Blessing the Promised Land
By Hannah Goodwyn
A frequent visitor with more than 50 trips to the Holy Land, Michael Little, president of the Christian Broadcasting Network, knows there is more to Israel than what the news media offers.
Little’s professional life has taken him to more than 85 countries. Yet, he does not have the sense of pleasure and excitement anywhere in the world like he does when he returns to the Promised Land.
“The best word would be a sense of completeness about coming to Israel in that there will be one more element of my life's spiritual journey," Little says. “As believers, we live spiritually in the invisible world. And yet this land is the birthplace of the invisible kingdom with Jesus who was invisibly conceived, and invisibly lived in the invisible kingdom, but walked on the sea and defied the visible. So, shouldn’t we expect more completion of our pursuit of the invisible kingdom in this land?”
Little, along with his wife, first visited Israel as tourists in 1973. After a few days, the Yom Kippur War began. Advised to leave, they stayed to stand with the country in their time of crisis. Years later, he traveled to Israel as a CBN television producer to set up a news bureau. But, his trips soon became personal quests to study the nation’s history and how God has worked with the Israeli people.
Little says his “fascination of connecting the supernatural Word of God in printed form with the physically tangible and touchable land of the Bible” was a great motivator in venturing out on miniature vacations in the biblical heartland.
“I wanted to connect the geographic mentions in the Bible,” he says. “To think about Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth as real cities, and to imagine that Jesus and the other figures of the Bible actually moved in this area.”
Little’s strong faith not only compels him to endure the 10-hour flights to Israel, but also remember the responsibility Christians have to pray for Israel on a daily basis.
“The scripture is true in Genesis 12:3 where Abraham was hearing God’s voice. And God said to Abraham, that incredibly foundational scripture, He was saying, ‘Abraham, your life is going to start over,’” Little explains.
God commanded Abraham to leave his home, his people, everything familiar.
“Then He said these words, ‘I will make you a great nation. I will bless you, make your name great. You’ll be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse,’” Little says.
God’s promises never change, so these words He spoke over Abraham long ago are still relevant today.
“We live within that application of the blessing of God,” Little says. “Foundational to being in alignment with God is blessing the people of Israel.”
Thousands of miles separate many Christians from the promise land, but there are ways to bless Israel from a distance.
“Our job is to stand up for Israel at whatever point or place we have to do that,” he says. “We stand up for Israel at every chance, sometimes it’s a conversation, sometimes it’s with action, sometimes it’s with our footsteps, certainly in encouraging people to go.”
Traveling to the region to experience the land Jesus and his disciples walked is a great way to bless the nation. Little found from his travels that Israel is a safe country with little crime because of the tight security they maintain.
Even if you can't go personally, the most important thing all Christians must do is to obey God’s instruction by praying for His land.
“The Bible says to do it in the directive sense, not this is a choice, but this is something that you are obligated to do,” Little says. “When it says in Psalm 122, ‘Pray…’ it doesn’t say if it occurs to be a comfortable idea to you. It says ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem.’”
Many people associate Israel with news video of shocked Jews stumbling outside a Tel-Aviv café after a bomb-clad terrorist just completed his mission. And there are strong tensions between Israel and neighboring countries, so prayer is an immediate need.
How can you pray for peace in such an unstable place?
Little explains that social and political peace will not be the answer.
“We are praying that the world will be secure,” Little explains, “and that there will be peace and security within the worldwide distribution and acceptance of the name of Jesus.”
Never-ending peace will finally reign in Israel when the Prince of Peace returns.
Hannah Goodwyn is the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and info about Hannah, visit her bio page.
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