The Holy Land
A valley where a small boy defeated a giant. A cave where a mother gave birth to a child. A man walking on water and calming the storm. A sermon blessing the poor in Spirit. A Great Commission to go into all the nations. A quiet garden to go and pray.
These are all stories we know so well. Growing up as a Christian I have heard them so many times, I was almost numb to them. As I traveled to the Holy Land I had no idea what to expect and God blew me away. These stories are not only real to me now- they have new meaning. I walked the places where Jesus walked and I cannot wait to dig into the scriptures again, seeing them in a whole new light! This gave me a perspective of what it means to truly live like Jesus. We are called to radically love and live in compassion as He did! This means that I need to give up any claim I have held onto over my life, I am to be God’s instrument. This life is not about me.
I felt God speaking to me through the history and the biblical context we were receiving. All of these biblical stories and persons are a part of God’s grand story just as we are. God gave me confirmation about living as a missionary, giving me two separate verses randomly flipped to in Isaiah. He is calling me to be a “light to the gentiles.” It was so special to feel such a strong confirmation about my calling to live as a disciple; going into the nations to shares God’s love with all kinds of people. I may not have enough support, or know where God is calling me to after my DTS, but I rest safe in the calling the Lord has given me and His hand over my life!
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people
And a light for the Gentiles,
To open the eyes that are blind,
To free the captives from prison
And to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
Isaiah 42: 6-7
One of the main themes our group went over was the importance and power of prayer. We are called to intercede for people and situations. How many times do you tell people you'll pray for them and never give it any further thought? God has a compassion to break down the status quo, to redeem this land and Christians are meant to be a part of it. In relation to the Middle East, the situation seems dire and hope is hard to come by. But being in Israel, and praying and seeking earnestly a reconciliation between the Jews and the Arabs, we began to see the fruit of God working to redeem. We saw Jews and Arabs praying together asking for forgiveness and actively seeking reconcilation. Praying over Syria from its border with Israel, was such an honor. I,( thats right me) have the authority to stand up and pray out against strongholds. God can and wants to move in these areas that, to our human minds, seem impossible or out of bounds! As Christians we need to step up, and be more active in our prayer life!
"The Eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry" Psalm 34:15
We are called to stand in the gap.
I pray that i am not numbed to view situations as the world does, with little hope or promise. That i would forever hold onto the hope i have in christ. Lord break my heart for what breaks yours, transform my heart that my eyes may view others as you do.
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. on the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretenstion that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10: 3-5