As many of you know, we are in the middle of a 40 day fast to prepare for Rosh Hashanah and the new year of 5772 / 2012. Many people have asked me why we fast, what do we hope to do?
Well, on God’s timetable, we are in the season of Teshuvah. This started at sundown on 30 August when we entered the Jewish month of Elul. The month of Elul is a 30 day period during which all Jews do teshuvah or repentance. They are preparing for the New Year or Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) which falls on 29 and 30 September this year.
OK – so the Jews do that, but why is this important for us? Because Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets is one of the feasts of the Lord that are detailed in Leviticus 23. Leviticus 23: 4 says “ These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.” Please note that scripture calls them the feasts of the LORD and not the feasts of the Jewish people. The scripture goes on to explain each of the feasts and repeatedly tells us “…It shall be a statute forever, in all your dwellings and throughout your generations” (Leviticus 23:14, 21, 31, 41 emphasis added) This means that we are to observe these feasts forever, which includes the year 2011.
This does not mean that we now need to become Jewish and observe the laws of the feasts, but rather it sheds light on the timetable that God works with. God has certain seasons where He has appointments with His people. As Christians we want to align with God’s times and seasons and their prophetic significance today. (Apostle Natasha has done many teachings on this subject so I will not go into too much detail here.)
Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets is one of those times. The Jews understand that it is the day that the gates of heaven open and the court is seated (Daniel 7:9 and Revelation 4:1). At Rosh Hashanah, God looks at the book which has been written about our lives and our nations and He does an “assessment”. How are we doing according to what He has called us for? Have we been faithful to hear and obey him over the last year? Have we done the things He asked us to do? Then a judgement is made as to whether we will be promoted or demoted for the next year. Will we go around the same mountain or will we qualify for a new dimension and a new rank?
The greeting that the Jews use at this time is, “May your name be written in the book for life!” They understand that they must repent so they can be found in the book of life. This is not a salvation issue, it is one of qualifying to a new place in God. It is a very serious time!
The season of Teshuvah, the 30 days before Rosh Hashanah, is then the season in which we prepare for this appointment with God. Teshuvah is about repenting and turning from our wicked ways. It is a time to repent through every sin and wrong attitude. It is the time to apply the blood of Jesus to our lives and re-align ourselves with the perfect will of God. In this time the Jews will repent for every pencil they stole from their workplace. They repent for every wrong thought they had towards a neighbour. No sin is too small to be left unrepented of. The rabbis even believe that if we repent correctly during this time, we can regain missed destiny. Mistakes and consequences of bad decisions can be reversed and brought back into God’s original plan for your life through repentance during Teshuvah. I quote form one of the rabbis, “Teshuvah: the source of our capacity to reclaim deficiencies of the past as fuel and momentum for the attainment of new, unprecedented heights.”
This is quite an awesome statement! The bottom line is that we want to be aligned with God’s calendar – if He has a meeting planned, I want to be on time for it. This is why I am fasting and repenting through my stuff. I want to move forward in my walk with Jesus and not stagnate in cycles of sin. What about you?