“That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.”
Luke 24:13 – 16
I recently asked for prayer about the decision to go, or not go, on a tour to Israel that is coming up. First of all, I want to thank those who have been praying with me, God heard and that is what I am sharing today.
Some of you who have read my book, “From Self – esteem to God – esteem“, know that I accepted Christ as my Savior on November 6, 1976 and that I have slo-o-o-o-ow-w-w-w-l-l-l-y turned my life over to the Holy Spirit to change. It is still a daily process. A big part of that change took place during my Walk to Emmaus #11 table of Hannah in April 2000. During those three precious days, I met Jesus in a way that I had never known Him before. My eyes were opened and my life changed. I thank God for the dedicated Christians who sponsor others on this Walk.
Over the years I started thinking about what it would be like to walk where Jesus walked, to see what Jesus saw, and to just be where Jesus was here on earth. I knew that it was often thousands of dollars so I really didn’t pursue it, but then an opportunity came up recently, that was quite a bit less, so I thought, well, maybe it’s time to go to Israel. The visions of the road to Emmaus were in my heart. The itinerary speaks of driving by Mt. Carmel where Elijah spoke to the prophets of Baal, driving by the Mt. of Temptation, and walking to the Pool of Bethesda. What a wonderful time with fellow Christians it would be! But I did not have God’s peace about going. I had to renew my passport so I got all the paperwork ready. I knew it would be a couple of days before I could take them to the courthouse, because I was delivering all – day trainings for two days. Then on the third day a storm system moved in and I had a fibromyalgia flare – up. Ok, maybe today I’ll get there. Funny what God uses to take up our time so that we don’t make rash decisions, isn’t it?
I was on the back porch swing, doing my devotions, this morning when I read in Ezekiel 36:26-28 how God promises Israel that He will “…give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. And you will live in Israel, that land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God.” And I started thinking about Israel and how I pray for them to accept Jesus before it is too late.
This passage was written between 500 to 600 years before Christ walked the earth. Jesus is the new heart that Ezekiel spoke of. And God placed His Spirit inside of all believers from the moment Jesus ascended from His resurrected body into Heaven. “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22. To stand in the place where Jesus gave this promise and then went to live with the Father would be exciting, but it would not be real for me. Israel is at war. It is in turmoil today as much as it was in the days of the old prophets, because they have not fully accepted Jesus as the living, breathing, Son of God.
I have accepted Jesus as God’s Son. I have invited the Holy Spirit to live inside of me to change me. And I walk with Jesus every day. I talk with Jesus every day. He is real to me. Jesus reveals Himself to me in my life here in Taylor Mill, KY. I don’t have to go anywhere to find Him; to feel Him. His words are hidden in my heart to keep me from sin, his desires are my desires because I seek Him on my decisions. And that is why I am not going to Israel. I am satisfied with my decision, because I know that God is directing my thoughts. He has removed the desire to go from me and replaced it with a desire to mentor others here at home. I praise God for listening to my prayers, and others prayers for me.
And now, if you will excuse me, I think I am going to go to my backyard prayer path and meet with Jesus.