Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just got home yesterday from an 11 day tour in Israel. Here are a few lessons God taught me this trip.

First, God Guides. I knew this already. I have experienced this before in my life. But this trip reminded me and showed me that God truly is the One sovereignly orchestrating every single step of our lives. In Israel as I led our group of six around the land, I prayed daily for God to guide us and lead us to the perfect sites, that I would find them if they were tucked away in a corner somewhere. And God totally answered that prayer--daily.

Second, God Guards. I also knew this. But God protected us. We had people that were nearly 70 years of age on the trip and that God protected them and guarded their bodies as we walked all around the Old City the final few days is remarkable. Additionally, God guarded us in a land that is very different than our own and a culture that is very different than our own. God truly is a wonderful shield.

Third, God Convicts. I pray just as every Christian does. Yet when we were sailing on the Sea of Galilee I was meditating on the verses in the gospels where Jesus got away to an isolated place (Mt Arbel?) to pray. As I was on the boat looking at Mt Arbel, God convicted me for my prayerlessness. Christians must pray. And if pastors are sovereignly entrusted with the duty of overseeing the spiritual condition of the souls of the sheep in his fold, then how much more ought pastors to pray. Earnestly. Urgently. Fervently. Constantly. God is good and God convicted me and starkly showed me that I must delve into more times of prayer with God.

Fourth, God is Good. We know this from Psalm 119:68--You are good. When people tell me that they have seen the land of Israel and are amazed at how small the land is and how and why events happened the way they did (e.g., for geographical reasons), I am overjoyed. When people tell me that they have a greater hunger to go home after the trip and start in Genesis 1 and read the entire Old Testament again with the knowledge and understanding gained because of this trip to Israel, it is all worth it.

Again, we can say with the Psalmist:

"Give thanks to the LORD for He is good; His lovingkindness endures forever." Ps 136:1


Anonymous said...

Great lessons, Geoff, ones we all need. Glad you're home safely and hope you didn't sleep ALL the way through your birthday!

Jill the MIL

Geoffrey Kirkland said...

Ha--thanks, Jill.

And, thanks for the awesome board game you gave us for Christmas. We'll certainly put it to good use. I think we need a good DUTCH Blitz game next time we're all together...

Much love.

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