MY LIFE IN ISRAEL – May 2007

(A questionnaire from The Messianic Times)

1. How has living in Israel changed your relationship with God?

Living in Israel is a great place to follow the Lord!  There’s nothing better anyway, and in Israel there is no excuse for complacency.  It requires me to rely on His love and His grace to me and my family and our lives here since everything is in a constant state of “un-rest”.  Without resting in the truth of God in Messiah Yeshua, my life here would be way beyond what I could bear.  God our Father has given me a new heart and His Spirit to know that Israel is my home on Earth, and this makes all the difference…when you know you are home.

2.  What can you tell people outside of Israel about the quality of your life?

Though we are poor, yet are we rich in Messiah!  By all appearances, not only do we seem younger than we are, but we also seem richer than we are.  The Lord has blessed us way beyond anything we could have asked or thought when we came here without knowing anyone and only being new-born believers.  As dysfunctional as Israel seems — and is — there is still a sense of being “family”, which is different from living elsewhere.  Additionally, our lives are greatly enriched by our involvement with the local congregation and with the Body of Messiah at large.  The issues we deal with here, as I said before, do not leave much excuse for lukewarmness.  The cross-cultural challenges are terrific, bringing much frustration at times, but also a richness and a satisfaction which is only possible in the hope of the coming Kingdom of God.  Our children have also enjoyed benefit of growing up in a country where their own faith in the living God is a daily encounter.

3.  What is the most important thing about living in Israel as a Believer?

To be thankful!  It’s too easy to complain and murmur, but I am so thankful to be allowed to live in Israel as a believer in Yeshua.  Life is intense here, but our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob also lived in tents!  It is a real mercy from the Lord to be here.

4.  How did you decide to go to Israel?

I didn’t exactly decide; I obeyed!  When I was born-again and saved, the Holy Spirit plainly spoke to me, saying, “Go to Israel”, and immediately it became home.  I had come twice as an unbelieving Jew — once as a tourist, and again as a volunteer on a kibbutz — but I didn’t want to live here.  Yeshua made Israel home for me!  As I said, it is a real mercy from God to be here.

5.  What are your hopes for Believers in the Land?

My hopes are that we would truly come to that unique unity which is YHVH God’s in the love which is also uniquely His.  This must — and will — be expressed through the WHOLE Body of Messiah in this land, whether Jew or Gentile.  How our Father is going to answer the prayer of His Son regarding this, I do not know, but it will obviously be something we don’t too much about at this time.  More Jewish people and Arabs will see the reality of genuine faith in God through Messiah when we actually love one another for Yeshua’s sake.  When I consider myself, it is difficult to imagine it’s possible.  Thank God for giving us the “Lord’s Prayer”!

6.  What do you see as the future for Believers in the Land?

Until the Day of the LORD, I believe we will see greater persecution as witnesses and disciples of Messiah Yeshua.  At the same time, we will be changed more into the likeness of our God and Savior by His power and grace.  I do not expect it to be easy, but I do hope to trust the Lord and overcome, along with many others.

7.  In your opinion is there revival among the people?

Yes, and not yet.  There is certainly much more openness now than when we first immigrated in 1981, and there are many more believers and congregations today.  Seed is continuing to be sown; water is given both through ‘irrigation’ and from Heaven; but the harvest is still ahead.  Many more gentiles will be brought in before we see large numbers of Israeli Jews coming in, but praise to God for His wisdom and sovereign ways!  In the meantime, there are individuals repenting and believing the good news of Yeshua the Messiah and the Kingdom of God — proof of God’s faithfulness to His covenantal promises to the children of Israel, and to His Son.

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