How are your days of Unleavened Bread going for you?
As I write this, we’re coming near the end of the 7 days of Unleavened Bread. In a previous blog, I asked “what’s your focus” as you deleaven? I hope you’ll read that one too. It’s amazing how many things have leaven in them – even Grape nuts cereal, and some flat breads that LOOK unleavened, often are not. So often sins in our lives don’t seem all that bad, but are!
But our focus should not be so much on the leaven as much as on what we’re replacing it with represents – Yeshua! Focus on his life, his sinless life, his perfection as we eat unleavened bread, as we eat of him these 7 days.
In this blog, I ask “How are you doing with not eating leaven” during these 7 days? Probably most of you who keep it (few do any more it seems) have faithfully avoided breads, pastas, crackers, cakes, muffins and the like. But again, let’s focus MORE on HIM. As we eat UNLEAVENED bread, remember Christ is the one who washed away all our sins (pictured by leaven) in his blood. I can’t really deleaven my own life. I can’t. I need HIM to, and that’s why we are eating unleavened bread. And now we eat of him, as John 6 says. Be sure to study that chapter if you haven’t in a while. Remember that John 6 was spoken just before Passover (John 6:4).
The only way we can have a 100% sinless “deleavened” life is by faith in his washing away of our sins. We cannot – I repeat, cannot – get all the leaven out of our lives ourselves. Even physically -- in the end, there’s leaven somewhere that we’ve missed -- perhaps deep inside a couch, or behind the back car seats, or in our air ducts or even in the sink drain’s “elbow”! Leaven spores are even in the air. In the end, though we fight sin, in the end we have to trust Christ’s life over us and in us and for us – as the unleavened, sinless life we must have.
Have you noticed also how leaven can sometimes be staring you in the face and somehow you’ve missed it? Oh no, you forgot to replace and throw out the vacuum cleaner bag, or to clean the toaster. So obvious, but sometimes we miss it. As we live in a deleavened home these 7 days, remember there may be some huge sins we’re allowing in our lives.
Some focus SO much on the physical leaven they forget the very POINT of this feast: Don’t focus on the sin, but on the One who removes our sin! Christ is our unleavened bread, HE is the one who deleavened us by washing away ALL our sins in his blood, and HE is the one who should be living obediently in us now, if we have surrendered to God and accepted Yeshua as our LORD and MASTER.
So just as leaven can sometimes be staring us in the face – but it remains in our freezer or cupboard, so can obvious sin be lurking in our lives.
Click on “Continue reading” to find ways we may be allowing obvious sins in our lives.
Gossip is a common sin. I believe just about all of us do it to one degree or another. Have you ever listened in to a group of women (or men) at Starbucks or in any private setting and listened to what they’re talking about? SO often it’s about how Janey did this or said that and how she’s such a problem and irresponsible. Even as couples walk by our property – I can often hear what they’re talking about. It’s often negative gossip. But now, we’re watching our tongue more and letting our words be seasoned with grace and kindness as we learn ever more about Yeshua and focus on HIM this week and forevermore. Throw gossiping OUT!
Worry – another big sin, as it is lack of faith in God. Focus on Messiah – who loves you and will take care of his beloved – you! That’s another sin that can be staring us in the face. Keep it out by focusing on our Savior – not on the problem. Focus on the Giant problem killer – not the giant problem. David did that with Goliath, remember.
Lack of self-control, a fruit of the spirit, can ruin our lives if we don’t ask for this fruit and exercise it. Lack of self-control will evidence itself in sexual sins of all types, including being places or watching things on TV or the internet that we should not be participating in. Or it shows up in eating too much, drinking alcohol to excess, flying off the handle and losing our temper and not being kind to everyone.
Being unkind -- not good. . Someone wrote “Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible”. PONDER that one. Christ is the KIND one. Focus on HIM. He can give you self-control as a part of the fruit of his nature, his spirit, his way. So kindness is another fruit of God’s spirit. I apply these to myself too. I need to watch to keep that awful leaven of unkindness out of my life. IF I’m really letting Christ’s mind be in me, guess what? I will be kind. If I’m being unkind, guess what? I’m not at that moment letting Christ rule my life, be Lord of my life, at all!
So there may be sins we’ve been letting “sit there” in our lives and this week we’re reminded to ask Christ to forgive and wash those away and to live more powerfully in us.
There could be many more. How do you keep the sabbath time holy -- or do we routinely break the sabbath by buying things on the sabbath, conducting business, thinking about work, or other careless habits? Maybe you even find yourself still working after sundown of the 6th day. Time to throw that sin out! Christ is our REST. Focus on HIM and he’ll teach you to make the Sabbath a joy. I like to keep this day of rest as my appointment with my Beloved. Now we really KEEP and even guard this holy time and we’re ready for the sabbath.
Coveting: now there’s a big, big sin that probably is in all our lives to one extent or another. Are we feeling discontent with the job we have – instead of grateful for having a job? Or are we unhappy to have a roof over our heads? Do you pine away for the day you’ll have better clothes? Paul said, “Having food and raiment, with such be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). Is that describing you and me? I have a ways to go. In fact, he said in whatever state he found himself, he had learned to be content (Phil 4:11). That’s from a man whom God allowed to be stoned, beaten, jailed, left for dead, shipwrecked, persecuted – and much more. Do we covet someone else’s home, car, wife, husband, lifestyle, income or whatever? Now be honest with yourself. Focus on the end of our salvation and the eternity we will have with indescribable possessions and share what you have now.
Telling the truth. Always, all the time. Or are we slipping here? Focus on the simplicity we have in Christ as we eat plain, flat, uninflated bread and let your words always be 100% true.
One big, big thing we need to put out: spiritual lethargy. Being lukewarm. We’ve lost our first love. We’re not excited about things of God much anymore, if we’re honest. We need to throw lethargy out, repent of being lukewarm, repent of being Laodicean and ask Christ to infuse us with his zeal and spiritual energy.
Again, instead of feeling so good that we have avoided breads and leavens this week, let’s focus on Yeshua and ask him to keep our lives clean of sin, and to break the back of age-old sins we’ve allowed to set up shop in our lives.
I’ll say again: we’re not condemned. As Messiah said to the woman caught in adultery, he first said “Neither do I condemn you”. That was the starting point. In the power of knowing you’re not condemned, you and I can more easily fulfill the 2nd thing he said to her – “now go and sin no more”. In Christ, knowing you’re not condemned anymore for repented-of sins, we can more easily obey and “sin no more”. That story is in John 8:1-12.
But, and HE knew it, we all will still slip into sins. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. That woman may not have committed adultery again, but she certainly would have sinned again – some kind of sin. As you also would have done eventually. We all slip into sin. But we have a Master who teaches us that we are to forgive, even if a brother comes 7 times in one day asking for forgiveness for yet another trespass against us. He taught that, because that’s what HE does. He forgives, when we repent.
So this week, focus on Yeshua. That’s number one. Then focus on the spiritual lessons and be sure you carry the lessons from this week throughout the rest of the year. Let’s make 2017 be a year of change, of overcoming and of letting Christ reign in our lives. And oh, by the way, all of this applies to me too. I have to learn to focus on Messiah all the time too.