TAMMUZ FIRSTFRUITS

On July 2nd, we will begin celebrating our next Firstfruits in the Hebrew covenant calendar known as Tammuz.  

The fourth month of the Hebrew calendar is associated with the tribe of Reuben whose name means to, “SEE, a son.”  Reuben was the firstborn of all the tribes of Israel, and the meaning of his name is a foreshadowing of God’s only begotten Son, in whom we “SEE, His Son” sent to save us from sin.

God uses the tribes of Israel as a foundational pattern reflecting a part of our identity, heritage, and inheritance that we are born into as “sons of God.” Reuben reminds us to fix our EYES on Christ, our redeemer, and the one who is Lord over all.

When we face life challenges, our faith is tested to SEE God’s truth over what we actually see that is before us.  Regardless of how long you have been a Christian, this test never goes away.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).

Below is a picture that was drawn by Reese Mueller, depicting the focus of this month: what we SEE can shape our destiny.

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“The lamp of the body is the EYE. If therefore your EYE is good, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt. 6:22).

I love how Reese captured in the eyes of this picture this truth:  what we focus on can change our whole countenance.

This month God reminds us how important our EYESIGHT is to our spiritual and natural health:  

“Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see'” (Luke 10:23).

When our spiritual eyes are in the drivers seat over our natural eyesight, our minds are thinking like Christ:

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”(Phil 2:5).

Paul prayed like this:

“May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may He give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the EYES of your understanding would be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of glory of His inheritance of the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Eph. 1:17-19).

Our hearts change by the things we think and SEE:

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).

Like a domino affect, what we say is the evidence of the health of our heart which is being fed with God’s thoughts and promises SEEN by faith.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

When our hearts and minds are fixed on Christ, we experience His peace and our words will be full of life and love.  Listening to what people speak gives us a great indicator on what they think and SEE:

“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34).

So the challenge this month is:  What are you talking about?  It will give you a great indication of what you have put your SIGHT on.

It was during the month of Tammuz that the twelve leaders of the tribes of Israel were sent out by Joshua to spy out the Promised Land (Numbers 11).   Only two spies came back with a report that lined up with God’s promises.  The other 10 had put their focus (EYES) on the obstacles in their path that appeared to be too difficult to overcome, filling their hearts with fear, and reporting their fears to the community awaiting their return.

This negative report created a chain reaction that infected ALL the Israelites to fear and retreat from the plan of God to “enter in” and to take hold of the land God had promised to prosper them.

Unfortunately, God’s judgment came as a result.  Instead of entering into the Promised land, 40 years were given to them to live in the wilderness to learn from their mistake to get their eyes adjusted.

God will use opportunities, when facing our enemy, to see where our allegiance is:  FEAR OR FAITH!

“The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His EYES behold, His EYELIDS test the sons of men” (Psalm 11:4).

When we SEE with God’s understanding, no matter what is presented before us, we can respond victoriously.  David was a great example of this even in his youth.  When all the men of Israel saw the champion Philistine, Goliah, they ran in fear.

“And all the men of Israel, when they SAW the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid” (1 Sam 17:24).

David didn’t focus on Goliath’s champion battle record, his reputation, his size, or his strength.  David didn’t even take a moment to look at his own size and strength.  David kept his focus on how big GOD was.

“Then David said to Saul, ‘Let no man’s heart fail because of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17: 32).

We all know the rest of the story:  David’s brother’s mocked David for even being there at the battlefield; King Saul told David he wasn’t fit for the job; and the enemy Goliath despised and cursed David for thinking he could even stand up against him.

YET, David never lost his focus on trusting the Lord.    

This month, we enter into a summer season that is challenging us to see and hear what God is saying.  We must WAR with God’s word so our SIGHT lines up with His promise.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” (Matt.5:8).

I am confident that everyone reading this had some sort of provision that God released these past three months since the Hebrew Covenant Calendar started.  And most of you sowed a seed of something God told you to go and do, say, or pray about. Most likely, it produced excitement, hope, and joy.  Now as we continue to head on into the summer, many of you may be wondering why things have seemingly halted, are difficult, and wondering if God is really going to come through.

I want to encourage you that as much as we want to skip this time, God won’t.  We must go through the season of tending to the seed, which ultimately determines whether what was started with the Lord will produce a harvest.  It is the testing time of your testimony.

God said, “Seed, TIME, and harvest” (Gen. 8:22).  Time has to go by to tend to the seed with your faith, so watch your sight, guard your heart, and speak life over your seed.   Your initial seed was merely a deposit of greater things to come.  SEE that truth.  Let go of your expectations, and trust God with the seed given to you. Water it with your faith, believing in His promise, no matter what you see today.

 

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