Developing Character with the Festivals of the Lord

» Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Developing Character with the Festivals of the Lord

The Festivals of the Lord, which are referred to in scripture as God’s appointed times (the word in Hebrew is moedim), are both personal and prophetic in nature, developing character within us as we practice them. In the end of the third chapter of Ephesians, Paul prays,

That [God] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Messiah which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Messiah Yeshua to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

–Ephesians 3:16-21

Shofars are blown on Yom Teruah 99 times, September 2013.

Shofars are blown on Yom Teruah 99 times, September 2013.

Paul desires that Messiah may dwell in our hearts through faith, and that being rooted and grounded in love, we may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the…

  • breadth
  • length
  • height
  • depth

…of the love of God so that we may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

How is that even possible?

The festivals of the Lord, or God’s appointed times, help us to see how God takes us deeper, higher, wider, and nearer into relationship with Him, developing character in us so that we may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

2013-09-13 20.14.27

Program used for the service of Yom Kippur, September 2013.

These festivals are simply:

  • Sabbath
  • Passover
  • Shavuot/Pentecost
  • Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kippur
  • Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles
  • Yom Shemini/the Eighth Day

Each festival represents a step in our spiritual walk with God, and also has past, present, and future significance in prophetic understanding of God’s creation and timeline, or the work He is doing on this earth. Just as God takes a break every Sabbath to rest and join with us in celebration, He does the same on all of these other feast days. His plan is to continue celebrating these particular days throughout eternity. We are simply practicing them now in this physical realm in preparation for the time when we will literally be in His presence.

Attending a Yom Kippur service, September 2013.

Attending a Yom Kippur service, September 2013.

As we journey through the year, each festival, or holy day, provides opportunity to reflect on its significance in our life, developing character in each of us as we consider its meaning, reflect on the growth in our lives since the last we celebrated that particular festival, and how it plays out in history.

For example, the weekly festival of Sabbath is illustrative of God’s covenant with His people, and gives us the opportunity to rest in Him. We know that in Genesis 2:2, God rested from all His works on the seventh day. In Hebrews, the author reflects on this idea, stating:

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. –Hebrews 4:9-10

Therefore, as we keep the Sabbath, we enter into God’s rest, resting from our works, as God did from His. Personally, I find this practice of resting every seventh day very restful, resulting in restoration, and the ability to have a fresh start, beginning again on the first day of the week, which can also be considered the eighth day.

The Aaronic benediction is said at the end of every Sabbath service.

The Aaronic benediction is said at the end of every Sabbath service.

The number eight is the number for eternity. As there are seven days in the week, earth is experiencing seven millennia, and at the beginning of the eighth millennium will be the beginning of eternity. God makes no mistakes. He sets everything up very precisely, stacking one upon the other, deeper, higher, wider, and larger than we can imagine, building our capacity to experience the love of God little by little until it is “pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”

How is it possible for Him to do abundantly beyond all that we ask or think?

Because His riches in glory include these festivals, the gathering together of His people to worship and praise His name.

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