Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Into Jesus' Steps, Into His Presence


Women's Trip to Israel 2014

I’m not very good at memorizing. I’m in God’s Word a lot, but it doesn’t seem to stick word-for-word in my mind. But God is good, and He saturates my heart with His Word as I yield my heart to His.

When women find out about my travels to Israel, their comments most typically include something about stepping where Jesus stepped, walking where He walked. I nod and smile and assure them seeing the places we read about in the Bible is definitely a beautiful experience…but walking where Jesus walked doesn’t begin to reflect the fullness of journeying through Israel. Visiting Israel isn’t about looking back in history, checking locations off a map and destinations off an itinerary. It’s about seeking God. It’s a journey into His presence.

Of course, God is alive and active in you no matter where you are. Your place doesn’t determine your faith. But I can certainly say that yielding to God and stepping into His presence in the Holy Land illuminated my life and intimacy with Him with an unrivaled brilliance. He seeped into my thoughts, assumptions, expectations, knowledge, and beliefs in ways that boldly encouraged me through both affirmation and conviction. And I’m not alone. As our small group of women shared physical steps and experiences, our journeys were personal. Consistent with God’s magnificent provision, He met us where we each spiritually arrived and nourished us with every step we yielded.

If you journey with me this November, you’ll see many things—Ceasarea, Tiberias, Cana, Nazareth, Yad Vashem Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Jerusalem’s Old City, Western Wall, Jordan River, Dead Sea, Masada, and much more. You’ll stand atop the rolling Judean Hills and descend to the lowest place on earth. You’ll see lush, productive groves of many fruits and miles of parched desert. But you won’t just follow the steps of Jesus; you’ll step into His presence.

Because we travel with a fairly small group of women, we’ll take time to savor our experiences, digging into God’s Word, and reflecting on how He’s revealing Himself to us. And while it’s a personal journey with Him, you’ll find the relationships you build with the other women are rich and rewarding. We come together from many places and experiences but our hearts will entwine in similar purpose.

We’re not just journeying for ourselves. We’ll come together and build relationships, and we’ll serve others, too. Our trip includes several days of serving others, setting aside our assumptions and expectations and letting God use us as vessels to pour His love abundantly on others.

Will you journey with me? For more information, visit PurePurpose.org or LifetreeAdventures.org.

Please keep in mind space is very limited (and registration requires only a small deposit to secure your spot). Keeping the size of the group small helps us build relationships as well as allows us to travel more easily and invites us into more intimate, personal experiences as we take time to reflect.
(Lifetree Adventures will handle your registration process, and once you are registered, I will add you to a closed Facebook group, so you'll get to know others who are part of the group, have access to suggested reading and daily Bible reading plans, as well as get tips along the way as we all prepare!)



Susan Lawrence is a Women’s Ministry Consultant who is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to build healthy relationships with God and each other. She’s written several Bible studies and regularly contributes to several online sites and print publications. She loves to travel to speak and train women around the world…or to lead adventure/service trips to Israel! You can connect with Susan at PurePurpose.org, where she blogs daily.


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