The Power of Seven for your Breakthrough

In the next 12 months, you and I can do something and experience something very special.

Our Jewish neighbors have just celebrated Rosh Shanna (a new calendar year), and in their tradition it is the year 5775. It is the calendar of the early Jewish community – the community of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a very sepcial year for the Lord's grace and miracles in our lives!

Let me explain...

As soon as the Israelites settled in the Holy Land of Israel, they were supposed to count and observe seven-year cycles (Leviticus 25; Deuteronomy 15). Every seven-year cycle would culminate in a Sabbatical year, known as Shemittah, literally: “to release.”

The year following the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans was the first year of a seven-year Sabbatical cycle. In the Jewish calendar that was the Jewish year 3829 – this corresponds to 68–69 CE on the secular calendar. By counting sevens from then, we see that the Jewish year 5775 is a Shemittah Year and this runs from Sept. 25, 2014, through Sept. 13, 2015.

The Shemittah Year is a Sabbath Year. We have officially entered a Shemittah Year. For Christians, it is a year is to commune in the special grace from the Lord of the Sabbath – Jesus the Christ.

So, what is this special grace we are called to commune with in this Shemittah (Sabbath) Year? How does that work?

Let me clarify...

From God’s point of view, the Sabbath was the seventh day. From the point of view of the first human beings – created on the sixth day – the Sabbath was the first. So, how does the Sabbath serve us?

Well...when it comes to Divine creation, there is no gap between intention and execution. God spoke, and the world came into being (Genesis 1-2). Isaiah speaking by the Holy Spirit says: "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.". (Isaiah 46: 10)

God knows in advance how things will turn out. With human beings, we cannot see the outcome at the outset. A great novelist may not know how the story will turn out until he or she has written it, nor a composer, a symphony, nor an artist, a painting. Creativity is fraught with the risk. All the more so is it with human history. The “law of unintended consequences” tell us that revolutions rarely turn out as planned. Policies designed to help the poor may have the opposite effect. F.A. Hayek coined the phrase ‘the fatal conceit’ for what he saw as the almost inevitable failure of social engineering – the idea that you can plan human behavior in advance. We can’t!

So, we may be tempted to simply let things happen as they will. Precious ones, this kind of resignation and apathy will rarely result in a happy ending. The other solution – given in the Bible – is to reveal the end at the beginning. That is the meaning of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not simply a day of rest; it is an anticipation of ‘the end of history’, the messianic age of Christ, the King of Kings.

The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass, but will happen in the future, because we know what we are aiming for – because we experienced it at the beginning. On it, we recover the lost harmonies of the Garden of Eden. We do not strive to do; we are content to be. We are not permitted to manipulate the world; instead, we celebrate it as God’s supreme work of creation and community. We are not allowed to exercise power or dominance over other human beings, nor even domestic animals. Rich and poor inhabit the Sabbath alike, with equal dignity and freedom.

This is the reason why the Jewish community rehearses it every week, one day in seven. This is the meaning of the “REST” – our Lord Jesus promised to give us in Matthew 11:25-30. The Sabbath is full of mercy, grace and healing (Matthew 12:1-21) which we receive and give to one another in this world as a sign of things to come (Matthew 12:8)

Hence, in this Shemittah Year (2014-2015), there are TWO (2) Specific Things that the congregation of the Shepherd’s House is called by the Holy Spirit to act between Sept. 25, 2014 and Sept. 13, 2015.

(1) Give Your Family and Friends a Break

At the end of seven years you will make a release. And this is the manner of the release: to release the hand of every creditor from what he lent his friend; he shall not exact from his friend or his brother, because the time of the release for the Lord has arrived. (Deuteronomy 15:1-2)

The Shemittah year waives all outstanding debts between debtors and creditors. So, if there are any out standing debts between you and someone in your community, FORGIVE THEM! Let it GO! The Lord will bless you back abundantly if you release the debts in the Lord’s presence, and tell your friend or family that you’ve released them from these debts (Matthew 6:12).

(2) Refocus on the Word of God

For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce. But in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest, a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, you shall not prune your vineyard, nor shall you reap the aftergrowth of your harvest . . . And [the produce of] the Sabbath of the land shall be yours to eat for you, for your male and female servants, and for your hired worker and resident who live with you . . . (Leviticus 25:3-6).
During the Shemittah year, the residents of the Land of Israel were commanded to desist from cultivating their fields. They were also called to relinquish personal ownership of their fields; whatever produce grows on its own is considered communal property, free for anyone to take. This aspect of the Shemittah year is known as “release of the land.” In ancient Hebrew agrarian culture, the Shemittah year called for people’s collective trust in the Creator, the One who bequeathed them the land of" milk and honey." The nation of Israel collectively took a breather and focused on higher, more spiritual goals—as the people packed the synagogues and study halls to focus on the Word of God.
Even today, when the vast majority of Christians are not involved in the farming industry, the lessons of Shemittah are very germane. During this holy Shemittah year we are expected to concentrate more on our spiritual mission in life, and a little less on our material pursuits. More on why we are needed, less on what we need. More on faith in Christ, less on faith in our own talents and abilities
So, set apart time during this Shemittah Year to fast, pray, love, read, reflect and meditate on God’s Word. Together we can hear the Word, and we can do it!

Adapted from: