A reader recently emailed me: “Am curious why tours of Israel are being offered now in this year, when at this time 2009 your web site clearly stated there would be no tours in 2010 because of Iran/Israel relations and the expectation of an attack. So what’s changed?”

My reply: “The Lord told us not to lead a tour in 2010, but He’s telling us to organize a tour for May 2011. I’m not sure I can explain it. There could still be a war this year, or next. We don’t know. We’re just trying to be faithful to the Holy Spirit’s direction. I hope you’ll praying about coming with us.”

Let me add: As the world abandons the people of the epicenter for various reasons (wars and rumors of war, anti-Semitism, replacement theology, etc), I believe true and faithful followers of Jesus Christ should bless Israelis and the Palestinians with unconditional love and unwavering support. With war threats mounting, I believe we should be even more committed to going to Israel, praying for Israel, praying with Israelis, caring for the poor and needy int he region, and strengthening the Church as the only hope for peace and reconciliation in the region. Above all, we must obey the Lord. If our Father in heaven tells us to go, let us not be like Jonah in the Bible and go the other direction. Then again, if the Lord tells us to stay away, then isn’t it better to obey than to sacrifice? Each of us should seek the Lord in faithful and consistent prayer (even fasting) and ask the Lord to show us precisely what He wants from us as individuals, families, churches and communities. We can trust the Lord to make His will clear to us. As Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 7:7-8, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

>> Learn more about The Joshua Fund’s “prayer & vision trip” to Israel in May 2011, including the 2011 Epicenter Conference


>> To read sneak preview excerpts of Joel’s new novel, The Twelfth Imam (releasing on Oct. 19) — or to pre-order a copy — please click here


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