In the previous Installment, I shared a dream and prayers that occurred during Chanukah. In this Installment, I will share some prayers and events from the remainder of Chanukah.
On December 2, 2013 as Chanukah Day Five was coming to a close I engaged in interactive prayer. I was led to not use my tallit but to give a blessing that I had given previously. I began: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos who shines into the dark places. The Divine responded:
True. Absolutely true. And good, and appropriate for this time of season. Give a blessing to Yeshua.
I then gave: Blessed are you Yeshua my Master, who gave himself for me.
Later in my prayer, the Divine added:
…nothing like a little pressure, you do work best under some pressure, forces you to focus, determination.
That is not necessarily something that I am ready to admit about myself, but things like deadlines have a way of bringing me into focus, allowing me to concentrate on the task(s) at hand.
The Divine ended the prayer:
…enjoy your night, this night the beginning of day six; tomorrow rest, then renewal. Watch. You’ll see.
I find that to be an interesting thought. I was ending Day Five, Day Six was beginning. But to see that we have to go back to Genesis 1 where the Days are described as: evening and morning making the day. I have written elsewhere that according to Genesis 1 days are not calculated midnight to midnight or sunrise to sunrise. Instead, Genesis renders day as evening to evening, where the day begins at evening, moves through morning, then a new day beginning at evening.
So there it was, the Divine confirming the Genesis time frame, and then the Divine made a reference to Day Seven being a day of rest. Then Day Eight begins, the Divine called it a renewal, because on Day Eight, Chanukah concludes, but it is also the first day following the numeric count of seven which aligns with a numeric value of days contained in one week. So Chanukah spans one full week of days, and then begins the next week, with the new week being “renewed” as Chanukah closes. Symbolically, it is very interesting.
On December 3, 2013, I participated in interactive prayer, as Day Six of Chanukah was closing. I was led to use my tallit, but not give a blessing. I began: Hello Father. Thank you for being here with me. The Divine responded, in part:
Look to me always.
I replied: In what regard? The Divine answered, in part:
…in learning who you are, you need to be aware that I am your only strength and power to prevail. Understand?
I answered: yes.
But that is an interesting thought. We, as believers, teach each other that God is our strength and that we can do all things through Jesus who strengthen us. But, you want to know something? The behavior of most Christians does not show that. We believe in our abilities to plan, schedule, and scheme.
Let’s just be honest with ourselves. We do those things, otherwise we wouldn’t save for retirement, pay for insurance, and the list goes on. We tell ourselves it is wise living.
But, you want to know something? Millions of Christians around the globe and throughout the centuries, never having such experiences, have demonstrated their faith looking to God to provide and give them strength. The way we, as believers, engage our lives is what makes it so difficult for Westernized Christians who live in modern culture to demonstrate an active faith in God, because we, a group of believers, have demonstrated active faith in our own abilities.
I know I have previously shown that, but I am NOT trying to show that now. Who holds my future? My Sovereign. What does that mean for my finances in my “retirement” years? I will see. Is that unwise? To some, they will give a resounding yes. But I know where my faith is, and it’s not in a financial advisor or the prospective future of the marketplace.
After my answer, the Divine continued:
Now listen, shema
The English word “listen” and the Hebrew word shema (H8085) mean the same thing: listen. Both words go beyond the concept of “hear”. One can “hear” something and not listen. Listening is not only for the purpose of “hearing” but listening is also for the purpose of understanding, and then not just understanding but applying what one has heard.
To illustrate the difference, a mother listens for her infant’s cry in order to attend to the child’s need. But customers in the market place can “hear” the same infant’s cry and pay no attention to the child. That is because they are not “listening” to hear and then attend to the child.
So listening conveys a much deeper concept than hearing, and thus the Divine wants me to pay attention to what is being conveyed, in order to attend to it, understand it, and apply it.
The Divine conveyed thoughts about being led by the Spirit and then added:
Welcome my son, welcome to your life.
So I am to pay attention, I have arrived at my life. At the time, I am not sure I wanted to fully understand, and I feel certain I didn’t fully pay attention in order to listen. But now, I am definitely trying to better give my attention in order to listen. The Divine added:
It is one of wonderment, true wonderment, turmoil, but what does not have turmoil?
For me, those are still generalisms. I am not arguing with the statement, but wonderment, means amazement and astonishment and awe, having surprise. Has my life had that? Since that Chanukah day in 2013, I will say yes, but it is a reserved yes, my life, from that day until this, has been relatively docile, even though it has had its moments of turmoil.
With that in mind, I take it to mean that the wonderment is still in my future. I look forward to experiencing it, for it seems that it will truly be something worth sharing.
Later in the prayer the Divine shared:
Today is rest. Tomorrow is not. Today begins rest, and rests, no other day works as such. A high ‘Sabbath’ I think not, but a Sabbath unrecognized.
So that is something I have had to pay attention to. Recall that I said that I was engaging in interactive prayer as the Chanukah Day Six was coming to a close. This means that as the day was transitioning into Day Seven, the Divine recognized it as a day of rest, a Sabbath, and declared that this Sabbath has gone unrecognized.
The best I can currently offer is that Chanukah will have a regular weekly Sabbath occur within the eight days, for it seems impossible for it not to. But it seems possible that Chanukah could experience two weekly Sabbaths, depending on when Chanukah begins. These Sabbaths are almost universally recognized.
What the Divine seems to be indicating is that the count of Chanukah itself is to have a rest on Day Seven of Chanukah, irrespective of the number of weekly Sabbaths the Chanukah season might experience. That is a tremendous thought that needs to be heard, listened to, “shema-ed” if one will.
After that information about Sabbath, the Divine added:
[S]he is ready and willing and willing to go the distance. She will walk cautiously, then run into his arms, and that will be all she wrote. …involving two from two.
All I can say is that is not exactly what I was looking for, but the Divine did say “welcome to your life” so I suppose my life involves this type of information. It made me uncomfortable, but such is my life I suppose. I have written previously (Installment 75) that I was made aware of things that would affect me.
To what the Divine conveyed, I said: Does that mean she and the child? The Divine responded:
Yes. She and the child.
My life meant that I had to work through it. So be it. Here’s what I know, according to the Divine in this prayer, I can’t get to where I am supposed to go without some turmoil. The Divine then added:
Are you ready? You are, because I am helping, trust this.
At the time, I wasn’t ready. I was working to process the whole thought that God was guiding me, then coming to terms with the concept of having two wives, then coming to terms that having two wives would include being a father to a child.
That may not sound horrific to some, but to me, it was the most challenging aspect of my life. I walked away from a religion that didn’t believe in God actively leading, to believe in God actively leading, and living my life accordingly. If that had been the only thing those around me had experienced, that would have been enough.
But then it didn’t end there. I shared that God was leading me to a life with two wives. Some around me have had a difficult time coming to terms with that and don’t believe me, or don’t believe it’s Scriptural, or have some other type of difficulty with it.
But to add another challenge was that the woman that the Divine refers to as Rachel will become part of my family and so will her child. For many around me, triple-whammy.
But for me, I have to keep the perspective that God is my strength and gives me the strength to move forward. Uneasy? Sure, but good will come from this, I am certain of it.
On December 4, 2013, as Chanukah Day Seven was closing, I participated in interactive prayer. I was led to understand that I did not need my tallit. I asked: Do I not need to give a blessing? The Divine responded:
Not necessary. Rest, remember?
Recall that the Divine spoke about Chanukah Day Seven being a Sabbath.
After the Divine conveyed that, I continued: I’m here father. Then added: How are Mary, your daughter Esther, and I doing? The Divine responded:
For your first observance of Chanukah not too bad. Next year will be much different.
That was the first time we truly set aside the eight days of Chanukah and considered its importance. One of the things I try to do is that during special occasions like this, or other specified days, I try to establish a focal point of prayer. Since that first Chanukah, things have changed, not dramatically, but learning as we go.
I asked: Have we missed doing anything for you regarding this path? The Divine responded, in part:
Yes. But not to worry.
That is quite helpful actually. It gives comfort that a believer can “mess up” and still be acceptable, in the sense that the Divine doesn’t worry about our missteps quite as much as we think. In essence, it is comparable to the parent who overlooks the missteps of their child because the child is doing their best to grow and mature. How is that not a blessing?
Later in the prayer, the Divine added:
The real thing is that you and she are beginning to really trust me, that is what counts.
Is that not exactly what we as believers teach ourselves? But the reality is that when our experience of “trusting God” goes at odds with the expectations and experiences of other Christians, the trust in God is automatically suspect. That’s a shame really. But it has been my experience. Yet, I continue forward.
Then the Divine continued:
Your trust, collective and individual, trust matters, trust is all that matters really, for out of that trust flows love, without trust there is no love, but there is no love without trust…
Is that not the very essence of marital relationship, the more trust there is the more love there is, and such is true of the inverse. If I only emphasize one thing, the Divine is looking for trust. And if I can be so bold, trust triumphs obedience and trust triumphs mercy, for without trust, neither of the others can be truly accomplished.
Later I asked: Anything else you would like to tell me? The Divine responded:
You need rest, you don’t rest because you are worried. Seek me first and my commandments and I will give you everything you need.
Reassurance is important, but so is the direct answer. It is a continual effort to seek the Divine and to seek the commandments of the Divine, but in doing that I have learned that I have better rest, my concerns are lessened, because the Divine does provide.
In that prayer, regarding trust, I asked: What do I need to do? The Divine answered:
Read my text. Always read my text. You do not always read my text.
Through the course of the prayer, I inquired about the text, and was led to understand that it is the Scriptures, its entirety, from the Torah (which is also called the Pentateuch) to the New Testament. Since then, I have been giving better efforts to study that text, my publishings on my website FaithandConviction.org demonstrate that.
On December 5, 2013 was Chanukah Day Eight and I participated in interactive prayer. I was led to understand that I needed to use my tallit, remove my shoes, and that I did not need to offer a blessing. I began: I am here Father. Irritated, sorry. The Divine responded:
Irritations come and go It is what you do with what irritates you that defines you.
Some comfort and reassurance, but also guidance.
Later in the prayer, I asked: Why am I so irritated? The Divine responded:
You tell me.
As I write this, I have no clue what was irritating me, I can say that at the time I did, but not now. But even if I know what is irritating me, I was hoping for the Divine to add something to it, but instead the Divine responded in the above fashion. Really? That response led me to respond: I think I will just let [the irritation] go. The Divine’s response?
Fine, do as you wish.
Again that is not what I was expecting. If there is anything that I have come to appreciate about all this experience is that the Divine does not meet my expectations. There is guidance, reassurance, but it frequently does not occur in a manner that matches what I would anticipate. Yet, my life, my disposition, my spirituality have all improved for the better.
My first experience with Chanukah proved to be quite interesting. Life from that season has improved, become more calm, and more restful.
My life has not yet taken the turn to find this Rachel, but I can say that I do look forward to meeting her.
Blessings and Shalom