Repent and Hear the Calling
Elul is the sixth month of the Ecclesiastical Calendar God established beginning in Exodus 12. The name of this month, only mentioned once in Nehemiah 6:15 when the walls of Jerusalem were completed on the 25th day of Elul, was assigned during the period of Israel coming out of exile in Babylon. As far as I can find, there is no mentioning of a name for the sixth month in the pre-exilic text of the Bible. However, Nehemiah saw to it that the wall was completed in ample time to prepare for the first day of Tishri, which was Yom Teruah, or Rosh Hoshana at the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets.
What else happened in Elul? It was on the first day of Elul Moses ascended Mt. Sanai the third time for forty days. He came down 40 days later on what would now be day 10 of Tishri which is Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Therein is the significance of this season that we are currently in. Since Israel was a nation camped in the Sanai wilderness, these 40 days were established by God. It was a time in Exodus 34:6-8 that thirteen attributes of God were revealed to Moses. God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abundant in lovingkindness, abundant in truth, showing mercy to 1000 generations, forgiving iniquity, forgiving transgressions, forgiving sin, yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished, He brings iniquity upon father’s children, upon the children’s children, even to the third and fourth generation.
This would lead us into a discussion of Teshuva. Teshuva is a “return to God”. It is a 40 day observance or a period of time in which one evaluates one’s self. It is a time to review one’s deeds and the tending of one’s spiritual awareness over the past year. It is a time to awaken from a spiritual apathy or a spiritual slumber. It is a time to repent and seek God whole heartedly. It was a time when the infantile nation of Israel shivered in its boots.
A way to look at Teshuva is, “The King is in the field!” He is not hidden away on a throne in his castle. He is out among the common people, and he welcomes the common man. He welcomes the great and the small, the old and the young, the rich and the poor. All who come to Him with a genuine penitent heart and awakened in spirit.
Teshuva is a time to repent towards God and make amends to others for misdeeds. The flesh gets the best of all of us from time to time. It is a time to pray and seek God and His Righteousness and His Kingdom. It is a time to WAKE UP!
The Shofar is sounded daily throughout Teshuva, the entire month of Elul, throughout Yom Teruah or Rosh Hoshana, throughout The Feast of Trumpets and into Yom Kippur. Why? It is the voice of God saying, “WAKE UP! RETURN TO ME! I WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY IN TRUTH TO EVERLASTING LIFE!”
Jesus, Yeshua, said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…No man comes to the Father, but through Me.”
Teshuva, for us, as it was for Israel in the Sanai desert, is a time to realize that we have not arrived. Like Israel, as they wandered in the desert for forty years, regardless of where we are, we are only beginning the journey. It starts new each day with HIS mercy and grace. For God is a compassionate God. He is a gracious God. He is slow to anger. He is abundant in lovingkindness (mercy). He is abundant in truth. He shows mercy upon 1000 generations. He is forgiving of iniquity, transgression, and sin. He is right and just in judging the guilty and bringing iniquity of the father upon his children and his children’s children to the 3rd and 4th generation.
THAT is why Elul and Teshuva are so important. Not only does it affect US here and now, but OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS ARE AT STAKE!
Another important thing to note is that Teshuva is called for in the Book of Joel in Chapter 2:12-3:5 but not only is Teshuva called for, there are instructions on the process, and THEN the rewards and promises of Teshuva follow. READ THE SCRIPTURE!
It’s time to repent! I’ll say it again, repentance is not falling on your knees and telling God how “bad” you’ve been and telling Him how sorry you are. God already knows how bad we are. No, the word repent means to change one’s mind, one’s bearings, one’s direction. Repentance is realizing “I’ve not been active in prayer seeking God. I’m going to make a concerted effort to do so.” It’s “I’ve not been faithful in my language and the way I speak. I’m going to change that.” It’s “I have ruled and disciplined my family with fear. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to rule and discipline my family in love.” Those were all “big ticket” items that I’ve had to repent of in the last several years.
You see, not only is it time for us to wake up, repent, and return to God with all our hearts, it’s time to do some serious soul searching. It’s time to start thinking and praying about what your role in God’s Plan is for you here on this earth. Your calling if you will, and what your role will be in bringing God’s Kingdom to fruition. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the calling upon your life. I’m talking about the anointing on your life to fulfill that calling. I’m talking about surrendering to that calling and receiving the anointing. But I’m telling you this. “Many are called but few are chosen.” Ever heard that? Do you know why there are so many called and why there are so few chosen? Because many who hear the calling reject the calling because the calling is not what they wanted it to be! They reject the calling instead of receiving the calling because they are afraid that they may have to submit to something greater than themselves! Few are chosen because so few accept the calling upon their lives. The calling is not what they wanted it to be.
How do I know that? Been there, done that! You think I wanted to sound a shofar and be laughed at or scorned for my efforts? No! I wanted to be the rock star preacher! But God said, “NO! Son, you are my Shofarim! You sound My trumpet! You are MY appointed Watchman!” You know what? It’s a frightening, lonely and unpopular assignment. I’m praying Holy Spirit directs me where to go. When to go. Where to sound the trumpet and when to sound the trumpet. Oh Holy Spirit, teach me how to sound the trumpet. I don’t want it to be my sound coming out of this horn. I want it to be HIS sound! I want to see HIS power manifest!
But what if, you feel like you don’t know what your true calling is? Let me tell you something that I know for certain. It is a miserable existence. I struggled for years because I wanted to be the rock star preacher. I don’t know why I thought I could pull that off. I’m not gifted at speaking publicly. I’m not graceful in my mannerisms. And to be honest, I’m not all that handsome a fellow to look at. You look at some of these preachers now days and they are sporting a $60,000 dollar smile. That’s not me. But I wanted the attention of man. I’d look in the mirror hoping to see Billy Graham. But what I saw was more like John the Baptist with wild honey and locusts in my beard. All I’d see was a hooded figure who appeared to be a vagabond.
Oh, I get the attention all right. You want attention? Put on a prayer shawl to pray or carry a horn of a dead animal around in public and you’ll get attention. It may not be the kind of attention you want. I’ve been called everything from Lawrence of Arabia to a Jew boy wannabe. The question to ask when you are seeking your calling is, “God what do YOU have for me to do?” “Holy Spirit, what anointing do you have to pour out on me? Clean the church building? Yes, I can do that. Greet people? Yes, I can do that. Stand in intercessory prayer? Yes, I can do that.”
There is no one assignment greater than, or less than, the assignment of another. Do not judge yourself. The moon and the sun are both bright, but they shine only at their appointed times. Do not judge your success by the standards of this world! If I judged myself by the standards of this world I would have quit before I got started!
But for me, life without knowing was a life of misery, anguish, and bitterness.
I encourage each of you to seek God with all the passion you can muster. Hear the blast of the Shofar! Awaken! If you are uncertain of your gifts or your calling, pray that those things be revealed. If you have received confirmation on your gifts and calling pray for the anointing that comes with it. If you have received the gifts, the calling, the anointing, are you walking in those things? Are you praying and studying to understand the assignment within you waiting to be released? And, if you’ve received all that, are you truly seeking God and Holy Spirit to direct you in your journey! If no, then why not?
IT’S IMPORTANT! Our generation and four generations behind us are depending on us and what we do NOW!
Now before you repent and before you pray for all these things, the watchman issues you not a warning but some truth. It will not be easy. You want the gifts and the calling? You better be willing to spend the time growing and developing the gifts and calling in spirit. You want the anointing to complete the gifts and the calling. You better be ready to be hard pressed. The oil of anointing is like the oil of the olive. It’s only gained through a pressing, a crushing. The work of true callings are often times lonely, harsh, thankless, and can be greatly frustrating not to mention discouraging. Do not seek the recognition or approval of this world but rather seek the recognition and approval of God.
Elul is here! Teshuvah is here! The forty days of the shofar is here! The King is coming to the field to meet with you! Is the awakening coming? That’s up to you. Are the gifts, the calling, the anointing coming? Perhaps. As I said earlier, many are called but few are chosen. All the rest rejected the calling because it was not what they wanted it to be or because they saw that they would have to submit to something greater than themselves. It doesn’t matter which way it is or if it’s a combination of the two, it’s a check in the loss column.
Elul is a month of preparation for the High Holy Days in the month of Tishri, The Feast of Trumpets has not been fulfilled. The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled when seven seals are broken, seven trumpets are sounded, and seven bowls of wrath are emptied. Oh Yeah, Yeshua will return with the voice of the archangel, a shout and the TRUMPET OF GOD resurrecting the dead in Christ and Coronating Him as King!
In First Kings Chapter 1 Solomon, the first king of David’s line was coronated king with the trumpet. In the last days, Yeshua, Jesus Christ will be the last King of David’s line coronated with the trumpet. And people wonder why it is that David was the only man of whom it was said, was a man after God’s own heart. Well, David recognized when he had made mistakes and was readily willing and quick to REPENT!
From the first day of Elul until the 10th day of Tishri, Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, judgments and blessings are being decided in heaven. On Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, the Books will close and those judgments or blessings for the coming year will be dispatched.
Now, it’s up to you which it will be and to what extent.
I am The Old Watchman, Ezekiel. You have been warned!