By Matt Sorger
Rosh Hashanah is one of the highest holy days on the Jewish calendar. God works in times and seasons and never does anything haphazardly. Over the last 10 years since God first launched us into the prophetic healing ministry, I have noticed that each September has been spiritually a significant month for us. It was in September 2002 that our ministry was birthed, and with each September since God has brought a significant change and transition. September marks the first month of the original Jewish calendar, with Rosh Hashanah marking the first day of the New Year. The Jewish feasts and holy days mark important times and seasons in the Spirit. God still works in line with His original calendar.
A Time of Transition and Realignment Is Occurring
September, coming into the Jewish New Year, is often a time of transition and change. When the Lord brings change there comes a realignment of things, and a cutting away occurs. This brings a realignment of the body of Christ so that we are in the right place at the right time for the purposes of the kingdom.
I believe many in the church are entering a new season in their lives in which God is calling them to leave the old behind and step into the new. Things of the past that have impeded our forward motion must be left behind if we are to move upward in God’s purpose and call. It truly is a time when God is stripping and removing everything that would hinder our race in Him.
As we transition into the new we must understand what He is doing and what things He is requiring of us to leave behind. This transition will be different for each one of us depending on God’s unique plan and destiny for our lives. We must have an ear to hear Him in this season.
Be Careful Not to Copy Old PatternsGod is breaking out of the box. We must be very careful in this next season not to pattern ourselves after models of the past, even good models. We must not carbon-copy ourselves after patterns of ministry that worked in the last season. God is doing a new thing. To move into the new wineskin we must remain very pliable and sensitive to what God is doing and how He is moving. This will require a keen sensitivity to His voice and a boldness not to blend in and go with the flow. It will require a heart of total obedience and death to self.
Leviticus 23:23-32 speaks about the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. There is both historical and prophetic significance in each feast.
The first three feasts deal with the first coming of Christ; the last three look forward to His second coming. The feasts still hold great significance for us today. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17: “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law, or the prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”
Colossians 2:16-17 also indicates that these feasts are a “shadow of things to come.” Things that have been concealed in the Old Testament have now been revealed through the life of Christ.
The Feast of Trumpets (Beginning A New Year Spiritually)Sept. 29, 2011, marks the day of Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Feast of Trumpets. It begins the spiritual New Year. This day begins the period known as the Ten Days of Awe and ends in Yom Kippur and the Day of Atonement.
During this festival the Jewish people pray for God’s forgiveness, for a good new year and for long life. According to Jewish tradition, this day is also the beginning of God’s annual judgment of humanity. During this spiritual season God is searching our hearts. It is a time to:
Humble ourselves before God and let Him search and judge our hearts. We must have a contrite attitude and repent of all sin.
Pray God’s blessing over the New Year.
Pray God’s blessing for a long and healthy life in Christ.
Jewish services on Rosh Hashanah emphasize judgment, penitence and forgiveness. A shofar is blown to call the people to a place of repentance of sin and to be awakened to holy service to God.
A movement of holiness and power.
During this season there is a call going out for both holiness and power. As we transition into the new season we will see these two very important streams running parallel to each other in the church—the stream of very deep holiness and the stream of extraordinary power.
The days of mixture are over when people have operated in the anointing in public and lived in sin in private. God is calling us to a higher standard, to a place of spiritual maturity. God is bringing the church into a place of true sonship. For this to happen we must experience His holy, loving discipline so we can mature into the place of holiness and power He is calling us to.
God is dealing with all mixture in the heart of His body, corporately and individually. There is a greater glory coming, and to hold its weight we must have a firm, strong foundation. As the power of God increases on the church we must have an even more solid foundation. God is taking all the mixture out so we can handle the pure power of the Holy Spirit.
We don’t always know what is in our hearts. If there is something that must be purged, God will purge it. Our part is to humble ourselves and let God search and cleanse our hearts.
Determine the direction for the coming year.
The position we take before God will determine the direction of the rest of the year. What we sow now will release a harvest for the coming year. Rosh Hashanah is known as the “Head of the Year.” Jewish tradition says it marks the anniversary of the creation of the world and is the day when God takes stock of creation. Just as the head directs the body, so God’s judgments on Rosh Hashanah direct the events of the coming year.
I shared earlier that it is very important what we sow during this season. The decisions and choices we make will set the course for the coming year. The seeds we sow now in our lives will determine the harvest we experience in the year to come.
When I talk about God’s judgment, some will jump on that and say: "Yeah! People are so sinful, God is just going to destroy the world!"
When I say judgment I don’t mean God’s destruction. God’s judgment is always redemptive, and His discipline is always in love and with encouragement. Correction that comes without encouragement is not from God’s heart. His discipline always encourages us to rise higher; it never discourages us nor knocks us down. That is usually the work of a critical, judgmental spirit.
A good time to take stock.
It’s a good time to go before the Lord and ask Him to search your heart and purge out everything that has crept in that could offend Him. As we move into the next season God has for us, the position to take is one of humility, searching and judging our own hearts so that we ourselves are not judged. It is also a time to pray for God’s blessing and favor on the New Year.
The Day of AtonementFollowing Rosh Hashanah are the Ten Days of Awe that lead into The Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is the day the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies and apply the blood of the sacrifice to the mercy seat to atone for the sins of the people from the previous year. There was no barrier between the high priest and the full manifested glory of God.
I believe that as we humble ourselves before God and embrace the sacrifice of the cross in a new way in our lives, we will experience a depth of intimacy and communion with God deeper than we have ever known before. There will be no barrier between us and His glory, as we embrace the work of the cross. Humility opens the way for us to go deep into a pure communion with God.
It will be out of this place that we reap the amazing harvest that is awaiting us. Not only a harvest of God’s mercy and love in our own lives, but a harvest of global proportions as we see the heart of humanity turn toward God in this last hour. Get ready to move in His extraordinary power based in a life of holiness, humility and extraordinary love.
About the author:
Matt Sorger is a prophetic revivalist who ministers the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit in conferences, prophetic healing-revival services and miracle crusades throughout America and around the world. He hosts pastors and leaders conferences to train and equip leaders in the power of the Holy Spirit and is the host of his own television program. He is also an author; his newest book, Power for Life, releases this month from Charisma House. Learn more about him and his ministry at mattsorger.com.