The Significance of Heading for Home
The Significance of Heading for Home
by Lonnie Lane
I’m not so good at waiting. Are you? I’m all in favor of immediate gratification, and seeing the results now. But as Believers, we do a good bit of waiting, don’t we? I might not like waiting, but still, as the song goes, “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.” We all know what it is to wait for God to do something we’ve prayed for, again and again. It took me quite a while to learn that God’s delays are His blessings and His protection. They are His training ground to prepare us to give us either what we’ve asked Him for or something better. It is in the stress of waiting or enduring, often through suffering, that we are often forged into instruments for greater purposes than if He had given it to us earlier.
One instance of waiting was Sarah wanting a child. Month after month, year after year – no child. God had promised her husband a son would come through his own loins, but it began to look like it wouldn’t be through hers. So she devised a plan, the consequences of which we are still dealing with today. She would have her Egyptian maid, Hagar, have Abraham’s baby for her. Indeed, it did look like no baby would ever happen for her, but we learn from this initial introduction into life with God that when God makes a promise, He will keep it. He will come through. It will happen. Don’t come up with an alternative plan of your own. Wait for God! Whatever He has said in His word, whatever He has shown to be His will, you can depend on Him to bring it to pass, despite what it may look like in the natural. “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it for it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Hab. 2:3). It’s been said, “God is often late, but He’s always right on time.”
One word for wait in Hebrew, as in David saying “I wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 40:1) is qavah, meaning “to bind together as by twisting, to expect, to wait for (patiently).” It is like the braiding together of strands, one loop after another. Another word for wait is Yachle’el which comes from its root word Yahcal meaning to be patient, to hope, to be pained, stay, tarry, trust, or wait. When put together with el (meaning God) to make Yachle’el it means (to be) “expectant of God.” So waiting isn’t just biding time, it’s actively waiting for God while He braids things together on our behalf. We don’t do nothing while we wait. We “do life” in the mean time, while we stay expectant of God.
So then, why do we worry so much when we have the Lord? Where is He in our worrying? Or maybe I should ask, Where are we in our worrying? Not “in Him” at that moment. Not “in faith.” In the natural there’s enough to be concerned about these days. It’s true that some of us have had to deal with some very real financial or health challenges. And some in the world are dealing with realistically life-threatening situations. Persecution against Christians in Muslim nations, for instance, is all too prevalent, and persecution against Jews in some places in the world is looking a lot like when the Nazis came into power. These are very real situations. In each one, God’s people are waiting for Him to act on their behalf, as each person maintains their hope in Him. To do otherwise is despair. Our hope is in the Lord and in His goodness, no matter what we deal with, no matter what comes and how long it may take for His answer to come.
“In God, there is always hope. Our safey is in our faith.”
For a true believer, even death is a blessing – we get to be with the Lord. As my pastor says about being in a life threatening situation, tell the devil, “Yeah, go ahead, threaten me with heaven!” In God, there’s always hope. Our safety is in our faith. If your trust is in God, this means your faith will bring to you what you need when you are relying on God out of your relationship with Him. You’re not praying into the air hoping the words you say will bring results. No, you are praying back His Word to Him with the sense of being connected to Him by His Spirit. You’re speaking to Him in relationship, or you’re taking a stand based on what He is leading you to do or say, by His Spirit.
Having a relationship with the Spirit of God is the key to standing in the secret place with God where we cannot be oppressed. When we’re oppressed by something, we’re waiting for it to be over. We just want out! But what if we saw the waiting as God’s doing, not that He brings about evil, but that He’s preparing a greater good to get us out of the trouble, or the evil, so that we don’t succumb to it again. It’s all in our thinking and believing. If we see ourselves in God’s care, knowing that He is with us, and He will accomplish His highest will in our lives, then we cannot be oppressed, regardless of the circumstances we may find ourselves in. I know that sounds “Pollyanna-ish” and idealistic, but it’s what got Biblical heroes through victoriously. For one example, do you think John in that awful evil and filthy prison on the Isle of Patmos was oppressed? The book of Revelation tells us He was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” (Rev.1:10). You can’t get there on the Lord’s day if you don’t know how to get there other days. He was already “in the Spirit” when the Lord began to give him the revelation. Yes, John had a unique call on his life, but the principle still exists: Learn how to be in God’s presence so should times of difficulty arise, you already know how to get and remain in God’s presence. In His “presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11), not oppression. “In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear and from terror, for it will not come near you” (Isaiah 54:14). Circumstances may come near you, but terror need not.
One of my favorite passages is in a song my brother wrote. I wish I could sing it for you. These words have sustained me in times of “shaking” in my life: “The mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the LORD who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10). These verses are preceded in verse :9 by words Yeshua Himself used, talking about the end days: “For this is like the days of Noah to Me” (See Matthew 24:36-38; Luke 17:25-27.) Should our metaphoric mountains be obliterated – removed, or the hills of things we hoped for or looked to for help other than to the Lord are shaken so that we cannot stand upon them safely any longer, we can remain in His peace. We can stand on our “covenant of peace” and hope in our faithful God. He is compassionate. He knows what we’re going through and He will “not leave us nor forsake us” (1 Kings 8:57; Hebrews 13:5). We can remain in His presence in which there is fullness of joy, even in hard times. Do you believe that? If not, take it to the Lord so He can take your heart in His loving Hands and reshape it to trust in Him, no matter what.
Oppression or threats of oppression or depression (emotional or financial, it doesn’t matter), suppression or repression may be all around you, we may hear it in the media, movies may look like visual prophesies, it may even be preached from a pulpit that judgment is upon us. But if you’re right with God, and your trust is in Him, that arrow of oppression from the devil will whiz right by you if you refuse it. Once, in a difficult time I asked the Lord for someone with wisdom like Paul to come into my life. Lo and behold, I met a 70 year old man from New Zealand who had been in the Lord almost that long. I got to ask him some questions, one of which was “What do I do when something is being hurled at me from the pulpit that I know is condemnation?” He said, “Duck!” When the devil is trying to get you to doubt God out of what’s being hurled at you, trying to get you to believe that we’re all in trouble, including you, “Duck!” God’s Word is eternal. It will not pass away. What takes place today will vanish. It’s only circumstantial and God can change your circumstances as you trust in Him.
Before World War II, there were many voices telling the Jewish people to get out of Europe and make Aliyah. Aliyah means to move to Israel. Some went, too many didn’t. But God did warn them. What is He warning us of today? To leave what occupies us and keeps us from God and flee to Him? Aliyah a going up or rising to a higher place spiritually as well as locationally (Jerusalem being on a mountain, as in Mount Zion) though not all who move to Israel will live in Jerusalem. Today, there seems to be some intuitive sense among a number of Jews to leave where they are and “head for home,” to Israel, even if they’ve never been there before. While this might not have much meaning to many Gentiles, there is biblical significance in this which could prove applicable. Why? Because “the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual” (1 Cor. 15:46).
Watch what is taking place in Israel (the natural realm), and more specifically Jerusalem, and you will see what the (spiritual realm) strategies of God are and the devil’s attempt to thwart them. Then look for the counterpart in the church. The most obvious example took place in 1967 when Jerusalem was once again under Jewish authority after the Six Day War and that same year the Holy Spirit was once again manifest in the church when the Charismatic Renewal began. In the natural and in the spiritual, both were restored after a period of almost 2000 years. Coincidence? I don’t think so!!
Despite the “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6) related to Israel, many Jewish people are pulling up roots and starting life anew in Israel. Whether it’s because of what’s in the NEWS, or their own experiences of persecution, or because of obeying their instincts to return, what God predicted centuries ago is coming to pass. It’s happening. It has been happening, but the momentum is picking up. The number of Jewish people immigrating to Israel in 2009 increased a significant 19 percent over the number in 2008. This sets a thirty-six year record, especially among North American Jews. In case you wondered what happened thirty-six years ago, that was 1972 when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and massacred by the militant “Black September” gang connected with Arafat during the Olympics in Munich, Germany. It was only 27 years since WWII and the holocaust was still very vivid in the minds of the Jews – and here they were in Germany!
Evidently, there are some similar concerns in the minds of Jews today, evidenced by the increased immigration to Israel in the presence of increased Anti-Semitism, even if there has been an attempt to legitimize it by calling it anti-Zionism. This new label tries to take a prejudicial racial bias and make it a political issue. We are more likely to regard political differences today as tolerable while frowning on racial biases, at least in North America since the sixties. One anecdotal comment, however, applies here: At a dinner shortly before his assassination in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. responded to a black student who harshly criticized Zionists saying, “Don’t talk like that! When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.” Oh, for more Martin Luther King, Jr.’s in our world today who would peaceably motivate the people toward godly truth that makes a difference!
The reality today is that Jews are pulling up stakes where they may have lived for centuries and “returning” to the “promised land,” to Israel. If that is what is happening in the “natural,” what is the “spiritual” implication? What does this return to the Land indicate on the “church” side of things? There is no doubt that Aliyah is a move toward accomplishing God’s will that the Jewish people return to the Land. It would seem that at some point every Jew will be in Israel, whether it is before the Lord’s return or after. So then this geographic move is likely to be a move toward accomplishing God’s ultimate will. What is aliyah a sign of?
I believe it’s a sign of revival. The Jews who are moving to Israel may not be religious (now), they may not all even believe in God (yet). But that doesn’t affect that they know they are Jews. I was a thoroughly Jewish atheist myself at one time. But the move of God’s “natural” children returning to the Land in great numbers is indicative of a move of God’s “spiritual” children, be they Jew or non-Jew, “returning” to the Kingdom of God. It may be the time when many semi-committed or lukewarm and compromising Believers will “head for home” to rise to a higher spiritual place in God than they have yet known. It is possible to be a nominal Believer in Jesus and not be living life in the Kingdom, enjoying your Kingdom righteousness, rights and privileges, just as it is possible to be Jewish and not be living in the Land God promised, nor enjoying the rights and privileges of being an Israeli, of which there are many, incidentally. Don’t believe everything the media tells you or that what they say is the whole picture of life in Israel. Go and see for yourself God’s many blessings in the Land of Israel.
“Never before has human history been so prophetically aligned with Scripture.”
Does this resurgence of Aliya mean we are close to Yeshua’s return? Every generation has waited for the Lord’s return, expecting Him to come in their lifetime, But He could not return until Israel was in the Land. The entire Bible centers around Israel and God’s involvement with them. Where the church (Gentiles) are involved, it is as they come to know and worship the Holy One of Israel. It was not until many prophesies were fulfilled relating to Israel that we could even begin to expect Messiah’s coming. Never before has human history been so prophetically aligned with Scripture. While there is some variance in interpretation of the timing of the remaining prophesies, it is quite possible (for the first time in history) that what must yet happen cannot happen until Messiah comes! The major component is Israel’s restoration to the Land which God assigned to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Consider these words of Moses at the end of his life which remain as binding today:
“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the LORD your God has banished you, and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. The LORD your God will bring you into the Land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers” (Deut. 30:1-5).
Notice that this refers to those who have returned to the Lord. This verses implies that once Jewish people come to the Lord in the Lands where God has scattered them, He will at the ordained time, restore them to the Land. But it also talks about those who are “outcasts” and believers are never outcasts to God, so Moses also referred to those are Jews who have not returned to the Lord. But whether faithful believers or not, God will bring them back to the Land to possess it and to bless them. It’s been a long wait, but it will come to pass. No matter what, His word remains true. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
When we know His Word is the truth. What He gave in a vision will become reality. Our part is to love Him and live according to His Word to position ourselves to receive the fulfillment. We do so expecting His blessings, His protection and His love. God is aligning things up for those who love Him to be the light in darkness, the joy in the midst of sorrow, the sustenance and provision in the time of lack, and wisdom in times of great confusion. He is drawing His people into Kingdom reality, just as He is drawing the Jewish people back to their Land of Israel. We could well be living in the ultimate “appointed time”! “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:3, emphasis added).
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2010.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.