Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

Thank you all so much for the prayers you have been lifting up for Callie and me. We are continually blessed to see how the Lord uses your prayers for us as we walk out our calling here in Israel. The Lord has been gracious to us in so many ways and we can't wait to see what the future holds. Please keep Callie in your prayers as she closes in on the end of the first trimester. Her first trimester has been quite difficult and it has taken a lot of perseverance to get through it. I personally have felt very helpless at times, knowing that I can't do anything to take away her discomfort. The whole thing has taught us both a lot about relying on the Lord and finding rest in Him. Also, please pray that the Lord would show me which direction to go with His call to teach English here. Hearing the voice of the Lord concerning the business has always been crucial, but I feel increased pressure now to press in for an answer. Whether it is my own anxiety or the Lord impressing on me the need, I feel now an increased urgency to press into Him.

From the time Callie and I returned in April this year, I have been working with an intercessory ministry here in Israel whose call is to raise up prayer for Israel and the Jewish people. There are so many things happening in Israel week by week that sometimes I can feel overwhelmed by the need. Israel is in a very difficult place right now and it will take wisdom greater than Solomon's to lead this nation through it. Please pray that the Lord would make His salvation,Yeshua, known to the leaders of this nation. This is the only real way there can be hope. As we all have seen again and again, faith in politicians never really finds its fulfillment, but faith in our God always does. Please pray that we as a nation would turn to the Lord in this treacherous time.

The crumbs from the Lord's table are better than the all the honor you can get in this world. It is so difficult sometimes to keep that in perspective, and be ok with what this means. We think so much of ourselves sometimes, that we forget our position before the Lord. Even within our congregations we love to receive the honor of our brothers and sisters. We yearn for the attention that can be gained through the outworking of our anointing or calling. Our calling, many times, ceases to be a means by which we can serve the Lord, and becomes a means by which we can have status among our brothers. We have often seen people start to identify more with their ministry than they they do with their Messiah. Paul said a few times in his writings that he sees himself as a drink offering poured out before the Lord. Paul was willing to be despised and rejected for the Lord's sake. When we look into the Body of the Messiah now, how many of us would be willing to be despised by our community if it meant the Lord would be glorified? How many of us would be willing to be completely poured out as a drink offering, so that the world could see who our God is? Yes there are promises of spiritual authority and gifting in the Word, but when spiritual "ambition" (seeking to gain ascendancy through our spirituality) gets in the mix, that Godly calling can become the worst source of pride there is. The dispute that the disciples had about who was the greatest among them has been taken to the next level in our congregations. (See Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-35, Luke 9:46-48)The dispute has been given free reign by exalting our "spirituality" and forgetting to exalt the One who has given us spiritual rebirth. When we truly exalt Yeshua in our midst, nothing else is seen, and nothing else is important. Our status and even our spirituality is nothing in the presence of our Savior. The world right now sees a Body of Messiah where its members continue to jostle for position. It is time we show them Yeshua, and nothing else. Blessings!

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie