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April 17, 2024

My Thoughts Regarding Israel


When I travel on weekends, I have to prepare one, sometimes two, or even three Give Him 15 posts in advance. Such was the case this past weekend. That is why I am just now commenting on the situation regarding Israel and Iran.


Firstly, I want to say that I am praying for Israel’s protection and shalom, as we are instructed to do. I know Iran and its proxies are motivated by a principality the Bible calls “the Prince of Persia” (Daniel 10:13, 20). This spirit, of course, hates Israel because of its partnership with God in giving Messiah to the world, and it hates America, as well, because of our calling and partnership with God. Those under his influence refer to Israel as “the great satan,” and America as “the little satan;” they chant “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” I am praying for his hold to end.


I am also praying for salvation to the people of Iran, Gaza, Lebanon, and throughout the Middle East. And I’m praying for mercy and protection for the innocent people in that region, many of whom are our brothers and sisters. A couple of years back, I was informed that the church in Iran was one of the fastest-growing in the world—perhaps THE fastest-growing. Many are coming to Christ there and throughout the Middle East. This evil principality is losing its hold.


Many are asking if this recent attack by Iran against Israel marks the end of the age and the Second Coming of Christ. Some Christian leaders are saying it is, especially with it coming on the heels of the eclipse, which many said was also a sign of the end.


Like EVERYONE, regardless of their predictions, I don’t know when the Lord’s return will take place. But I do NOT believe this is the end, that it is Ezekiel 38. There is a great harvest coming, and that should be our focus. Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom (Mark 16) and discipling nations (Matthew 28) is our assignment. Stay focused on saving and discipling, not leaving. During the Charismatic and Jesus People Movements of the 60s and 70s, some opportunities were lost because people were so focused on Christ’s return…why plan for the future? We will not make the same mistake with this outpouring. 


Since I have deviated from the theme I began yesterday to comment on current events, I will take the remainder of the post to strengthen and encourage you. The state of affairs in America and the world are troubling. Also, life itself sends problems and challenges our way. Maintaining peace and faith is sometimes difficult.


Jesus knew this would be the case. He told us, “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful” (John 14:27 NASB). Notice that He used two words to describe the unsettledness that tries to overtake us: troubled and fearful. Troubled (tarasso)(1) is a word meaning “stirred up or agitated” like roiling water; it is, therefore, a word describing inward commotion, disquietness, or restlessness. Picture the agitator in a washing machine; this is what can occur in our minds and emotions. Jesus said not to allow this. Instead, we are to receive His shalom - peace and wholeness.


Christ then said not to be fearful. This is the Greek word I referred to a few days back, deiliao.(2) He did not use the word phobos,(3) from which we get phobia, terror, etc. This would certainly be included in His admonition, but His choice of words is important. Deilia/deiliao is timidity, intimidation, or insecurity. Don’t let the turmoil and unrest intimidate you, He was saying. My peace is stronger. Be bold and refuse to allow what occurs around you to intimidate you. This is also the word Jesus used when speaking to the disciples on the storm-tossed boat (Mark 4:39). It is the word Paul used when challenging his spiritual son, Timothy (2 Timothy 1:7). The Lord wants us to face the storm; resisting all intimidation; stir up His power within, remember His love, operate with the discipline of a sound mind, and receive His peace.


And finally, I want to exhort us to pray for one another.


“Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3 NASV).


The word “diligent” is spoudazo,(4)  from a root word meaning “speed.” This form of the word means to “speedily and earnestly perform a task.” Thayer’s Lexicon uses the phrase “to exert one’s self” to describe this word. My amplification would be to “with great exertion and without delay work toward love and unity.”


Bearing with one another” is the Greek word, anechomai,(5) which doesn’t only mean to be patient or forbearing toward others. It also means “to hold oneself up against; to hold up or sustain,” much like a stake bears up a tomato plant. The point is to provide strength to one another, to “stake ourselves” to others, transferring our strength to them, thereby sustaining them. This is similar to the point being made in Psalm 133, which tells us the dew of Hermon rains on Zion (verse 3). As the day warms, the dew on Mt Hermon evaporates and forms clouds. The afternoon winds blow them to Mt Zion, where they produce rain. Mt Hermon literally waters Zion. God uses this as a beautiful picture of what we must do as His body: sow into, bless, strengthen, and encourage one another. And one way we do this is by staking ourselves to them in prayer.


I ask you: who will remain standing today because of your prayers? Who will keep from falling because your prayer arms were wrapped around their heart or mind, or your literal arms around their shoulders? Speak rest today to someone’s “troubled” heart; break “intimidation” off of them; release God’s shalom. Be their strength. 


Let’s do so now.


Pray with me:


Father, we come alongside those who are struggling to stand under the weight of their circumstances or grief. We stake ourselves to brothers and sisters who may be struggling to believe, or to walk in Your peace. We wrap our arms of love around them, whether literally or figuratively, and declare over them, “You will not fall; you will stand. You will not give up; you will persevere. You will not die; you will live and declare the works of the Lord. You will accomplish your destiny.”


We declare over prodigals, “You will come home to Father’s house. Your disillusionment with life and God will become disillusionment toward satan and his kingdom. Your confusion will become clarity of heart in mind. Your identity crisis will become security in who you are, in who God made you to be. You will come to your senses and return to your Father and your inheritance. You will know the Lord and be taught of Him. You will be radical lovers and worshipers of Jesus. You will feel at home and comfortable in Father’s house. You will change the world.”


We decree over America, “You shall be saved. You will be delivered from the spirit of Baal and his control. Your dry bones will live. Your government will be purged and transformed. Your education system will be healed. Your justice system will be restored. Your churches will be on fire. The coming shaking will heal you, not destroy you.”


We declare over people in the Middle East, “You will be delivered from the control of the prince of Persia. You will have the veil lifted from your eyes and be able to see Jesus for who He really is. Israel, you will receive your awakening and visitation; the veil will lift from you, as well. Messiah will be seen and glorified in the Middle East. Revival is coming to your part of the world.”


And we declare over all the earth: “The glory of the Lord will cover you as the waters cover the sea. You will be touched by God’s power, transformed by His love, and filled with His life. You are owned by Jesus, your Creator and King. He loves you and is coming to rescue you from the control of darkness.”


All of this, we declare in His mighty name, the name of Yeshua.


Our decree:


We decree that Christ is building the church He said He would build: glorious, without spot or wrinkle, and one over which the government of hell cannot prevail.



Click on the link below to watch the full video.



 

  1. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no.  5015.

  2. Ibid., ref. no. 1168.

  3. Ibid., ref. no. 5401.

  4. Ibid., ref. no. 4704. 

  5. Ibid., ref. no. 430.



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