Mission Trip, Israel -Day 7 May 22, 2007
We had been reading the book of Ruth each day for 10 days prior to this night as it was the Jewish custom to study this scripture on this night. This is exactly what the disciples would have been doing as they tarried for the arrival of the Holy Spirit as Jesus instructed them. We spoke in a previous post about what this Holy day means; now we were to live it! I know in advance that I won’t be able to distill into words what this night was like. Our plan was to study and pray throughout the night without sleep seeking our Lord. Most days of this trip I have maybe one page of notes, but on this night I have six. It was amazing that in all the reading I did for ten days prior, the meaning of these scriptures was still cloudy. On this night, the Lord opened them up.
I’m not going to really get into all of the meanings of Ruth here, but if you haven’t spent time with it, I would greatly encourage it. The whole story points to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Jews and the Gentiles being saved together. This short book is an amazing picture of God’s plan in the world.
The story I want to tell is of something that happened between about 5:15 and 6am that morning. Our group wasn’t unified. I wouldn’t have exactly said that before hand, but maybe we each had too much pride, or simply wanted things our own way? I can’t really say, but after what happened, we all witnessed the Holy Spirit do a great cleansing in us.
Kara got upset about something that one of the guys said as we were discussing one of the chapters. I guess she was quietly steaming and when it came her time to talk again about the next chapter, rather than ignore it or explode, she initiated a time of unification and repentance. She apologized for everything unbecoming of the Lord that she had said or thought. It went around the room with everyone doing the same. I remember repenting for covetousness. Too often this covetousness rises up in me and I want all the cool God moments for myself instead of enjoying the wonderful way in which He blesses one in one way, and another in a different way. The way that He works uniquely amongst us.
Something tedious had been broken off of us and a fresh air was in our group. The rest of the time we studied and talked new revelations about the scriptures came easily and there was a pure joy amongst us. We continually erupted into laughter. God is good. The other amazing thing to point out is that right during this time, our friend Rick who has an amazing gift for prayer sent us an email about unification that was dead on to what we were going through, at the exact moment that we were going through it. We had this happen several times during the trip, but because this moment was so amazing, the fact that he sent an email praying for our exact need really floored us!
The body was meant to be one body in unity and this was Jesus’ dying prayer. In what areas does the enemy work in you to separate you from others?