Two members of the Revive Israel Team, French/Swiss Valerie and her Israeli husband Youval, just returned from their summer speaking tour in France where they were able to get a better sense of the pulse of France. This is their inside view:
We were excited to see the ripple effects of what God is doing in Israel actually reaching France. We saw two seeds of revival in France - one among the not-yet-saved, and one among the believers.
The Nation at Large
The hearts of the French people are softening toward their Creator. This is a positive change, since traditionally most of the population in France perceived that belief in God is completely irrelevant, if not crazy and cultic. In many ways, France was the source of modern secular humanist philosophy. To this day, one hears the expression, "You must not believe in God."
But there is something stirring - especially in the hungry hearts of the young people. We saw a disproportionate number of young people who are looking for God. Not finding their place in existing churches, many have simply formed home fellowships. So the way to God is opening up to a much broader spectrum of people who normally are not open to attending a traditional church. This is a first fruit sign of revival.
The Revelation of the Restoration of the Kingdom of God
More and more believers in France are receiving a true revelation and vision of God's heart for the end times, including Israel's role in God's kingdom coming on earth. We witnessed a broad understanding of the significance of sharing the good news with the Jewish people and Israelis. This is another foreshadowing of the first fruits of revival.
For the French people to begin to love Israel and receive a vision for the calling of God upon the Jewish people, they have to be individualists because the French, both secular and Christian, have historically been vanguards of anti-Semitism. France is one of the most anti-Israel countries in the Western World.
We saw home fellowships, churches and networks beginning to open up to the vision for Israel, mostly through supernatural dreams and revelation, and not so much through teachings.
Up to now the vision for Israel has been somewhat "romantic" - a rediscovery of the Jewish roots and Israel as related to them as Christians, with a tendency for romanticizing these things in sentimentality. Some French believers have become very focused on receiving a revelation of traces of Jewish ancestry from Jews persecuted in the Inquisition. This can be a distraction from seeking God's will and centering on Yeshua. A few have abandoned the fellowship of believers in order to convert to orthodox, rabbinic Judaism.
Now we see some transition to a balanced burden for intercession on behalf of Israel and Jewish believers. There is greater understanding concerning God's plan for using the Jewish people to test the nations and bring the whole earth to Himself - an understanding which includes Jerusalem and the nation of Israel as the seat of the kingdom of God on earth. Interestingly, many of the fervent Catholics in France have the understanding that if significant numbers of Jews and Israelis are beginning to believe in Yeshua, then the return of Yeshua is actually very near.