by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel
Many years ago, when I looked at the promises in the Bible concerning Israel, the Church, the Messianic Remnant and the End Times, I came to the conclusion that no one is strong, wise or righteous enough to fulfill them. If God was calling us to be involved, we had to work together as a team. If we could not develop teamwork, we could not fulfill our destiny.
Recognizing the Need for One Another
It's never easy to work in a team. A team involves other people; and people have problems. They bring their weaknesses, their differences of opinions, their pride, fears, stubbornness, frustrations, etc. People come with their "baggage" and their "garbage".
Once I distributed to our staff pieces of a children's jigsaw puzzle. We had to slide our pieces into the center of the table to make them fit together. The separated pieces had no meaning, but when connected, the picture was seen.
Each piece had curves going inward and curves going outward. We interpreted the inward curves as our weaknesses or needs, and the outward curves as our talents or strong points. The inward curves - our weaknesses - were what enabled the pieces to fit together. The key to forming a whole picture is for each one to recognize his need for the other. We can allow our weaknesses to pull us together, where often our strengths push us apart.
How to Know You're Doing it Right
I serve now in senior leadership at Revive Israel, Tikkun, Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua. Thank God, each team is bearing much fruit by His grace. I feel very aware of my own weaknesses, and often am not sure of what I contribute. Each team is made up of gifted, talented and motivated people in their own right.
If there is anything that I feel we have done right, it is to create a feeling of teamwork and joint "ownership". In each of these groups, it is apparent that there is interaction and "give and take" in the team. This in itself provides a sense of safety for the other people involved. Nothing is dependent on just one person.
Recently I summarized our teamwork goals in a simple three step guideline:
The first priority is to desire the success of the others involved. The attitude should be: "If I can help you succeed, then I have done my job."
The second priority is maintaining the unity of the team. Everyone has to sacrifice of himself in order to keep the togetherness. Yielding is the price of unity.
The third area involves training and transfer. Not only are the goals of the kingdom of God too big for any one person, they are too big for any one generation. Transferring roles and positions goes in both directions: "up and out" for the elders, and "down and in" for the younger ones.
The transition is like a family in which the child then becomes the parent, and the parent becomes the grandparent. The authority is moved gradually away from the elder to the younger, but the elder remains in a place of influence and honor. I hope these principles of teamwork and covenantal relationships will help you bear much fruit in every sphere of life (John 15:5, 8, 16).
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel
Faithfulness is an important character trait. God described Moses as "faithful in all My house" (Numbers 12:7). Abraham was faithful past the age of 100 when his body was weak and frail. Joseph was faithful despite the lies against him, Daniel and his friends even in the face of being executed.
Faithfulness is so central to Yeshua's character that it is like a second name to Him: "I saw the heavens opened and behold a white horse and the one who sat upon it was called faithful and true" (Revelation 19:11). We are called to be like Him, so faithfulness should become central to our character as well.
From the root of the Hebrew letters AMN - - are derived the words for amen, faith, faithfulness, trustworthiness, integrity, moral courage, training and coaching. There is a connection between faith and faithfulness.
Faithfulness is faith that has been tested and proven over time. Faithfulness is faith that has passed the test of patience and trials. When faith goes through the process of persecution, difficulties, challenges and temptations, it develops into faithfulness.
We should look at difficulties in this life as an opportunity for character development. "The testing of your faith leads to patience ... let patience have its perfect work so that you will be made perfect" (James 1:2-4). Through this process, our faith is refined and made more precious than gold (I Peter 1:7). Faithfulness is faith refined. It is precious.
Faithfulness in this lifetime determines how we will live in the world to come. "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in little; I will make you ruler over much. Enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:21). It is not joyful when we are tested, but it will produce joy in the end.
God is not "impressed" by our talents and accomplishments. However He is looking for human beings who will be faithful. At the end of our lives, we want to be found faithful. When we feel we have no strength or wisdom, we can still be faithful.
In meeting recently with some of my friends and partners at Tikkun ministries (Dan Juster, Eitan Shishkoff, David Rudolph and Paul Wilbur) with whom I have walked together for 35 years, I mentioned that even if we do no more projects, but simply maintain covenant relationships and integrity, that will be a significant testimony in itself.
We believe in supernatural miracles, healing and prophecy. It is also a great miracle when people are faithful. The last thing that Paul said about his own life was that he had "kept the faith" unto the end (II Timothy 4:7). In light of continuing moral scandals, the world is hungry for testimony of spiritual leaders who are faithful to the Lord and to one another.
We desire to build bridges between Israel and the nations. In a significant step for our team, we have sent out one of our core families to China for the next 1.5 - 2 years. Ariel and Vered Blumenthal and their two young children have a special call to the Far East: Ariel came to faith in 1992 in Japan and speaks Japanese fluently. Since he made aliyah to Jerusalem in 1998, the Lord has been guiding him to China as well.
Over the last few years, Ariel pursued a master's degree at Hebrew University in China studies, with a particular focus on the "Back to Jerusalem" movement in the modern Chinese church. As witnessed by the thousands of attendees at the 822 Conference, the Chinese are coming to Jerusalem in greater and greater numbers! While Ariel continues his studies there, he and Vered will be building relationships with many Christian groups.
Please pray for: strength, wisdom, health, language acquisition, etc. If you are interested in following their prayer blog, please send a short email introducing yourself to Ariel at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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