I went with a group to Israel October of 2015. Prior to going, I was oddly told by multiple people that I was going to experience Israel as though they knew something I didn’t. Soon after, the opportunity came for me to go to Israel. Little did I know, I would find out how little I knew about the Bible after spending most of my life as a believer. Growing up around church and ministry, I felt like I knew all the stories of the Bible pretty well. Upon arrival, I found out quickly how little I knew.
Honestly, 5 days into the journey to Israel, I began to feel doubt as to why I was even there. That spirit of doubt continued to grow throughout that morning. All of a sudden, God spoke to me (down under (literally) the city of David), and reminded me of a prayer I had been praying regularly 3 months prior, but I had forgotten about it: “God, show me how real you are.”
In that instant, God revealed Himself in a way I wasn’t expecting. I really felt like God said “Dude, I am trying to show you how real I am and you are completely missing it! BJ, son, you are right where all these people actually walked! How much more real can I be to you?!?” It was one of those wake-up moments where I felt the spirit responding to something I asked for, but it took a trip to Israel to really recognize that. I hope that makes sense. God was showing me how real He was and is. It took the breath away from me. I’m not going to say the overwhelming knowledge went away. It didn’t. It keeps coming and coming and coming. But God opens your ears to what He wants you to hear.
The sites are amazing. The Holy spirit is tangible. You feel at home. When you come back to the U.S., you are ready to turn around and head right back to Israel. It is an experience you will NEVER forget and will change your outlook on your eternal life. God always has something for you, and you don’t want to miss it. God is real, Jesus is real, the Holy Spirit is real.
I would highly recommend everyone find a way to get to Holy Land!
Oh, by the way, here’s a video about God’s work in Shantyl and my life before our twins were born.. TO HIM BE THE GLORY!
BJ and Shanytl Oliver Sharing from Father’s House Foundation on Vimeo.