Update, Tues., Aug 19: Sirens and rocket fire have begun again, already before the agreed upon time for the “cease-fire” ended. Thanks to all for your prayers.
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Israel is ‘anxiously’ waiting to see whether or not the current cease-fire with Hamas will continue after it’s agreed upon termination at midnight tonight (Mon., Aug 18 in Israel). As believers, we can wait with a calmer anticipation, not knowing what exactly may be, but knowing the sovereign Lord, Yeshua, who does know, and will see to it that whatever is right and necessary at this time will be so. I have recently posted three brief reflections stemming from the present situation here:
Last night our prayer focus was the horrific suffering by especially Christians in the jihadi Islamic world. Someone sent a very telling interview on Jordanian TV with a ‘normal looking spokesman’ from a couple of years ago about Islam’s values and plans, which you can watch here:
Christians are being targeted by “evangelical” radical Muslims in a similar fashion as the Jewish people were by the Nazis; that is, the evil-doers do not care what stream of Christianity (or of Judaism) one may be of, or whether one is a true believer or not. The very fact that one is identifiable as a Christian, or as a Jew, is enough to ignite the wrath of the satanic contempt and hatred. (This same satanic spirit and actions also revealed itself in the accusations and crucifixion of the Messiah, and against those who identified with Him, such as Stephen. There is nothing new under the sun; and as we judge, let us first judge ourselves. It is all about YHVH and His Anointed Son and people.)
The apostle Peter wrote of the fiery trials that we would face as followers of Jesus. (1Pt 4:7-19) And the Holy Spirit through him challenges all of us in how we are to live and conduct ourselves in the midst of such trials, and even atrocities. It is certainly not natural! Only a supernatural grace and power in the fullness of the Spirit is going to enable us to show ourselves true disciples of the Lord in the face of such a flood of evil sweeping the world. There can be little doubt that the ‘falling away’, which the apostle Paul wrote about in several of his letters, is occuring right before our very eyes, first of all in that which is called the Church. And as Peter wrote in his passage, God’s judgments begin with us.
We learn obedience through the things which we suffer. (Heb 5:8) I was reminded of this by an article in a secular Israeli newspaper, Israel HaYom, to which we subscribe. The article is entitled, “Spiritual Trials, Strategic Rewards”. You can read the English version here:
The opinion writer is calling Israel to obey the Law of Moses (Mal 4:4) if they want confidence to call upon God to help them win the wars against their enemies. Without godliness and obedience to God, as a people we have no moral strength to defeat an implacable and larger foe. Isn’t this what Yeshua and His apostles have instructed us? There are going to wars until the end, both carnal and spiritual. Yet, in and through such suffering, death, deprivation, fear, we are called to obey Him nonetheless: we ARE called to a higher standard as the people of the one, true, living God than are others. Good wins over evil only because Jesus comes back and there is a resurrection of the righteous!! (Mt 24:22; Dan 12:2; 1Thes 4:15-18)
With all this, there are still some efforts going on to stand in the breach connected with the renewed conflict and tension between the Israeli Jewish believers and the Arab Palestinian believers. (This is not a ‘neat’ line; there are mixtures and cross-overs in this unsatisfying terminology.) There are different groupings among us meeting together for prayers and discussions about what we can and should do in order to go on together in Holy Spirit unity, for the sake of the testimony regarding the truth of the gospel and of the righteousness of God. Neither love nor mercy are sentimental, but are both based in the truth and holiness of our Father God. PLEASE PRAY WITH US FOR A HOLY SPIRIT BREAK-THROUGH IN THIS REAL AND FELT NEED OF WHAT THE LORD IS WANTING OF US IN THE FEAR OF YHVH.