Here I am in Jerusalem, a place I have visited once before. But that was then and this is now. I'm in a different place in my life this time around. As I sit here in the Aroma Cafe, I find myself reflecting on the fact that I'm here. All I can say is WOW. I'm blessed to be standing on this soil.

But I must say that all the excitement of being here in the land where my Savior walked and lived, it is really short lived to an extent. What I mean is many times people come to this land with ENORMOUS expectation of some spiritual experience, and MANY do indeed have just that. But many have not. Some have come away from the land thinking, "Well, that was a nice trip." It begs the question of why. Why is it that some have this incredible experience in this land while others don't? Honestly, I don't know. I have no explanation for it. But this I do know: The expectation should be an extension of the DAILY expectation we have of meeting with the Lord everyday.

I think back to when Promise Keepers was really in full swing in the early days. So many men would come up to me and say, "Man! I can't wait to get to PK! It will be SUCH in amazing experience! God's all over that and I'm chomping at the bit to get there!!" Then after they went, they were singing a different tune. "Well, it WAS cool, but not all it was cracked up to be." I'm not necessarily saying that about this place, Jerusalem, because it IS an amazing experience being here. I am simply meaning being here is more FOR ME an extension of my desire to daily meet with the Lord right where I am wherever I am, whether it's here or in the US. God's presence can be just as rich at home as it is here. I think it all depends on your heart and your focus.

Please DO NOT misunderstand me. I am TOTALLY reveling in the fact that I'm walking on this soil and I am soaking it all in. But is it really necessary to go to certain special places to experience an even greater sense of God's presence? If so, how would you explain Paul and Silas in prison experiencing the presence of the Lord? What about Paul during a shipwreck? Or how about the apostle John on the island of Patmos in exile? Or the underground church in China? Or what about all the people that have been martyred for their faith and going through great persecution, all the while their praise and experience with God's presence grew all the more?

All I'm saying is that, (FOR ME, OK?), I want to be sure that I'm not coming to a "place" to experience the presence of the Holy One, the God of Abraham, Issac and Israel, the God of Jerusalem. I want to experience Him in the deepest of depths regardless of where I am, but to CELEBRATE Him here in HIS land!! Oh, how I celebrate Him here!!!! Oh, how I adore Him here!!! But that is an extension of how much I want to strive to daily celebrate and adore Him wherever I am.

Praise the Lord for Jerusalem!! Baruch Haba, B' Shem Adonai (Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!). Praise the Lord for this land. But even greater than this, Praise the Lord for who He is.

I love you, Abba!!


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