This is the transcript of this year’s message Rachel delivered at Sukkot. We forgot out recording equipment this year at home! We hope you are blessed by it.
How is everyone? Doesn’t it feel good to be here at Sukkot! God is good! We thank God for His for Mercies every day!
This has been quite a year, a year where it feels like we have no idea where we are headed.
Kind of like being in the wilderness.
How many of you felt like the very ground beneath your feet was shifting? Like we were trying to get our feet on something firm, something unshakeable, trying to find the rock on which to stand?
I want to start off by reading a scripture in Isaiah 35 about the wilderness.
Isa 35:1 Let the wilderness and the dry place be glad for them, and let the desert rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
Isa 35:2 It blossoms much and rejoices, even with joy and singing. The esteem of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Karmel and Sharon. They shall see the esteem of יהוה, the excellency of our Elohim.
Isa 35:3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the weak knees.
Isa 35:4 Say to those with anxious heart, “Be strong, do not fear! See, your Elohim comes with vengeance, with the recompense of Elohim. He is coming to save you.”
Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf be opened.
Isa 35:6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing, because waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
I’ll be honest, when the Lord gave me this scripture to talk about today, I started crying.
I cried because I thought, “Wow! Do I really believe that God can and will save us from what we so clearly see coming?”
Then all those thoughts of what it must have been like for the Israelites fleeing Egypt came rushing in. Having the Egyptians pursuing them and them running, leaving such a shaken situation as their lives were disrupted over and over and over by different plagues. And as they were fleeing not knowing where they were going, how this whole ride was going to end, they get to a dead end, the Red Sea.
It’s looked like death behind them, death in front of them, like the cords of death have surrounded them.
For all intents and purposes, in the natural, they should have died.
But the hand of Yahweh burst forth and there was absolutely nothing the Israelites could do but stand still and look on and watch the salvation of the Lord.
Who can relate to that feeling? Feeling helpless or hopeless?
We need a rescue right now. But how many of you know that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities?
How many of you know that all the shaking of the plagues that Israel endured in Egypt was God pronouncing judgment on the Egyptian gods so that they would know that Yahweh was Lord over all the earth? (Ex. 12:12)
But when does God do this?
Does He have a template or a pattern for when he is about to execute judgment on this god’s of the earth?
I want to read you a scripture in Malachi 3:1-5.
Mal 3:1 “See, I am sending My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Master you are seeking comes to His Hěḵal, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. See, He is coming,” said יהוה of hosts.
Mal 3:2 “And who is able to bear the day of His coming, and who is able to stand when He appears? For He is like the fire of a refiner, and like the soap of a launderer.
Mal 3:3 “And He shall sit as a refiner and a cleanser of silver. And He shall cleanse the sons of Lěwi, and refine them as gold and silver, and they shall belong to יהוה, bringing near an offering in righteousness.
Mal 3:4 “Then shall the offering of Yehuda and Yerushalayim be pleasant to יהוה, as in the days of old, as in former years.
Mal 3:5 “And I shall draw near to you for right-ruling. And I shall be a swift witness against the practisers of witchcraft, and against adulterers, and against them that swear to falsehood, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages and widows and the fatherless, and those who turn away a sojourner and do not fear Me,” said יהוה of hosts.
I don’t know about you, but it seems this verse is saying that before God judges witchcraft and oppression, slavery and adulterers, He sends His messenger to draw near like a refiners fire to cleanse His people, to get them ready for salvation.
How many of you feel like that fire can come in the form of our relationships? with our children or our spouses or even our brothers and sisters?
But why? What is it about relationships that can make them like a refiners fire?
I want to propose that a relationship can be like an actual entity between two people, and more specifically, two hearts.
This isn’t just talking about romantic relationships. I want to include all significant relationships with siblings, family, parents, children, even friends… think of the most significant relationships in your life. Has God ever used these relationships to prune us and bring forth better fruit in us?
He has for us.
So let’s break down the anatomy of relationships for a moment. I want you to imagine an actual entity or highway if you will that exists between two people.
When the lanes are open and all the traffic lights are functioning properly, and people are obeying the traffic laws, things just flow. There is safety, trust and love. And we can go places?
But what happens when debris gets on the road? Or when traffic lights are out of sync? Or when people just start ignoring traffic laws? Like not stopping? Or not yielding the right of way?
Pile ups, accidents, delays, traffic jams, pain, hurt? And how many people have had a car accident bad enough that it has left long term damage
I don’t think it’s a coincidence the Lord makes mention of a highway in Isaiah 35.
This is what it’s like between two hearts in a relationship
But what if there is resentment, fear and bitterness in ours heart? How can we relate to others in a godly way?
Several years ago, when all the gender identity controversy came out, it seemed that the enemy threw a blanket with hooks all over America.
The catch was that those hooks only stuck and latched onto those who had bitterness, unhealed wounds, fear and resentment concerning a relating experience. So basically, that blanket that was thrown out there was the narrative and it seemed to only latch on to people had bitterness, unhealed wounds, fear and resentment concerning a relating experience.
Does this make sense?
The enemy loves to capitalize on past wounds, fears and well, anything that isn’t really healed, healthy or whole.
Something similar is happening in America today. Another blanket with hooks has been tossed over America. Through fear of getting Covid, masks, through attempts at racial division
It is doing everything it can to divide and destroy us by our own hands and feet.
Remember, we are supposed to be the Bride of Messiah, and woman either tears down her house with her own hands or builds it.
And Satan is doing what he can to get us to tear down our own houses, our relationships and even our own nation through our own hands.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. So how do we find common ground with those that are different from us?
Through loving our neighbor, us decreasing so that He may increase.
But how do we do this when fear is present? Remember the opposite of fear isn’t courage but love, power and sound mind.
Think about it.
The enemy knows that if he can make us afraid, then there is no room for love. Because God is love.
And so here we are, in a nation with riots, looting, masks…. Is God still sovereign over all of this?
Then why is he allowing this shaking in our nation to happen?
Isaiah 28:19-22 says this:
“As often as it passes through it shall take you, for it shall pass through every morning, and by day and by night. And it shall be only trembling to understand the message.”
For the bed shall be too short for a man to stretch out on, and the covering shall be too narrow to wrap himself in it.
For יהוה rises up as at Mount Peratsim, and He is wroth as at the Valley of Gib‛on, to do His work, His strange work, and to do His deed, His strange deed.
And now, do not be scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong. For I have heard from the Master יהוה of hosts, a destruction decreed upon all the earth.”
How many of you believe that prophecy is cyclical?
God’s saying that this shaking comes from Him, and that we will only be able to understand what He is doing through the trembling it creates within our hearts from all this turmoil and shaking.
So naturally one of the questions becomes, “what’s His message to us?”
Let’s look earlier in the chapter. Isaiah 28:3-6 says this:
“The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephrayim, is trampled underfoot; and the fading flower of its splendid comeliness that is on the head of the fertile valley, like the first fruit before the summer, which, when one sees it, he eats it up while it is still in his hand.
In that day יהוה of hosts is for a crown of splendour and a head-dress of comeliness to the remnant of His people, and a spirit of right-ruling to him who sits in right-ruling, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.”
We are going to dissect these verses. Let’s start at verse 3. The proud crown of drunkards.
What is behind pride? First, we know it’s the counterfeit of confidence.
In psychology, we talk about primary emotions and secondary emotions. Anger for example can be a secondary emotion to guard other, more vulnerable emotions such as shame, bitterness or fear.
So, what is pride really? I believe pride is also a secondary emotion to protect more vulnerable feelings of bitterness, resentment and shame. Often times it’s these things that lead to pride in a certain area.
And this scripture says, “And the proud will become trampled underfoot.”
To expose it.
God is giving us the opportunity to be sifted like wheat to expose hidden matters in our hearts.
1Co 4:4 says this:
“For I am not conscious of any matter against myself, yet I am not declared right by this, but He who judges me is יהוה.”
He allows these hidden matters to be exposed these hidden matters in our hearts so that we can be free from them!
One of the reasons God is shaking the world is to give us the opportunity to humble ourselves and reveal to us our hidden pride so that we can be healed from those primary emotions behind the pride so that we can forgive, confess before those we need to confess to and repent to God. Getting the bride ready for her bridegroom. The Father wants us ready and His Holy Spirit is here to help us.
Now does the enemy want the bride to be ready for her Messiah?
Not at all. So the adversary capitalizes on hidden, unhealed wounds, unforgiveness and fear and resentments in our hearts in order to accomplish his agenda, which is to create a broken, fearful unprepared bride.
The sneaky thing about pride is that it causes God to oppose us in those areas in which we have pride. If we think of our heart as having chambers, or rooms, and the adversary wanting to set up shop in as many rooms in our hearts as possible, then wouldn’t that be an effective strategy against God’s people?
I want to expose the process the enemy is using so that we don’t fall into his trap.
First off, the Bible mentions rooms and houses through out the entire Bible. The Torah states that Moses was “faithful in all of God’s house.” (Num. 12:7; Heb. 3:5)
So, what is a house?
A house is a dwelling place. In Revelation 21:6, the scripture mentions that the tabernacle (God’s dwelling place) of the Lord is with men.
Again there is another reference to our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 6:19, saying that His spirit dwells within us. Yeshua makes two references to rooms and houses as well.
Yeshua mentions houses and rooms, when he talks about being delivered from unclean spirits and if they return, they find that room,(our heart) swept out, vacant and in order, and if not filled with love, those spirits can return seven times worse (Luke 11:45, Matt. 12:45).
The second one, He mentions that in His Father’s house are many mansions (some translations say rooms) and this is a loose prophetic understanding of how our hearts have many rooms.
Psalm 143:4 says, “The spirit of a man dwells in his heart”
So you see there is a connection between our hearts, our spirits and God’s dwelling place.
So now that we have established the connection of our hearts, their chambers or rooms, our spirit and God’s dwelling place, let’s take a look at how the adversary is trying to plant seeds that could prevent us from being ready for our Messiah’s return.
The Bible is very clear that our Heavenly Father opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
This year has provided fertile ground for a lot of introspection. Right now, we have a window of opportunity to us to make things right before the Lord, which I’m going to provide some practical application steps later on.
But first, I want to analyze the function of pride and how it affects the rooms in our hearts for a moment.
But first off, let’s think of a room in our heart as an experience, a memory or even a belief. When we have pride in a room, often times it’s because we have an unhealed wound.
Many times it’s a dark, dingy, cold place, an old closet that’s been barred off for safe keeping and tight control. Often times, we don’t want to face those old skeletons that we think are locked off.
But in reality, they are wide open to the enemy. Remember Isaiah’s words about Yeshua, “Isa 22:22,
“And I shall place the key of the house of David on his shoulder. And he shall open, and no one shuts; and shall shut, and no one opens. “
Unless Yeshua shuts the door to the enemy in our hearts, those dark unseen places can be swung wide open for one of the enemy’s prime weapons—fear, to come in and set up shop in our hearts.
Once fear is in place, now there is no room for love, power and sound mind. Now fear becomes a weapon which functions as a protector and guardian of that room that once only had a seed of resentment, has now swelled into a mansion of pride.
Fear will then function as the guardian and protector of that that mansion.
So what is fear guarding so fiercely in that room now?
It becomes a gatekeeper to our beliefs, our perceptions (which are many times only partial truths accepted as whole truths) and fear guards our understanding about a particular topic or experience which can now be totally driven and used by the adversary because we have unwittingly given fear control of those things through resentment and bitterness.
And before we know it, our enemy has created the perfect breeding ground for himself and his minions to use us as a vessel for his empire, strengthening his hand through division, strife and chaos—in essence making us a host to the one thing that makes King of the Universe oppose us: Pride.
Do you see how he tries to manipulate us against our own Father? It’s truly a savage and merciless process.
This is exactly why the opposite of fear is love, power, and sound mind.
So what now?
How are we saved from this?
Proverbs 27:6 says wounds from a friend can be trusted.
Now let’s go back to Isaiah 28 verse 19,
“As often as it passes through it shall take you, for it shall pass through every morning, and by day and by night. And it shall be only trembling to understand the message.”
Remember that verse in Isaiah that says it shall be only trembling to understand the message? So, when our hearts faint within us and the ground is shaking beneath our feet. When all seems like it’s falling around us and we have nothing to hang on to, this is the moment to seize the forgiveness and healing of the Lord.
Hosea 6:1 says,
‘Come, and let us turn back to יהוה. For He has torn but He does heal us, He has stricken but He binds us up. “
When we lay down our pride, when we resist the devil and his works of fear and hate, when we choose to turn back that battle at the gate, we can be healed.
I want to stress something here. In Isaiah 28:5, it says, “strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.”
What does that mean? What does that look like? To turn back the battle at the gate?
It means the battle will come to our gate. We will have the opportunity to respond in pride, in condemnation, to oppress, to manipulate, to scoff, to lash out if violence and rage. These opportunities might come to our gates. To our homes. To where we walk.
But blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
How do we becomes peacemakers? How do we become people that are not easily provoked? Where is the fruit of love in our lives?
Because once those rooms in our hearts are now filled with love, we aren’t provoked by the hooks that the enemy throws out.
We don’t become angry or fearful at the calamity that we witness all around us. His banner over us becomes love and we are able to be patient and kind, even toward those who hate us, turning back the battle at the gate. He becomes our crown of comeliness.
So how do we achieve this?
I look at it like a solution to an error in a computer app. Often times we need a plug-in to get the program to run correctly or more efficiently. Truly, what do we do when we find ourselves dealing with unwanted pride, fear, stubbornness, or even bitterness? Have these feelings or seeds ever just gone away on their own?
Recently through all this trembling, or shaking if your will, I’ve found myself more times than I care to admit, realizing there was some ugly stuff in my heart being unearthed. I mean, that’s the whole point of being shaken and trembling. It’s so those hidden things in our hearts will be exposed.
And this is where our choice comes in. We can choose to ignore it, pacify it, rebury it, feed it, or deal with it head on.
So when we find our hearts with an “error code” to our conscience, and we find ourselves dealing with pride and fear leading us to be provoked into anger, there is a solution and we can apply the plug in.
This is where and how we can take refuge in Him. The Holy Spirit will typically bring a memory to mind and this is where we apply the plug-in that I’ve been talking about.
It’s a forgiveness prayer from a ministry called God’s ER. In that prayer, it accomplishes six things.
First off, it enables you to activate Isaiah 54:17 which says this:
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall prove wrong. This is the inheritance of the servants of יהוה, and their righteousness from Me,” declares יהוה.
That’s our inheritance. And the enemy wants to steal that inheritance.
Second, forgiveness and repentance are the keys through Messiah to give us that inheritance.
Third, once we forgive, we give Yeshua our thoughts and feelings of unforgiveness, that include fear, hatred, betrayal ,neglect, resentment, bitterness, offense, feelings of abandonment, neglect, deception, manipulation and control (along with any thing else you may feel). We literally need to cast these cares upon Him.
Fourth, we ask for forgiveness for pronouncing judgment on that person. Then we can destroy and break and cancel and vacate all judgments that we made and stated against that person, then we can destroy all the judgments they made and stated against you.
Fifth, we cancel all curses that this unforgiveness has allowed to land in our lives, even generational curses can be broken through this.
Sixth, we are finally able to remove the controlling spirit that is coming through that person we haven’t forgiven, Once that controlling spirit is gone, love can come in and be our guard.
What is God wanting to accomplish through all this? Why did He say that only in trembling we would understand the message?
This year we have witnessed a shaking of everything in our lives. Tracy Cooke prophesied that everything that could be shaken under our feet this year, would be shaken. And what happens when we are shaken?
We are being sifted and things that were hidden deep in our hearts are coming to the surface that we didn’t even know where there.
God is intentionally stirring up our fears, our bitterness our resentments and bringing them to the surface so that we can have the opportunity to deal with them.
Some of it is truly ugly. And downright offensive to even ourselves. But this is a divine invitation to repent of fear, confess these things before our savior because He is the only one that can save us from the ugliness that it’s inside us, even from ourselves.
God has turned up the heat this year on the entire world to bring the dross to the surface so that we can deal with these things before the Father. When the impurities are exposed, they can seem impossible to deal with.
But we were never expected to deal with them on our own.
When we realize that we are dealing with a great deal of fear or unhealed wounds, all we have to do is confess it before Yeshua.
Confess, Repent. Wash your feet. Mikvah (immerse) according to Acts 2:38. Take His table. Use that plug-in. And know that times of refreshing lie ahead. (Acts 3:19)
I want to leave you with two scriptures:
“Therefore יהושע said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Adam and drink His blood, you possess no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood possesses everlasting life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood stays in Me, and I in him.”
“I have said, “Let me guard my ways Against sinning with my tongue; Let me guard my mouth with a muzzle, While the wrongdoer is before me.”
I became dumb, keeping still; I was silent, from good; And my pain was stirred.
My heart was hot within me; While I was meditating, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue:
“יהוה, let me know my end, And the measure of my days, what it is, Let me know how short-lived I am.
“See, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime is as non-existence before You; Only, all men standing, are all breath. Selah.
“As but a shadow each one walks; They busy themselves, only in vain; He heaps up wealth, But knows not who gathers them.
“And now, יהוה, what do I wait for? My expectancy is in You.
“Deliver me from all my transgressions; Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
“I was dumb, I did not open my mouth, Because it was You who did it.
“Turn aside Your stroke from me; I am overcome by the blow of Your hand.
“When You chastise man for crookedness with reproofs, You consume what he loves, like a moth; All men are but a breath. Selah.
“Hear my prayer, O יהוה, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers were.
“Look away from me, That I might brighten up, Before I go away and am no more.”