This day for me was an eye opener. I experienced this morning a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee in a similar boat that Jesus most likely had taken. The waters that he and Peter walked on, where Jesus calmed the winds and the waves and where Peter pulled money out a fish's mouth. Yep, I was there! Just being out there gave me such peace and assurance that everything is going to be alright in my life. What a peace, that cannot be destroyed because I have Jesus on board with me.
We left the Sea heading north to Caesarea Philippi, the place where Jesus told Peter, "Upon this Rock I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." This city was a paganistic city that worshipped the god, Pan. A half man half goat "god" that brought panic to the lives of those he was chasing and that heard his voice. Jesus bought his disciples to this out of the way place, to tell his disciples, that the advancement of the church of Jesus Christ, (not the church of Peter) will not be stopped by the gates of false gods, and false beliefs, that will try and disrupt Peace, by causing panic.
This all clicked for me as I stood on the edge of a mountain in the Golan Heights region, overlooking the border of Syria and Israel. The peace that I felt on the Sea of Galilee and the security that the church has in Christ, as well as the peace and security, and the advancement of democracy of Israel are being threatened by its enemies that surround the borders.
The Golan Heights is a strategic place that allows the Israeli government an advantage, by being able to see an advancement on its borders by Syria, if it happens, as well as having artillery positioned to thwart these advancements. The very peace that the government of Israel allows its citizens and visitors are being threatened by Syria and what's happening there. (I admonish you to read up on what's going on I Syria).
As I stood looking over at Syria, and then glancing at the U. N delegation that is assigned to report on what's happening in Syria within their view, and then hearing the bombs go off in the distance, I understood that peace must be protected.
I made the statement after experiencing Golan Heights, that "I have never been this close to war before." Now as I write this blog, I was wrong! On a daily basis there is war all around me. This peace that I experience in Jesus Christ, is constantly being attacked by the enemy that surrounds my borders, (sin, racism, lack of knowledge, complacency, stubbornness, pride, lust, etc.) and its up to me to secure the advantage that I have over the enemy in Jesus Christ m, and fight for peace.
As I make my way to Jerusalem, I am anticipating getting to the Western wall and praying for peace in me, my wife, sons, family, church, my city, region, the church of Jesus Christ, my country, Syria, you and Israel!