About four years ago, my wife Judy was out on the lanai in our Florida home when she clearly and unexpectedly felt the Lord say to her, “If you will go and bless my people Israel, I will heal you of all the losses in your life.” It came out of nowhere and caught her off guard. After all, she felt like she was quite healed from the losses of her life. She believed it was a word for both of us, but I too felt healed of my losses.
So we delayed.
Or shall I say, I delayed. To me, it never seemed like the right time to go. Then about a year ago, I prayed specifically about going and the Lord caused me to see His face above the old city with a big smile, inviting me to come. I asked Him when and He left that up to me. It was kinda like, “I’ll be here whenever you decide and I’ll show you around.” It was like He was real excited about us coming.
But I delayed again, waiting for that perfect time. Maybe some handwriting in the sky or something obvious. (o-: We thought it would be awesome to take a few of you that keep up with us on our blogs and Facebook and make it a truly incredible trip. Instead of the standard, cookie cutter tour, we were going to do a custom, private tour we call, The Recover All 2015 Tour.
We began to look at a trip during Passover, but the rooms were either not available or at a ridiculous premium. So we decided we would invite you with us in November.
But things changed this week.
On Thursday, Judy got up with a big burden for Israel and their elections coming next Tuesday. When she shared that with me, we stopped to pray. I know it may seem strange, but we feel that NOW is the time to go to Israel. To put our feet on the ground, like Abraham or Gilgal, and pray for Israel and the outcome of the election.
I am well aware that we can pray from here, and we have done that many times over the years. However, almost all of the healing miracles Jesus did, were in person. Only two I know of were not. Similarly, in James we are told that if there are any sick among you, let him call for the elders and let them pray over them with anointing oil. In other words, though the elders could have prayed from their home, they went to where the need was.
That is what Judy and I are doing. 48 hours ago, I was no more thinking of going to Israel before November, than fly to the moon. 48 hours from now, we should be in our hotel room in Jerusalem.
We are not part of a tour. This is not a vacation. We are going to pray over the country and find ways to bless Israel. We are trusting God to lead us, as we know no one there. We covet your prayer support.
All of this is happening within a bigger context
A few days ago, I initiated a 30/30 challenge where I committed to spend at least 30 minutes a day worshiping the Lord. Not praying. Not reading my bible. Worshiping. At the outset, I felt things were going to change in our life. I was so sure of it, that I wanted you to have the same experience. Thus the 30/30 challenge.
It goes like this… For 30 minutes a day, you commit to worship God. You can do it all at once or break it up during the day. This is not a legalistic thing. None of this, “my work is worship to God” stuff. I’m talking about what you might do if you were before His throne. I can guarantee that you wouldn’t be bored or wondering what to say. You would be completely undone! Most likely, laying prostrate before Him.
The Bible is full of hundreds of exhortations to worship God, but we scarcely know how to do it. We attend “worship” services that have very little worship. Great songs that stir the heart, but that’s not necessarily worship. Every example of worship I can find in the Bible, always involved bowing or laying prostrate. Not snoozing, but trembling, crying often and highly reverent.
Grown men did this. Jesus Himself did this… (“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” Hebrews 5:7) Women washed His feet with their tears. But we… We are too what? Too sophisticated? Too cool?
Oh, we are cool all right. Down right chilly in comparison. May we find the heat and the passion of our first love again. May God revive our hearts. And He will, as we worship Him. Break up that icy cold heart that feels uncomfortable and unfamiliar with extended worship and do it. Do it until you crave it. Do it until you know you never want to go back to a life devoid of worship.
When someone approached Jesus and worshiped Him, I’m pretty sure they didn’t break into a moving rendition of How Great Thou Art. They bowed down. When we read accounts of John or Isaiah seeing the Lord, they didn’t start reading their Bible and call it worship time. They didn’t pose for a selfie and post it on Facebook. They didn’t shake hands and ask for a tour of Heaven. They were like dead men, completely undone!
That is where I strive to get in my worship time.
The fact that it takes me awhile to get there is only evidence for how well I DON’T know Him. So I press in, because I want to know Him better. I want to carry His heart for the world. I want to love who He loves and hate what He hates.
A good number of you have accepted the challenge via email, though I would ask you also to post on the blog to encourage others. In fact, maybe it would be awesome if instead of challenging someone to dump a bucket of ice water on them, we could give them the 30/30 challenge. Worship God for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days. Share that on your Facebook page and see who takes that up. It will be a blessing for whoever does!
I have already received several reports. One of the students in our International Christian Business Institute wrote, “At a certain point (during my worship time) I realized I didn’t know God and that broke my heart.” That comment is probably the biggest realization folks are coming to. Not that they aren’t born again or are sketchy Christians. Like me, they are realizing their life has made very little room to worship God. That alone is an indication you don’t know Him very well.
Another business school student wrote that her 12-year-old son was listening to the LIVE class Thursday night and went straight to his room to seek the Lord. How awesome is that? Another reader wrote, “I am documenting what is happening daily. Had a surprise yesterday and still pinching myself.”
Let’s walk this out together. Share your experience with others either via this blog or use Facebook to encourage others to take the 30/30 challenge.
Her name means, “to praise”. She is also a powerful intercessor. God uses her in mighty ways. We have had times of intense worship together in our home. She is stoked about this trip! The fact that this trip became a reality during our set aside time of worship (30/30 challenge) heightens my expectation of what is coming.
When we get to Israel, we will pray, we will watch, we will seek the Lord. Although I have no idea what God is going to do there, I can tell you that I will definitely be dancing in Jerusalem and worshiping Him there. God will be present. Of this I am sure.
Please keep up with us here and on Judy’s Facebook, as we will do our best to keep you abreast of what we find on this trip. If you think you might want to join us when we return in November, let us know quickly.
Until then, be fruitful and multiply!