Parsha Vaetchanan: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11, Isaiah 40:1-26, Mark 12:28-34

To our 9:00 am Shabbat Ark of Prayer and the Mishpacha within,

This week’s parsha is Vaetchanan: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11, Isaiah 40:1-26, Mark 12:28-34

Vaetchanan is Hebrew for “and I pleaded”. As a Messianic G-d follower, it is very uncomfortable to say that before I understood and followed the Biblical principles of recovery as they related to my compulsive eating, pleading directly with G-d to remove my compulsions was not sufficient. Although I was and am a very strong and knowledgeable Believer, what I had was not sufficient to correct my character defects through prayer and “giving it to the L-rd”.

In retrospect, I now realize what I wanted was to have my troubles removed without changing how I related to the world or to G-d. What G-d wanted was for me to change so I could relate to the world and to Him differently.

In the parsha, we see G-d, through Moses, telling the Israelites to do the decrees, regulations and commands that G-d has taught them and the wonderful rewards they will receive if they do so. He also tells them of the terrible consequences if they do not.

G-d provided the guidelines for acquiring a life that is full of contentment, fulfillment and peace resulting in a more intimate, alive connection with Him. But the price of this life and this connection is to daily act on these decrees, regulations and commands. They and we cannot have such a life if we are not willing to do the activity. At least that is how it works with me.

As an example, I cannot have this promised life if I am filled with resentment and jealously (do not covet). I cannot stop my resentment and jealously unless I seek after G-d (no other god but Me, do not worship an idol, observe Shabbat). I cannot understand how to seek after G-d unless someone shows me how and I am also filled with His Spirit so I can receive the Spirit’s guidance and power as well.

So for me, my journey towards a life of contentment, fulfillment and peace started with relationships with people who G-d had filled with Himself which resulted in contentment, fulfillment and peace in their life.

I believe my ability to become more whole is directly related to the quality of my spiritual fitness, the quality of my relationships and my willingness to take action to “do the right thing”.

As the Israelites needed their priests, prophets and one another, I need people in my life to help me because I sometimes fail to recognize my true enemies; I get into unhealthy relationships and activities that can destroy me. My friends notice, when I may not, when I start to head for the cliff.

To have a healthy relationship with G-d and others, I must clear out the obstacles in my life of pride, addiction, hypocrisy, greed (covetousness), fear and unrighteous anger, to name only a few. As I have dealt with these using G-d’s help and yours, I have become freer to become the person G-d wants me to be.

I hope any of you that are able, will join the 9:00 am Shabbat Teva Tefillah. We pray for the Temple, for Israel and our government.

Blessings to you and yours. May this week be G-d filled and peaceful within the storm.

Your brother in Yeshua in the TEVA TEFILLAH,


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