Afflict Yourselves

29 And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. 30 For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the Lord from all your sins. 31 It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is a statute forever. ~ Leviticus 16:29-31

Today is one of the most holy days in Judaism, for today is the Day of Atonement. When instituting this day, God told the people to afflict themselves because atonement was to be made for them in order to cleanse them. Now, many people will say this is the Law of Moses, and we’re no longer under the Law, so this doesn’t apply to us. I want to point out to all of you that the Law was a shadow of the good things to come. What does that mean?

No. We are not under the Law of Moses anymore; we are now under the Law of Christ. This is true. But the Day of Atonement has yet to have been fulfilled, and therefore, as Paul afflicted himself regularly so that he might never be overcome by his flesh, how much more should we in a day and age closer to the return of Christ than has ever been before, afflict ourselves? We’re living in the last days. They’re getting things ready for the Temple of God to be rebuilt. They’re trying their best to remove freedom of religion from every corner of the earth. We’re living in the perilous times that Paul warned Timothy of. No. Refusing to afflict your body today isn’t going to remove your name from the Lamb’s Book of Life, but choosing to afflict your body today will strengthen your spirit man. It will help put your flesh into subjection. And it will add to your treasures in heaven.

We’re called, by Paul, to present ourselves as a spiritual sacrifice holy and pleasing to God. How can we do that if our flesh rules our bodies and our spirit man has no room to grow? Therefore, give up something, even if it’s just for a few hours, at least until sundown, that you might have an offering to give to God as we await that day when we are changed in a twinkling of an eye, and our sins are completely removed from us never to cling to us again.

Dear LORD, help me to afflict myself by putting my flesh into submission. Help me to not give into the sins of this world, but instead, help me to overcome through You. You overcame the whole world. You were tempted in every way, just as I am, but You remained without sin. So, dear LORD, please help me to overcome through You. Help me to fast so that I might build up my spirit man within me and crucify my flesh. Help me to be a light in this dark world so that others might see You in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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