SHABBAT AT MALIBU STATE PARK
Somewhere in April of 2015 we pulled into line hoping to get a campsite at Malibu State Park to rest over Shabbat. It was 6 pm on Friday evening and we were exhausted from traveling. We had been on a ministry tour for nearly 3 months (with two teenagers, a dog and kitty — all in a 21 foot RV). And as we traveled the area west of the Rocky Mountains promoting Teshuvah College, living from one donation to the next, we realized once again that traveling is not restful. Therefore, the one thing that was really important to our family was being able to stay in one place OVER Shabbat. No matter where we were we needed a place for two nights.
We stayed in Walmart parking lots, casino parking lots, RV campsites and National and State parks when we could afford it. We over-nighted in farmers fields, in front of friends homes and on the side of the freeway. Looking for a place to camp for the night was not restful nor easy! It was an incredible challenge to find a place to park just to sleep for a few hours without spending money. We discovered that society welcomes you during the day anywhere. All in hopes that you will spend money wherever it is that you are. But at night everything seems to turn against you. Doors close. Fear arrives. Cops come out to make sure you are doing everything proper. It becomes a hostile world unless you have the money to be on the inside. After dark no one wants the poor and homeless around.
It was important to me to avoid that feeling on Shabbat– that feeling of and our reality of being poor and homeless. But before I finish my story I have to tell you what the Ruach ha’Kodesh taught me about “asking and receiving.”
Confused by my experience of Yahshua’s command to “ask and you shall receive.”
I have always struggled with the “ask and you shall receive” command that Yahshua makes (Matthew 18:19; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13; John 15:7; John 15:16; John 16:23-24; James 1:5-6; James 1:17; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14-15). How exactly does it work? Sometimes it seems to work, sometimes it doesn’t. It seems that most of the time it doesn’t. Why? Am I asking for the wrong thing? In the wrong way? I needed Papa to teach me, because everyone else seems to preach on it but lacks consistent experience themselves, lies about how it works or ignores it completely. But for a Melchizedek priest this is important to know! Yahshua said,
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt. 7:7-10
It looks like Yahshua said that his priests (disciples) could ask anything in his name and his Father (YHVH)would do it (John 14:14). So, I thought you could ask for and claim $1.25 million dollars to advance his Kingdom and have it…eventually. I’ve always have good motives and a Kingdom-sized goal when I ask (from healing someone, seeking freedom to building the Kingdom). So, what could possibly be wrong with what I’m asking for? What did Yahshua really mean by this command?
Several other people and families felt the same way during last Sukkot and we talked and prayed about it together. One of the ladies truly believed that there were certain protocols that you had to do to get what you were asking for, so we allowed her to lead us in several prayers. I was told to ask for something materially specific and believe that it would come… and magically it will. I was told to claim it before it is given because it is as good as mine. But I’m skeptical. None of the things she asked for in Yahshua’s name have come true. I was waiting and believing for months that my $1.25 million would come.
As a family and personally we always pray for many many things. We hope to move mountains with faith like a mustard seed. We hope to see the success of different things in our lives. But there seems to be little success. Very few of the things that I ask for happens.
We are getting the daily moment-by-moment, put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of provision. As in, manna. My issue hasn’t been the manna. I’ve been very thankful for it. As do many people, I know it well. My issue is that we weren’t meant to LIVE on manna. It was to be temporary. Yahshua made it sound like his priests would be able to do more than just receive manna. They would have plenty and do great and wonderful things for the Kingdom. YHVH said we would be the head not the foot. The lender not the borrower. Yahshua said we could have abundant life. But last time I checked “abundant life” requires at least some money.
I had no idea last year, but I was being taken in by the very popular, self-serving Gospel of Prosperity. The Gospel of Prosperity is a lie. It is a false gospel from the pit of hell.
His priests are told what to ask for…
I want to operate as an effective Melchizedek priest. I want to be able to do the things that the High Priest said I would be able to do and live in my calling. So in struggling with this, one thing I began to realize is that it is important to read the context of the text and also read far enough. Once I did that I noticed how the following things are tied to “receiving”:
- The Ruach
- Keeping his commandments
- Loving others (other-centered love)
- Agreement with another
- Remaining in Yahshua
- Belief in Yahshua
- YHVH’s will
- The act of asking
- Persistence in asking
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matt. 7:7-12
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts (the Ruach) to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Remember, “all the law and the prophets hang on these 2 things (love YHVH, love others).” Matt 22:37-40
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matt. 18:18-20
Yahshua replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matt. 21:21-22
“Have faith in YHVH,” Yahshua answered. 23 “TRUTH I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you persist in prayer, if you have anything against anyone, forgive, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:22-26 (CKJV)
“TRUTH I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. John 14:12-17
“If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:5-13
“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” John 16:21-27
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask YHVH, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:5-8
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above (the Ruach), coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” James 1:16-18
“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before Elohim and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Yahshua the Messiah, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps YHVH’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Ruach he gave us.” 1 John 3:20-24
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of YHVH so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching YHVH: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:13-15
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:12-21
I didn’t realized that Yahshua actually tells his priests what to ask for. Not $1.25 million dollars but Wisdom, Truth, YHVH’s Will and the Ruach ha’Kodesh! Game changer! We get those Kingdom things by persistent asking — from a heart that loves YHVH (keeps his commands), loves and forgives others, remains in and believes in Yahshua and agrees with another. We bring him glory by bearing much fruit and by practicing the act of “asking and receiving.” We can’t bear Kingdom fruit if we don’t have the Ruach ha’Kodesh in us. So, that is what we are to ask for!
I asked for His will to be done and I received….
Back to my story….the best way to love Papa is to keep his commands and obey him. Therefore, we must ask for things that we need in order to keep his commands. I began to realize that if he wants me to keep his commands (which he does) then he would have to provide for me to do so. And if he didn’t, that would be his problem! (And I wink at Papa 🙂 I have discovered that where the rubber meets the road with obedience really starts with Shabbat. One of the easiest places to see him come through for you is with Shabbat.
So there we were sitting in line at the Malibu State Park ranger station. We drove up to the window. Shabbat was close at hand. It was getting late and we only had an hour or two before sunset. The Ranger said nothing was available. They were packed. I leaned over Isaac from the passenger seat and looked the Ranger in the eye. I claimed my role as mommy and I said without fear and with a form of gentle firmness, “Please, you truly have no place for a tired family?” He told us to pull over and park and he would come to out to talk to us.
Happens to be they had one site available for one night. We thankfully said “Yes! We’ll take it!” knowing that Yah would take care of tomorrow. We were used to provision coming one day at a time (the manna). Of course, we didn’t want to have to tear down camp and move during Shabbat. We had requested 2 nights, but he said it wasn’t available. So, I figured I had done all I could. And if we had too move on Shabbat that would be Papa’s problem. There was nothing we could do. He would have to come through for us so we could obey and get the rest he wanted us to have.
That night we had our camp set up in time for the sun to set. Shabbat morning I woke up early and I felt the Ruach tell me to go ask with confidence for another night. She really didn’t say “ask,” she said more like “go get it.” I got on my bike and as I biked about a 1/2 mile to the ranger station I began to understand what Yahshua meant by “ask and you will receive.” I felt the Ruach invite me into a small test. She was going to teach me how to be utterly confident in the outcome by being utterly confident in Papa’s will. The Scripture says to ask for his will and it would be done. Not breaking the Sabbath was hands-down Papa’s will. Even though the ranger had said it wasn’t available the night before, as I biked I just knew it was. Of course it was. He would want us to honor Shabbat. He isn’t bound by state laws and people who think they “own” Papa’s Creation! Moving wouldn’t be restful. Moving would be breaking the Sabbath. So, I prayed like this, “Thank-you, Papa that we will not have to move on Shabbat. Thank you in advance for giving us the same campsite for one more night!” I claimed it. I had faith. I knew it was ours.
With a confidence coming from knowing YHVH’s system and how his trumps all other governments I walked up to the window and put the money for the second night in front of the lady and said, “I am in site #24 and I need to pay for tonight.” I looked at her like I already knew. Like someone had told me to just go pay for it. I didn’t ask her if it was available. I basically told her it was. She looked at her sheet. She took my money and wrote me out a receipt, no questions asked. I biked away with the golden pass to put on our truck window! We were in! WOW! The entire bike ride back I was praising the name of YHWH! It worked! It was a given. My family was stoked and it emboldened their hearts to trust Papa! I tested what Yahshua said with something that was a no-brainier. I wasn’t asking for $1.25 million dollars. I was simply asking for what my family needed to keep the command to rest on Shabbat. I bet I can ask for that same thing and he’ll do that again!
SHABBAT AT ZION NATIONAL PARK
We were on a road trip to Arizona to get out of the unrelenting winter of North Idaho. On our way down we went through Zion National Park. Again, we were on the road without a ton of money to spend on hotels or eating out, in search of relief. And once again, we found ourselves assuming that there would be lots of campsites available for travelers. But not so. All the campsites were full. With Shabbat at our heels we decided to go into the last campground past the “No Vacancy” sign and double check. I really felt like YHWH was saving a campsite for us. I kept saying it to the family. “Just wait, you’ll see, He’s got a site saved for us for Shabbat!”
Parked in front of the “campground full” sign I got out of the truck and walked toward the rangers who were driving up in their little golf cart. “We’d like to spend 2 nights here. Do you have a site for us?” I inquired. “Yes. Actually we do. It was kinda weird. We thought we were full, but we just found an empty one as we were driving through the grounds,” he said.
I knew it. No big surprise to me. Simply another opportunity to praise the One who provides for his people to obey. This is one of Papa’s favorite ways to show up in our lives–providing to help us obey him. We got our camp set up before Shabbat. The girls and I listened to Isaac’s shofar as he stood on the bridge over a river that flowed through the camp telling everyone in the crowded camp that Shabbat was here!
SEARCHING THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE THIS PAST SHABBAT FOR A CAMPSITE
Well, here we were again this past Shabbat in the same situation. Heading to Hood River to get 500 lbs of fruit to can for the winter. The orchard said to come now because the Gravensteins (the only apple for applesauce in my opinion) had “fallen” — so we were off.
With only a short window of time to get there, pick and get home Sunday we left Friday morning for the 7 hour drive without a place lined up to stay that night. Sometimes I feel the Ruach move us without proper plans (on purpose) in order to give us practice at asking and receiving what is a no-brainer. This kind of training grows my confidence in Yah’s ability to come through for us and confidence in myself to hear him. I was sure that there would be a campsite for us when we arrived in the Gorge. So we left as early as we could knowing Papa would provide.
But I had forgotten that this was high tourist season in the Gorge. It was going to be asking for a miracle to find a campsite considering that all the campgrounds in the Gorge require reservations and there is literally only 1 campsite that is a first-come-first serve basis.
As I drove Isaac searched the Internet for a hike for Shabbat. We chose the Wahkeena Falls Loop above Multnomah Falls. That settled, he began to search for a campsite in the area. Armed with a list of all possible places, we arrived in the Gorge in plenty of time before Shabbat to begin searching in person. But as we stopped to check each campground, we realized this was not going to be easy. It was peak tourist season and since the Gorge is the playground for the Portland metro-area it meant everyone and their dog was there.
After trying 4 out of the 5 possible campgrounds my confidence was waning. I was tired from a long fast trip. Several camp hosts told us there was nothing available anywhere in the Gorge. Little did they know that the King had our place for us, because we had asked and we were going to receive.
A “vacancy” sign greeted us at the final campground, Ainsworth Campground. We were stoked! This was actually the best campground to be at! It had the most amenities and it was the closest to the trail head. What that meant was that we could have hot showers and we wouldn’t have to travel very far on Shabbat to get to our day hike. We were so excited as we drove in.
The camp host showed us the site and told us it was available for one night only. I thought that was good, but I was tired and so wanted to just know we had it for 2 nights. Deep down I knew that Yah would provide for the 2nd night, as he had done before, but I was tired. My brain was tired. I went up to talk to the camp host.
While I was gone, Isaac talked to the Camp Ranger. He told her the situation, that we needed to honor Shabbat and needed a site for 2 nights. When I returned I said “Well, there’s nothing else we can do. If Papa makes us move tomorrow, it’s not our fault. I tried everything. Perhaps the site will be available tomorrow.”
Isaac replied, “Don’t worry, Rebekah I know we’ll have this site for 2 nights!”The girls were smiling and he held up the car pass with a wink. It was for 2 nights!
Yah came through an hour before Shabbat. Yah honored what Isaac and I asked for, because it was his will for us to keep Shabbat. The idea is to “commit you’re plans to him and he will make them succeed.” If our lives and our plans break his Royal Law then he can not bless us. If it seems we are blessed and our plans that break his Law succeed perhaps it is not YHVH making them succeed, but the Evil One who wants to destroy you. Commit your plans to honor Shabbat and he’ll make them succeed, because he wants us to keep his Shabbats set apart.
If your faith needs a boost, test him on this. Obey him at all costs and keep his Shabbats. He’ll give you what you need to obey and rest on them. You have an impossible situation with keeping Shabbat? I guarantee you, if you ask and you will receive!
PS. The hike on Shabbat was amazing! Just what my heart needed — a good soak in his Creation!