Teshuvah: The Return

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.” -Isaiah 12:2 KJV, 2 Nephi 9:133 RAV, 22:2 OPV

We have traveled through Keter, being Born Again. Next is Gevurah, Hebrew for “strength.” This is the fifth Sephirah in the Tree of Life. It is below Da’at, across from Chesed, and above Hod. Gevurah is the essence of Din (Arabic, “way of life”), or judgment, and limitation. And, it is fire. It represents the Left Hand of God; the Holy Spirit. It’s fire will cleanse us and prefect us. Or, it will condemn us and destroy us if we do not allow it to use Christ’s Grace to perfect us.

Gevurah is the internal transformation. It is our confession as we wash away Ego and sin. It is God’s strength and thus our strength from God. It is our repentance as we return. When we say that we have returned to become a “new being” or a “new creature,” we are referring to the flesh. Our godly spirits and mortal bodies have become one and our physical bodies now wish to be like or resemble our spirits in purity. We were all perfect in the premortal worlds. We were the perfect creations of God; children of Elohim; God the Father and Mother.

This desire to return allows us to acknowledge our sins and be judged by them. Thanks to Christ’s atonement justice has been served by mercy. This allows us something we could never do on our own, grow to heal the damage our physical bodies have done to our souls. Thus, we are able to return to Elohim as perfected being, through Christ, and access Binah, knowledge (El Abba) and Chokhmah, wisdom (Shekinah).

The Seven Days of Gevurah

1. Regret. On the first day we must separate the light from the darkness. We understand sin harms us, harms others, and separates us from God. We must regret this damage as the first step forward, away from darkness and towards God’s light (Genesis 1:1-5).

2. Renounce. On the second day came the waters, and as in baptism we must awash way sin. We cleanse ourselves from that which separates us from God, desiring to replace acts of ego with acts of altruism (Genesis 1:6-8).

3. Confess. Just as vegetation sprung from the ground, on the third day we bear the fruit of confession. We must separate the land from the seas, the guilt and shame, admitting what we’ve done to ourselves, to God, and to those we have harmed (Genesis 1:9-13).

4. Reconcile. On the fourth day God created the sun, moon, and stars to light our path and give us signs in the firmament. Gevurah represents the Holy Spirit, the God that guides us. As we access this deity, he will light our path; bridging the gap created between us and God. This will stir Christ’s Grace within us, moving us to do his works. Thus, we do our part to mend bridges broken by our egos, that the warmth of the sun may be felt by all involved (Genesis 1:14-19).

5. Make amends. On the fifth day living animals were created. While only Christ can truly repay our wrongs, we still must do our best to repair any damages caused by our ego’s sin, bringing life where there was only the vegetation of confession. Now, our good deeds bare fruit and multiply. God blesses both those that did harm, and those that were harmed  (Genesis 1:20-23).

6. Resolve. On the sixth day God creates humans, as a new creature. The same is true with us. By working through the first five steps, we are new men and women, born again in Christ. We are humans created in the image of God. With renewed focus, we must now move forward resolving not to repeat this sin, as we are now a new person in God (Genesis 1:24-31).

7. Rest. This last step can be the hardest, as we must forget the sin and forgive ourselves. Our egos will attempt to shame us for what we’ve done. We must see ourselves as God sees us; forgiven. We must put past sins behind us, and rest knowing God has seen our hearts and said, “It is good” (Genesis 2:1-3).

The Return

In Keter we took the first steps of teshuvah, welcoming Christ into our lives. In Gevurah we take the next steps, learning to do God’s will. This is the time when Ego steps in to move against us. Nagging doubts may creep in, but by building a relationship with the Holy Spirit, we gain a powerful guide and protector. Remember, God doesn’t want us to fail. His plan for our happiness is the reason everything is happening. As Gevurah transforms us, we move beyond merely accepting Christ’s mercy. The Holy Spirit finely tools us into instruments to use in building his creations.

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