11 Jan Thoughts from Israel
It has been a trip of a lifetime. We have four days left in the beautiful country of Israel, and I am at a loss for words.
Here in Israel, the Jewish culture is very strong. It is so very different than what I am used to back in the states! That in itself has been an interesting change of perspective for me. What do I say to someone who tells me “you would be a huge hit if you would get rid of all the ‘Jesus’ stuff in your music” ? What do I feel when I look around and see people mostly dressed in black and white, while I walk around in bright red or green? What do I think when I see such a reverence for God that literally the whole culture shuts down on Friday night for their weekly Shabbat? So many things are different. So many things I don’t have answers for. But there is something I found that does connect every single one of us, and that is our heavenly Abba (Father), God.
A prayer that is very important among the Jewish culture is Deuteronomy 6:4
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”
This verse echos what I mean. Our God, HE is ONE. No matter where we go, no matter who we are with, our God is ONE, and only ONE. While in Israel I have been reading through the book of James. Another verse that relates to this stuck out to me. James writes in 1:5-8:
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (NLT)
…and another verse from Exodus 20:3
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
Something that has been rolling around in my head obviously is the one-ness of God, and the importance that He seems to keep putting on it. Seems like He really wants us to know that He’s the ONE!
Did you know? Have you heard? He is God above EVVVVVERYTHING, and no one has the sight or the perspective that He does! And He seems to say over and over in the Bible that we not share that role of His with anyone, or anything else. Not our job, not our dreams, not our plans, not our money, or any person or thing…HE IS GOD, HE is one. ALL BY HIMSELF He is God. When we put our trust in things of this world…when we put our hope in things of this world…when we give our heart to things of this world…we are giving the throne to “stuff” (aka little “g” gods) that will never be able to meet our expectations. We bow down to “things” that will never satisfy.
Something to think about today… What are your cravings? That might tell you something about where your heart lies, and if you could potentially be sharing the space of God’s with something else. One of my favorite things Jesus said is in Matthew 6:21:
Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.