Rabbi Yochanan Hammond, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
WORDS OF WISDOM.
Chapter Twenty Six.
WORDS OF WISDOM.
Chapter Twenty Six.
From the Desk of Rabbi Yochanan Hammond
As we continue on in our journey of life, we have a constant need to be reminded of the dangers associated with the “importance of self”. The biggest stumbling block we have in our lives is actually ourselves. Our relationship with HaShem is according to our relationship with “self”. There are many warnings given that should cause us to review our “self-importance”.
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgements and His statutes which I command you today, lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver, and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which yours fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end – then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’” Deuteronomy 8:11-17 [NKJB]
Arriving at the point whereby we appreciate that all that we have or in fact don’t have is according to the will of HaShem. When we have abundance, then we are in danger of forgetting HaShem and becoming consumed with our “self-importance”. For most, the more we have the more we want. Not only that but we do begin to believe that, “my power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth”. This sets us at odds with HaShem, where we put ourselves above the might of HaShem. Foolish, but true!
If we are in a position of abundance, then we begin to gather and strive for “things” that we desire taking our eyes completely off the “things” HaShem wants for His Children. In most cases the “things” we desire are not the “things” HaShem would be pleased for us to have.
What is intriguing in all this; is the fact that when we have abundance, we often see this as due to our own might. Yet when we have lost all or have little we often blame HaShem. There is a remedy for those of us who find ourselves in such a position.
“O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.” 1 Chronicles 29:16 [NKJV]
It is imperative that we understand that ALL comes via the “Hand” of HaShem. He created us, and therefore He has the right to mould us into the very vessels He chooses. This can be a hard fact to swallow, especially when we have a high dose of “self-importance”. Pride and arrogance are the building blocks of “self-importance”. It would be fair to say that Cain, Korah, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, Nadab, Abihu, Judas Iscariot, Demas and Alexander the coppersmith were consumed with a large dose of “self-importance”. HaSatan of course is the embodiment of “self-importance”. A verse in Proverbs gives great instruction in this area.
“My child, pay attention to me, let your eyes take pleasure in my way:” Proverbs 23:26 [NJB]
By paying attention to the Torah, we quickly find ourselves being drawn to the beauty of HaShem and HaMoshiach Yeshua through Torah. This is the way of HaShem, the Holy One of Israel, blessed be His name. Sin lies at our door ever waiting for us to invite “him” in. Without the holy Torah we lack the necessary tools to employ in keeping the enemy of sin from entering our doors. Sin is a master at playing the “self-importance” card. We fall for the deceit and the bluff associated with such a move. Whilst we often believe [foolishly] that we hold all the cards, the fact of the matter is that we not only have a poor hand, but we underestimate the cards sin holds. This is a monumental mistake and it can cost us dearly. Fortunately for the Children of Israel, we have the support of One who owns all the cards and deals them according to His purposes, and make no mistake HaShem never loses a game. HaShem has a set of rules that He plays by, and all who want to be on the winning side must adopt these same rules. Of course, these rules are to be found in Torah. Every time we play a game and neglect the Torah or reject the Torah, we will surely lose the game.
Prayer keeps us in communication with our heavenly Father, our Moshiach Yeshua, and allows the Ruach HaKodesh to oversee our every move. It is impossible for a Child of HaShem to engage in sin when they are engaged in heavenly prayer. Heavenly prayer not only keeps us connected to HaShem, but it also keeps us connected to Torah.
I once read a quote that said; “The best way to break a habit is to drop it.” This truth then brings us face to face with a choice! Which habit do you want to drop? Is it the habit of prayer or the habit of sin? HaSatan would have us drop the habit of prayer, and he has a tool box full of gadgets to achieve this. If we are engaged in sin, then you can be sure we have dropped the habit of prayer and broken our “Royal Telephone” to HaShem.
Living a life on this earth, [as it is] devoid of sin, is impossible. Only One has achieved this, Yeshua HaMoshiach. None the less this should not deter us from trying and employing all the tools at our disposal to achieve such a goal. With the help of our Father, Yeshua HaMoshiach, Ruach HaKodesh and Torah we can confidently pursue this wonderful goal. In doing this, I encourage you not to compare yourself with others, but look for personal improvements in the shedding of sin. Most of us will have “good” days and “bad” days, but we must continue the struggle. HaShem will make the final judgement, not other people, so we need to be on side with HaShem first and foremost. Yet in saying this it would be irresponsible for me not to encourage people to look for a friend and a mentor who can help in this difficult journey. This is not an easy task, and the enemy has plenty of people willing to pose as angels of light, when in fact they are messengers of darkness. A foolish person spends their days self-absorbed in their own importance opening the door for sin to enter. A Child of HaShem spends their days in constant prayer, talking to Him as a friend and mentor, closing the door to sin.
Let us finish this chapter with the following words the Master spoke to the assembly in Laodicea, an assembly many believe describe today’s assemblies.
“Write to the angel of the assembly in Laodicea and say, “Here is the message of the Amen, the trustworthy, the true witness, the Principle of God’s creation: I know about your activities; how you are neither cold not hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say to yourself: I am rich, I have made a fortune and have everything I want, never realising that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor, and blind and naked too. I warn you, buy from me gold that has been tested in the fire to make you truly rich, and white robes to clothe you and hide your shameful nakedness, and ointment to put on your eyes to enable you to see. I reprove and train those whom I love: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share a meal at that person’s side. Anyone who proves victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I have myself overcome and have taken my seat with my Father on His throne. Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies.” Revelation 3:14-22 [NJB]
It would be extremely foolish to ignore this word of the Master, as recorded by Yochanan. Let us be constantly in prayer, with the joy of embracing the Torah in our hearts. This will please our Father, Yeshua HaMoshiach and Ruach HaKodesh.
May the grace, love and wisdom of HaShem and Yeshua HaMoshiach be with you!