“There are 70 faces to Torah; turn it over and turn it over for everything is found in it.” -Num.R. 13:15)
“An individual is obligated to conduct himself as if he himself had just gone out of Egypt . . . as if you yourself were enslaved, and you went out to freedom and were redeemed.” – Rambam
Why is it that so many of Yeshua’s disciples, whether they call themselves Messianics or Christians, are so weak in fighting the true battle, “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies” (Eph. 6:12)? Why don’t we see the gifts of the Spirit move as they did in the days of Yeshua’s Apostles? Why, indeed, is true faith in retreat in the Western world today?
There’s an old quip, “It took God only forty days to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took Him forty years to get Egypt out of Israel.” What was true for our fathers (whether spiritual or physical) in coming out of Egypt is also true for the individual coming out of slavery to the world.
Therefore we have been buried with [Messiah] through ritual immersion into death, so that as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in His Resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that w3e would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Rom. 6:4-7)
There’s a subtle antithesis built into the above passage, with that which is already fulfilled juxtaposed against that which might be fulfilled:
- “As Messiah was raised from the dead” so that we “might walk in newness of life.”
- “Our old self was crucified with Him” so that “our body of sin might be done away with.”
The Resurrection of Yeshua and the crucifixion of our old nature are a given, but walking in the newness of life and the doing away of our body of sin are given in the subjunctive mood; that is, they may come to pass or they may not. And for all too many of Yeshua’s disciples, it never does.
Over the last several months, the Holy One has been bringing me through the final stages of a years-long journey to walk in the newness of life and do away with the body of sin. No, I’m not claiming to be perfect now. My wife will attest to that. Rather, I’ve simply reached the point of putting away certain sins of rebellion that were short-circuiting my prayer life and my spiritual walk on a semi-regular to regular basis.
As I’ve drawn closer to this point, the Spirit started to show me how my own personal journey mirrored that of Israel in the Torah. Like Israel, I was brought out of bondage and to the Mountain of God to learn His ways. Like Israel, I was then brought up from that place of learning to go to war with “giants in the land.” And like Israel, I stumbled, faltered, and rebelled. And like Israel, the Holy One has led me through a great wilderness, teaching me to depend solely on Him while the old generation / self was put to death and a new generation / self was raised up to go on to fight the wars of the Lord.
If our battle against the forces of the Adversary in the world seems so fruitless and defeating, perhaps it is because we have not yet come through the wilderness purified for our task. Sadly, most in this world never turn the “might be” into a reality, never come out of the wilderness to do battle, and remain in spiritual exile their entire lives. Over the next several weeks or months, I’m going to show how all of us become “little Israels” in preparation for the true battles that lie before us.