Iyar is the second month on the Jewish calendar counting from Nissan. This is the time the Jews prepared themselves to receive the Torah and the counting up to Pentecost. This is a time of self-reflecting and self-refining on our lives’ journey.
Iyar is connected with the tribe of Issachar. Issachar is a scholarly tribe that knows and understand the seasons and times. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 says that,
“ Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.”
To understand Iyar, we can look at what happened to Israel coming out of Egypt. Nisan, the first month, was the month of leaving Egypt; and Sivan, the third month was the month they arrived in Sinai and Torah was given. So Iyar is a month of transition. During the second month, the Israelites were traveling from one place to another. God’s people were transitioning to a new level in their relationship with Him. When Israel passed out of Egypt, they knew they were God’s people, but they didn’t know much about God. During this time, God began to reveal His covenant secrets to them. The month of Iyar is associated with the Hebrew letter VAV, which pictures “connection, and linking. You need to see how you are to connect this month so you can determine your course during the year. There are certain time frames within which you need to respond in order to see how to advance forward into the next season. During this month, this is the time to receive wisdom and understanding for the next move of God.
In Exodus 17:16 says that,
“The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”
In the month of Iyar, that is when Amalek attacked. Throughout history many wars occurred during the month of Iyar. From rockets in Gaza and the attacks on Israel today, we are under attack. Both physically and spiritually.
In Numbers 1:1-3 says that,
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.“
I was in a prayer service in the beginning of May which would be the 3 of Iyar. I am starting the become familiar with the times and during service, the Lord led to me to read a passage from the book “The Art of War”. I was led to a passage in the book about what one should do in the time of peace or laying low. This is the time to re-strategize and be ready for what is coming to us. Even if we are a season of peace, it is just for a little while.
Notice in Numbers 1, they strategize and counted those who were ready to go to war. Before going to war, one must survey the land to know the conditions of the land. Here is a passage from the book that really hit home for me:
The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions
obtaining in the field. (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
- Moral Law: The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
- Heaven: Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.
- Earth: Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.
- The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.
- Method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.
The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:—let such a one be dismissed!
This is a time of re-strategizing and hearing the voice of God clearly. God is shifting us quickly and we must be aware of the times and seasons that we are in. As God’s calendar goes in a circular motion, we are able to follow the events and times to know where we are going.
How to Bounce Back When You Have Crushed Your Own Character
As I am growing to become a better leader, I have been faced with the challenge of restoring the trust and integrity with others due to poor choices that I have made. I believe it is safe to say that we’ve all burned bridges and loss and gain trust with individuals. Whether it be a small issue or a blowout. Trust sometimes can take years to establish but yet trust can be loss within a matter of seconds. How do you come back when you have failed one another? When you have failed your spouse? When you have failed your children?
We have seen it in politics, religious institutions, and even in our homes. We have many people in our lives that we have considered as role-models or even idols have failed us at least once. There are pastors or church leaders who have been caught in unethical situations every year. Because of their mistake, many people have decided that they are not a leader they want to “follow”. But yet we make mistakes all the time in our lives. All of the good the leader have done over the years can be cancelled or forgotten in seconds because of a mistake or failure. The person can ask for forgiveness over and over again. We can ask for forgiveness all day long but that does not equate to restoration of trust? Can the Violation of trust by a self-imposed destruction of the integrity and character cannot be restored merely by forgiveness?
We can ask for forgiveness all day long but that does not equate to restoration of trust?
Trying to Build Up Broken Bridges
One of the the reason why a leader have success is because people trust them. It is not how you move through the English language with finesse or your personality. It was them buying-in or trusting in you. It took the testing of their character and integrity to build trust with others. When one fails, the door of trust is closed. But how is that door opened back up? The door of trust is opened and closed based on both parties. We have a choice whether or not to trust again. The leader have a choice to make themselves trustworthy. One of the keys of reconciliation is to know that works alone will not bring back trust. Talents and gifts are only as safe as your character and integrity. Without both, your works means nothing.
So how does one bounce back when their character was self-destructed? Or how can you restore trust when someone has done you wrong? What do you do when you have lost it all? Your character carries so much weight with where you stand with others. Now I am a Believer of Christ so I am only writing from the tense of having the Word of God as the foundation of morals and beliefs and as an accountability mechanism. The Bible is my final authority. Unbelievers foundation of beliefs is based on other things that are not of God Almighty. So we cannot hold our standards to them. You can always tell in a person of where they lay final authority in. You can always tell how people handle life’s situations whether or not they are rooted and grounded in the Word of God. If someone hurts you, how do you handle it? If you hurt others, how do you reconcile?
If you are a Believer in Christ, your final authority should be the Word of God.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
Because God brought Jesus here on earth to be the vehicle to reconcile God and man, God has commanded us to do the same with one another. With the grace and mercy that God has extended to us when we fall, God expects us to do the same. Loving how God loves us is the toughest thing to accomplish especially if He is not The Lord of your life. The problem is not the failure. The problem is how you deal with the failure. Many leaders do not know how to deal with their own failures and others as well. Pretending that it did not happen does not cancel it. Letting time past does not let it off the hook. The key is reconciliation. We have to be able to face one another and talk things out. After talking things out, we have give each other room for God to come in and handle the rest.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Oh how we love to hold on to accusation and faults of one another and at the same time is it hard to move on when you hurt one another or others hurt you. Colossians 3:13 reminds us that “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave.” The question is what do you do when you have forgiven them? Do you hold it against them? And the answer is no. You are supposed to restore them to the place where they have fallen (Heb. 6). We should always extend the hope of recovery. The enemy wants us to believe that a someone cannot be trusted again or you have to hold reservations towards them. That is not the way of the Kingdom. If our final authority is in the word of God, then we should be able to reconcile our differences.
When we fail one another, the guilt is heavy. I know with me, The Holy Spirit is constantly in teaching mode. He allows me to see when I have done something wrong when handling situations. Whether it is instant or later, I am always corrected. I always say “you cannot trust man”. The better approach is that because we are man, we have to give other believers room to make mistakes and get messy. Also give people time for them to move forward. We all progress and move at various rates. Matthew gives a principle of how to reconcile differences. The key in that scripture is that “if you have won them over” meaning that you all have a chance to talk about it and both have seen where they have fallen and repent, then the relationship is salvageable.
The better approach is that because we are man, we have to give other believers room to make mistakes and get messy. Also give people time for them to move forward. We all progress and move at various rates.
As leaders, we are going to make mistakes, hurt people, or say the wrong thing. The test is the aftermath. Do we go and apologize? Are we so prideful to the point where we do not see our mistakes? Great is the person that can go to the one you have hurt and explain scripturally where they have fallen and what we should do about it. Only under test can your character be proven. You only believe what you believe until you are tested to break it or not. Your convictions are proven by test. Not by pronouncements. What you claim must be tested. Live out what you proclaim.
People are Aware When You Are Shifting
So much to say about shifts and seasons. I want to bring something to your attention that really blessed me.
Lately I have been challenged in my beliefs from the Holy Spirit. I believe that He is revealing to me the true and living God. He’s been doing it for a while, but my daily worship and how I view God are being challenged. I noticed that a certain time of the year, I go through either changes, or some type of event would happen in my life. In this time, I rather stay to myself or not communicate with anyone about it because I fear that they would not understand. I did not know it was occurring the same time each year until this year. I began to look at my life and noticed the trend. So since I have people in my life who I interact with almost on a daily, people would pick up on the change. But I did not want people to know!
I was embarrassed!
It was embarrassing at times because I never know how I would react in certain situations. I was real edgy, sharped tongue, agitated, frustrated… You name it, I was that! In result, people were affected. It is so good to have people around you that understand and encourage you through your shifting rather than using what you are going through as a conversational piece to others.
When you are going through seasonal shifts, it is good to have those around to help you get through your seasons. There are people who are sensitive to shifts and will pray for you to get through. Have people around that can give advice, lend a helping hand, or someone that will let you vent for as long as you need it. The worse thing you can do is go through seasons without support and prayer. There are times that you may feel you are going through your seasons alone, but God said in Isaiah 41:10.
Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
So when you go through your seasons and you see others go through theirs, be sensitive to them. Pray for them. Lend your ear. Understand that we all experience seasons. Let’s pray that we all make it through victoriously!
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.- 2 Corinthians 2:14
Seasonal Shifts: How Do You Respond to Shifts?
We’ve just entered the season of fall and for us in the state of Ohio, it has been very brutal. Year by year you know when seasons will change and the various temperatures you are about to encounter. But sometimes seasons can take you for a ride if you are not prepared for the unexpected. That is how it is when we are going through life. We may see the warnings or are cautious of the signs that a change or a shift is coming, but most of time we do not prepare ourselves enough to handle and expected and the unexpected.
A few years ago, I helped start a church and during this time The Lord told me that I will be shifting seasons quickly so I must prepare myself accordingly. How in the world do you plan for something that you have no idea of what is coming, when it is coming, and how it is coming? Through prayer. Since God knows our beginning from our end and our end from our beginning, He knows exactly the answer to questions we may have concerning shifts in our lives. First we need a road map. We need to understand what is happening during a spiritual seasons of our lives. Once we have a clear understanding of the spiritual seasons, we are then equipped to handle whatever life throws our way. What occurs in the natural, happens in the spiritual. The next entry I will talk about the different seasons.
So when shifts happen in your life, how do you respond? It is like my spirit has a radar when change is going to occur because often I become unease and irritated. I am suddenly, uncomfortable with the mundane or frustrated at the little things that are occurring around me. I block everyone out and I know when it is time to rev up on my prayer life. I often quote the scripture in Job 33 that says:
For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
Walking in Maturity
I believe that God does this for us today. He speaks to us in various ways and He always allow us to know what is going on. But we must be aware of the signs. I was waking up one day and I heard my spirit tell myself to chill out. And that helped me so much. It felt like something in me was coming in alignment with the Spirit of God. It takes maturity to discern what is going on within yourself and in the spirit realm. I am become more sensitive to the voice of God and become more aware of when He is leading and guiding me. I can always tell when the Lord is speaking because what He speaks slows me down and causes me to think on His word. What He says always lines up with His word.
God is constantly leading and guiding us when you decide to allow Him to be The LORD over your life. Sometimes it may feel uncomfortable but then you will realize that it is for the good. Seasons will always shift and change and we must be in tuned with the Holy Spirit to discern the times.
Your Monday shows up when you decide to walk into your Monday!
What a great Monday! I woke up feeling good with no complaints. Even though there are a lot of things going on, I am at peace. When was the last time you were able to say that in the midst of turmoil? Not too long ago I was able to look back at the last few years and was happy at the progress. I have had tough moments but in the tough moments, it increased my faith and strengthened my walk in Christ.
Some people have a hard time facing their Mondays. But I wanted to remind you that you can make your Monday productive and full of life. When I first started Monday’s Life, I was going through a rough time and going around the same toxic circle over and over again. My “Monday” started when I decided to not go around in that ugly cycle ever again! Your Monday can begin too when you decide to step out and make a change.
On Sundays during church, many of us experience an emotional moment where we get empowered to make a change, but the next day, we do not know where to start. The enemy begins to implant thoughts of discouragement and hopelessness. It is important when the word of The Lord (word of knowledge) is released upon your life, you must go into prayer and get wisdom to know what to do next. The goal of the enemy is to discourage and to leave you confused on what to do next. The job of the Holy Spirit is to lead to guide. Pray to God to lead you and to guide you in all truth. He will give you direction on how to start your Monday.
Welcome to your Monday. Welcome to your next season, era, change, and moment. As you shift and transition in life, allow God to be your guide, anchor, counselor, and The Lord over your life.
So last week i talked about the 30 day fast The Lord led me on in the month of July. It was probably one of the hardest fast I have been on because of the tough lesson I had to learn.
I often get asked what kind of fast do I partake in? Do I do the Daniel’s Fast? No food at all? Well, it really depends on what The Lord leads me to do. I’ve done many types of fast, but this time I did what I called a 19:5 fast. I fasted for 19 hours of just water and then had a five hour window to eat. Where did it come from? The Lord! I am still a vegetarian and I recently limited my dairy intake from little to none. It was very tough in the beginning because when the five hour window opened up, I was eating whatever I could find. I began to realize that what I was eating was not good for the body and needed to make wiser decisions since it was the only meal I was able to eat. I started eating a little bit more cleaner and when I had very long days I tried waiting until I got home which made it tougher. But when I began to think that what I am doing is for The Lord, I was able to make it through those long days.
I went through an emotional roller coaster in which I could not really tell anyone about. I was a mess. There were some days The Lord called me to the floor of my prayer room and there were days where i just laid in the bed meditating. During that time, The Lord was teaching me about the doctrine of laying hands and walking in power and authority. I heard so many confirmations from others I encountered throughout the fast and when the power of laying hands broke out in the church, The Lord said, “This is part of the reason I placed you on the fast”. To see the power of God move throughout the house in everyone and not just one moment but a week by week encounter is a sight to see. The fast was not just for me but to pray and help push people into their next phase in their spiritual walk.
In my book, Praying and Fasting: Still an Effective Kingdom Principle, I talk about the power of praying and fasting for others. I still get joy out of fasting and praying. Right when I ended my fast, it seems like the enemy was waiting right there waiting for me. But I was not afraid because I heard the Holy Spirit in the midst of it encouraging and comforting me through it all. As I type, I am in peace. Even when the seas of life are raging around me, I meditate on Psalms 27: 13-14 that says, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
What was my take-away from the fast?
As I mentioned last week, The Lord has been working on my heart. The kingdom is about building a community and loving one another. The Disciples spent just about every waking moment together and we as disciples should do the same. Pray for one another. Talk, teach, and to learn from each other. It is definitely a new place for me but I am coming around.
I am definitely in a season of praying and fasting. It has been very interesting to partake in. Nevertheless, i am grateful The Lord finds me faithful do go through. That encourages me even more to keep pressing and praying. I could not tell you why this mandate is on my life, but I will stay the course. It is not pretty and fun but at the end it is rewarding.