“Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
That’s how we’re to pray, right? God is King over a Kingdom. When Messiah was here on earth He preached and demonstrated the blessings of the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 4:23)
God wants everyone to experience His Kingdom, which at this point in time exists mainly in heavenly realms, and is our responsibility to call down, and demonstrate on earth. God’s love for people makes Him want them to know Him and the blessings of His Kingdom. And, because it is God’s will, deep inside each of us is a hunger to know God, who is Love (1 John 4:7-8); whether we recognize it or not.
God wants us (Messiah’s disciples) to represent and introduce people to His love and His Kingdom because He knows that’s how people’s longings are fully satiated. Sadly, most people seek to fill their hunger and thirst in ways that will not truly satisfy them. Even those who are “religious” do not receive the fullness of what God has for them, without a personal relationship with Him through the Messiah.
Yeshua/Jesus’ disciples have the power and authority to walk and live in God’s Kingdom, and see its manifestation on earth; but how many of us actually do that? (2 Cor. 5:17-20)
God help us!
This week the Lord showed me that I got a “software upgrade” in the spirit realm. Wow! Exciting stuff. I certainly need that being in the middle east and navigating my faith here amid persecution, and the intense spiritual climate of the area.
Yesterday I was traveling by bus to Be’er Sheva to go grocery shopping at the health food store. More about health in another blog post, as I believe what I’m eating is tied to my “upgrade.”
Friday is an important day for Muslims. They say it’s more significant and more beneficial than any other day of the week. It’s the day they gather together to pray in congregation. Before prayer they listen to lectures designed to empower them with knowledge about Allah and the religion of Islam. From the traditions of their Prophet Muhammad they learn that “the best day in the sight of Allah is Friday.”
I believe the Muslim nations were born out of the relationship between Abraham and Hagar (Genesis 16) and their child Ishmael, who was born before Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah. It’s interesting that Muhammad chose the day before the God ordained Shabbat (Saturday) as the weekly Muslim ‘holy day.’ It seems like he was trying to supersede God’s relationship with Isaac and the nation of Israel, by having the Muslim Sabbath come first. Sadly, I do see the struggle between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac as fueled primarily by jealousy, and that’s something to pray into.
Anyway, because Friday is their weekly ‘holy day’, Thursday is a big shopping day for Muslim women; and that’s what inspired this blog post.
I got on the bus and along the journey many Muslims got on board. Three Muslim women occupied the seats on my row and I noticed them taking out prayer beads. That was new to me. Come to find out that no one knows exactly when or how prayer beads entered their religion. Scholars believe they were adopted from Buddhism. Muslims use strings of 33 or 99 beads with one “leader” bead, which represent the 99 names of Allah found in the Koran and the one essential name.
The woman next to me had hers out for 20 minutes or so and then put them away. All the while I was reading this Psalm in the Passion Translation (my favorite morning devotion right now) and meditating on various verses.
THE DIVINE PRESENCE
by King David
“I thank you, Lord, and with all the passion of my heart, I worship you in the presence of angels!
Heaven’s mighty ones will hear my voice as I sing my loving praise to you!
I bow down before your divine presence and bring you my deepest worship,
as I experience your tender love, and your living truth.
For the promises of your Word and the fame of your name have been magnified above all else!
At the very moment I called out to you, You answered me!
You strengthened me deep within my soul, and breathed fresh courage into me.
One day all the kings of the earth will rise to give you thanks when they hear the living words that I have heard you speak.
They too will sing of your wonderful ways for your ineffable glory is so great!
For though you are lofty and exalted, You stoop to embrace the lowly.
Yet you keep your distance from those filled with pride.
Through your mighty power I can walk through any devastation, and you will keep me alive, reviving me.
Your power set me free from the hatred of my enemies.
You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me!
Since your love for me is so constant and endless,
I ask you, Lord, to finish every good thing that you’ve begun in me!”
As I read the Psalm I found myself literally in heaven worshiping God in the presence of the angels. It was a glorious experience. You know we have that privilege right? Psalm 16:11; Hebrews 4:16; James 4:8; Ephesians 2:4-7
Yeshua/Jesus is the door that gives us access to heavenly realms. John 10:9; John 14:4-6; Ephesians 2:17-18
Traveling by bus through the Negev desert I found myself worshiping God in spirit and in truth. I was experiencing the Presence and Glory of God in a profound way. There was such joy and peace in my soul. I know there was also a smile on my face. I looked at the woman beside me and snapped the picture on this post. Did she look content and full of joy with the Lord’s Presence after praying with her prayer beads? No! To me she looked dissatisfied and bored, or was I just reading into her countenance and body language?
Oh how I longed to be able to talk with her.
“God help me learn Hebrew to the extent that I can openly talk to these precious people about you.”
Precious? Yes, precious! All people are precious in God’s sight. Like their Jewish brothers, these people have a zeal for God without knowledge of the truth about Him. (Romans 10:1-3) They’ve grown up in their traditions, and that may be all they know, or have been exposed to.
If you really think about anyone who is “religious,” whatever their religion may be; they are hungry for spiritual things. That makes them closer in kin to true disciples of Messiah than someone who is ruled and driven exclusively by their mortal flesh, and has no belief in spiritual things.
These kinds of thoughts are new to me as I navigate this place. In the west we’re so quick to see people of other faiths (especially Muslims) as the ‘enemy’; and quite frankly I don’t think this is how God wants us to view them.
As I sat enthralled with the Presence and Glory of God on the bus I did pray. I prayed that the women next to me would receive a touch from God and they’d be drawn into an intimate relationship with Him through the knowledge of the truth about Yeshua/Jesus.
Isn’t that what God desires; that they too would come to worship Him in spirit and in truth?
Certainly that is how we would see the manifestation of God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven….”
Oh, Lord may it be so!
Join me in that prayer….