Efraiym started the message with a Public Service Announcement to remind us that IF we have committed our ways to The Most High through a relationship with Yeshua, THEN we are a part of the Body of Messiah! We are Family! We have an interdependency with one another. Our effectiveness as a body depends on how we share each other’s burdens by the lively interaction of the Holy Spirit. We must encourage, and even rebuke when necessary, to keep our brother from falling in the ditch and thereby causing the body at large to be diminished. Efraiym proclaims that the body has a work to do, each of us has a part in the body, and Yehovah wants to breathe on our part! HalleluYAH!
Learn more about the work of the body of Messiah in It’s Not Finished
The whole premise of Efraiym’s teaching was that we need to empty our vessels so that Yehovah can fill us with His purpose and His work for us to do. We are often unaware of the “stuff” that is lining and filling up our vessels. There are things preventing us from fully comprehending what the Father has for us and hindering us from being effective ministers of His will. As usual, Efraiym peppered his message with several colorful personal experiences.
This message was chocked full of “survival in the Kingdom” wisdom. Here are a few of the highlights of the things we need to remove from our vessels.
Our Historical Baggage
We have to remember that we are either influencing or being influenced by others all the time. In addition, whatever you do all the time, influences the way you think and it tends to color your approach to life. Scientists may have a more organized and analytical approach to life, whereas, a homeschooling parent may have a more practical approach. Either way, we may have to shatter our usual paradigm to have productive dealings with Yehovah. Listen as Efraiym explains how he was scared straight out of a “bad boy” paradigm.
Learn more about The Power of Your Words
There are many manifestations of idolatry. Efraiym described the “anti-resurrection” idolatry as slipping back to what you were delivered from. We must remember that we are spirit beings in a physical body. We have been delivered from the flesh man, but he continues to try to resurrect.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Listen as Efraiym gives a good example of our fight not being in the physical realm, but in the spiritual realm.
Give it all away?
In this section of the message, Efraiym intensely exhorts us to get rid of strongholds, peer pressures, pains of the past, and anything that inhibits you from following the Master.
Do not let your possessions possess you!
Whatever it is, let it go!
Of the many nuggets of wisdom that Efraiym shared, this one resonated with me the most:
“Progress has never been divorced from some kind of sacrifice!”
Sharon’s Reflections on the Teaching
There are things that I know, I know, and know well, but sometimes the reality of it just comes and smacks me right between the eyes. That is what happened when Efraiym spoke in his wake-up tone of voice, “Have you read the book? Everybody don’t get saved! They don’t!”
That immediately sent me to thinking about my extended family and how I, and the true word of Yehovah, have been shunned time and time again. Then I flashed back to Arthur’s teaching from James Chapter 1 Part 2. He said that there are 7.2 billion people on earth and he cautioned us not to spend our whole life stuck on trying to save certain people.
At moments I feel sad about my contemporaries and relatives, but they are enjoying the life they have chosen. They think that I have chosen the unnecessarily boring and religious life. Then I virtually smack myself, because I realize as Efraiym said, “Not everybody gets saved!” and some of those folks may be my relatives. Yehovah wants no one to be lost, but the way this reality is set up, we all have a choice of which Kingdom we will reside in, now and for eternity.
My resolution to this matter is to continue sharing, praying and being an example of this Holy Life. After that, I just gotta face the facts and move on.
Buzz on the Teaching
There was an undulating buzz of conversation throughout the room. I think all the congregants, from the youth up, were able to relate to some aspect of Efraiym’s teaching. I heard folks sharing experiences and others agreeing to what was shared. Efraiym was pulled into at least 4 separate conversations about the finer points of the message. I gave a second witness to his statement that we sometimes have a hard time relating to our spiritual man because we have learned how to live with our flesh so well!
Peer pressure on our children was a lively topic. We discussed how it manifests itself when believers’ children long for friendships and their peers are of the world. We all heartily agreed that we need to prepare our children for the types of situations that they could be wooed into. We also need to equip them with the words and attitudes to have when they must take a stand for righteous behavior. “You can do that, but I am not going to do that.” Our children need to understand that just as they cannot control the behavior of their worldly peers, our children should not succumb to the world’s control.
Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours,