One of those days…

Have you ever had “one of those days” where you wake up, and immediately you can tell that today, this day, will be a hard one. You get ready for your day, and it seems like everything in the world is a struggle – You spill your coffee in your car, your appointments don’t go as planned and “Murphy’s Law” seems to be on steroids!

You know, the kind of day that makes you feel like screaming, “why won’t this day just END already?” Do you know those type of days I’m talking about? Surely I’m not the only one…

If you are like me you feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed and totally incabpable of doing what needs to be done. You get short, irritable, overly sensitive and feel like a total failure. 

Yesterday was a day like that for me. At the end of the day I wanted to crawl under a rock. I missed the mark and let the stress get the best of me. Haven’t done it in a long time, but I over reacted to some situations and let that spill out to my team. 

Because I am a “big picture” kind of leader I allowed my mind to determine the results of the future before it has even happened. What makes it worst is that I’m a Pastor and all Pastors are usually perfect leaders who don’t have meltdowns. Everyone else can meltdown, but not the Cheif…(can you feel the sarcasm?)

This morning I arose from my slumber still feeling the condemnation of personal leadership failure. No it’s not the end of the world, but just the “knowing” I could have done better and the internal questions of where did I personally drop the ball in the process. 

In these moments of life I’m thankful for grace and mercy. Not only from God, also from the team around me. Failure is not final if we learn from it! Sometimes those raw moments reveal something in us we thought we killed a long time ago. We all have “those kind of days…” and most of us (if we are honest) don’t handle them well. 

So what do you do when you have “one of those days”?

  1. Repent quickly – though people don’t like it when we miss the mark, they will forgive if they really understand that at the end of the day that action isn’t who you really are. Just ask for forgiveness – From the person and from God. Saying you are sorry goes a long way!
  2. Back up and look at the bigger picture – no it don’t go according to plan, but maybe, just maybe God has a surprise that you didn’t plan for. One issue doesn’t usuall sink the ship!
  3. Keep people a priority – relationships matter more than agendas, programs, or facilities. Jesus died for people!
  4. Let it go and move on – yes you blew it. Now let it go, cast of the condemnation, and use the failure as fuel for your dream. Carrying the extra weight of a “bad moment” only slows down your journey. One paragraph doesn’t define a book – how the story end determines how good the book was!
  5. Refocus on the goal – push forward inspite of the challenge. Pull your team together and encourage yourself and them that “better days” are ahead!

One final word – if you work for a leader like me that has some “bonehead” moments, grant a lot of mercy. Being a leader and carrying lots of responsibility isn’t an easy task. And trust me, your “days” are coming too when you will blow it or meltdown – you will also need all the mercy you can get! 

None of us have arrived; we are all a mess that God is making a masterpiece. Now rise up and go take on your day. It’s a new day with its own challenges and victories. Don’t use any strength regretting yesterday; you are going to need all the strength you have for today. 

Worship Fallacies (3)

Fallacy Number Two: You Must Worship in the Right Way 

To the woman’s understanding, Jesus’ response was based on a similar false assumption. He said, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:21–22, nkjv). Her concept of true worship was based on her cultural understanding. She knew that Jews worship one way and that Samaritans worship another, and her form of worship seemed best to her, because it was all she knew.

How many worship wars are started over the issue of style? What is the most anointed style of worship, Southern Gospel or Contemporary? How many times do we hear statements like these: “I wish we had the old red-backed hymnals back” or “When are we going to start putting the lyrics up on a screen?” I had just started pastoring when churches first discovered the overhead projector. My parishioners felt I had committed the unpardonable sin when I removed the hymnals so we could sing from overheads. Sometimes worship wars are frivolous!

“Worship is not about the song that you sing, but the heart that you bring!” It has been my good fortune to travel the world preaching the Gospel. I have ministered in the remotest parts of Africa where pots, pans, and drums were the only musical instruments available. That’s where I have heard some of the most anointed worship in the world. Those people are not preoccupied with equipment, lights, or styles. They are preoccupied with Jesus. During my latest trip to Nigeria, the worship was so anointed that hundreds of people manifesting demons were delivered—through the power of worship alone. They did not have hymnals or projectors and screens, high-quality musical instruments or trained vocalists. They were just people bringing to God their hearts of worship.

Worship transcends style. When we get to Heaven, we will see every style of worship because we will see every tribe, tongue, kindred, and nation in full demonstration around the throne. It is foolish to expect everyone to abandon his or her cultural style in favor of the red-backed hymnal. If you are offended to think that your favorite worship style is being threatened, it could be that God is trying to give you a secret from the well of worship. I happen to love Southern Gospel music above all other types (and I am convinced that God loves it too). However, in my church we sing mostly contemporary songs. Why? We decided to use the style of music that inspires this current generation to worship. Real, biblical worship is the blending of many styles; “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).

Worship Fallacies (2)

 Fallacy Number One: You Must Worship in the Right Place

The Samaritan woman said, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship” (John 4:20, nkjv). She was making the same mistaken assumption that many church people do today—that worship must occur in a certain place, or that worship is something that happens only on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights. We Christians have erected great shrines to mark our places of worship.

In reality, worship transcends place. In fact, it has little to do with a place, but everything to do with a Person. You could even say that assigning worship only to a particular place is a form of idolatry.

The human race has a tendency toward idolatry, and sometimes it is hard to see. For example, consider the idolatry that Hezekiah opposed. (See 2 Kings 18.) As one of the righteous kings who came after King David, Hezekiah had his work cut out for him. He became king at twenty-five years of age, and his first act as king was very unusual. Did he erect a monument to his father or try to improve the economy? No. His first act as king was to reestablish true worship in Israel.

Second Kings 18:1–8 records the following things he did to refocus the people in true worship:

 

• He removed high places.

• He broke the images.

• He cut down the groves.

• He broke in pieces the brazen serpent of Moses.

 

The people at this time were steeped in idol worship, and yet it is interesting to note that some of the things Hezekiah destroyed were not dedicated to idols, but rather to the worship of God. The brazen serpent of Moses had been fashioned according to the instruction of God for the healing of the people of Israel after they were bitten by serpents (see Numbers 21). This was a God-ordained, sacred object, so why would he destroy it? For the simple reason that the people had made it into an idol. They had started offering incense to something that God had once used, but they were not really looking to God Himself. Anytime our worshipful attention gets directed toward an object, a methodology, or a place instead of God, it becomes idolatry.

Several years ago, I was trying to help a church that was experiencing a split. The conflict had started because they were renovating the sanctuary to accommodate more growth. A certain group within the church was against the renovation project because it altered their “sacred” sanctuary. In prayer, I was rebuking the devil of division in this church when the Lord interrupted me: “This isn’t the work of the devil; this is Me.”

I said, “Lord, I don’t understand. How can this be Your work?”

He replied, “This group of people has made this place more important than Me. It must be destroyed or others will be swept into their idolatry. Sometimes I have to pull down and destroy so that I can build.”

Please do not misunderstand; I strongly believe in the importance of corporate gatherings in houses of worship. I love the local church—I am a pastor! Clearly however, we have to avoid the belief that “church” means a place, a building. We are the Lord’s Body, and we carry His presence everywhere we go. A true worshipper enjoys the presence of God in his home, at work, or on vacation.

When King David desired to build God a house, God told him, “I never told you to build me a house (paraphrased from 2 Samuel 7:4–12) Then God promised David, “I will build you a house….” (see verse 27). In essence, God was saying to David, “I don’t want a place in which to dwell. I am looking for a people in whom to dwell.” Jesus stated this same principle to the Samaritan woman when he told her, “Believe me, woman. The time is coming when neither in Jerusalem nor on this mountain will you actually worship the Father” (John 4:21, ncv).

Ordinary People

When you read through the book of Acts, you find out that the apostles were doing such mighty works that people would come and worship them as if they were gods. That’s what happened to Peter when he arrived at Cornelius’s house (see Acts 10:25). These were ordinary men who were living such extraordinary lives that this sort of thing happened more than once, and each time they would have to say, “No, no, no! I am not God. I did not do this miracle!” and they would point the people to Jesus.

When was the last time you had the power of God operating through your life to such a degree that people wanted to worship you? I have not had that happen, and most likely you have not either. Most church people would object, “But, Pastor, of course we don’t have that happen to us today. That happened only with the first apostles.” To that, I suggest we look beyond the apostles for more examples. How about the man named Stephen and another man known as Philip? Both of these men were laymen, ordinary members of the church who had been elected as deacons. They were not apostles; in fact they were servants in the Body of Christ—table-waiters.

Wherever Stephen went, miracles happened: “And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8, rsv). Eventually, he was arrested and persecuted because of this. In the end, when he was being stoned to death, he looked up and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56, kjv).
Philip was a good church member. He sat and listened to the apostles teach. His only official position in the church was to be a deacon, and he was always ready to serve in practical ways. Yet when he obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit and went to a certain road where he encountered an Ethiopian man riding in a chariot and reading aloud from the book of Isaiah, and after he explained how Jesus Christ fulfilled those prophetic words, look what happened through him—and to him:

He [a eunuch who served the queen of Ethiopia] commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:38–40, nrsv).

The eunuch’s conversion and subsequent baptism in a small body of water alongside the road was just the beginning of amazing events, because after that the Spirit whisked Philip to Azotus by supernatural means so that he could share the Good News in that region, which was over thirty miles away!

Besides Stephen and Philip, we read about the exciting life of Paul, who had never met Jesus before His crucifixion and who had probably never met an apostle until after he was converted. He persecuted the new Church and by his own admission, he was “one born out of due season” (see 1 Corinthians 15:8). In other words, “I don’t even deserve to be a servant of Jesus Christ. I don’t have to come to you with a great message, but I can come to you with a demonstration of the Spirit and His power.” And that’s what he did, working miracle after miracle, year after year.

All through the Word of God we see ordinary people operating in the extraordinary power of God. Why are we not seeing these things today? Is it still true? Or is Jesus a liar, along with everyone in the Bible? Is this book the biggest farce that humanity has ever fallen for? Or is it all true and we just haven’t experienced it for ourselves yet?

Symphony of Earth

Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. –Matthew 18:19, nkjv

The word “agree” is the Greek word sumphoneo; the English equivalent is “symphony.” So when we read in Matthew 18:19 that the sounds of prayer, uttered in agreement by faith-filled, worshipful hearts, obtain results, we have discovered one of the keys of the Kingdom of God. Heaven’s light shines forth into earthly darkness because of a symphonic sound.

The word symphony is a compelling word, deriving from two root words: sun (pronounced “soon”) and phone (“fo-nay”). Sun means “with,” which means that more than one thing comes together. Somehow or another, a bridge gets created and a combination results. Phone means a tone or sound. The tone or sound can be made by an inanimate object such as a musical instrument, or it can be the sound of a human (or heavenly) voice.

In addition, another Greek word comes into play, phaino, which means “to cause to shine and bring forth light.” In Scriptures such as these, it is translated as “shines” or “shining”:

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:5, nkjv, emphasis mine)

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; (2 Peter 1:19, nkjv, emphasis mine)

In other words, when there is an agreement on the earth among believers, a symphony of sound is released, and it provokes a response from Heaven. This convergence of sounds causes a breaking forth of light into the darkness of earth. I believe that this is what the Lord is doing in the earth right now, and I fervently believe that God wants my full participation, as well as yours!

As I travel the nation and the world, I am seeing the convergence of sounds from every denomination, tribe, tongue, and kindred. The harmonies created by the sounds that arise from the various parts of the Body of Christ on earth are releasing a new anointing for this final hour. People are agreeing in prayer, declaring their song from one group to another, learning how to bridge the culture gap and the generation gap and to mix the tones of the worship of the people of God from every tribe and nation. This is releasing light into the atmosphere, and God shows up. God says that if any two shall agree as touching anything together in His name––whenever they can combine their anointings and release symphonic sound––He is there in the midst of them. This is a revelation!

Full-bodied corporate worship is the key to unlocking Heaven! The unified body of Christ needs to arise release her symphonic sound in the earth right now! When the world is at its worst they need to see a church at its best. In this dark hour this can also be our finest moment.

So You Want To Be A Leader

So you say you want to be a leader? Most people who utter those lofty words do not really understand the full weight of that role, nor do they really want that level of responsibility. What in the world does the term “leadership” mean anyway? Well, that is the sixty-four thousand dollar question.

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

Thousands of books have been written about “leadership”. There are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept. Maybe the real problem is that there are more definitions and theories of the concept than there are leaders themselves. George S. Patton Jr. maintains that a leader is one “…willing to make decisions. That is the most important quality of a good leader. Napoleon Bonaparte believed that a leader was “A dealer of hope”.

Some claim that real leadership is knowing how to climb the corporate ladder by taking advantage of people through strategic power plays that unseats the boss above you. We have all seen this person, working their way to the top through manipulation and the misuse / abuse of people. Those of us who have been in the business of leadership for any period of time understand that style of leadership might (and I use that word very loosely) work momentarily; however, it will definitely not withstand the acid tests of leadership over the long haul!

Others herald that an authentic leader is a servant to others. While servant leadership is a timeless concept, the phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, Greenleaf said:

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.”

I believe that the concept of leadership is extremely difficult to define because it embodies two great principles: Strategy and Character. Unfortunately, both of these principles have greatly disappeared from the landscape of modern leadership practices. These are two great powerful, indispensible leadership twins.

Strategy and Character are so intricately connected that they hinge upon one another to build credibility into the life and leadership model that the leader functions within. No matter what style, system or mode of leadership you work within these two principles must be employed. Not just in your leadership role, but your whole life! Great leaders are authentic in their approach to life; this makes them a whole, complete person and leader.

Over the past 25 years I have served as a leader to thousands of people and many organizations. With great humility and the help of my creator I have led them from poverty to prosperity and from obscurity to significance. I am, by no means, a perfect person nor a perfect leader, but every day I strive to fulfill my purpose and reach my full potential. Success is relative depending on your position in life. I have been blessed to have some success in a few fields and have attempted to help other leaders succeed in theirs by life coaching them around the potholes of life that end up detouring their destiny.

People all over the world, from religious leadership to business leadership, have asked me if I have a secret. My response has been “yes and no”. “Yes” only because I have discerned what many leaders never really comprehend, nor take the time to study. “No” because the principles of Strategy and Character are universal, open for the world to see and partake. Through years of counseling and guiding people toward their goals I have seen many principles work for people. I have also seen plethora of leadership keys miserably fail for one reason or another. After thoughtfully study why people don’t succeed I found a secret that has worked for me and thousands of others.

Here is my secret: Don’t compartmentalize your life, JUST LIVE! We all have a tendency to separate our lives into separate boxes. We keep these boxes from connecting with each other; this enables us to perpetuate the façade of life. However, it greatly disables us because we aren’t authentic. By authentic I mean we don’t be who we are created to be. There is only one original you, so don’t be a cheap copy!

Compartmentalizing your life might help you manage various issues initially, but in the long-run it will lead to failure. This is especially true if we lead with that mindset. Many people work on one area and forget the other areas of leadership. For example, if you develop strategies that enable you to function at optimal potential and neglect developing character eventually the lack of strong intestinal fortitude will lead to the collapse of your leadership. It doesn’t matter how good your strategies are; your character will sustain you where your strategies take you! Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf made a powerful statement about this very issue, “Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy.” People follow leadership because of who they are, not just what they do!

Character is imperative, essential and far-reaching. It determines the way a person looks at life, opportunities and problems. It arbitrates the behavior and responses of a person in given situations.

So today I challenge you to do two things: first, just work on being the best YOU that you can be! Be authentic, be a person of character. Second, develop a strategy for success that can build on the foundation of your character. And in the midst of these two great leadership truths keep your focus on your creator. The only way you can know the original intent for a product is to go to the creator and manufacturer of that product. Your potential is limited only by your perspective of life. Broaden your horizons, expose yourself to greatness and chase your dreams.

Guard Your Spiritual Attitude

“You don’t know what manner of spirit you are of…”

Luke 9:55

The disciples had a problem with their attitude, and Jesus “called them on it” six different times in two chapters. Instead of believing Christ could feed the crowd with five loaves and two fishers, they said to Jesus, “Send the multitude away” (Lk 9:12)

One of the dangers of succeeding in ministry is that you can end up loving crowds but not really caring for people. Or wanting contributors, but not wanting to spend time meeting people’s individual needs.

Years ago a man decided to visit the churches of two well-known television ministers he liked. After hearing the first, he asked if he could say hello to him. But the minister’s “handlers” said no, suggesting he call for an appointment. Disappointed, he went to hear the other minister, and was invited to lunch with him following the service. Feeling valued, he handed the minister a check for 4 million dollars (this is a true story). You must always be approachable, available, and affirming. You must keep the personal touch.

One of the dangers of succeeding in ministry is that you can end up loving crowds but not really caring for people. Or wanting contributors, but not wanting to spend time meeting people’s individual needs.

True, you can’t personally minister to all who are sick and counsel all who are hurting. As a pastor, having quality time to prepare sermons and Bible studies must be a top priority. But Jesus was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Heb. 4:15) because He mixed and mingled with us. Only as you stay in touch with people’s needs, can God use you to meet those needs in real time. The saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” GUARD YOUR SPIRITUAL ATTITUDE!!!

Eight Reasons For Standing With Israel

We are called to stand with Israel today because we could be people of the last hour. The Lord has called us to be people with moral and biblical conviction, walking wisely and knowing His Word. He will honor those who make an abiding commitment to stand with the land He’s called uniquely His.

(Psalm 122:6)

This morning I arose at 4:30 A.M. burdened for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. In Psalm 122:6-9 we are encouraged to pray for the security and blessing of God’s people and land. I always have this on my prayer list, but today I have an overwhelming burden.

We are living in a sobering moment in history that calls us, as believers in Jesus Christ, to take a stand with Israel. We could be people of the last hours. We are not to be passive in the face of prophecy; we are called to pray with passion, to intercede, and to minister according to the words of the Savior who said it is not our task to speculate when the end will be. It is our responsibility to do Kingdom business until He comes (Luke 19:13).

This is not about politics, this is about the Word of God… but the political ramifications are extremely dramatic. Scripture declares there will come a time when all the nations of the world will turn against Israel.

Recently I read an article written by Jack Hayford that I believe best outlines why we need to stand with the nation of Israel. We are prophetic people living in a prophetic time, a set time! God’s providential plan is unfolding in our generation before our very eyes and God’s land is at the center of it all.

Jesus could be coming very soon! In fact, it is so highly conceivable this could happen in our time that it is crucial to outline why we should stand with Israel today.

Eight Reasons For Standing With Israel

1.  Every believer is charged to make the Jews a priority in their value system and to render thanksgiving from their hearts for God’s work via them as a   people. Understanding the basis of the attention that we give to the Jews has to do with understanding God’s divine order and things that God said. It involves a people and a land
  • Every believer is charged to make Jews a priority in their value system because God has.
  • The Lord selected a people… He began by selecting a man named Abraham. The Lord said that through the seed of Abraham (in relation with his wife, Sarah, giving birth to the promised child, Isaac) all the nations of the Earth will be blessed…every human being having access to the divine blessing of Almighty God.
  • In Genesis 12:3, the Lord says in the covenant He makes with Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
    • o This relates not only to a people (the Jews), but it also relates to a land (Israel).
    • o God will judge nations and deal with them for their decisions, just as He does individuals.
    • The Lord chose them for purposes: “…who are the Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” (Romans 9:4)
      • o The Adoption: God’s divine choice of the seed of Abraham as a people.
      • o The Glory: the manifest presence of God revealing Himself.
      • o The Covenants: commitments that God makes:
        • The Abrahamic Covenant…God says, “I will give you a people and a land, and through this seed the nations of the Earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 17)
        • The Mosaic Covenant…the revelation of the law, given as a teaching means to lead us to Christ: redemption through the blood of the Lamb.
        • The New Covenant…In Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God says in words almost parallel: “For the time will come that I will take My law and I will make a new covenant with you, and I will put My Spirit within you.”
    • o The Greatest Gift: the wonder of the gift of Jesus to mankind. God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son…He gave Him through the Jews, and He came as a Jew. Jesus Himself, speaking to the woman of Samaria, said, “Salvation is of the Jews.”

 

So Scripture speaks to us very clearly: we’re dealing with the roots of everything that has to do with the revelation of God to humankind. The proof of this is in the very existence of the Jews as a people and the fact that they’ve been recovered as a nation. Today the struggle is over Jerusalem, over Israel, and over the presence of Jews and their right to a have a land. There are few nations willing to make an abiding commitment to stand by the Jews and Israel, but the Bible says God will honor those who do.

 

So Scripture speaks to us very clearly: we’re dealing with the roots of everything that has to do with the revelation of God to humankind. The proof of this is in the very existence of the Jews as a people and the fact that they’ve been recovered as a nation. Today the struggle is over Jerusalem, over Israel, and over the presence of Jews and their right to a have a land. There are few nations willing to make an abiding commitment to stand by the Jews and Israel, but the Bible says God will honor those who do.

 

2.  Our place in God’s present order inextricably links us with the Jews as a people and thereby the land of Israel according to the Word.

When we put our faith in the Redeemer who came through the Jews, we enter into a line of those who have trusted God according to His revealed grace and redemptive purpose.

  • Scripture declares that, spiritually speaking, when you receive the Lord, you become a Jew (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:26-29).
  • If you are a believer, you cannot be consistent with the whole of Scripture and take a position that is passive toward the Jews and Israel.

 

3.  God has made unique declarations regarding the land of Israel which have never been rescinded:
  • Leviticus 25:23 – The land is the Lord’s land, and it is His to assign and dispose of: “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine…”
  • Deuteronomy 32:43 – “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people…He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
  • 2 Chronicles 7:20 – God says if the people violate Me “…I will uproot them from My land which I have given them…”
  • Psalm 85:1-2 – “Lord, you have been favorable to Your land, You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin.”
  • Isaiah 8:8 – This land belongs to Father God and it is the land of His Messiah: “…and the stretching out of his wings will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.”
  • Jeremiah 2:7 – The Lord tells the people why there will come the loss, the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. “I brought you into a bountiful country…but when you entered, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.”
  • Ezekiel 38:16 – God is speaking to people in the end times who rise up against Israel. God is speaking of a confrontation that will take place in His land. “You will come up against My people Israel…I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you…”
  • Joel 1:6, 2:18, 3:2 – Three times in this book, the land is referred to as belonging to the Lord. “For a nation has come up against My land…” (1:6) “Then the Lord will be zealous for His land…” (2:18) “I will gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.” (3:2)
  • Hosea 9:3 – This refers to the scattering of Israel: “They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and shall eat unclean things in Assyria.”
  • Zechariah 9:16 – “The Lord their God will save them in that day, as the flock of His people, for they shall be like the jewels of a crown, lifted like a banner over His land…”

 

When we talk about Israel, we are dealing with: 1) apiece of property that God has made pronouncements about and 2) God’s people to whom He’s given the land. It is a major issue with the Creator of all things, and it is non-negotiable. Things that God has said, uniquely, about Israel have never been rescinded.

  • Not only does the land belong to God, but also God has committed the land to Abraham and his offspring via Isaac forever. (Genesis 17:7-8)
  • “With a little wrath I hid My face from you…but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed…” (Isaiah 54:8-10)
  • The loss of governance by Israel through sin and dispersion has not altered God’s announced commitment to make it theirs forever. (Read Ezekiel 37:1-28)

 

4.    Israel’s present conflict is neither by their initiative nor perpetuated by expansionism on their part.

The general attitude of the world today regards the Palestinians as the underdog, but Israel is defending the land covenanted to them in 1917 and established by the United Nations Assembly in 1948. The Palestinian goal is not to secure a homeland but to drive Israel out altogether. For the sake of mounting public opinion against Israel, surrounding, well resourced Arab nations have never offered refuge to the Palestinians. The majority of the world doesn’t know this, and nobody is bothering to tell them because sympathies are so overridden by other forces.

 

5.    To stand with Israel is not to oppose Arab peoples as an entity or to oppose the rights of Arabs living in Israel to a peaceful, politically secure, and prosperous life.

God has no disposition against any human being, certainly not Arabs who are the offspring of Ishmael, the other son of His chosen leader Abraham. Standing for Israel doesn’t require an anti-Arab stance and doesn’t require us to be loveless toward other peoples.

 

6.    The relentless animosities of sectors of the Arab world are not merely political causes but are driven by spiritual powers that will not be satisfied until Israel ceases to exist.

The forces opposed to Israel are not simply those of people who don’t like Jews. We are caught in the stream of spiritual forces greater than humanity, forces that cannot be overthrown politically or by the power of persuasion. These forces can only be broken by intercessory prayer where principalities and powers are cast down.

 

7.    The same spirit driving these animosities is equally opposed to Christians as to Jews and in time will eventually bring persecution to both.

Just as Scripture states there are two witnesses that will be put to death in Jerusalem at the very end of time (Revelation 11), there have been two witnesses that have stood for God throughout history – the Jews and the Christians. The hostilities and animosities are just as leveled at believers as they are at Israel, because there is a spirit in the world that is against all that is called God and everything about Him.

  • God as Creator – to Whom we owe our worship.
  • God as Judge – to Whom we owe ouraccountability.
  • God as Redeemer – Who has shown Himself through His Son, Jesus.
  • God as the moral Lawgiver of all humanity – to Whom we owe a responsibility in terms of our behavior.

 

8.    A biblical assignment and a divine promise summon our stand in faith, our intercession with expectancy, and our support with promise.

We are called to stand with Israel today because we could be people of the last hour. The Lord has called us to be people with moral and biblical conviction, walking wisely and knowing His Word. He will honor those who make an abiding commitment to stand with the land He’s called uniquely His. (Psalm 122:6).

 

Actions You Can Take To “Stand Up For Israel”

 

  1. Equip yourself with reliable information, avoiding bigotry and disallowing “blind spots.” Recognize the disposition of the popular press. Assess reports cautiously but not with paranoia. Become familiar with the basics of history in the Middle East, and understand the past century.
  2. Accept with continuing faithfulness the Bible’s call to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), and pray that our Nation will govern in the light of Genesis 12:1-3… ”I will bless those who bless you…”
  3. Prayerfully consider visiting Israel as a point of practical support.
  4. Show friendship toward Jewish friends. Affirm that you, as a believer, stand with Israel as a point of your Bible-based commitment to God.
  5. While acknowledging the terrorist habits of radical Muslims, be gracious to others.

 

Take action because it’s such a pivotally important time. Today, the showdown that we face is so close to being the nations of the earth against Israel and whoever is left that stands with them. The final issue will be “Who is for Christ and His way and who isn’t?” The Lord has called us to be a people who will touch people and will stand with moral and biblical convictions for critical issues…and this is one.