Oasis Newsletter

Oasis Volume 19, Issue 4

 

 

No Longer Alone

I don’t know another soul here,” I thought to myself during the class break, feeling distant from the other adult students I was observing. I began to face the fact that, in a way, we are always alone. That is, we are bound within our mind, our consciousness, our self. Even our closest friends, even our spouses cannot breach that border. I have often wished not to be so alone, trapped within my own thoughts.

caveBut are we really alone? Those of us who have experienced full reconciliation with God through Messiah’s atonement have been reunited with our Maker. In wrestling with my own “aloneness” I want to explore the divine response to this phenomenon—as a type of “therapy, healing and change of outlook.” First, let’s see what Yeshua went through on the cross.

Yeshua’s Aloneness

Yeshua felt alone, was alone, on the cross. He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This was in blunt contrast to His prayer conversations in which He addressed God as “Father.” Yeshua knew that His Father was always with Him. Yet in being crucified, the Son of God submitted to temporary “abandonment” in order to bear our rebellion. He experienced the penalty we deserved—separation from a holy God, i.e. absolute aloneness. The one person who was never truly alone embraced isolation from everyone and everything—utter darkness—in order to liberate us from the aloneness birthed in sin.

After His resurrection, as our Shepherd finished His work on this earth, He gave us this guarantee, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)!!! Knowing our capacity to feel alone, separate, detached, disconnected, He assured us as His disciples, “I’ll always be with you, in every situation, no matter what’s going on inside of you.”

Elijah’s Aloneness

Elijah thought he was alone. In a cave, following the astounding victory on Mt. Carmel, the prophet was convinced of his aloneness. Then God spoke to him in a whisper. The Author of the universe was right there, with the prophet, at the mouth of the cave, when Elijah was depressed and suffering by himself. God, entirely aware of His servant’s inner state, challenged him to come out of his introspection and go back to his history-altering calling. Thus he “finished well,” setting in motion the destinies of two kings and the young prophet who succeeded him.

I sometimes find myself in such a cave. There, I become consumed with self-doubts, self-condemnation, and pointless regrets about my past. In that cave I need to hear the whisper of my God. I need to remember and rejoice in the truth David learned. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death [a fitting metaphor for the loneliness of depression/discouragement/self-focus] I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). 

Practicing His Presence

Now I’m sitting alone. It is a holy moment. Silence…and I am with Him. Simply with Him. No agenda, no list, no regrets. It is not a lonely aloneness. Because Someone is with me. This must be what is called “the secret place.” The psalm that speaks of such a place (Psalm 91) contains enormous promises of God’s presence, protection, and abundance when I “abide with him.” This practice of being “alone,” but conscious of His presence with us is, I believe, our indispensable communion. Once united with Him, I can enjoy the richness of shared life with the people around me, and I am no longer alone.

EITAN SHISHKOFF, Pastor Emeritus

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Directing Our Focus in The End Times

I believe that we are living in the End Times and that we will soon be at war. In which direction does the focus of a believer need to be, especially in times of trouble? 

Here in Israel we are nearing elections (and covet your prayers for this matter). While watching the news I cannot help but look at the heart of the people here in the land – both Jews and Arabs. What is our heartbeat, our focus? What are the things that we are aware of, and what is our direction?

mapA compass points north and is pulled there by the magnetic field. In life there are many magnetic fields which draw our hearts. If Yeshua is our compass then our hearts will be drawn to God’s direction. We were born to worship Him, but without Yeshua we will be confused and our hearts will be led in all the wrong ways.

Micah 4:1 speaks of a Kingdom that is coming. “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established…” (NKJV). Today human society still functions according to the kingdoms and governments of this world. Yet everything is leading us toward the final conflict and the time when Yeshua will again stand here in this land in defense of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:8-9). Whether we want it or not and whether we are ready for it or not, His plan will come to pass. Our compass must be pointing toward Yeshua, the King of Israel. We cannot afford to be focused on the leaders of this world – whether they are elected or dictators, kings or queens.

Only if we are filled with God’s love will we have peace in the midst of turmoil. When we are filled with His love we will find ourselves resting and not rushing to or from one thing or another, whether it be good or bad. When all mankind is filled with the love of God and has Yeshua at its center, then there will be peace with one another. That is the love which allows honor to flourish. His is the love which separates mankind from our selfishness.

Rather than walking in the name of the gods of this world we will walk in the name of the Lord our God (Micah 4:5). With Yeshua as our compass, our hearts will be drawn to the mountain of the Lord. Here is where we will find the love and grace of God. – Guy Cohen

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shaveitzion.org info@shaveitzion.org P.O.B. 9609, Haifa 3109601 Israel

U.S. tax deductible online donations to support this and other education and training projects of Shavei Tzion can be  made via Return to Zion in Haifa

Eagle Project Continues to Spread its Wings

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”  Isaiah 6:18

During the last four years, the Eagle Project has reached more than one hundred twenty young adults from twenty different congregations in Israel. The participants have taken part in our discipleship and renewal journey to Norway, learned and served at Eagle Project weekends, participated in a theological course called Shoresh (Root) for young adults and finished other courses while on their own paths of spiritual growth. Now some of them are ready to be sent to the nations.

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This year, under the Eagle Project umbrella, we launched another ministry called Eagle Global Ministries. Return to Zion Ministry—in partnership and friendship with Revive Israel—will send groups of fine young people to serve in a united program with our young brothers and sisters in Taiwan and Korea.

Together, young adults from Israel, Taiwan, Korea and Japan will learn how to serve others. They will also experience the unity that God desires, and bring it into practice in the congregations and on the streets of Taiwan and Korea for two weeks in April of this year.

We believe that young adults are key in God’s kingdom, and that we must invest in them and equip them to work in His fields. Our vision is for the next generation to build united, global projects and minister to people worldwide.Evgeni

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.  1 John 2:14

We need you to lift up our hands with prayer and support.

The total cost of the ministry trip in April is $25,000. We would be grateful for financial support, for prayer during that time and for practical things such as Bibles, bags, travel items and so on.

Thank you for being a tailwind for Eagle Project Ministries.

Arm of The Lord Revealed

During one of our recent morning devotionals at the Olive Tree Discipleship and Agriculture Project, we read Isaiah’s encouraging prophecies of Messiah, referred to as the “arm” of the LORD.

The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:10 NKJV).

Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1 NKJV)

He saw that there was no one, was amazed that no one interceded. Therefore His own arm brought Him salvation, and His own righteousness sustained Him” (Isaiah 59:16 CJB)

cloudsGod saw that we could not save ourselves. Therefore the God Who dwells in unapproachable light, decided to make part of Himself visible, exposed, “bare.” He Himself performed salvation. He revealed Himself as salvation, as the human/divine Rescuer King.

While modern Rabbinic Judaism agrees with the concept of a coming Messiah, it does not agree that Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah. It does not conceive of Messiah as being God Who has visited earth in the form of a man. We appreciate you joining us in prayer for the “revealing” spoken of in these verses to increase in our day, especially here in Israel where the verses were first given. – David

Olive Tree Discipleship and Agricultural Project

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