20th of Iyar
Today May 25, the 20th of Iyar, is the day in biblical history where the glory started to move after the children at Israel rested and set up the tabernacle on their journey outside of Egypt. This happened a year after The Ten Commandments were given.
They resumed their journey when the pillar of cloud rose for the first time from over the tabernacle -the divine sign that would signal the resumption of their travels throughout their encampments and journeys over the next 38 years, until they reached the eastern bank of the Jordan River on the eve of their entry into the Holy Land.
In Exodus 40:36 says that,
“Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out “but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.”
Notice the children of Israel did not move until God moved. This is a lesson for us to be mindful when God is moving or directing, we must be sensitive to His moving. Let’s not limit the movement of God to moving in a church service. God is active all day and everyday throughout our lives. Follow when He is leading you from your job. Follow when he is leading you to a new city. Follow when He is leading you read a certain chapter in the Bible. Follow when is He leading you to pray. Follow when He is leading you to intercede on someone’s behalf.
It’s time to move and to be in sync with the move of God. You never know when it’s time to close down shop and move when God has moved.
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.
The tension of transition
When you’re in between seasons: you see the new but waiting to be released from the old.
You must remain faithful and finish up your last season rather than jumping prematurely to the new season.
You will begin to experience a mind (paradigm) shift and you are no longer ok doing things like you used to and your point of view is changing.
You may feel weird and sometimes even confrontational because you are no longer comfortable in where you are.
Nothing makes sense… but all you have is faith
You have to be ok when in the old place the people are progressing in their own way but God is telling you to stand still and prepare… it’s not time yet.
Being by yourself in this between season is precious because this is when God is downloading and prepping you for the new.
People won’t understand what you’re prepping for so you cannot tell everyone what God is doing.
Find your network of wise counsel. Trust me… they are out there.
Stay focus and dedicated in the time of transition. You will get frustrated but don’t give up. Things won’t make sense and you must lean on The Father.
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?
Seasons come and seasons go. Some seasons can be tough and others can be beautiful. The key to seasonal shifts in life is to embrace and learn about them. Seasons come and go in life to constantly progress or move us into new levels and phases. How do you respond to life changes? Last time I talked about how God forewarns us when the seasons are changing in our lives. But are we sensitive to the transitions? Do we take heed of the warnings?
Growing up in school I was the biggest procrastinator when it came to studying and school work. I was on honor roll but I knew that I could have done better in many of my classes. In my first year of college, I realized that I could no longer wait to study and do assignments. Especially in accounting. After closely failing accounting one, I realized that I had to change my way of studying for test and doing assignments. I actually started reading assignments ahead of time, asking questions, and making sure that I was ready for the test. So when the test came, I scored in the top percentage of my class. I went from an “D” to an “A”. Why? Because I prepared myself and realized the mistakes I was making. I had a choice to either stay in the cycle or go and put forth the effort.
When you take to time to study, ask questions, observant of things around you, and praying all the time, you are more prepared to handle life situations. Many of us have a habit of waiting while we are in the turmoil to pray rather than praying and preparing ahead of time. God speaks and He speaks a lot. He loves His children so much that He has the best motives and thoughts for us. The next time you feel in a place where you cannot discern the seasons or understanding what is going on in your life, stop and pray. Ask for guidance and direction. Then the season will start to make sense. You will pass the test with flying colors!!
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. In order to turn man from his deed, And conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, And his life from perishing by the sword.- Job 33:15-18