And so we are "counting the omer" again, counting off the 50 days from Passover to Shavu'ot (Pentecost), as we are commanded in Leviticus 23:15-16. I gave a teaching again about what this means - how Passover occurs at the BARLEY harvest and Shavu'ot occurs at the WHEAT harvest. Barley was thought of in ancient times as animal fodder - and so it can represent the "animal nature" or the flesh. Wheat, however, represents fine flour, the ingredient in a fragrant, lovingly-baked loaf of bread, to be waved before the LORD as an offering. These fifty days, I taught the people, should be a journey of moving from the flesh-nature to the Spirit; from seeking our own way, to walking in the righteous ways of Yeshua, who lived out and demonstrated the perfect walk of Torah. In these fifty days we are to be asking the Holy Spirit to show us the dross that must be burned off; we must submit to the work of the Refiner's Fire, so that we can be molded into the image of our Master.
When I spoke those words, I didn't know how hot the fire would get for me personally! It was easy to talk about it - much more difficult to endure it! The Word says that teachers will be judged more harshly. This is right and true. We have no right to teach it if we are unwilling to walk it out.
The flames heated up this week, and the aroma of burning flesh was a stench. There was some groaning and tears as the Spirit pried my clenched fingers off the things I had refused to let go of. I recalled Mark Buchanan's words: "[He is] now forming in you - sometimes by hammer-blows, grapplings and hip-wrenchings - the image of Christ." Jacob had a limp when the wrestling was over. I'm not sure, but I think I may have one too. But the fifty days are not yet completed - so if I'm not limping yet, Abba, please complete the work so that I am fully sifted and truly ready to be a worthy offering waved before you at Shavu'ot. I want the fullness of the outpouring of Your Spirit, and the likeness of Your image; but I know I'm asking for the flames to get hotter still, and the flesh to be not wounded, but dead!
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.(Isa. 48:10)
Kelly Ferrari Mills