If you have been reading my blog lately you have undoubtedly noticed the latest posts on location in Israel. Thanks to Omar Garcia and Jon Davis for posting and keeping you informed. Their written perspectives of the journey certainly gives you a flavor of the experience.
There is a reason I did not post. For the past 10 days I have been leading a diverse group of people from our community at Kingsland up steep mountains, across deserts and through deep valleys to places they didn’t understand. I would dare say I purposefully took them places that would make their bodies and their minds feel uncomfortable, pushed to the extreme, weary, and dependent all at once. I never told them where we were going until they got there. They had to trust me. I did all this for two reasons: 1) To demonstrate the perfection of God’s story and (2) to instill in them a passion for the Text.
We ventured to magnificent places and climbed to heights unimaginable. It was hot, it was cold, it was dry, it was wet. We carried the Text everywhere and I taught the Bible on location in certain spots along the way. All week long I was praying, “Lord, give them a passion for your Word!”
You may not understand. I have spent 4 years preparing to lead this Journey. In the last 2 months I have spent hundreds of hours studying the Bible in hopes that God might use my sacrifice to do something in the lives of the 31 people who would follow me in Israel.
At the time of this writing, we are 37000 feet headed from Tel Aviv to Newark. As I look at the in-flight navigator it appears as if we are about half way back to the States. I just sat down after a quick walk through the aisles of this 777.
Sometimes God allows you a gift. Sometimes he lets you see the fruit quickly. As I walked through the aircraft, I expected to see the bulk of our group watching movies, TV, or playing games on the in-flight entertainment system. Instead I found something very different.
Bibles, the red ones that we used on the trip, open and heads buried in the Scripture. Not just a few people. Over 20 of the original 31 are immersed in the Text. As I walked along a young couple asked me to explain something from Leviticus. Did you catch that? LEVITICUS!
As I passed the lavatories I joined in a conversation with a group of guys I love. They were discussing the Text in light of their current life situations. I actually heard one of them say, “ Maybe we should inquire of the Lord. What does the Text say?”
I am back in my seat next to a guy I don’t know. He speaks Hebrew and we can’t communicate very well. He keeps looking at me out of the corner of his eye. He is wondering what I am writing that is causing me to weep. I must tell you, it is an incredible joy to see the fruit. The eyes of 31 people have been opened maybe for the first time. Maybe for the billionth time. They crave the Text. For some of them, though they are church leaders, and long time Christians, it is the first time in their lives they are hearing God. Why? I think they finally get it. They believe it. The Bible is “THE VERY WORDS OF GOD” Why wouldn’t you crave more of it? Bless God!
Quit looking at me dude. Just let me cry. It’s a good thing.
“All Scripture is God breathed…” 2 Timothy 3:16
The Very Words