Have you been looking for a sign???

How many times have you cried out to the Father for direction or an answer. In the midst of a storm or chaos, we cry out to Abba, many times for Him to simply give us a sign that He is still there, that He is listening. It seems many are those dry seasons where our valleys are deep, the air is silent, we have no direction, we seek and speak to the Father however, all we hear are crickets…and all we want is for Him to make His presence known and to remind us that we are still His, that His hand is still upon us. Those times can be some of the loneliest, most frustrating, empty and anxious times that we walk through. Many of us become desperate, taking matters into our own hands…HOPING that at some point…Abba will step in and move.

All we are asking for…..is a sign….

Through studying the weekly Torah portions, recently digging into the episode of the golden calf, the Father began walking me through some of my own scenarios that are not too much unlike those of the Hebrew children. You see….for so long we have taken this golden calf incident and began throwing stones at the Hebrews. What in the world would cause them to do such a thing? How evil were they to turn their backs on God. How could they forget all that they had been delivered from and go to that extreme level of forming an idol? They must not have loved Him as much as they “proclaimed”….the list goes on.

HOWEVER, we must (as we should do will ALL scripture) put what is going on into context, into perspective. Put yourself in THEIR shoes, understand WHO is a part of the equation, understand their culture and remember their experiences. Sooo, let’s go back.

The Hebrew children along with the mixed multitude had experienced plague after plague. What we have to remember is that they had been living in Egypt for hundreds of years. Picture the generations upon generations that lived and died, the whole time becoming more and more assimilated into Egypt and the people living there. It had become a part of their every day lives. They probably formed relationships with the Egyptians. For some, their children might have played together, some may even had married the Egyptians. So with each plague that went through, they watched places they used to go, people they had befriended, their neighbors animals and lively hoods be destroyed. Yes, they knew the reason for the plagues and that they were chosen for the Father’s master plan, however, they were human, they had emotions. So I have to believe, they still felt guilt, pain, and  sorrow for their loved ones. As Noah before them, I am sure many of them pleaded for their friends and family to follow them. Traditions tell us that there were only around 20% of the Hebrews that actually left. Many studies I read said that one reason they left in such a hurry was so that the ones who DID leave were not given time to begin second guessing and end up staying behind. So you can imagine…yes they were excited and ready for freedom and a new life…yet the pain and sorrow they felt of leaving family, friends, and their comfort behind was very real.

Fast forward through the many miracles they experienced as Pharaoh chased after them, the miracle of the manna that was supplied for them to eat, the many times they ran to Mosheh (Moses) for wisdom and direction on what the next step was to be. Now they are at Mt. Sinai and after hearing the commandments, the Torah given straight from the Father, asked Mosheh to go up and speak to God for them. THEY created a mediator between them and the Father, something which God had never wanted in the first place.

So Mosheh is up on Mt. Sinai, speaking with the Father, and the people begin to grow concerned by his delayed return. One study I read was that they actually had miscalculated the days of his return and that is what caused them to act. So, they go to Aaron for help, he tells them what to do, and the golden calf incident takes place. There is SO MUCH more happening here, and MUCH more study as to WHY Aaron would follow through with this…but that is another blog.

This is where many of us have gotten all high and mighty. We would NEVER do that, we would NEVER disobey God to the point of creating an idol to worship. But wait….let’s back up a moment. Let’s back up to the very beginning and put ourselves in their shoes.

Like them…many of us have had to leave our comfort zones. We have many family and friends that may not be living for God, and no matter how much we try to warn them…they refuse to follow the Messiah. Many of us have stepped into a new season the Father has called us to, having to change lifestyles, jobs, family, friends…..causing us to shed everything that defined us as US, all stepping out in faith that the Father has something bigger for us to do and be a part of.

Then….life begins to hit. You see…we were told when you begin to follow the Father…he will answer your prayers, give you the desires of your heart, and be your everything. Which is true….HOWEVER….#1 those come with requirements of following His commands…and #2 a life walking with the Father is NOT without hardships and sacrifices. So when life begins to rain down, when the storm begins to rage, the winds begin to blow, and our feet get knocked out from under us…we begin to doubt.  The Hebrew children had experienced miracle after miracle and yet, they still struggled with faith and doubt. How many times have we gone to the Father about a problem…needed help in finances, a loved one that was sick and needed healing, farmers needed rain for their crops to grow? The Father comes our rescue, providing the much needed rain, we are blessed with extra finances by an unknown source, our sick family or friend begins to make a full recovery from their illness and we praise Him for all that he is…for a while. Then life hits again…and even though (like the Hebrews) we saw and experienced those miracles…we too begin to doubt.

That seems to be the times where our dry seasons begin, where we hear no answers and feel like our prayers are hitting a brick wall. So like the Hebrew children with the golden calf….we get desperate…needing to KNOW that someone is hearing our pleas. You see, they weren’t forming an idol to worship instead of God. They had JUST come out of Egypt and therefore, in fear and desperation, were falling back on all that they knew. They thought that Mosheh was dead and were trying to create (as only they knew how) another “mediator” to go before the Father on their behalf. Were they in the wrong? Most definitely and they were severely punished for it. However, how much have we done the same? We search and seek out the Father…we pray and get restless. So instead of having faith and believing that the Father has this….we seek out a friend, we seek out a pastor, an evangelist, a “prophet” to give us the answers we need. We spend time and money flocking to conferences in hopes of being told the direction we need to take. Now…I am not saying that seeking your pastor or a wise friend for guidance is taboo, however, when you begin to go to them first before seeking out the Father time after time, when you begin to put the “pastor’s words” above anything and everything else, not checking them with the Word, and setting him up on a pedestal…THAT is where we get off track and are acting no better than the Hebrew children.

You see….the Father knew what was happening with the Hebrew children. He KNEW they were going to get anxious, that they were going to need a “sign” to not only remind them of who they were and whose they were, but also something to remind them that He was close. So he gives Mosheh instructions to give to them tangible reassurance of His presence and our relationship with Him. The last instruction He  gave Mosheh, before He descended with the tablets was to tell Israel that they “must keep My Sabbaths, for this is a sign between Me and you throughout the ages, that you may know that I the Lord have consecrated you.”  God called the Shabbat (the seventh day Sabbath) a sign of the relationship between Himself and Israel. Because of Yeshua, we have been grafted into Israel, so this promise, this “sign” is for us as well. However….WE have to observe it. We have to set it apart and make it as special and significant as HE does.

From personal experience, there is just SOMETHING about setting apart the Shabbat. Now I am not going to get into a debate on “when the Sabbath really is”.  The Father rested on the SEVENTH day. Yeshua observed the SEVENTH DAY Sabbath. Yeshua DID NOT come and die to change the sabbath day…period. That out of the way, when you begin to spend time with the Father, studying His instructions, seeking Him out on the day that HE scheduled to meet with us……WOW. That will be all “the sign” that you need. When you begin to follow His instructions and observe the Sabbath day as HE intended, life may not get easier, difficulties will not stop from coming, storms will still rage from time to time…BUT you will begin to deal with them differently. There will be a peace that comes over you like never before, your head will become more clear and wisdom will begin to spill forth. You will begin to feel more fulfilled and more prepared for WHEN the storms come rather than trying to play catch up when they hit.

So my encouragement…take the step…if you are looking for “the sign” to get you through this next “plague”, this next “dessert”, don’t make the mistake that our ancestors did. Don’t be hasty. Don’t take matters into your own hands. Don’t seek out a person to be your mediator. You have already been given a sign. Observe the Sabbath, seek the Father and spend time with Him on THE DAY that HE has ALREADY set apart and made Kadosh (holy). Come together with fellow believers, as we are commanded, and dig out/wrestle with the Scriptures together.  Celebrate the Sabbath when and how the FATHER said, this in turn will set YOU apart…as His child.