Rabbi Schneider - Partner with God
In Psalm 103, David praises the Lord, and he speaks about God as being a compassionate God. And he says, "The Lord is compassionate". If you were with me last week, I began to develop that. We are now in Season 2, Episode 2 in a series on Psalm 103. This is such an incredible Psalm because it gives us the ability to look at our life through a lens and to bring our soul into proper alignment as one that walks before HaShem, before Father God as one that is thankful and as one that is showing gratitude for the life that we've been given. You see, David, in Psalm 103, begins by thanking God for simply being alive. He said, "I'm going to bless you with my whole soul and with all that is within me because I realize," David was saying in essence, "that my whole life is a gift from you".
And then David began to one by one speak about all the goodnesses of HaShem, Father, God that had come into his life. And we're reminding ourselves today, beloved ones, of all the goodness of God that has come into our life. It's so important to do this because what we focus on is going to determine how we are. As a man thinketh so he is. And because we're faced with so many challenges in life, it's easy at times to get distracted, to be overwhelmed by the negatives, to be overwhelmed by the stress, to be overwhelmed by the pain, and by the challenges. And being overwhelmed then, we can get under the powers of darkness, and rather than leading a life of gratitude, and thanksgiving and praise, we can instead find ourselves, if we're not careful, walking around in a spirit of cursing and bitterness, negativity, and frustration, which is from the realm of darkness, separates us from the life of God and keeps us from joy and fulfillment.
Psalm 103 really is a lesson in how to walk. And if we practice the precepts that are in this Psalm, we will truly experience a full, and a joyful, and rich life. So I'm not going to go back and review everything that I've covered. I've covered so much. I really want to encourage you, go back and watch all the other episodes in both the first season and the previous episodes in this season. Last week, I left off by focusing on the eighth verse where David said, "The Lord," which comes from four Hebrew letters here, the word "Lord". Yud Hei Vav Hei is oftentimes referred to as the tetragrammaton. And it defines the Lord as the One Who is, Who was and Who is to come. He is the "be'er". He is self-existent. He's not of time, although He exists in time. He's not in a place, although His presence fills all places. He is reality, and everything else that exists is created from Him. This one that created all things, that is before all things is self-existent. He is compassionate. It's so wonderful. It's overwhelming. The eternal God is compassionate.
This word, as I mentioned last week, "compassionate" is also spoken of in the book of Exodus chapter 34, where Moses has a face to face encounter with God. Moses is in the cleft of the rock calling upon HaShem's name, and Hashem comes to him and reveals Himself to Moses, filling Moses with revelation, knowledge, and light. And as the Lord fills Moses with revelation light, God speaks inside Moses' being so that Moses knows who the divine is. And the Lord says to Moses, "I am rachum. I am compassionate". The first thing that the Lord shows Moses regarding His nature is His compassion. It's important for us to understand this because oftentimes we don't realize the depths of God's compassion. Because we face so many hardships in this life, we have so much pain, that we have a difficult time understanding that God cares, that He's with us and that He's compassionate. Look what David says in regards to His compassion. Verse 13: "Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him". Verse 14, "For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust".
Now, we're going to continue on there in a second, but this is all about Hashem's compassion. So the challenge for us today that we want to face and want to build a bridge over is intellectually recognizing and reconciling how it is that God is compassionate despite the fact that it seems sometimes that He leaves us to walk a path that involves a lot of pain when He could alleviate the pain. So, again, beloved child of God, church, if God is compassionate, why does He not take away some of the pain and the trials, and the challenges that we're experiencing in life? And I began to address that last week, I want to get back to that right now. Without challenges, we don't grow. Your challenges are the starting point from which you develop. Even, listen, the overcoming of the principle of sin within you is a gift to you. Because through your overcoming your sinful nature-we all have within us the principle of sin-Paul said, "I find the principle that evil dwells in me," Paul said, "the one that wishes to do good".
And that's true of all of us. All of us have within us both God's Spirit and His imprint so that we desire good. But also within us, there's a principle of evil. Paul said, "No good thing dwelleth in me that is in my flesh". And the challenge for us is to overcome the evil inclination by our love and commitment to Hashem, to Father God through the power of Yeshua's Spirit, of Jesus' Spirit in us. So, your sin nature-stay with me now-is actually a gift to you because you've been given because of your sin nature the ability and the opportunity, by HaShem, by Father God through Jesus' Spirit, to overcome it. Let me say it again. Your trials, your tribulations, your tests, and your sin nature is actually a gift to you from HaShem. When I say, "HaShem," that's God's name. It's a way of saying Baruch HaShem, bless the name of the Lord. It's a gift to you from Father God because you now have an opportunity to overcome. And it's in your overcoming, that you become all God has called you to be.
You see, if it was all easy, you wouldn't be able to mature into the type of human creation, human being, one that's created in God's image. You wouldn't develop into the fullness of who He wants you to be. Let me give you an example. Jesus said, "Don't just love your friends, love your enemies too". "Because if you just love your friends, that's not really the type of love," Jesus said, "that I'm calling you to. Even sinners love their friends". Jesus said, "I'm calling you to love your enemies". The point: in order to love our enemies, we have to now overcome the tendency within us to hate our enemies. It takes work. But in working to overcome the tendency to dislike our enemies and to not care about our enemies, to rather love them instead like Jesus that was crucified. And while He's being crucified, He said of those that crucified Him, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". Like He, that even loved His enemies, He's calling us up to that level too.
Let me back up again. We're talking about compassion, and we're trying to reconcile how it is that God's compassionate when we have all these problems, all these challenges we have to overcome our sinful nature. Why doesn't God just take it away? Why did God let Adam and Eve fall in the first place? How is it that He's so compassionate? Couldn't He have stopped it? Couldn't He have stopped Adam and Eve from falling so we didn't have all these struggles that we have on earth today? I mean, didn't all the struggles come because Adam and Eve fell? Remember when Adam and Eve sinned? God said to Adam, "Because you did this, you're going to have to toil by the sweat of your brow to bring forth the crops from the earth. You're going to have to earn your living by the sweat of your brow". And to Eve, "Because you fell, you're going to have pain in childbearing". In other words, all the problems that we're experiencing today, the thorns and thistles of life have come into the world because of the fall.
So, if God cared that much, why didn't He do something different? Why didn't He prevent Adam and Eve from falling? If He knew it was going to happen, why didn't He take a different course when He created things and create a world in which Adam and Eve would not fall? The point that I'm making is, we need the challenges, we need the hard times. We need to go through painful things in our life. We even need to learn how to overcome sin in our life. And all of these are part of God's plan because through overcoming, we become who God wants us to be. And if we never had to overcome anything, we could never really become what God has called us to be. Because unless goodness is chosen rather than just given to us without us having to do anything, goodness isn't really goodness in its truest form. God said, "I've put before you life and death. Chose life that you would live".
If love wasn't a choice, if it was just automatic, if we didn't have to choose to love, it really wouldn't be love in the truest sense of the word. Love has to be chosen. And so, God has put us in this world, we have to overcome, we have to choose Him, choose goodness, choose to love. And in so doing, we become all that He has created us to become. The darkness was necessary. So, don't confuse the fact that you have pain in your life, that you have struggles, that there are tendencies in your life that are related to sin that you have to overcome. Don't confuse that with thinking that God doesn't love you, that He doesn't care, or isn't compassionate. Rather, these challenges, listen now, are the starting point from which you grow and from which you overcome and enter into victory. Seven times in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, Yeshua said, "He that overcomes will inherit these things". He that overcomes will inherit these things. And so all these challenges are God's gift to you so that you could choose Him, choose goodness, overcome, in so doing become all that He's called you and destined you to be. And what has He called you and I to become? To become partners with Him in love.
You see, He created us, you and I, to give us His love and also so that He could receive enjoyment when we choose to love Him back. The Bible says, "The eyes of the Lord are moving to and fro across the earth". It's anthropomorphic language. Of course, God's present everywhere, He sees everything. But God is just trying to convey the concept to us that His eyes are moving to and fro across the earth, looking for somebody that will be fully devoted to Him so that He can show Himself strong in their life. He's looking for us to love Him. That's why Paul said if we're going to please God God, we must number one, believe that He is and that He's a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He's looking for us to respond. And if everything was automatic, if we didn't have to choose, then there would be no response. It wouldn't be real love. We would be brainless robots.
And so, I'm trying to help you make sense of reality. God is compassionate. He loves you. He's closer to you and I than our next heartbeat. The problem is not that He's too far away. The problem is that He's so close that sometimes we're afraid to let Him in. He's so close to us, we're afraid to let Him so close because we feel vulnerable, we're afraid of shame, we're afraid of how we might have to change. God is right here, He's just waiting for you and I to open our heart. And He's going to give us all the power we need to overcome everything and to enter into His fullness. Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard the things that HaShem as planned for those that love Him. And we can overcome all things through Messiah Jesus within us that strengthens us. God is compassionate. Even though life is painful, we're in His womb. We are the objects of His compassion, His rachum taken from the concept of a mother's womb. We're safe in Him and secure in Him. He'll never let us be tested beyond what we're able to endure. He'll never put us in a situation that we can't handle with His help.
Beloved, God is with us. Be strong in the might of the Lord and in the glory of His power. "Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as the flower the field, so he flourishes. When the wind is passed over, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no more. But the loving kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him". And so, I want to encourage you as we read this, He knows you're dust. He knows I'm dust. We are so fragile in this world. "The wind blows," it says here. It says, "As for a man, his days are like grass; as the flower the field, when the wind has passed over, it is no more, its place acknowledges it no longer". You and I without Him, we are so fragile in this world. And knowing that, knowing that the Lord sees this, He's just asking for you and I to be fully open to Him.
Again, it's not that He's far away. He's so close. He's standing at the door of your heart and knocking. He's so close. He's right in front of our face. The Scripture says He's not in heaven that we have to go to heaven to find Him. He's not at the bottom of the sea that we have to go to the bottom of the sea to find Him. Paul said, "No, He's in our heart". And all we have to do is open up our life to God like a flower that opens up to the sun above. We have to open our life to God, talking to Him all day, talking to God all day long, sharing everything with Him. And the more we open up to Him, the more He can come in. Because He can't come into places that haven't been open to Him. Remember, Jesus said He stands at the door of our heart and knocks, and if any man will open the door, He will come in. Jesus didn't say He was going to plow the door down and come in. He said He's knocking, and if we open He'll come in. And this is true, not just of a one-time salvation prayer of receiving Yeshua. This is true, beloved one, of a continual evolving, opening our soul up to Him.
And so, He only comes in to the places that we've opened to Him. That's why it's so important to spend time alone with God so that you can get in touch with not just His presence in your life, but with your own soul. A lot of times we don't know what's going on in our soul because we're so busy and distracted because we're so involved in the things outside ourselves. Whether it's work, or relationships, or addictions to things, we're so connected to the outside, we're not in touch with what's going on inside. Most people that go to psychiatrists, they don't have any concept of what's going on inside. But when we spend time alone with God, we're forced to face what's going on inside. It's painful. But then as we begin to talk to God about what's going on inside, as we allow ourselves to feel our pain, as we allow ourselves to express our fear, as we allow ourselves to feel our sadness, as we allow ourselves to feel our exhaustion and our hopelessness and begin to open that up to HaShem, to God and begin to invite Him in and begin to cry out to Him, He comes in, fills those places.
And you then begin, beloved ones, to rise up. The Spirit of the Lord begins to fill you and I. He begins to fill up our soul so that we become rich in the Spirit of God, learning then how to live in His power and to walk in His fullness. And as we do this, we're going to become more and more like Dovid Hamelech. King David in Psalm 103. He said, "I'll bless the Lord. I will bless the Lord with all that is within me". He was filled, beloved ones, with the knowledge of God. You see, there's a purpose for your life. It's to know Him. Let's give ourselves to Him. Let's keep out of our lives those things that will take us away from Him, and let's give ourselves completely to those things that will bring us deeper into them. This is Rabbi Schneider saying to you, these words are real. They're true words of God. I hope that you'll act on them and put them in place in your life. Let's grow together in our walk with HaShem, entering deeper and deeper in to the riches of His love.