Gideon’s Army (Judges 7:1-25)
When Gideon was called to defeat the Midianites, he brought 30,000 Israelites to the Lord as his army. But the Lord had different plans as He replied to Gideon, "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand”. And by the Lord’s command, God decreased Gideon’s Army from 30,000 to 10,000 to a final crew of 300. Ultimately, Gideon defeated 135,000 Midianites by the hand of the Lord to deliver the nation of Israel.
Before Fire & Fragrance ever began, the Israel team leadership received prophetic words that our team would be much like Gideon’s army. As our lecture phases progressed, unbeknownst to the students the leadership continued to receive this word from the Lord through other people. As we came to Israel, little did we know that God meant those words to our team in a very literal way. Over the course of this past month, 3 students have left Israel to go back home. It’s been quite a shocker to us remaining students as we’ve been witnessing our dear brothers and sisters leave the team. Reasons why they left were for the sake of their own spiritual lives and we trust the Lord and leadership regarding these most recent events. We always were warned that Jerusalem was a place of active spiritual warfare, but I guess I didn’t expect it to hit so close to home. In the midst of our team’s speed bump, the remaining few are still holding on strong to the Lord’s calling on this team. It’s been encouraging to know that Gideon’s army wasn’t decreased for a war to be lost, but a war to be won.
Lately the team has been pressing in through our prayer watches in Jerusalem and in the City of David. God has been putting what’s in His heart into ours as we have been interceding for His chosen people. We’ve been hitting the streets on off days to bless people while we have been sight seeing the beautiful nation. Just the other day, my dear brother Chris got a vision while praying of a woman with blonde hair selling pie with an image of a circle in the store front. As we visited Caesarea that afternoon, Chris was compelled to go into an empty and closed area. Low and behold we found one store open with the exact description of the store & woman. Then as the lady was walking away from the store, the Lord told me to speak love & life into this woman’s life as God gave me the words to speak about her. Without a doubt our new friend was speechless and blessed, telling us she was only holding the store open for a friend for 30 minutes. Just yesterday, a friend of mine on the Amsterdam team was in line at a store as the Lord told Her that the man in front was in a period of distress and was searching for Jesus. With boldness she asked him and he responded instantly that was true and He ended up giving His life to Jesus on the spot. We may have not healed the leper, but to hear from God and to see His divine & perfect appointments are worth it all.
On Thursdays, our times in the Tel Aviv soup kitchen have been marvelous. Serving our homeless friends, prostitutes, and alcoholics and seeing them week after week has been an overwhelming blessing. Seeing the smiles on their faces and the conversations birthed from love are priceless. Not only has it been a place for us to love them, but for them to love as well. Our rendezvous with the Messianic & Arab congregations are almost hard to believe. In Jericho, the congregation is packed with Muslim men, women & children worshipping Jesus. After two years of much persecution, God has moved on the hearts of Jericho, as the church has now become a source of life and help within this completely Arab city. Never did I see Muslims walk in so freely without any fear to worship a God hat wasn’t Allah. Those who are familiar with the Islamic faith know there is no such tolerance no matter how liberal or conservative you are. Risking everything they come in freedom to worship the living God.
Without a doubt, Jerusalem has been a struggle overflowing with blessings. More and more the nature of our visit is being shown to us. We are realizing that God has called us to build the foundation of Prayer into His holy & chosen city. As we have joined the praying watchmen of Jerusalem, day and night we are here continuing to build Gods kingdom through prayer, worship & relationship. One thing we know for sure, is that God is ridiculously in love with the people of Israel, no matter who they may utter their prayers to. The revelations of God are increasing, and we are breaking through the silence in the spiritual realms with God’s thoughts in our Hearts.
As always, our team would love to have you join us in prayer:
- Our team has gone through a lot seeing our brothers & sisters go home within these past 2 ½ weeks. Please pray for spiritual & mental strength as we are continuing to hold on to God’s calling for us.
- Please pray for the Jewish & Arab brothers and sisters that God may reveal to them the love relationship God has built in Grace, and not mere religion. It has been sorrowful to see, hear and feel the spirit of human efforts to reach a God that has already reached us.
- Please pray for more breakthroughs on the streets as we are keeping our hearts open to hear whom God wants to speak to. Specifically pray for God's power to be demonstrated. The religious don't need more theology, but a Jesus encounter.
- Please pray for our teammates who’ve left Israel. We miss them dearly and know they are in God’s hands.
- Last but not least, please pray for my parents and their daily health.
With 5 weeks left on our first outreach, we have complete confidence in the work God is doing through us, and our teammates in Amsterdam & Turkey. The power of intercessory prayer, worship & love is undeniable and we can’t wait to see it unfold more in God’s chosen nation. You all are helping this become possible and the fruit from your prayers are more than evident. Hope to see you all soon.
Love yall more than ya know,
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