©January 11, 2013 Revive Israel
By Asher Intrater
The most precious thing in life is intimacy. Intimacy is first and foremost with God, and secondly with humans. It is the pearl of great price that we should sell all to obtain. Intimacy comes from a personal relationship with God through faith in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
Abraham became a friend of God (Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23). Moses knew God face to face (Deuteronomy 34:10). David said that kirvah (closeness, nearness) to God was worth more to him than anything in the world (Psalm 73:25, 28), and that "sweet counsel" was what he desired from a friend (Psalm 55:14).
The disciple who reached the closest intimacy with Yeshua was John, who leaned on Yeshua's breast during the Passover Seder (the Last Supper) and was known as the "disciple whom Yeshua loved" (John 13:23). He penned these words: For the Father Himself loves you – John 16:27.
If the Father Himself loves you, then there is no barrier, no distance, no rejection, no separation at all. Absolute intimacy at the closest level is being offered. The literal translation of Deuteronomy 4:4 is davek, those who have "stuck close to God like glue." You can't get any closer than glue.
Sin breaks that intimacy. Jeremiah described it as a girdle that had been made dirty (Jeremiah 13:1-11). We were as close to God as underwear and then became filthy. Sin is like a husband or wife who betrays the sexual intimacy of marriage by adultery (Hosea 1:2, 3:1). Sin is the betrayal of intimacy.
Intimacy allows the secret thoughts of one's soul to be shared with another. God allows for His deepest thoughts to be shared with us through the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 2:10-12). The Holy Spirit knows what is on the inside of God and then shares it with us. That is intimacy: inside touching inside. If we let our hearts be known to God, His heart will be known to us (I Corinthians 8:3).
Intimacy demands vulnerability. If we open the most sensitive things in our hearts to another, we will likely be hurt. Thus, vulnerability involves pain; that pain is the price of intimacy. We can be "wounded by our friends" (Zechariah 13:6).
Therefore intimacy needs trust. We cannot come near to God unless we have confidence in Him (Hebrews 11:6). We need faith to trust others. If we want others to trust us, we should prove ourselves to be trustworthy. God's faithfulness to us enables us to have faith in Him. Faithfulness engenders faith in others.
Yeshua accomplished this for us on the cross. He became vulnerable in order to open the way to intimacy with the Father. We wounded Him. Yeshua paid the price to purchase intimacy with us. He was stripped, beaten, and mocked for our sakes. That is the sacrifice of love. It bears the pain of vulnerability to pay the price for intimacy.
We take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23) to walk together with Him. We meditate on Scriptures to understand His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8:11). We pray in the Holy Spirit to have revelation to know Him personally (Ephesians 1:17). We humble ourselves to be brought near to Him (Matthew 11:25-29). We obey, even unto death, in order to know Him and be like Him (Philippians 3:10).
Yeshua's last and greatest prayer was that we would be "one" (John 17:11, 21-23). This is more than a prayer for unity and cooperation. It is for divine union. Yeshua prays that we would be inside of Him and God inside of us just as He and the Father are inside of one another. He is inviting us to experience that same perfect intimacy.
Intimate union with God is the most sublime and transforming experience in the universe. It glorifies and purifies (John 17:5, 10, 17, 24). It is the ultimate pleasure (Psalm 16:11). It is the purpose for which we were created.
Israeli Elections 2013
By Mati Shoshani, Jerusalem Institute of Justice
On January 22nd, Israelis will elect their next government and Prime Minister. Most of the parties have chosen to focus their campaigns on the image of the party leaders. There is a hesitancy to publish a clear list of goals or objectives regarding the issues that the new government will need to address (such as: the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Iranian threat, government deficit, recruitment of Orthodox Jews into military service, and the financial frustration of the Israeli middle-class), because these topics have no simple short-term solutions.
Once the results are in, the new Israeli Prime minister and his government will have their plates full of issues demanding creative leadership and clear direction. Let us pray for God's will to be done in these coming elections, and for wisdom and clarity for the elected leaders.
All Israel was hit this week with the largest snow and rain storm in 20 years. The Sea of Galilee rose 73 centimeters, and may possibly actually reach its full level by the end of the winter. Snow piled up in Jerusalem to 13 centimeters.
Although much damage was done across the country due to flooding (such as over 100 families needing to be evacuated from the Bat Hepher settlement), there is joy to see all the aquifers being refilled. We believe this is a sign that 2013 will be a year of filled-up spiritual blessings as well.
Bickle on CNN
This month Christiane Amanpour did a special on Armageddon on CNN. As part of the report, she interviewed Mike Bickle of IHOP. The broadcast was seen by millions. Let us continue to pray for our dear friends at IHOP as their witness touches the world and blesses the entire Church internationally.
To view, click here.