Reflections on the Fall Feasts:
Are You Dressed?by Dan Stolebarger, Director of Koinonia Institute
The following are some of my reflections concerning the observance of the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), the ten days of affliction (or awe) and Yom Kippur. For me, this was a rather intense time.
It’s funny that when you ask God to reveal the things in your life that are not pleasing to Him, He takes you rather seriously! The so-called ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur were indeed days of affliction for me. God used this time to show me some things about myself that I’m sure neither of us were happy with!
Throughout this time I was very aware of the “once and for all” sacrifice that Jesus accomplished at Calvary, as well as the fact that the curtain that kept the Holy of Holies separate had been torn from top to bottom, and that I, because of what Jesus had accomplished, was welcome in that most sacred of places as long as I had HIS blood as an atonement for my sin.
However, there is something about the Jewish Feasts that resonates in my inner self! I like the fact that the ten days were days of preparation for a NEW Year. Contrast that with the party-like atmosphere of what we call New Year’s Eve! I feel better about this kind of preparation. But when Yom Kippur was over, I felt somewhat naked and I felt that the Lord told me that it was now time to get dressed for the New Year, but before I could start putting on some things, I had to first take one last opportunity to take some things off. What was I to take off?
Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say.
...that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.
And maybe this last one is just for me…I am sure my wife would give a hearty AMEN to this one!
...if I say, “I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile,”
Well, let’s take a moment to reflect. Let’s ask God to help us rid ourselves of the Old Man. Have you ever noticed how often that old man (or woman) wants to be resurrected? Every day that hand comes out of the grave and pleads with us to let him live again!
Specifically, the Word tells us to put off anger; not just the outward behavior but the inner anger that seethes and often produces that root of bitterness that gnaws away at our very soul! Wrath, malice and filthy language must go also.
But what about blasphemy? What does that look like? I know that this sometimes can be seen as a high and lofty religious word, but doesn’t it really mean to disrespect God? And if that is the case, how do we, as professing Christians disrespect God? (I think I will let you answer that one for yourself.)
But here’s a hint: For me it has to do with priorities. I disrespect Him when I minimize the things that He deems important. And what is that, you ask? That is for you to find out because God is a God of individuals and what God deems important to me may not even be on His list of ten for you.
Far be it for me to end this article leaving you naked! Now that we have taken everything off … what should we put on?
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
...and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
...and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
[Character of the New Man] Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Friends, here are the garments that God has for us. How often do we need to get dressed? I think you know the answer-EVERY MORNING!
Take the time to get dressed today with some of the above and have a great day with Jesus! Shalom!