Intimacy with Yeshua is Death to Self

Intimacy with Yeshua is Death to “Self”


Intimacy with Yeshua is Death to Self
Torah Portion Shelach– Bamidbar (Numbers) 13:1-15:41. Haftarah: Josh. 2:1-24

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Shabbat shalom, dearly beloved!

I did not plan to write on this topic, but the Holy Spirit commanded me to do so. When I say “commanded,” I mean He “nudged me,” but for me, every prompting of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is a command. Most people relate to the Spirit’s promptings and light whispers so lightly that they can never develop true intimacy with Yeshua. Then they wonder what He is saying to them and why it is that they do not know what their purpose is in the Kingdom. Every time the Holy Spirit prompts me, impresses upon my heart, or whispers into my being something to say or do for Him, it encroaches upon my plans, my timings, and my ideas or opinions. In other words, listening to the Holy Spirit demands self-denial and surrender.

Intimacy with Yeshua is only developed by carefully listening and obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and they are very surprising and challenging.

When I say, “surprising and challenging,” I do not mean that they always cause one to suffer, though often it does, as death to “self” can come through suffering. Yeshua, too, learned obedience by the things that He suffered. Sometimes the Spirit prompts us to do enjoyable things for ourselves, like shopping or going to the spa, and sometimes the Spirit leads us to do wonderful things for others. Nevertheless, it is always something we did not think about!

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27

When I was freshly married and ordained to the Ministry, the Ruach (Spirit) gave me a dream. In that dream, I had another haircut (my hair was long and quite old-fashioned at that time) and a much more modern frame in my eyeglasses. I was very surprised when I woke up to the clear realization that my Abba was “styling me” Himself! I promptly went to the hairdresser, who cut my hair in the exact shape I saw in that dream. I know that “hair” doesn’t seem to be such an important thing, but when you lose it or when it does not look nice, you realize that YHVH gave us hair for a purpose, and what a blessing this has been. The Holy Spirit style of hairdo that He gave me is so easy to keep looking good that I did not need to visit the hair salon too frequently, despite my many ministry trips. He thinks about everything!

Intimacy with Yeshua means that He has access to every area of my life, hair included.

You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:14

Every time I ignored a “prompting” or disregarded it because of insecurity, fear, or laziness, I ended in the “ditch” or distress, missing something, or making mistakes. I always regretted it terribly when I was dull to Yah’s promptings.

I noticed that people ignore His whispers when it is “importune” (would “mess up” our plans altogether) or when it seems trifle or non-important. But when the Holy Spirit impresses us to do or say something, it is never “trivial.” It is always important, and it always makes a huge difference.

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13

Many years ago, I was leading a meeting in our home in the Mountains of Jerusalem. It was a prophetic meeting, and I was training this particular group of believers to move in the Prophetic Gifts as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. Everyone was encouraged to stir up their spirits by praying in the Spirit (in tongues – see Jude 20) to build up their faith and listen to the Holy Spirit. Then each one had to bless their appointed partner-brother or sister with a Prophetic Word. Everyone seemed to be flowing wonderfully! But then I saw a lady that was doing nothing. I asked her about this, and she said, “I get nothing from the Lord to say!” I told her that I didn’t believe it! From my experience, YHVH is always ready to speak something to His Creation. In fact, He starts the whole Bible with “Elohim said….”

Then Elohim said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Genesis 1:3

And ever since He is still speaking. He is always looking for a channel through whom He can speak. And at one time, when there were no people available, He had to use a donkey!

And YHVH opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” Numbers 22:28

Intimacy with Yeshua is Death to Self

I told the sister, “You surely have one word in your spirit?” She said, “But it is nothing; it does not mean anything!” I said, “Go ahead and give it!” She looked at her partner in this Prophetic Exercise and said, “POPCORN!”. Well, the moment her partner heard the word “popcorn,” she broke out weeping. The Holy Spirit immediately gave her revelation that her gifts and dreams had been dry like popcorn, but soon, with hot oil (anointing!) of the Holy Spirit, they would break open and come to fruition! The word “popcorn” triggered in her this powerful and encouraging revelation.

Now, this sister is in Heaven with Yeshua. She is probably smiling from the Cloud of Witnesses for this one seemingly insignificant word, “popcorn,” in a seemingly non-important meeting in the Mountains of Jerusalem accompanied her for many years to come – and encouraged her in her earthly walk.

Never, never disregard ANY word, small or big, that the Holy Spirit impresses upon you.

But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:2b

Of course, there are other times when the words spoken by the Spirit may make tremendous demands on your life. Such was the instruction that I received from the Holy Spirit at the start of my walk with Him. I was a few months old in the faith when the Ruach sent me to the UK. When I was staying with some precious pastors there, YHVH visited me and changed the course of my life and the lives of many thousands forever!

I was still very wounded from the ravages of sin and personal family tragedy. My two beautiful children of the tender age of 18 months and five years were not in my custody after a painful divorce. My heart was broken for my children, and yet I could not have them. While in the UK, I worked as a nanny and was great at it as I gave the other people’s children what I would have given to mine that were far from me in Israel. The time in the UK was a time of deep discipleship and personal restoration. Our wise Elohim knew exactly what I needed. Then one day, He surprised me with a most uncommon demand.

I was listening to a tape by a very well-known Bible Teacher and lover of Israel by the name of Derek Prince. He was preaching about Apostolic Ministry and being “sent out.” Then He gave an altar call asking who was willing to be “Sent Out” and to “Go” for the Kingdom. My heart was making flip-flops! I had been thinking lately that I would like to go to Bible School and serve Yeshua full time, but it did not look possible. It was a dream that I forced myself to die to. Then when this preacher gave the altar call, I wanted to jump and say, “HINENI!” (Here I am!) like Isaiah. I felt the Spirit pressing me to stand, but my thoughts were arguing, “How can I answer such a Call, and what does it all mean? Will I ever be able to see my children if I am ‘sent out’?”

So, for the sake of some sort of motherhood (even if a visiting mother, at this point), I decided to deny the promptings of the Spirit and not to stand up before the tape recorder and the teaching tape. I stayed seated! However, I felt like I was going to die! I was grief-stricken. I had grieved the Holy Spirit!

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

I realized that I had sinned and begged Him to forgive me for putting motherhood and my children above Him and His High Calling. I begged Him to give me a second chance! I rewound the tape and listened to the altar call again. This time I jumped promptly to my feet and said, “HINENI, I will GO – I will be sent out!”

Indeed, Apostolic Ministry has demanded everything from me, and I often could not see my children for long periods of time – one time for over three years! The price was high, and it still is, but Yeshua is all that matters. At the end of the day, only that obedience born of intimacy with Him really bears fruit! Many thousands have been and are being touched daily all over the world since I said “YES!” to the Spirit concerning Apostolic Ministry. Many have been saved, healed, delivered, and discipled, and they, in turn, are blessing others.

Intimacy with Yeshua is Death to Self

Whenever the Holy Spirit tells us to do something for the King against all odds, it will bear Eternal Fruit. Sometimes you will only know much later, or in Heaven, how effective your service to Yeshua was, but never doubt its effectiveness and importance.

What originates with Him always succeeds if we are faithful to keep walking in intimacy and obeying His promptings for a lifetime.

He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. Revelation 2:26

About a month earlier than my UK experience, on the other side of the globe in Israel, the conference took place in Jerusalem where Derek Prince preached this message that was challenging me. A handsome man by the name of Baruch Bierman was in attendance, prompted by the same Holy Spirit, and also answered the call to be sent out to the nations. About a year later, Rabbi Baruch and I were married, having answered the same Call with the same message and preacher without knowing about each other! Yah does all things PERFECTLY!

For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

It is never too late to start. Even the “smallest” of Calls makes a GREAT difference. Not everyone is called as an Apostle or to be a leader in a ministry. Some are called to SUPPORT a Ministry or a Minister. But every gift and call that originates from YHVH is urgently needed to advance His Kingdom. He gave me a second chance to answer His Call; maybe you need one too? If so, go before Him today and ask Him to forgive you for considering your plans, circumstances, needs, or loved ones above His Call and for giving Him excuses. Then go ahead and present yourself before Him.

Answer the Call and keep on answering as you obey even the lightest promptings of the Holy Spirit! Your life and the world will never be the same after you DO.

Do not quench the Spirit’s Fire” 1 Thessalonians 5:19

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