My wife, Jennifer, and I booked a trip to Israel as part of a tour group led by Johnny and Elizabeth Enlow of Restore Seven Ministries. Fulfillment of this bucket list trip to the Holy Land has been a long time in the making. While every day thus far was amazing, truthfully, I was most looking forward to seeing the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This historic site is considered by the Jews to be the second most-holiest site in Israel—second only to Mount Moriah on the Temple Mount, currently beneath the Dome of the Rock.
We arrived at the Wall as the sun’s shadows were growing long and the afternoon heat radiated from the large limestone blocks making up the Wall. Finding a small opening amongst the Jewish worshipers, I placed my hand on the Wall and began to pray. Almost immediately, the Lord’s presence enveloped me in a loving, divine, “Here I AM.” Maybe I noticed His approaching shadow or maybe Holy Spirit nudged me out of prayer; I don’t know, but I turned to see a disheveled old man standing behind me. He had a kind face behind a long, grey beard and was wearing the kippah in accordance with Jewish tradition as well as a tallit over his shoulders. He wore a long, black coat that was torn, revealing the inner lining. His shoes were well-worn and seemed over-sized for his feet. His right leg was bare between his black sock and the bottom of the tattered old coat. He had the look of a homeless man and seemed very out of place at this most holy site.
Since arriving in Israel six days earlier, I had not seen any indications that there were homeless people in Israel. He was the kind of man most people would ignore and pass by without a thought, maybe throw a couple bucks his way to make oneself feel good. But this man wasn’t begging for money. That’s not what he wanted. He wanted my place at the Wall so he could spend time with his God—our God—and he appeared to be waiting patiently for me to finish praying so he could take my place.
My wife and I flew almost 7,000 miles to visit Israel, the culmination of that bucket list trip, for me at least, being able to spend time in prayer at the Western Wall. I easily could have justified turning back toward the Wall and ignoring him, but for some reason I felt very humbled by his presence.
“I’m grafted in.” I thought. “He’s blood.”
The third veil’s been torn for me. I have access to the Father wherever I am. This Jewish man with the kind face does not have the privilege of entering into the throne room of God in the same way I do through the blood of Jesus Christ. In that flash of a moment, standing before this man of Israel, there was only one thing I could do.
Still feeling the heavy presence of the Lord, I took a step back and motioned with my hand for him to take my place at the Wall. He returned the gesture as if to say, “No, go ahead.” I took another step back, bowing my head in respect and gestured again for him to take my place. I backed away from the Wall and soon joined a fellow tour group member. We chatted for a few minutes about the wonderful presence of God and the inspiring experience of being at this most holy site.
As our conversation wound down, I heard the Lord say, “Come back to Me.” The Creator of the Universe was summoning me back to the Wall to spend more time with Him in prayer! As I returned to the Wall and laid my hand on those warm limestone blocks, I felt in my spirit this was a time of purpose, a time of conducting the Lord’s business. Yes, I felt the love and peace of His presence surround my spirit as before, but I knew the time I would spend with Him would be deeper. God wanted to accomplish His Kingdom purpose, so I began to listen for His direction.
God has absolute authority and sovereignty over the universe He created. He does not need Man to accomplish His Kingdom purpose on the earth and yet He chooses to use us to do so. I fully understood that as I entered into prayer with Him. Calling me back to the Wall, He had invited me into the sphere of His absolute sovereignty. By seeking His direction in prayer, I was acting on a small piece of that sovereignty given to me by revelation of Holy Spirit. My prayer, in full agreement with the leading of Holy Spirit, would ascend into the very throne room of God via the Alter of Incense to accomplish His purpose on earth. As I prayed, I had no doubt He was releasing angels to accomplish the words I spoke at the Wall.
You would be very mistaken if you thought I was a super-duper prayer warrior. I’m a normal Joe Believer who understands that God desires to use His kings and priests (Revelation 1:6) to accomplish His will “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). I’ve been teaching and declaring to the Body of Christ for over 20 years the need for each of us to find His kingdom purpose in our life. The vast majority of Christians live as peasants and paupers, not fully realizing their heritage as sons and daughters of the Living God!
God is calling His kings and priests to come into agreement with His Kingdom purpose on earth. We are to be “as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). Colossians 4:2 tells us we are to “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Serving God is the highest use of your time. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.” Therefore, “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2) by offering up a pure and holy incense prayer to Him.