In today’s daily encouragement we refer to one of the great prayers of the great Apostle Paul, from Ephesians chapter 3.
He prays for the church out of his pastor’s heart, that they would know the love of God and become lost in the depth and height and width and breadth of that wonderful all-consuming love.
How often do we use this prayer to pray for ourselves? Or for others? There are amazing keys in praying this prayer. The fullness of God can only come as we are filled with His love, with for us, and then through us. There is no fullness outside of love, because God is love.
We are going through an unprecedented global ‘time’ of pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Additionally as a church we are also in a ‘time’ of fasting and prayer. Both of these ‘times’ are significant and require us as Christians to become more aligned with Heaven’s purposes.
Paul tells us in Eph. 5:15-17 to be discerning and not unwise, and to redeem – to buy back – the times. Redemption in the New Testament is a concept from the slave markets of the day, where a person captured and brought into slavery could be bought with the purpose of then setting them free. Jesus has redeemed us from sin. We were all slaves to sin, but through His death on the cross He paid the price to set us free.
But here he talks of redeeming our times. The word used for time is “kairos” and it means a specific time or opportunity. The amazing thing is that we have been given the authority, through seeking God, to buy back key moments and opportunities. Our times – even in this difficult season we find ourselves in – can be submitted to God and His loving hands, and they can be redeemed so that something profitable comes out of them.
As we move on our journey from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur to Sukkot in Heaven’s calendar for earth, we are come to Israel being reminded to recall the faithfulness of God in bringing them safely through the wilderness, as He led them in the pillar of fire and cloud.
The faithfulness of God is all over our lives. He has led us this far.
The people dwelling in temporary shelters for this Feast, also points us to the fact that as Christians we are in a temporary dwelling place here on earth. Heaven is our true home. Heaven is our eternal and lasting home. We have no lasting house here. We have one in the heavens which is being built for us by Jesus Himself, Who has gone ahead of us.
Tune in to today’s encouragement for day 6 of our fasting period.
Today we begin our Autumn Fasting and Prayer in Golden Valley Church.
It’s not a coincidence that we are beginning our season on the Jewish and Biblical “Day of Atonement” [Yom Kippur].
Yom Kippur in the Old Testament was the day when the High Priest entered into the Holiest Place to make atonement for the whole nation. Today it is still the holiest day of all in the Jewish calendar.
We also believe these days to be highly significant as they are part of Heaven’s calendar for the earth. Although as Christians we believe that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Day of Atonement in the sense that He was both the sacrifice and the High Priest, and that He opened up the heavenly Holy of Holies for us to enter boldly through His blood, it is still highly profitable to make specific and special time to draw near to Him on this day.
Yom Kippur ends 10 days of soul searching, repentance, forgiveness, and cultivating the fear of the Lord. Of course, in one sense we should do this all the time, however, it’s expedient and powerful for us align with heaven’s dates and seasons.
Let’s approach the Throne of Grace – the Mercy Seat – with boldness and confidence, and yet with deep humility, repentance, and awe. I believe God will meet us as we do, in this fast time.