The Feast of Tabernacles

Last year I shared a little bit with you all about Sukkot, a season of drawing near to God as He draws near to us. This is my favorite Biblical festival. Every year the Lord does amazing things with and in my family during this time! This is day two of Sukkot and God has already moved mountains for my family. My husband is so on fire for the Lord, I can’t even describe how amazing it is to witness. My kids are loving being out in our sukkah (temporary dwelling) or more technically, our tent set up in our back yard. Camping out in a tent in your backyard, doesn’t seem glamorous from the outside looking in. Who would willingly choose to endure mosquito bites and Texas humidity when they have a perfectly good air-conditioned home? We are those seemingly crazy people.

Why, you ask? When we take the leap of faith to come out in nature, set up a temporary home, and expect the Lord to show up with us, He does. Every time. This is our fourth year to do Sukkot, And each new year is even more miraculous than the last.

Our very first year to celebrate Sukkot was in 2014, and it was just Brenner and I. We were in the middle of planning our wedding which was only two weeks away, and I started feeling really bloated and sick. We were living with my mom, Stacy, and stepdad at the time. Stacy had pregnancy tests on hand and encouraged me to take one. Five tests, several lines and plus signs later, and they all showed the same result: I was pregnant. I immediately fell into condemnation. All of the voices of shame and rejection flooded my mind. That’s the real reason they’re getting married. What a sinner! She’s not a real Christian. And so on. Every lie pointed to my pregnancy being a mistake, and even deeper, to me being a mistake. Honestly, yes, it was sinful for us to not wait until our marriage to be intimate. The Lord commands us to wait for marriage to have sex for a reason. Wait because of all of the pain that can come with wholly giving yourself to someone outside of marriage that you were never meant for. Wait because there is miraculous value in a covenant between God and man. Wait because God is good and His plans are good. It’s true and I don’t deny it. The sin was a mistake, but the little baby in my belly was not and neither were we. Believing that truth took a lot of time spent dwelling in the grace and mercy of the Father and a great deal of life spoken over us from my team of encouragers. God redeems even the worst of the worst like me.

Now that we got that out of the way let’s get back to my family’s first Sukkot. We found out we were having a baby. Rewind to the year before, I laid on a doctor’s medical table and heard the words, “you had a miscarriage”. At eighteen years old in the heat of my dark past, that sent me off the deep end. So fast forward back to finding out I was pregnant again, that fear was a steady pulse in my heart. Still, because of my relationship with Christ, I let the joy flood me and was excited as Stacy took us to a pregnancy center to receive a free sonogram. Again I found myself on a table with eyes filled with tears as I refused to search the screen any longer for a missing heartbeat. Again I heard the words, “you had another miscarriage”. It shattered me, but this time I had my future husband and my reconciled relationship with my mom to speak truth and hold up my broken pieces. I signed the paper stating that I had a miscarriage, prayed with the nurse that took care of me, and left feeling empty. We got back to their house and my family instantly went to battle for me. They prayed life over me, rejected the death report and spoke life over me. They believed, and that helped my unbelief. Later that night the nurse who took care of me at the center called me. Her alias can be, Cher. Apparently Cher took my number off of my paperwork and called me personally. Which is totally unheard of, and still I’m so glad she did. I’ll never forget it. Cher sounded almost frantic as she immediately asked me if I had gone to the E.R. to have the miscarriage removed through a D&C. I told her about our choice to believe life over the baby and that I hadn’t gone to the hospital. Cher was so overjoyed because she said that she just didn’t feel peace about the miscarriage. Cher felt like it was wrong too. Wow!

So we set up an OBGYN appointment for the next business day, which was 4 days later (note: The story of Lazarus in John 11) and we prayerfully waited. Brenner worked late nights at Walgreens and I spent time with God and my reconciled family in their sukkah as we waited. Before I knew it I was laying on a new table with a new doctor, staring at a ceiling because I couldn’t bear to witness my empty womb again. Yet this time I heard the room gasp. Stacy cried out with joyful tears as the Doctor countered my worst fear and told me that my baby was alive. My shattered heart both healed and burst a thousand times in one moment of joy. That was a day our lives changed and has continued to since. One miraculous Sukkot, one beautiful covenant marriage, and two children later, here we are on year four. By the grace of God, our lives just get sweeter ever day. What a blessing it has been for my family to celebrate the Biblical Hebrew festivals. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is faithful! I wonder where we will be next year?

Here are a couple of scriptures that will shed some light on Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles:

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.” (Leviticus‬ ‭23:33-34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John‬ ‭1:10-14‬ ‭NKJV)

  • In this one, the word ‘dwelt’ actually means ‘tabernacled’! So cool! Jesus was actually born during Sukkot! Powerful stuff!

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.” (Zechariah‬ ‭14:16-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

  • I love this one so much because it shows that we will all be celebrating Sukkot with the Lord after He returns!

“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.””(Revelation‬ ‭7:15-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

  • This is our hope! This is what Sukkot foreshadows, our joyful expectation of what’s to come!

Whether you celebrate the Biblical festivals or not, I pray that you would draw near to God as He is drawing near to you in this season and expect miracles from the Miraculous One! Be blessed,

Lacey


Want to learn more about Sukkot and your faith in the Messiah’s Hebraic roots? Check out this great resource!

Message of Ashes

Your feelings of impurity, humiliation, filth and worthlessness are all ashes that Jesus died for. He died to trade the ashes of your past, present and future in exchange for His radiant beauty.

I have sang the sweet words “beauty for ashes” in worship many times. I have prayed those words over people crying out to God for deliverance, “trade your ashes for Christ’s beauty!!” I’ve prayed that great exchange from Jesus to myself many times. But today it was as if the words became a little more tangible; the Word of God cut into my bones a little deeper.

This morning I was reading about burnt offerings in Leviticus. The priest would perform the offering and then take the ashes of the burnt offering out of the camp (Leviticus 6:11). There was no reason why this stuck out to me, except that the Holy Spirit wanted to teach me something. I tried to read on, but the word ‘ashes’ became a ringing bell in my head. Therefore I proceeded to use my favorite biblical study tool, a concordance (through biblehub.com) and look up the root meaning of ‘ashes’. As I read that this specific Hebrew word, דָּ֫שֶׁן or deshen, means ‘fatness, ashes of fat, abundance’, I wondered if the same version of the word was used in the ‘beauty for ashes’ scripture I knew and loved:

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”” (Isaiah‬ ‭61:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

To my amazement, the word for ‘ashes’ in the Isaiah passage was different from the Leviticus one. ‘Ashes’ used here in Isaiah 61 is אֵ֫פֶר or epher, and it is used in several other scriptures meaning: ashes of the red heifer which was an offering for purification, ashes put on the head as a sign of humiliation, ashes representing contrition (self-reproach, repentance), ashes for mourning, ashes meaning filthy or loathsome, ashes meaning worthlessness, sorrow and distress (all taken from Brown-Driver-Briggs). Wow, isn’t that powerful? These are the ashes Jesus wants us to give up to Him so that He can exchange them for His beauty, the beauty of the Bridegroom! Your feelings of impurity, humiliation, filth and worthlessness are all ashes Jesus died for. He died to trade the ashes of your past, present and future in exchange for His radiant beauty. That’s astounding. That kind of pure love makes no sense to the human mind, but it doesn’t have to because God just is who He is and does what He does despite our level of understanding.

I very briefly studied out this message of ashes before going about my day. Around mid-afternoon I found myself in a situation where my past sins and mistakes were being kind of..rubbed in my nose. A conversation that was intended to be redemptive, forgiving and freeing, had felt shaming, accusatory and enslaving. A list of mistakes I made (4 years ago and very early in my walk with Christ) were being thrown at me in detail and it hurt to revisit those dark places in my life. I could literally feel the spiritual cuffs of my past being clicked onto my wrists and ankles and could hear the enemy’s excitement that he had captured me again…but God.

God wouldn’t have any of that, no sir. He caught me as my mind tumbled into that pit and He fought His way out with me in His arms. After much prayer, repentance and seeking His counsel, I saw the situation for what it really was: An invitation from Jesus to trade my buried, old ashes for His fresh and new beauty. Jesus wants to be the king of my entire heart..not just some of it. Even the most dark and infected spaces within me-especially those places. The devil wanted this conversation to harm me, but God used it to take me back into that sinful time in my life and totally annihilate that darkness with His glory light! His light always overcomes the darkness (John 1:5). Instead of wearing those past sins and allowing shame and regret to control my mind in that moment, I allowed Jesus to take those ashes of humiliation and give me His beauty-His grace, His mercy, His love, His peace. These are the things I am called to meditate on. Not who I was then, but who I am now in Christ Jesus! Today is the day of salvation and today I am sold out for Jesus. God is renewing me into the image of His perfect Son, Jesus. I’m not perfect, but God is and He will complete the good work in me that He started.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

Ask God if there are any ashes you are still wearing on your head in humiliation or despair from past regrets or present mistakes. If you’re feeling worthless, shamed, impure, or filthy there is an invitation from Jesus to you. An invitation to trade all of that pain and heartache for His beauty and resurrection which can be received through accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and surrendering all of yourself to Him!

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Our daily bread

Today, like every other day, has been long and eventful. It’s only 1:30 p.m. and I’ve already been “Ninja Turtle Mommy”, master Lego architect, peek-a-boo professional, cleaned the entire house twice, and wrestled two children in to bed for their unwanted (but desperately needed) naps. Days as a stay-at-home mom are busy. I’m sure all of us have different forms of action-packed days that can drag on and leave us feeling as though we are running on empty fumes once mid-afternoon rolls around. What if there was a sustenance that could keep you filled up regardless the circumstances and busy events?

I come with Good News, such fulfillment exists.

One scripture has continuously been showing up in front of my face recently, The Lord’s Prayer:

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

Jesus gives us an outline for how we should pray to God. This prayer sounds simple, and it really is simple but powerful. I think that because it is simple, the Lord’s Prayer can often be over looked or watered down. I grew up reciting it before every intake of communion at my family’s small Baptist church in North Texas, and sometimes before meals. My memory knew the words but my heart only scratched the surface of the meaning. Over the past month, this prayer began appearing either in song form or just simply when I’d open my Bible up only to find the prayer miraculously within the paragraphs on the page. It was obvious that God wanted to teach me something deeper  within Jesus’s words.

The entire prayer is full of nourishing meat, but one part in particular really stuck out to me in relation to where I currently am in life.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

I always thought that meant God was giving me today, a day not promised but given. Or possibly meaning that my daily bread is a day provided to me with everything I need to get by in. But this time there was more for me to see. What triggered in my mind while reading those few words was the question,“What is bread?”

God’s response to me was as it usually is,“Well what did Jesus say?

“And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” (John‬ ‭6:35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Jesus is the bread! Jesus is our daily bread! He is our sustenance that gets us through the day, that gets us through life. Jesus is our manna provided by God for us to get our fill everyday. Only after we have had our fill of Jesus, can we give Jesus out to others without running empty. I have found myself ministering to people, my children included, and feeling so frazzled or drained afterwards. Why?

I was loving people with my own counterfeit version of love. My love runs out. My love is a shadow of the real deal. God’s depthless river of love made manifest through Jesus never runs dry. We must dig our wells in His love before pouring out into others.

We are intended to continue filling up even while we are already full, so that everything we give is merely an overflow of what has been given to us. Jesus is our overflow. Think about the story of Jesus’s first miracle. The wedding guests had already drank all of the expensive wine and were full. They ran out of the drink and Jesus miraculously changed the water in to wine-and better tasting wine at that! The guests already had wine, it wasn’t as if Jesus was supplying a need. Jesus was giving out extra. Jesus was providing an overflow. Now how can we press into this and receive our daily bread?

“She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.” (Proverbs‬ ‭31:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

This scripture provides us with the practical method of getting up in the early hours of the day, when the rest of the household is still sleeping, in order to provide food for both her household and the other people in her care. We can only provide to others that which has first been given to us.

“We love each other because He loved us first.” (1 John 4:19 NLT)

We must really and truly look to Jesus daily to see God’s love before we can pour out to others. We have to stay in a constant state of consenting to God’s love if we are to love others.

It’s a process. One I am journeying forward on. I want to share my amazing friend, Katelyn’s, testimony in regards to her own journey of setting apart time to receive her daily bread:

“It has been nothing short of easy to set apart this time. It truly is something I’m having to train for just like running a race. Right now I wake up 5-6 a.m. and read… take my notes then go back to bed until around 9 a.m. when my kids get up. Yes, I know that’s not exactly the way I think it should be but I’m training myself to be able to stay up and just not go back to sleep. Through me doing this it’s felt like I’ve been under more attack with the devil with the kids a lot (not even going to lie). But the awesome part is even though I feel the devil is running right behind me all day , God is right in front of me, cheering me on, reminding me what I’m training for, what I’m learning, and guiding me on how to use it! Honestly it’s hard some days, it seems easier to get that extra hour or two of sleep, but then I have to remind myself of the things that I have defeated because of doing this… Outside of my household, I truly feel like I am remembering His word even more than ever now that I rise early to provide the food (spiritual) for my family and friends. I used to always felt timid on saying stuff because I didn’t know what I was talking about. But now it’s like verses come to me on what I’m reading and I’m remembering them! How great is our God. Through believing Him, in faith that this would turn out for the better, He’s helping me with things I wasn’t even focused on. I can’t give that glory to anyone but Him. Because of rising early I now feel more confident and comfortable sharing his word!

“I rise before dawn and cry [in prayer] for help; I wait for Your word. My eyes anticipate the night watches and I awake before the call of the watchman, That I may meditate on Your word.”
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭119:147-148‬ ‭AMP

I challenge you to prioritize a time in your day to receive your daily bread, Jesus Christ! Whether it be the early dawn or the late evening, commit to finding the moments of stillness before God and receiving His love through the reading of His Word. Jesus is the Bread of Life and Jesus is the Word of God. Setting apart a slot of time to read your Bible and communicate with God (praying) is how you will apply this to your daily routine.

Waiting on the Promise

I can’t speak for the world, but I’m pretty positive that no one enjoys waiting. You might enjoy whatever you do to keep your mind off of waiting, but the lengthy process itself is almost never fun.

Think about Moses and the Israelites’ 40 year trek through the wilderness. Time and time again we see the nation become ablaze with faith, and then falter due to the delayed process of entering the Promised Land. The toxic idea here being that God is taking so long to do what He said He would and therefore that must mean one of two things:  1) He forgot about me or 2) He is not God anymore. Both resulting in turning to other false gods for help.

It sounds harsh, but those are the doubtful thoughts that can develop out of impatience and a loss of endurance.

When we forget who God is, we believe the lie that He forgot about us. 

A loss of truth becomes a loss of faith.

To avoid going on a downward spiral to mental and physical chaos, you must counteract those lies with  truth. And if you’re already in that boat surrounded by disorder, let this be your reinstalled anchor of hope to the One who has never abandoned you.

God is still God. His plans are still good. Nothing and no one can stop the fulfillment of His promises

“‘And of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father.Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’” – (2 Chronicles 28:5-7 NKJV)

God called David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). Despite his sinful ways, God chose David to be king of Israel. That alone is encouraging to the rest of us wretches saved by grace. In this passage, David discusses the promise God spoke to him regarding his son, Solomon, becoming the next king. David had many sons, but God promised Solomon to be heir of the throne. Solomon was a man born of David and Bathsheba whose very relationship was founded on adultery and murder. It wasn’t his fault, but according to the Law the sins of the father are passed down to the next generations (Dueteronomy 5:9). However, God is good and His mercy triumphs His judgment (James 2:13). What better way to show that, than to bring favor, blessings, riches and the Messiah out the line of sinful, yet repentant David? It all points to Jesus and what He has to offer us.

God is still a good God.

“Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” – (1 Kings 1: 5)

Adonijah is one of Solomon’s many older brothers. A few verses later he is described as being ‘very handsome’. He’s older, he’s attractive, and he’s got more followers. So Adonijah sets himself up as king while David is laying in bed from his advanced, old age. Adonijah invites all of the brothers, not including Solomon, and all of the royal officials to his ‘I just usurped the throne‘ party.

Have you ever been left out by your family or friends? Solomon can relate! The Bible doesn’t talk about how Solomon feels here, but I can imagine it’s intimidated, doubtful and afraid. He doesn’t stand up for himself while his promised throne is sabotaged. He is guessed to be around 10-13 years old at the time and his mom, Bathsheba, goes to battle for him! Hooray for momma bears! Bathsheba tells David what Adonijah is doing, and David immediately swears Solomon to be the true king. He has Solomon anointed king and put on his own donkey to ride through town proclaimed as the true King.

“Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, Long live King Solomon!And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.” – (1 Kings 1:39-40 NKJV)

God’s party for Solomon doesn’t compare to Adonijah’s party for himself. The pretender doesn’t stand against the real deal. The darkness can’t overcome the light. The lies will never overrule the truth

God’s promise for Solomon to be king was never compromised. Even when Adonijah appeared to be king in his place, God had a plan. Solomon didn’t have to lift a finger to combat his overthrown throne. God did the work for him.

Even when the odds seem against you, when everyone seems to have abandoned you, when the victory seems to be given to your enemy, the Lord is still at work on your behalf. Nothing and no one can stop the fulfillment of God’s promises in your life.

Regardless of what you see, don’t lose hope in the God who said He would move your mountains. You need only be still & have faith the size of a mustard seed. Surround yourself with Jesus-seeking people who will love you & fight for your behalf. Pray without ceasing. Don’t give up. Stay the course! Press in! The victory is yours.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Got grace?

Last week I found myself knee deep in a toddler meltdown, which seems to be a common occurrence these days. I was flustered because it was happening in public, sweating because I was chasing my 2.5 year old around with a baby in my arms, and anxious because of what the other moms could possibly be thinking about me and my wild kids. Half way through this mom-and-kid playgroup I was ready to run for the hills. I was gathering my stuff when I heard God’s still, small voice say, “push through”. So I stayed…begrudgingly. My toddler still fought me and my baby still squirmed, but we stayed. Had an awesome God-centered talk with my friends, but I was worn out at the end. Why so worn out?

Well the obvious reasons being that I was literally physically exhausted from momlife. But even deeper than that, I was subconsciously trying to be accepted and loved through my performance. And since that was going completely left field, I felt like a failure and inadequate. I had to face the hard-to-chew fact that I’m an imperfect human who must stop trying to appear perfect.

When the uncontrollable chaos erupts, we have no choice but to submit to humility and receive God’s grace. 

It hurts my pride when my kids refuse to obey. But if I am honest, it’s not always because they aren’t doing what they should. Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like I should have it all together and I don’t. Gasp.

I know no one else could possibly struggle with that too.

I’ve known that I had an issue with people-pleasing and I have finally overcome that this year. But I didn’t dig deep enough to see that people-pleasing was just a side-effect of basing my success in life off of my performance. It has left me constantly trying do this or that right and not always measuring up because I’m mundane. Which in return leads me to feel less-than or down on myself. Feeling that way doesn’t push me to be better, it just leaves me..stuck.

Judgement doesn’t move us to true repentance, only grace can do that. 


 I am my own worse critic..even worse, I am trying to be the Judge of my life. I keep pleading ‘guilty’ and sentencing myself to ‘life with no parole’.

Yuck.

It’s time to release this burden once and for all.
Truthfully, this particular day with this specific toddler meltdown was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. At the end of the study, my new friend, Andrea, asked me to grab lunch. The sleep-deprived part of me thought, “with these kids, are you crazy?!” Once again, I felt spiritually nudged to go. We started to walk out and I told her that I felt bad for not being able to help her pick up the house that my kids helped destroy. She replied, “Lacey it’s fine. you need a little more grace today.

I need a little more grace.

Bingo! Yahtzee! Winner, winner chicken dinner! Thank you Andrea for listening to the Holy Spirit and shaking me awake with those words. I needed it.

The constant struggle of basing my success off of my performance is me living life without grace. And if I relationship with people that way then I relationship with the Father that way too.

“For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;”- ‭‭EPHESIANS‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭AMP‬‬ (emphasis added)

The Greek word used for ‘grace’ here is ‘charis’ literally meaning gift/blessing brought to man fromJesus Christ, favor, charmgratitude, and liberality (to name a few).

Accepting God’s grace liberates you from sin!

It’s not what I can do, but what He can do. Knowing that and owning that is one of the most freeing and motivating realizations there is.

Receiving God’s grace deposited in to our hearts influences our actions. Not the other way around.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”- Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ NKJV

We could all use a little more grace today!

Seeking God first by reading His word and meditating on His goodness will organically transform my life.

“I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.”-‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

So as a person thinks, they speak, and so as they speak, they are.

Accepting God’s grace in your heart will move you from a place of “I need to” to “I want to“.

F R E E D O M

I’m going to stop trying to be a Christian and just be a person actively pursuing my Jesus through the valleys and mountaintops, the stumbles and the victories.

I am going to be Lacey living in God’s grace.

(My sister creeping on me and my daughter at the playgroup)


—————

References:

• Greek meaning of ‘grace’:

“Grace.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: New American Standard Bible, updated ed.,     Lockman Foundation, 1995. Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages., http://biblehub.com/greek/5485.htm .

Dwelling with the King

There are 3 seemingly tedius and long chapters in the Old Testament that I have read over countless times: Exodus 25-27. Exodus is an action packed, miracle-filled book, up until the end…once God begins laying the foundation for these sheepishly, slave-minded people, I find myself dozing off in between verses. Why? Rebellion is my heart. Not that I’m just outright wanting to disobey God (although pre-salvation Lacey had no qualms about that) but as a church I think we have completely disregarded the Law and limited the Old Testament into being just that…old and irrelevant. But it’s really not old in regards to application and it’s constantly relelvant to anyone who would choose to listen to the whisper of God through the Old Testament’s “founding Father’s” message.

Exodus 25-27 is a word for word, measure for measure description of the intricate and specific requirements for the Tabernacle that God dwelled with the Israelites in. From the rich and exotic colors of the curtains, to the massive gold cherubim over the Ark of the covenant, this Tabernacle and everything in it is nothing short of incredible. Like I said before, I’ve read this time and time again. But this time, I was reading through this depiction of the Tabernacle while also building a sukkah (tabernacle or temporary dwelling) of my own for this 2017 Sukkot. It was no coincidence or of my own doing. I have been consecutively reading through the Bible over the past few weeks, and here I was on my next chapter reading this description of God’s Tabernacle on the perfect day at the perfect time.

Inside our makeshift sukkah before we put in our bedding

Sukkot, feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering, is a Biblical Jewish festival commanded to the Israelites by God multiple times throughout the Bible. It is a seven day festival in which you are bringing in the harvest, a season of joy after all the labor. You build a shelter out doors, a ‘tabernacle’ for you, your family and God to dwell in- in rememberance of the miracles and great provision God had in store whilst freeing the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage. A season reminding us that God is our ultimate provider and shelter. It is also believed that Jesus was actually born during Sukkot (for more info check out the links at the end of this blog). Sukkot is also a prophetic time in which all the nations will come up to worship Jesus after His return:

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”- (‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭14:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

These Biblical Holy-days literally point to Jesus!!! The Bible is actually a complete living and active book! There aren’t two parts, but one whole story breathed by God and nourishing to all.

So, back to the Tabernacle! Why so much “seemingly tedious” detail? We can clearly see that this Tabernacle and all that went in it was worth a fortune. It was stunning! This giant Tabernacle was intended to house the King and all His glory. Few could go in to the Holy of Holies because the glory of God was just that intensely Holy.  Now here’s something even more interesting..

“And the Word became flesh and tabernacled (dwelt) among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.”- (‭‭John‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭TLV)

Jesus is the Tabernacle. Those outrageously ornate and beautifully designed requirements for the Old Testament Tabernacle were all pointing towards the beautiful and perfect King Jesus-our living Tabernacle who brought the presence of God to every person. Now, with Jesus, even the sinners, the scoundrels, and the unclean can enter the presence of God. Jesus tore the veil so that anyone and everyone could enter into the Holy of Holies within the Tabernacle (Matthew 27:51). Not only that, but once we believe in Jesus as our Lord and our salvation  the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us! We become the tabernacle: intricately and beautifully designed, housing the King of Kings. Everywhere we go, He is right there hanging out with us.

As I sit here in my sukkah, feeling the warm Texas breeze and listening to my two little ones giggling in the soft green grass, I am fully aware of the presence of God surrounding me and within me. He is completely covering me. I can’t escape His presence and I never want to. This season of joy is miraculous and divinely appointed. And I am so thankful to be able to experience life the way Jesus did.


Links for more information on Sukkot: