Not long ago the Lord ask me to go the Israel. The message was: “Go and preach the Gospel in the synagogues of Jerusalem”. Preparing to go was not an easy task at all. Firstly, I have never done this before and secondly I have been going to a specific country in the Middle East for a number of years. By now I have become familiar with the local language and culture of that country. I could not understand why on earth the Lord would ask me to go to another country.
Looking back, I do understand why that was important. As one of my friends said at that time, you have to learn again to be fully dependant on the Lord Jesus with missions. Since it is familiar, it is easy go and you lean more on your own understanding and your own capabilities. Personally I do believe that the Lord work with us in seasons.
Please understand that to go to Israel for missions was not just for my sake. We are talking about Israel and God’s chosen people, the Jews, or Hebrews as some people would say. First of all, I have to confess that my understanding and knowledge of Hebrew people, as we read about them in the Bible, was very limited before I went. As far back as I could remember I have always had a huge interest and a fascination for the Jews, Israel and for obviously reasons Jerusalem. I have noticed over the years that if you ask Christians which country they would love to visit, most of them would say – Israel.
Looking back and contemplating what I experienced in Israel I have one sentence: The Lord was faithful in all aspects of the trip. It can only be God that could have put everything in place. I had to be trained to evangelise Jews; set up a schedule for specific synagogues in Jerusalem; arrange accommodation and make traveling arrangements. Everything worked out smoothly. In this Shofar, I will talk specifically about one event of the trip which I still ponder on many times as I am still “struggling” to get to a full understanding of it.
One major challenge for me was which synagogues I had to visit in Jerusalem. I told the Lord I will visit seven in Jerusalem and that the “Wailing Wall” would be the last visit. At one point I went to Goole Earth, zoomed into Jerusalem and typed: “synagogues of Jerusalem”. Only six came up on my PC screen. I quickly wrote them down with the relevant addresses and emailed it to my prayer co-ordinator. I phoned her and asked how she was doing. Without any prompting from me she mentioned that the Lord was talking to her in her “quiet time” that specific morning about seven un-leavened loaves of bread. In my heart I thanked the Lord for His faithfulness and told her with a very grateful heart about the seven synagogues I have to visit that is in her inbox.
On the seventh day I woke up in the Old City in Jerusalem and prepared myself to go to the Walling Wall. I arrived with my kippah and Bible, walked straight to the left of the Walling Wall to enter the area which extended underground. I got myself a rocking prayer chair and placed myself in the furthest point into the area. I noticed that the Jews in this area were exceptionally serious and were busy with prayer rituals looking and standing, facing the “Wall”.
I started to read the scriptures and started with prayer. After about 30 minutes I realised that I was extremely exhausted mentally. It was as if someone had sucked the life out of me. I could not understand what happened and I actually left my rocking chair and walked out. Going back to my place, the same thing happened. It was as if I was walking against a mental and spiritual wall; knocking my head over and over against it. I asked the Lord what was busy happening? I felt the Lord leading me to the section in scripture where Jesus was talking to the Samaritan women at the water well come up, John 4: 1- 42.
Sitting in my rocking chair several thoughts went through my head. The Walling Wall is the closest physical structure the Jews have to the second temple. Bearing in mind that millions of Christians all over the world also go to the Walling Wall to pray. Most of them put their prayers or “wishes” on a small scroll of paper and push it in between the bricks of the Walling Wall. The wall is a symbol for the Jews and the Christians. I realised sitting in my rocking chair that I was praying against one of the biggest strongholds that exist in the world today for a lot of Jews and Christians.
John 4: 23: “But a time is coming and is already here when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit (from the heart, the inner self) and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshippers.“
Our faith has to be deep-rooted in the risen Lord Jesus Christ alone. We cannot add “anything” or a “ritual” to the crucified Christ and believe that our prayers will have more power. The crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ alone is ENOUGH and through His Spirit and the Truth we will be set free.
As believers we must “learn” day-by-day to live through His Holy Spirit and believe that the Lord Jesus Christ in us is the same Jesus that was crucified and He was risen by the same Holy Spirit that lives in us.
Shalom and Grace
Featuring in our May edition of Team Talk.