Boris Grisenko: Time for spiritual liberation and ascent

When I prayed yesterday and asked God to give me a Scripture, to my great surprise, I was given Psalm 126.  Many of us know him well. But I think it’s important for us to understand how the Lord sees you and me at this time.

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of[ Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.”

First, it is the song of ascents. It is very important. At such a time, there is a feeling that we are going downhill. But God can see this as ascension. What we are experiencing, what we are going through, is a stunning confirmation of many prophecies about the end times that are given, starting from the Torah and ending with the book of Revelation. And the Lord sees that at this time when external circumstances are objectively going down, we have the choice to make a descent with the circumstances or an ascent through them with the Spirit of God! This choice is available to every child of God at this particular special time.

And then it says here that in this difficult time the Lord frees us from captivity. He is preparing a great liberation of the Jewish people from centuries of spiritual captivity, slavery, religious, sinful slavery, slavery of idolatry and slavery of various forms of atheism, witchcraft and occultism.

But, first of all, He is preparing the liberation of spiritual Zion – that part of the Jewish people and other peoples who already know Him, who are with Him, who feel His support, hold His hand, are ready to follow Him and really go after Him. He frees us from the remnants of slavery. He doesn’t want us to be held captive by anything. He doesn’t want us to let the past, the flesh, the world, the fakes, the fears, the hopelessness, the despair, the bitterness, the condemnation, bind our brains, our will and our soul. He wants us to be freed from various kinds of captivity.

But sometimes it is a painful operation because external forces are involved. It seems to us that this cannot be, that we are in a dream. In recent days, I have had this feeling several times: “Yes, it cannot be, I will wake up and this is not happening!” Listen, the Lord knew it. But He leads and brings us out.

But He wants to give such a joy in the midst of these tragic, dramatic circumstances that we may never have experienced when there were external reasons for joy. He wants to teach us to rejoice with a joy that is indescribable and glorious, exceeding all earthly joy, because it comes from the glory of God, which comes from the throne of the Most High. He wants to teach us a kind of joy that does not depend on anything but our relationship with Him.

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

It is a miracle when God’s children, God’s people, despite all this, continue or even begin to rejoice, triumph and glorify God with new strength, confidence and with a new understanding of His heartfelt love for each of us. And this is a miracle, this sign is not only for us. During these couple of days, I stopped more than once, especially at night, and I realized that I was not able to calmly, and even more so with a smile, react to what was happening, when all this is going on… I am not able.

I understood that this is a supernatural act of God’s grace, this joy inside me periodically comes like a wave. Joy that is not connected with the external, but in spite of everything external. And I just stopped and said: “God! I didn’t know how great You are!”

It turns out that I did not know how great God is until such hard times came. I did not know how great His love is for us and for me. I didn’t know how He could pierce us with His light through everything that tries to crush us. And therefore, now, more than ever before, God’s address sounds alive and relevant: “Arise! Shine!” Even if you are not yet completely freed from captivity (it says “captivity of Jerusalem”): “Arise! Shine, shine with God’s glory! For the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”

Stop being bent over, stop being shackled, twisted, trying to become as small as possible, because there are explosions outside. I am not saying that you should not hide in a bomb shelter, that you should not choose a safe place. I’m not saying that you don’t need to take your loved ones out – doesn´t matter what anybody thinks. But enough of us to live as if God is not so great and not so omnipotent!

During these days I just stopped several times and wanted to pinch myself. I am a weak person. And I understood that I could not be so calm and feel this confident in these circumstances. But it is as if Someone had embraced me and is holding me in His arms. Hugged and is holding me! And this is true for every one of His children!

Boris Grisenko, Senior Rabbi of KEMO /