry are dying young or are sick or in great family distress. If this would only be one occurrence, I would say that it is a coincidence, but it is already reached a magnitude that has drawn my attention and has placed me in a place of alert.
Why is it that great people in the Ministry are dying so young, or are terribly attacked this year? In fear and trembling I have to say that this Shmita year is like no other year. For many years I have been prophesying that we must stop all our agendas. The Hebrew word for Shabbat means to “go on strike”, to stop all your regular plans to fellowship with Yah and with each other, in order to rest. Most people in the Christian world never rest. They believe that the Law is obsolete and that keeping the Shabbat holy is bondage, let alone keeping the Year of Shabbat or Shmita. All of us have personal agendas to fulfill and it is most uncomfortable to let go of them.
We are at present in a season between Revival and Judgment. Careful obedience, like “walking on eggshells”, is needed at times of transition such as this one. It is time to seek YHVH until He is found. It is time to listen to His strategy for your life and ministry. It is time to rest and worship. It is time to be refreshed and renewed. It is time to check and double check the contents of our hearts and all of our attitudes. Are they pleasing unto Him? Have I lost my first love? Am I hot, cold or lukewarm?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me and lead me in the everlasting way. “Psalms 139:23-24
We are at the time of a Great Crossroads in the spirit, and we need to know how to behave when we reach a junction. If we are too fast and a wee bit prideful, we may miss the turn. Careful Obedience demands that we slow down at junctions, and we consider carefully which direction to turn. This applies to the way you are handling your ministry, your family, your finances, your marriage, your relationships and your devotion to the Most High. It is time to be careful, to make some choices that will accompany us in the next Week of Years (7) or in the next 40 years. Some choices carry with them very long-lasting consequences. A little bit of self indulgence and of rebellion can cause a chain reaction that will be impossible to stop once it is set in motion. These are fearsome times on one hand and awesome times on another hand. We are between Judgment and Revival.
Many years ago, the Lord spoke to me the following phrase that has been my faithful companion for life: “The Good is the Enemy of the Perfect.”
Many of us are doing good things, but are they perfect in Yah’s eyes? When the Holy Spirit commanded us to leave Jerusalem and to go to Eilat, it was totally illogical. At our age we were going to move house one more time, only a year after Rabbi had had a heart attack and many other trying things that happened to us prior to the year of Shabbat. I was quite exhausted and leaving for
Eilat (the absolute farthest southern city in Israel – and many call it the end of the world!) was a very complex matter. We needed two movers and lots of money that we did not have for this move. It also meant that I was getting farther and farther from my children, and they did not like it at all. It was not convenient in any way. Eilat is great for a short holiday, but to live there far away from the international airport? I felt like I was banished, like John to the Isle of Patmos!
Together with the instruction of leaving for Eilat, came the instruction of ‘simply rest’. I needed to rest, go to the spa, relax, take it easy, etc.…While that sounds great, to me it meant a certain death. I had been traveling nonstop for many years and most of our income came from the offerings while on ministry journeys overseas. Stopping to travel for one solid year, together with a move to Eilat and all the expenses that it entails, meant a true financial challenge that we were not ready for. However Careful Obedience demanded a response, and our response was to go and to rest.
“So, you shall observe to do just as YHVH your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left. “You shall walk in all the way which YHVH your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33 STB
Beloved, whether the instruction of YHVH for you is to go or stay, to do or to rest, you’d better carefully obey. I have heard in the Spirit this word: Irrelevant. People that do not carefully obey what the Spirit says become irrelevant and unusable in this End Time Move of God. In order to be relevant and to be positioned in the right place at this very sensitive time, we must be careful to HEAR and DO what He says. The Virtue of Careful Obedience has to be restored. It was exactly that which caused Abraham (the Father of our Faith) and, of course, Yeshua our Messiah, to fulfill their Calling and to possess the Promises.
“Because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.” Genesis 26:5
It is Careful Obedience that causes us to be whole and healthy. This includes obedience in the nutritional arena and the dietary laws, as well as in the attitude of our hearts. Bitterness, unforgiveness, offenses, jealousy, rebellion, and other attitudes that nurse grudges can end our life earlier or can cause us to live with sickness. The Promise of YHVH is health and healing for obedience.
“And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of YHVH your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, YHVH, am your healer.” Exodus 15:26 STB
For the most part, Careful Obedience is an affront to our logic and comfort zone. It grows us in the spirit. It deepens our relationship with the Father and it matures us. Obedience to Yah purifies the soul!
“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22
Careful Obedience must be applied in families between children and parents, so that it will go well with them. There is a lot of carelessness in relationships today and Elohim said, “Children obey your parents”.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
As a wife I know that I am co-heir to the gift of life with my husband Rabbi Baruch. Despite having the position of President of the Ministry, I am very careful when my husband is not in agreement with me. I do not move until he blesses me. I always ask him for his blessing on everything! I realize that I have to be careful to honor his position even if I am in ministry leadership. We may differ about some things, but before I move, I want his blessing. The same should happen in the relationship between pastors and their members. Careful Obedience must be applied at all times and, if there is no agreement, then a humble request for release is needed. Most people do not take the words of their pastors seriously. Careful Obedience demands a listening ear and an attitude of great honor and respect.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17
It is the Fear of YHVH that leads us to that place of obedience, which is necessary in order to stay on target. The Fear of YHVH will cause me to forgive the unforgivable, to go or to rest, and to be careful with the attitudes of my heart. We need to be very careful not to allow our flesh to take over our reactions these days – and seek to keep our hearts very humble and pliable at all times. We are living in a period between Judgment and Revival, and we must be sensitive to the voice and wind of the Spirit.
“For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
It is that Careful Obedience that causes us to be victorious against all our enemies and it positions us in the right place and at the right time to inherit God’s promises in our lives.
“You should diligently keep the commandments of YHVH your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you and you shall do what is right and good in the sight of YHVH, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which YHVH swore to your fathers, to cast out all your enemies from before you, as YHVH has spoken..” Deuteronomy 6:17-19 STB
When He says, “Go”, then go. When He says, “Stop”, then stop. And remember that there is one thing that He will never do; He demands us to follow Him on this:
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning… On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent You who remind YHVH, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Isaiah 62:1, 6-7
We pray that each one of you will Carefully Obey his commandment concerning the Restoration of Israel. This Careful Obedience will release the miraculous realm in your life like never before!
“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the YHVH your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, YHVH your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. “All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey YHVH your God.” Deuteronomy 28:1-2 STB
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