Sunday, April 24, 2011

Journey to Israel - Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Wednesday, 3/22/89

Today we headed south to the area of the patriarchs. We stopped at Elah Brook and selected smooth round stones, just as David did from the same brook as he prepared to meet Goliath. We stopped at the ruins of Beersheva where Abraham made an oath at the well. I thought about Abraham and how God called him to leave his country behind and head to a place known only to God. Abraham moved forward in faith, fully trusting God, and wanting God’s best in his life.

I can identify with that same call in my life. I have had to leave behind the security of my heritage and proceed forward in faith to wherever God is leading me. In a sense I have left my “family” (denomination) behind, believing God wants my total dependence to be placed in Him alone. (1999 note - this was during the period in which God took us on a five year journey away from the Church of the Nazarene. It was one of the most profitable journeys I have ever been on!)

Abraham was faced with two options as he followed God. He could isolate, be set apart as God called him to be, or he could assimilate, mix in with depraved humanity and ways not of God. He assimilated in Egypt, willing to give his wife to Pharaoh instead of trusting God for protection. He assimilated with Hagar, instead of waiting for God to give him descendants through his wife Sarah.

Isolate or assimilate...we face those same decisions in our choices today. Do we trust God enough to wait on His timing? Do we have faith enough to believe that He is in control and will see us through every circumstance of our life? I know I must learn to be patient and not try to bring about results in my own way. I must wait upon the Lord.

We went into the wilderness of Zin where the Hebrew children wandered for forty years. We were there only two hours, hiking through the dry canyon, and it was easy to understand why they wanted to go back to Egypt. Had they not disobeyed God, they could have gone on into the promised land. In that same way disobedience in our lives lead us into dry periods in the Christian walk. I want to walk through every door God opens for me, and walk away from those He closes. I trust His wisdom much more than my own.

Down in the Negev area we saw the ancient ruins of Arad, dating to 2600 BC. The only temple left in Israel is still partially visible here. It was interesting to see how the rooms were separated, knowing the Holy of Holies was such a sacred part of the temple. How precious of our Lord to make it possible for each one of us today to enter that “holy of holies”, into the presence of our Father in the sanctuary of our hearts. He is always there waiting for us to give Him praise and pour our hearts out to Him. How I love Him!

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