Thursday, April 16th, 2020 | 11 AM PDT – 2 PM EDT
“For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
I Corinthians 5:7b-8
Christ Our Passover Lamb
We are in the midst of three significant biblical feasts; Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits. The Passover, associated with Easter, reminds us of God’s power to “deliver us from evil” as He freed the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. He has also delivered every one of us from our own “Egypt”, which afforded us entrance into His glorious Kingdom.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the day after Passover. Unleavened Bread compels us to “put off concerning the former conversation (or lifestyle) of the old man, the unsaved man, the man of the world, which has been corrupted with deceitful lusts; and put on the new man, which after God, is in righteousness and true holiness”. First Fruits offers us the opportunity to express faith-filled gratitude for what is about to happen! It’s also called the Feast of Weeks because it’s an early celebration of sacrificial thanksgiving looking forward seven Sabbaths toward another feast that will mark the coming of the Holy Spirit into the earth and, most importantly, into the hearts of man (Shavuot or Pentecost).
So, while we may be presently under the bondage of a strange combination of a novel virus, COVID-19, and opportunistic leaders who seem to want to take advantage of its emergence to fundamentally change the way we live altogether, let us not forget that we have a Heavenly Father, Who has already proven Himself well able to deliver us from the strongest of foes– biological or governmental! Let’s let our godly courage and character take the lead instead of our untrustworthy emotions, which are too often stoked by manipulative forces in our feeble culture.
What Are You Asking For?
Much is asked from us in difficult times, but what should we ask for during such times?
I believe God wants many of us to process our asking in a new way during this Passover. In every asking, there is an asker and the asked. A most profound teaching on this relates to our Father, who can provide for us through our enemies, our neighbors, and even, the government.
It may sound a contrary concept to ask those who enslaved you for provision, but looking back to Exodus, when God delivered his people from their bondage to the Egyptians, the Israelites implored their captors for provisions in order to worship their God. As we, today, conclude this real world-like Passover, ending April 16th, remember God’s directions to the Israelites when the plagues came to their climactic end, causing Pharaoh to finally release them from slavery. Before departure to their God-Promised Land, Moses instructed the Hebrews to ask their Egyptian captors for gold, silver and clothing. The Egyptians represent anything that enslaves us today. Who or what has held you captive? Would you, in faith, ask a loving Father to show you who to ask for your provision from as you move into His promises for you? Do not just “get through” this present time of financial loss and trouble, but instead, expect God to provide for you in BIG ways!
“The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so, they plundered the Egyptians.”
Exodus 12:35-36 NIV
Fear or the Father?
Fear is an emotion. Fear is also a spirit. We are not told to ignore tragedy or hardships, but we are encouraged to believe that God is a good Father, in spite of real suffering. Some of us have a hard time seeing God as a loving Father. When we struggle with fear, the root of that fear can be found in how we see Father God. The opposite spirit of fear is the spirit of our Father God.
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear,
but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
Romans 8:15 NKJV
God defines this Spirit of Abba Father as the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7). God gives us a sound mind in crisis when we receive His Spirit. Receive God’s Spirit! He teaches that we are to ask for it!
“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:13 NKJV
If we don’t see Father God as a protector, we will be afraid for our health or the health of those we love, attempting to control our environment to keep us safe from any and all risk. If we don’t see Father God as a provider, we will be afraid to lose provision, working tirelessly, as if all outcomes are up to us.
He Is Our Provider
Seeing God as a good provider has been one of my spiritual battles. God is giving me the gift of opportunity during this Coronavirus crisis. While I am being presented with real hardships for myself, my family, and the employees on our team, I am also presented with the opportunity to trust God in faith– living like He is going to provide and work on our behalf to bless and keep us fruitful in this time of drought and heat.
Father God can provide for you during this time, as well, with provision from your Egyptians, from your neighbors, and even, from the royal treasury of the government.
“Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.”
Ezra 1:5-6 NIV
God can bring forth the necessary means to those who are building the Church, through governmental leaders. President Trump demonstrated this through The CARE ACT, with the (almost) unanimous support from our Senate and Congress. (Yes, you read that right! Both parties, who specialize in demonizing the other over most issues of our culture, agreed to not only help individuals and small businesses, but also churches!)
“Also, I issue a decree as to what you are to do for these Jewish elders for the rebuilding of this house of God: The full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces west of the River, and that without delay.”
Ezra 6:8 AMP
Will you join me, asking in faith, to trust that God is a loving Father Who will provide for you and protect you? Ask for His Holy Spirit. Ask for, and receive, the Spirit of Abba Father. Ask for silver and gold, and receive God’s provision!