Sunday, March 14, 2010


1 Peter 2:19-25

Good morning everybody, praise the wonderful and glorious name of YAHWEH this morning – YAHWEH of Hosts is His name – He is the EL SHADDAI. You know it is such a great joy and a privilege to be here together, that we may bring to Him, Our Yahweh, from the fruit of our lips, an offering of praise – can you praise Yahweh this morning, HalleluYah! Come on are you awake this morning? Remember it is Yahweh who wakes you up – you are alive today by His grace – give Him praise!
Oh man, you know as we look at the world today we can see a whole bunch of horrible stuff going on and doesn’t it just get to you when lawlessness just increases and you kind of feel like society is just getting worse – biblical moral standards are by no means seen as acceptable – yet from heaven’s viewpoint the earth is full of the glory of Elohim! Can you see that? Let me remind you briefly that Elohimd is Sovereign and He is in control and we need to embrace this truth if we are to live out a wholehearted and devoted life of holy worship unto Yahweh. The battle is ultimately about worship – who are you going to worship – Yahweh or Satan? We want to worship Yahweh, amen! As disciples of Yeshua, we are called to follow Him, to walk as He walked, to be like Him and often I wonder how true that is for us as Christians today. I think that many are playing discipleship as a game, like a board game perhaps – it is fun at the beginning, but then it gets kind of boring and so we don’t finish the game and pack it away for a rainy day! Discipleship is not a game friends – it is life – the life that we have been given, the life that has been paid for in blood – the Blood of Messiah. Discipleship entails walking in our Lord, walking as our Rabbi Yeshua walked, walking in His steps – doing what He did. I wonder if we can truly say that we are constantly walking in His steps – I mean we want to, I know – but are we – that is the question! You know it is easy for us to get stirred up and have our faith stirred up if you will, be it by some sermon we hear or by a book we read, or a song we hear – come on be honest how many of you have been stirred up by a book, a song, a sermon or a movie even? How about the very word of Elohim – daily? Often you may hear the phrase, “wow that was life changing, so powerful, I’ll never be the same!” The kind of response you may get from an experience that touched you in a unique way. But what disturbs me at times is that we can so easily say that something was life changing, yet we don’t change! During my early hours of Thursday morning while spending time reading the Word and praying, this very subject came to my mind and Yahweh showed me something very simply yet so profound that I want to show you before we go into the Word this morning. I have here a glass of water – now let us say for sake of this demonstration that this represents an individual’s life – it is a plain glass of water. Can someone take a sip? Go on taste it – water right? Now let me stir this water up with a spoon. Now can you taste it again? Is it any different? No, it tastes the same – it is water. You see why am I doing this? Well simply this is what Yahweh showed me is happening to many of His children today – they are ‘getting stirred’ be it from a message they heard or whatever stirs them and they say it is life changing, yet all that has happened is that they have been stirred – and they are no better off – they still taste the same! Many today are enjoying the process of getting stirred but there lives aren’t changing and I asked Yahweh why this is and He showed me that we don’t change because we are not walking in His steps! Wow!!! We are transformed and changed (made salty) by the very Word of Elohim (as we hear and have our faith stirred to action and walk out His Word). Now let us take a look at this water again, and I am going to stir it again, but this time I am going to put some salt in it and then stir. Now taste it – how does it taste? Let’s put more salt in and stir again – how does it taste now – salty!!!
What Yahweh showed me was that we are to be the salt and light and we are made salty through His Word and we are not to lose our saltiness or else we are only useful to be thrown out and trampled upon. However the interesting thing to note is that the more salty we become the less likely will we taste nice, as in what the world expects! Many may reject you and persecute you and ridicule you, they may slander you – why – because we are walking in His steps that is why.
My sermon this morning is called, “In His steps”, and that is what I want to look at today – what it means to walk in His steps – becoming like Him! Please turn with me to 1 Peter 2:19-25 (Pray and read) May we be stirred and changed – salted by the very Word of Elohim today that we may taste differently – being salty.

Walk the walk, walk in Yeshua’s steps, Peter tells us we should follow in our Lord’s steps. Whose steps are you following in?
Yeshua didn’t just tell us how to live – He showed us how to live! He left us an example that we should follow. The word used here for example in the Greek is ‘hupagrammon’ and is used only here in the whole N.T. It simply means “a writing copy’ as in an outline or sketch for a painter to fill in, and it also carries the meaning, ‘a pattern for imitation’, like a stencil of sort. The idea illustrated here gives the picture of the way many of us learned to write as children. The teacher would provide a lined paper with a pre-printed example of a character to follow. The closer we matched the example the more accurate were our letters. Here, Peter in the same way is saying that we as disciples of Messiah, talmidim of the Rabbi Yeshua become like our Rabbi as we stay close to and follow His example, and in effect we are to follow in His steps.
In 1896, Charles M. Sheldon wrote a novel called, “In His steps”, and in a nutshell the story is of a preacher who challenged his congregation to commit to a year of total submission of walking in Yeshua’s steps. The challenge was, “to pause before making any decisions and ask, ‘what would Jesus do’, in that situation” and the book goes on to tell of drastic changes that took place in the lives of those who submitted to the challenge. I would like to read a couple of excerpts from the book, In His steps, which you can find on line and read for free. (Read from chapter 1 and chapter 2)
Chapter 1: Tramp speaking to congregation
Chapter 2: Challenge – WWJD
Very inspiring story, very challenging! It was from this book that a group of students took up this challenge and designed the bracelet WWJD which has become a worldwide slogan seen on anything from t-shirts, bumper stickers, books, mugs etc. Now as inspiring as this challenge is, however your life only changed as you walk in His steps and follow Him, if not you may just get stirred and just stay the same!
So what does it really mean to walk in His steps? Let us briefly take a look at a couple of points for us to follow from the example of our Lord:
Well Messiah was the perfect example of patient submission to unjust suffering! He did no retaliate nor did He make any threats! Remember we learnt what patience means – “the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate”! Well Yahweh was the greatest example of patience for us to follow and walk in and He showed us this that we may be able to walk in His steps and do as He did! Just think about it, I mean humanly speaking, what Yeshua went through surely enticed and provoked the need to retaliate – yet He suffered in silence, committing Himself to Elohim!!! We would do well to do the same, amen! No deceit was found in His mouth! He was not dishonest, not misleading, did not trick anybody – He did not fail to fulfil all He was to do – He fulfilled the law and the prophets – He interpreted them that we may walk in His steps being obedient to the Word! He was not false and never cheated. The Scriptures say that whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Yeshua did – how about you? You are hear today and I take it that you claim to live in Him – well are you walking as He did? What deceit comes from your mouth? Hear what the Spirit is saying to us this morning, amen!
Well what were some of the things that Yeshua was committed to? There are many characteristics that marked the life and walk of our Lord, let us look today at 7 of them – and learn what characteristics should mark us as we walk in His steps:
Yahweh prayed and set us great instruction and example of how and what to pray. Yeshua would get up early in the morning and spend time in prayer. He demonstrated intimacy with Elohim the Father by seeking Him continually in prayer. 45 times in the gospels we are told that Yeshua went alone to pray. Listen, every single aspect of His earthly life and ministry was saturated and immersed in prayer with the Father.
Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Yeshua got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Yeshua’s life was surrounded by hordes of people and their needs and ministered around the clock – even on the Sabbath which caused a great stir and still He made time to commune with the Father and concentrate on the Father’s purposes. He always found time and made time to pray. He tells us that He only does what the Father tells Him to!!! How powerful is that – that is representative of the life of a person who is in constant communication with the Father – He did nothing on His own! He spoke to, listened carefully to and faithfully obeyed the Father! How sad it is today that so many have lame excuses why they are not praying, and they rationalise and justify their excuses as well. Guys, we must pray, prayer must top the priority list in our lives – we cannot make it in this world on our own – we need the direction and leading of Elohim. It begins with prayer – Matthew 6:33 – Seek first the kingdom of Elohim and His righteousness - Walking in His steps involves a vibrant, active and fulfilled prayer life – are you walking in His steps? Take the step of prayer and don’t stop!
Yeshua accepted the so called castaways of society, which caused a huge disturbance amoung the religious hypocrites. Our Yahweh accepted all and reached out to all. He did not come for the healthy but the sick, he said that he did not come for the righteous but for the sinner – He came to those who need the acceptance and love of a Loving Saviour. By His acceptance He could show the lost the way to life. Each and every person is valuable and we would do well to remember that before we just right people off because they don’t look like us, or live like we do. We need to learn as we walk in His steps to treat those that are different from us the same kind of love and acceptance that Yeshua gave to those around Him – the same kind of love and acceptance He has shown us.
Yeshua is the healer of broken lives – amen! He provided for people’s physical and spiritual needs. He cast out demons, healed the sick, raised the dead back to life and forgave the sins of the guilty. He showed that Elohim’s power is sufficient to meet every need – and that very same power lives in and through us today! Yeshua had compassion for them, and as we can clearly see from His example compassion leads to action. The definition of compassion is as follows, “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate”. This means that we must be willing enough to get close enough to others in order to understand and be aware of what they are experiencing and be willing to walk with them with the desire to alleviate their distress. Do you show compassion or do you rather ignore the distresses of others because you couldn’t be bothered? When one part suffers the whole body suffers – this is what lacks greatly today – the ability for Christians to walk in His steps – walking in compassion.
4 – TRUTH (He confronted hypocrisy)
Yeshua stood against lifeless religion and He openly confronted the religious hypocrisy that was going on – and this led to huge opposition – I mean somebody standing up for the truth! This ultimately led to His execution! He rebuked those who buried the true heart of Elohim by following in their man made traditions disguised as the truth. He went and cleansed the temple because people were using the Father’s house for their own gain – He turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple which was to be a house of prayer. We are the temple of the Living Elohim – is it a house of prayer or is it being used for personal gain – sometimes I wonder today!!!
Mark 7:4-8 “So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Yeshua, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?” 6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’8 You have let go of the commands of Elohim and are holding on to the traditions of men.”
He boldly stood against those who claimed to be holy but who were rather selfish in all they did. What would our Lord do today if He came today and listened to some of the things that were being taught in His name – traditions that men have brought in? How about the prosperity gospel that has gripped the world over the last 50 or so years, or the name it and claim it slogans? Well so you know what? He is here today – living in and through us by His Holy Spirit – so the question I ask today is are we walking in His steps and confronting hypocrisy – taking a stand for what is right? The problem I think why many struggle with this is simply because they do not know the Word!
To walk in His steps and to take a stand for what is right, requires that we know Him – know the Word.
Yeshua took advantage of every teachable moment – be it to a curious crowd of thousands or to a committed core or even to one on one encounter like Zacchaeus or the woman at the well. He was always helping people discover the Father. And you know even though He was the incarnate Word – that is the Word in the flesh – He often directed people back to the written Word, quoting frequently from the Scriptures, which was the O.T. as we know it today. He was right when He said He came to fulfil the law, for this doesn’t mean finish it or do away with it, but rather interpret it in order that we may understand it fully and be able to walk in it – in other words He came to interpret the Word that we may walk in the Word – he is the Word – He taught how to walk in Him, amen! Now as we walk in His steps this means we too are to teach others. Just because you may not stand in front and speak from a pulpit doesn’t mean you do not have to or cannot teach. He has given us all the commission to make disciples and teach them to obey all he commands. He taught one on one and to thousands. Teaching doesn’t necessarily require an outline and 3 major points – what it requires is being so filled with Elohim’s Word that it naturally overflows from our lives into the lives of others around us!!! James meant this when He said in:
James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Listening only – deceives you into only being stirred and not changed – listening and doing leads to change!
We teach others through our witness, which involves both our words and our actions or works! Are you walking in His steps, teaching as He taught, using every teachable moment. Parents teach you children, disciples of Messiah Yeshua – make disciples and teach them the way! Stand up for truth by knowing the Truth – Knowing Yahweh – Knowing the Word!
Boy serving seems to be hard for many, but let me tell you that service marked the life of Yeshua – He put the needs of others before His own. At the last supper – He didn’t seek to be served – he washed His disciple’s feet!!! His earthly life of service culminated at the cross where He paid for our sins by becoming a sacrifice for us that we may have fellowship with Elohim. He still serves us as He intercedes on our behalf before the Father and will serve us at the great banquet of Yahweh!!! Walking in His steps in the area of servanthood is something all of us must truly embrace with our all – we all must embrace a servant heart. Too many today have simply become accustomed to being served and react like spoilt brats when they don’t get their way – servanthood is a must – He showed us how and now we can walk in His steps and serve, amen! Let me ask you are you serving, if so keep serving, if not start today!
Yeshua always trained and equipped others to carry on His work – He passed the baton on to us. Elohim has given His body apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip the body, yes but what I am talking about here is what I believe is required from every believer. We all have the ability to equip another as we are equipped. Too many Christians today are sadly more interested in just listening to the message than they are in living out the mission of Yahweh Yeshua – to make disciples! Many are not equipping because they simply have not allowed themselves to be equipped. Yeshua took time to equip others and today many need to move from just learning about Yeshua, to learning and living for Yeshua daily. Who are you equipping, are you walking in His steps?

Walking in His steps involves obedience, faith, love and imitation. Yeshua didn’t just simply show us the way to the Father – he became the way to the Father – He didn’t just tell us how to truly live the abundant and full life – He came that we may have it and showed us how to live it Himself. He is our example and so we must strap on the truth to our feet, pick up our cross and walk “In His Steps”. When you say, “I’ll follow Him”, do you mean that you are suffering as the body suffers, rejoicing as the body in honoured, denying yourself, reaching the lost as Yeshua did.

As we draw to a close I want to look at a couple of Scriptures for you to give careful thought to. The first one is Luke 14, turn with me there from verse 25. Look at this verse it says large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and then He goes on to tell them what the cost of being a disciple is. What Yahweh showed me here is that crowds were travelling with Him, but few were following. The same is true today, don’t we see many and I mean many large crowds coming around the Word – how many of those are following Him – walking in His steps? Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Him cannot be His disciple it says in verse 27, which speaks of supreme commitment. Today many do not want to pick up their cross(or stake)and walk in His steps – how about you? In Luke 13 Yeshua tells us that we are to make every effort to enter through the narrow door, as many will try and will not be able to – walking in His steps is a narrow path – no room for compromise! In Luke 9 a man said to the Lord, “I’ll follow you wherever you go”. He told another to follow Him and the man asked if he could first bury his father and the Lord said let the dead bury the dead, but he must rather go and proclaim the kingdom of Elohim. Yeshua said that “no one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of Elohim”. This is Yeshua's words and it carries with it great power – walking in His steps there is no room for compromise or turning back! When Yeshua sent out the 72 He warned them of the wolves out there and that they were not to take purse or bag or sandal; and were not to greet anyone on the road.
To me this speaks of our trust and reliance upon Elohim, not to worry what to eat, what to wear or where to sleep for He knows what we need, but more importantly from this I see something else – as you walk in His steps do not get sidetracked – do not stray from His path and stop along the way.
Are you walking in His steps? Maybe you are, good keep walking, perhaps you used to and got sidetracked, start walking again. I don’t want to challenge you for a year to WWJD, I want to challenge you to a life of DWYD – do what Yeshua did!
Be stirred salty this day and go out there and taste different because you choose to walk in His steps!!!
Let us pray

Monday, March 01, 2010


Sermon preached on 28 February 2010
Genesis 15

Praise the Lord this morning – say with me “hallelujah’, amen! Yes praise the Lord! I was praying with Freddie on Friday morning and I was saying to him that we, as Believer's today, need to learn to praise YHWH. As long as we have breath, we have what it takes to praise Him, amen! Now I know that for many this is not always as easy as it sounds, but hey, nobody said that our walk of faith would be easy! We must learn to praise YHWHand rejoice and even more so when the going gets tough – ok Craig now you’re stretching it – am I? What does James tell us? Let me remind you: James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We want to be in that place where we lack nothing, right! Well it takes perseverance to get there as our faith is tested through the ‘good times’? No through trials of many kinds – so praise YHWH for trials of many kinds… because it is a great opportunity to grow our faith unto maturity! My message this morning is called “Growing our faith unto maturity”, and so as we walk if you will in the footsteps of faith following our Saviour – or our faith walk in Messiah, we can learn great lessons on maturing our faith from Abraham, or Abram as we look at the text today in Genesis 15 when YHWH makes a Covenant with Abram. Let us first pray!!!

Well I am sure that we all know, or rather have heard what faith is, right? Hebrews 11:1 says what? “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

But what is also interesting to note is that faith is ever changing – or rather it should be as you are maturing in YHWH. So the faith you have sitting here today is greater than the faith you had when you first believed – well I am truly hoping that it is – if it is not then what are you doing? Faith is like a muscle – it needs to be exercised. Now the ability to exercise faith and have the faith to exercise your faith is already been given you – did you know that. Romans 12:3 tells us that we should think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, but rather think of ourselves with sober judgement according to the measure of faith Elohim has given us! YHWH has given us all a measure of faith and that faith needs to be exercised to become stronger and bigger! How does this happen best? Through those trials of many kinds, often as YHWH leads us through those difficult places in our lives – He is in fact leading us to grow our faith to maturity! So let us look at Abraham, for to us who believe are children of Abraham, the man of faith – what a title!!! Do you want to be known as a man or woman of faith? Well it will take some growing, amen! As you know Abram left his family and followed YHWH based upon a promise from YHWH – the promise he would receive land and produce heirs – now this took great faith – yet YHWH had even greater tests in store for Abram’s faith! The passage we are looking at today deals with Abram’s faith and we can see how he too moved forward toward maturing in his faith in YHWH. As we read today let us consider how YHWH wants each of us to grow in the faith He has given us – that we may through trials persevere and move on to maturity, day by day, amen! Let’s read, turn with me to Genesis 15.
It is worth noting in this chapter 7 words or phrases that are used for the first time in the Scriptures, phrases that you see repeated frequently in the Scriptures hereafter, and they are: 1 – The Word of YHWH; 2 – Fear not; 3 – Reward; 4 – Heir and inherit or take possession; 5 – Believe; 6 – counted / credited; 7 – Righteousness. What this chapter shows us is that there is:
1 - No heirship without sonship: Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are YHWH’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of YHWH and co-heirs with Messiah, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
2 – No Righteousness without faith: Romans 4:13 “It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”
3 – No assurances without promises
4 – No blessings without suffering – “It had to become dark for Abram to see the stars!” As co heirs with Messiah we too share in His sufferings that we may also share in His glory. Amen!

So Abram looks up at the night sky and sees all these stars – millions – just imagine what Abram saw – wow, as he looked up and saw all these stars that I am sure he couldn’t count, it says he believed YHWH and it was credited to him as righteousness. His faith made him right with YHWH and he could see the promise before Him – He took YHWH at His Word. It could even be translated, “And he said AMEN to YHWH!” How do you take YHWH at His Word – do you Believe YHWH’s Word, period, no doubts? Do you believe His promises and assurances that are all yes and amen in Messiah?

YHWH reaffirms His Word by giving Abram a threefold reminder in:
1 – His Person: Who YHWH is!
He is Yahweh, He is YHWH. It is so sad at times how we can so easily forget who is actually in control of the events of our lives. And it do us good to truly remember that we serve YHWH, the YHWH of Hosts is His name – He is all powerful, He is perceptive – He knows all and HE is ever present – never will leave us. This is the One who gives us life and all His promises. This was the very mighty Elohim who was speaking to Abram and telling him what he will do. When YHWH speaks to you do you know who is speaking? HE is the I AM!!!
2 – His Power!
“Who brought you out…” The Lord reminds Abram it was He who brought Him out and that Abram was where he was that day because of the power of Elohim. YHWH’s arm is not too short, amen! By His power He has delivered you from sin and slavery. You did not lead yourself out – the Lord did – it is YHWH who saves, amen! Where we are, what we do and where we are at are all a product of YHWH's work in our lives. 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of Elohim I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of Elohim that was with me.”
3 – His Plan!
YHWH reminds Abram that he brought him out in order for him to enter in to a new land – YHWH was going to take a childless old man, a pilgrim and make him a father of nations! Let me tell you something, YHWH has great plans for your life. Abram was around 85 years old here, he had been waiting about 10 years for the heir that was promised and would still wait some more, another 15 years before Isaac was born and he died at around 175 years old – he walked by faith for about a century, walking in YHWH’s plans! We must be careful not to hinder YHWH’s plans for our lives through unbelief which will only bring pain and hardship to ourselves – just look at Ishmael – Abram through unbelief thought he could help YHWH out! YHWH has plans for us and we are to be faithful to His Word at all costs – His plan is a good plan, His plans are always right and perfect.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares YHWH, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Do you realise that YHWH’s plan for you is a good plan? YHWH reassured Abram here of who He is – He is YHWH, His power to save and His plan to prosper and protect. This is the almighty Elohim (El Shaddai) we serve, amen!

Now these plans were a challenge to Abram’s faith, for as we know faith is always tested!!! And so Abram asking how he could know he would take possession of the promise was not a sign of unbelief or a lack of faith, but rather asking YHWH to show him a token of assurance, and to give Abram this assurance YHWH cuts covenant with him. Let me remind you today that whenever we may ask our Elohim for a token of assurance, He points to the cross where our Messiah Himself cut covenant and walked the Blood Path and Himself died for our sins to give us an inheritance and assurance of YHWH’s plans for our lives. And in this process there were certain challenges that would face Abram, let us look at what these were:
1 – Challenge of preparation!
YHWH tells Abram to prepare a sacrifice – this event was how covenants or contracts or treaties were made between two parties. They would cut the animals is half and arrange the pieces several feet apart and the blood would flow between the pieces and form what was known as the ‘blood path’. Both parties would then walk through the pieces together walking in the blood declaring their commitment to the contract or covenant, and in a sense saying to each other as blessings and curses were proclaimed, that if one should break the covenant then may they become like one of the sacrificed animals!
Now Abram had to prepare everything – think about it – slaughtering 3 animals, cutting them in half, and killing a dove and a pigeon arranging everything as was needed – this took a lot of effort and hard work on Abram’s part. You see when YHWH makes a requirement of our lives; it often requires us to commit to hard work on our part. The great things of YHWH do not come easy or cheap and they do not come to the lazy! YHWH’s best is reserved for those who are willing to pay the price of discipleship – those who have counted the cost and forsaken all to follow Him. So what is that price? Prayer, walking in holiness, separation from the world, total obedience! There is a challenge for us who believe – and that is to walk in obedience to YHWH’s Word – no matter what it takes! To become a living sacrifice – this is the challenge of preparation – a challenge for us today – to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice that are holy and pleasing to the Lord.
Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of Elohim’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to ELohim - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Elohim’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
2 – Challenge of protection
After Abram had prepared the animals in the prescribed way, he had to fight off the ‘birds of prey’ who were trying to eat and steal away from the carcases that lay slain on the ground. Abraham had to protect the sacrifice. This is very symbolic for us today as it shows that when YHWH begins to move in your life and you walk in total obedience to His Word, His plans as a living sacrifice, you can be sure that evil vultures will come and try to steal away and devour what YHWH is doing in your life. If you do not protect that call on your life, those birds of prey will come and try to steal away your time, your concentration, your commitment to YHWH and His plans for your life. Abram had prepared what was necessary and laboured to keep the birds away, or keep Satan away. It is interesting that in Yeshua's parable of the seeds, He gives reference to seed that fell along the path as the Sower scattered the seeds and says that the birds came and ate it up. He was speaking clearly here as He describes this as the one who when he hears the message of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. If we are to produce a crop that yields more than what has been sown, then our hearts must be prepared – the preparation – and we are to keep the soil of our hearts good, protecting it from the enemy stealing out that which has been sown. You can’t have great character built up and then go hang out with the wrong crowd – bad company corrupts good character! We must daily guard and protect what YHWH wants us to do in our lives, giving no room for compromise or anything that may hinder us from seeing His plans come to pass. – No compromise and fight the good fight of faith and stand, stand and stand!!!
3 – Challenge of patience!
Picture this, Abram’s all ready – he has been faithful to YHWH’s instructions and now he has to wait. Waiting is one of the greatest hindrances to us walking fully in the great and wonderful plans of Elohim! Here he was ready; protecting the sacrifice and now was waiting. We are to make every effort to present ourselves as workmen approved by YHWH:
2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to Elohim as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Abram had certainly done this, and it is at these moments in our lives that we are to faithfully wait on YHWH. As the sun was setting Abram fell asleep and it says a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. He waited so long, exhausted no doubt and fell asleep. It is interesting to note that in the parable of the ten virgins – they all fell asleep, only 5 however were prepared. Abraham was prepared and now asleep! He had to patiently wait on YHWH; we too need to learn that YHWH’s timing is not always our timing!!! Waiting on YHWH is a challenge and we will do well to wait on Him!
So Abram had three challenges here – prepare, protect and patiently wait – we can learn from this – too many today are waiting on YHWH, yet they have not prepared themselves to be living sacrifices and protected YHWH’s Word in their hearts with their all – prepare, protect, wait – then you are ready!!! Are you with me this morning?

It was now that YHWH would come and confirm Abram’s maturing faith in the darkness, where he would reveal the details of His plans and do the necessary requirements in cutting covenant to seal the promise.
Abram was in a deep sleep, and YHWH appeared to him and spoke to him in the darkness. Abraham had done all and now as the sun went down, being tired and weary thinking of what lay ahead fell into a deep sleep where fear had gripped him. How many times have you been in a place where you have been faithful and there comes a point where you begin to be overcome by doubt and darkness, where, how, when, what – starts filling your mind, questioning your faith? Abram did all to stand and YHWH spoke to him in a vision – HE had been brought to a dark time in order to mature his faith. It is in those dark moments where we can learn to trust YHWH more! YHWH allows our faith to be matured in the darkness! Guys like the disciples, Daniel, Noah, Joseph and many others all had to face their darkness to learn that YHWH could handle their situation. We who are saved should not fear the darkness – “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff comfort me”. In those dark moments in our lives YHWH is working out His plan, His perfect will and growing us into maturity! Nobody said that this walk of faith would be easy, but it sure is beneficial, amen!

What is so amazing here is that Abram did not walk through the ‘blood path’ of the covenant, only YHWH did – he came down in fire and passed through alone – and here we see that this covenant was a covenant of grace - a covenant of salvation by grace through faith and not of works of man, which depended solely upon YHWH, who keeps His Word. So just like Adam was asleep when YHWH took a rib from his side to make eve, Abram was asleep and could do noting to ‘help’ YHWH. When we are helpless it is then that YHWH is able to do great things for us, amen!
Abram waited by faith and YHWH was faithful to His promise. Waiting is not simply doing nothing, being lazy! Waiting is the endurance of sacrificial living and fighting the good fight!
Hebrews 6:12 “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
Waiting is allowing YHWH to do what He will do without us trying to do it for Him! Faith is living without scheming. In this chapter Abram listened to YHWH and exercised faith, in chapter 16 he listened to his wife and exercised unbelief! Wow how is that for marriage counselling! He ceased to walk in the Spirit and began to walk in the flesh. We are to be very careful not to outrun YHWH, or run ahead of ourselves if you will – boy does the ‘flesh’ just love to ‘help’ YHWH, but true faith is shown in patience and endurance, amen! This is the wonderful picture of Messiah Yeshua – the wonderful sacrifice that He made for us on the cross where He walked the “blood path’ of the covenant of slavation by grace He has made with us. YHWH kept His Word – we broke covenant by sinning and He came and was the sacrificial Lamb – He shed His own Blood for us, sealing His promises in His Blood!

With YHWH coming down and passing through the sacrifice, walking the ‘blood path’ gave Abram a sure promise to hold on to – YHWH’s Word was confirmed! This is also symbolic of our Messiah coming down and walking the ‘blood path’ becoming a sacrifice for our sins, sealing and confirming for us a covenant relationship with YHWH YESHUA for those who believe in Him, bringing the assurance of eternity, assurance of an eternal inheritance and dwelling, amen!

Where are you at today? Where is you faith at? Is it perhaps somewhat limited or is your faith being exercised unto maturity?
Maybe you have done all in preparing your life as a daily living sacrifice – dying daily to the world, you have been fighting the good fight of faith – keeping out those birds – and yet you find yourself at a place of seeming darkness – what now Lord! Know this - YHWH is maturing you and you need to consider it pure joy my friends. YHWH has sealed His promises in the sacrifice of our Messiah Yeshua; we have an inheritance in Him. What plans and promises have you been holding on to – perhaps for years, yet you are still waiting? Stay prepared, stay faithful, stay watchful, YHWH’s promises are yes and amen in Messiah.
When Abram was concerned about himself, YHWH said, “I AM
When Abram was concerned about his heirs (what was promised), YHWH said, “I Will
When Abram was concerned about the land, YHWH said, “I have given
And so too today as we sit here, YHWH gives us these same assurances in Messiah to us His children today.
Abram believed YHWH – do you believe YHWH? Believe it has all been given by the I AM and all His plans will come to pass therefore be at peace and praise YHWH, can you say “Hallelujah” with me…HALLELUJAH! Have you got breath? Yes you do, you are here right now – by the grace of Elohim – then praise Him, amen!!!
Will you by faith look up and see YHWH’s promises…. Now prepare yourselves for action – by becoming a living sacrifice, fight off the attacks of the enemy and rest in ELohim as you endure every circumstance with great expectation in His mighty hand moving in your life equipping your faith to walk boldly in His plans for you. Maturing you – growing your faith unto maturity. Believe afresh today, amen!