Rabbi Schneider - Living in the Spirit of Joy (The Feast of Tabernacles)
"On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with the rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth. Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall (get this word now) rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days". - Leviticus 23:39-40.
The two key words that I pointed out in this section that I just read are the words "Celebrate" and "Rejoice". I really want to drive that home, don't let the words roll off your back like water off a duck's back. This is a season where the Lord wants to bring your soul and my soul into divine alignment with him through celebration and rejoicing. What are some of the things that we should actually be joyful for in our life, reasons to rejoice to help wake us up?
Number one: we have joy because we have the Word of God. Now, to me the Word of God it's not just a book, the Word of God is living, the Word of God is living. When I get into the Word of God I'm just revived by it. And when the Lord speaks to me something from his spirit, I take a hold of it, and it's my lifeline. And I'm so thankful, aren't you for his word, that through his word we overcome? By the Word of God, by the testimony of the Word of God and the blood of the lamb. So why do we thank God? We thank him for his word, we rejoice because of his word. He tells us how to live, how to pray, what we can have confidence in, what his promises are, a light unto our path. I rejoice and thank God for his word in this world of darkness.
As I indicated, another reason to have joy is because: no matter what you face in life, you might be going through a season right now, it might not be the most joyful season in your life, maybe you're going through something right now that's hard, maybe you're in a job situation. I sense in my spirit beloved that some of you are going through something in your job or that's work related, maybe you feel like you're being a persecuted or treating, being treated not favorably by your boss or employer. I sense that's going on right now with some. But you know what? Even when you're walking through difficult times you can still praise God and rejoice! Because he's going to turn it around for good for you. He's going to use it to make you more like Jesus as you cling to him through it. He's going to make you complete. The Bible says that we should rejoice in trials, knowing that the testing of our faith makes us complete in him.
You know what else causes me to rejoice? That God feels for me in my pain. I love Psalm number 31:7, the scripture says this, "I will rejoice and be glad in your loving kindness", and he gives the reason why, "Because you have seen my affliction: you have known the troubles of my soul". The Psalmist is saying that, "I'm rejoicing because God knows me, and he knows my troubles, and he knows my pain", that God feels for you. He feels, beloved, for you and i.
And then we rejoice because everything that we do, even when it seems unappreciated, we're going to be rewarded for like I practice trying to do things that no one sees, no one knows, but the Lord. Because I know that first of all I'm living under his authority, and I'm going to be rewarded for every act of kindness that I do, every act of obedience I'm going to be rewarded for.
And finally, beloved, we rejoice Yeshua said we should rejoice, Luke 10:20, because our names are recorded in heaven. And so I just want to encourage you right now, I want to encourage you right now: don't let the devil hold you captive. You have the power to shift your soul. You have a power by an act of your will to rejoice, and God is calling us during this Sukkot, during this feast of tabernacles to wake up every day praising him. Sometimes it's out loud, sometimes it's just in your heart, but you walk in an attitude of gratitude, because that will attract God's blessings to even further increase in your life.