I awoke suddenly. The digital alarm clock read 11:38. Was I having a dream? No, I could not recall anything from a dream. Then, what was this aching grief in my heart? My heart felt so heavy that I desperately cried out in the night, "Father, what is it?" Silence. A deepening of the grief. Then tears - a cascade of tears - silently falling across my face and melting on my shoulders. By now John was awakened. "Has something happened?" I asked in a barely audible voice. He told me nothing had happened. Yet I knew there was a foreboding in my spirit and the tears would not stop.
When morning came, sunlight blissfully streaming through my window, I could hear the school busses passing by and I knew it was just another day with children going to school, parents going to work, and birds chirping gaily in my back yard. But the ache was still there. So I began to pray, "Lord, I take authority over this feeling of deep grief and pain." In the quiet of my kitchen the Lord answered me, "You do not need to take authority over it. It is a burden of grief that I am asking you to bear for My people in the days ahead. Stand in the gap for them."
Instantly I understood. The last time the Lord asked me to bear a burden of grief and intercession for His people was five years ago. I did not understand the burden, even as I do not fully understand it now; but it came into full view the day I arrived in Jerusalem and the Jews were expelled from their own homes in the Gaza. As in the days of the Holocaust, they were being dragged from their homes and left to fend for themselves and their children on the streets. My grief was in full force that day, and through tears and prayer I tried to help carry theirs.
What is just ahead, that I should be bearing a burden again? Perhaps it is related to the season we are in - a time when the Jewish people have suffered wars, persecution and much devastaion. It is a time so holy that Satan's rage is always stirred up against God's people. Yom Kippur -the holiest day of God's calendar - will descend upon us when the sun goes down this Friday evening. As Aaron, the High Priest of ancient Israel, entered the Holy of Holies with a sacrifice to make atonement for himself, his family, the tabernacle, and all Israel - so Yeshua, our High Priest, presented His blood to Yahweh to make atonement for all His children.
It is good for us to take some time before Yom Kippur to ask the Lord to examine our hearts and minds, exposing the dark places. Yes, it is true that Yeshua made an atonement by His blood offering once and for all - but should we not continue to offer Him our sacrifices of repentance, turning from the ways we have disobeyed and ignored Him and His commands? Yes, I believe we should. As individuals, as spouses, as families, and as a nation, I believe we should. Our tears of repentance, our willingness to intercede for our Jewish brothers and sisters, and our teshuva (return) to the LORD, our Great High Priest, will produce lasting fruit in the Kingdom.
"How much more then will the blood of Messiah, who through the Ruach L'Olam (Eternal Spirit) offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the Living Elohim!" (Hebrews 9:14)
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