4/20/11

The Rock of Israel

I have experienced this Easter season as never before. Following along with Nancy Leigh DeMoss at Revive Our Hearts in her "The Incomparable Christ" series, which began March 9th, put my focus where it should be ~ on Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross and in His resurrection.

But I also have great memories of walking in Jesus' steps in Israel just a few months ago. As I walked, I collected rocks from various locations, and they are all labeled on the bottom side of each rock.

I've already written about one rock ... the large one in this picture from Gideon's Spring with the engraved "C" for courage. But there are also lots of rocks from Israel from the ruins of the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Southern steps, an old Jewish cemetary, Gethsemane, Meggido, Capernaum, Bet-She'at, the Jordan River, the Mount of Beatitudes, near the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, Tiberius, Antonio's Fortress, Caesarea Maritima, and Golgotha and the Garden Tomb.

As I turn over each rock and look at the labels, I remember the sites and how I knew this tour of Israel would change me. I will never read the scriptures again without picturing these places and remembering what I saw, heard, smelled, and felt. It was a time of commitment, as well.

I've served in a revival ministry and in various churches and ministries since I became a Christ-follower. And I've learned that sanctification is a process. I've had my low points of faith and obedience, as well as mountain-top experiences. But through it all, there has been one continuing truth. God has been my Rock. He is solid; I can lean on Him.

He is the Rock of my salvation (Psalm 62:2, 7), and my continuing, mighty Rock and fortress (Psalm 18:1-2; 91:2). The Almighty Lord is our help in time of trouble, and we are wise if we quiet ourselves and remember Who He is! (Psalm 46).

Fortresses are usually made of strong rock, or at least, built upon a firm foundation. Unlike the broken-down walls in Jerusalem, God cannot be overcome. He cannot be shaken or moved. He is our firm foundation ~ our Mighty Fortress ~ in these days of turmoil.

May 5th is the National Day of Prayer, and this year's focus is "a Mighty Fortress is our God." I looked up the words of the song by that name, and found some of the original words Martin Luther wrote:

"A sure stronghold our God is he, a trusty shield and weapon.
Our help he'll be and set us free from every ill can happen."


Our country is in desperate need today ... and believers must pray desperate prayers for ourselves, our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, our government, and our nation. God, our Rock, can surely change us, but we must come to him in humility, recognizing our need. I encourage you to begin praying now, as we head toward Easter, and also on May 5th.

God is my "sure stronghold" ... my Rock. Is He your foundation and source of strength today?

Note: "The MIL-DIL Stew" series will conclude next week.

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