Can it get any worse? I asked myself as I read of yet another antisemitic incident on a U.S. college campus. This week at Cooper Union, a college in New York City, Jewish students were locked in a school library as pro-Palestinian protesters banged on the door, yelling, “Free Palestine!”
Since October 7, I have hurt for my Jewish friends like never before, praying for my friends and their family members who are battling Hamas and Hezbollah in Israel. “Never Again!” has been the Jewish people’s cry since the Holocaust. They are now living in their ancestral land, Israel. Never again should anyone be able to come in and do what they did to them during the Holocaust. Except they did. And they are.
As I continue to learn of the demonic way innocent lives were destroyed and traumatized in southern Israel on that sleepy Shabbat morning, anger grows inside me. How can this level of evil be allowed? I ask God. Yet, I know the answer. The prophet Jeremiah told us how wicked our hearts are—so wicked that he asked, “Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
I have asked God how I can help. I am a middle-aged Christian woman living in America—can I make a difference? I cannot go to war in Israel and defend Israelis. But I can do something much more effective right here in my part of the world. And through the reading of the Word, I have found my battle cry, and I ask that it be yours too.
Walk in the Spirit
Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (NASB). Walking is a natural action for most of us. I don’t have to tell my brain to move my feet with each step. It is something that I have learned and practiced. We walk in the Spirit by being filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our helper (John 15:26), and being in God’s Word, allowing the Spirit of God to shape and mold us, results in a life identified with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I cannot expect to make any lasting change in this world without moment-by-moment walking in the Spirit.
I cannot expect to make any lasting change in this world without moment-by-moment walking in the Spirit. Even our good intentions are worth nothing without the Spirit of God living and working through us. I am not my own. So if I am in a war with evil, I must obey my Master, and walking in Him is the only way.
We are often reminded in the New Testament to be sober or of sound judgment (Romans 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 4:7; 5:8). As believers in Jesus, walking in the Spirit means we must think clearly. Many things can take our soberness from us: alcohol, drugs, food, sex, anger, or any other escape our flesh is prone to. We must fight to stay sober-minded at all times.
I remember the anger that rose up in me as I heard the true accounts that happened in the south of Israel. It had been several days after the attack, and the stories were worse than any horror tale man could make up. Angry tears ran down my face as I clenched my fists. At that moment, I was not sober. I was filled with rage. No human—especially women, children, and the elderly—should have to witness and be subjected to the evil that happened in Israel. I paced the floor, asking God to take vengeance on the ones who did this.
As I prayed, something happened: I began praying for their enemies.
I was quickly convicted, remembering I don’t direct our Maker but rather that He directs me. I then spent time praying for the families of the victims. I prayed for the Jewish people near and far to seek Him and His Son. I prayed for the peace of Jerusalem.
As I prayed, something happened: I began praying for their enemies. God, open their eyes to YOU! They are not beyond Your reach. Open their eyes to Your Son. The last place I needed to be at that moment was not online spewing my rage, trying to force others to see what happened. Instead, it was at my Father’s feet, letting Him fight the battle.
Do Not Grow Weary While Doing Good
We cannot sustain our Christian walk on our own. It is the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is not in our own flesh but because of what Jesus, our Savior, did for us on the cross.
Nothing saddens me more than watching people fall away from Christ. We have seen much of this in recent years. But something else has happened, Christians are simply weary. They are weary of the culture growing darker, weary of the economy, weary of countries at war. As I have prayed for Israel and the Jewish people, I have prayed that God would not allow me to grow weary because of the darkness that surrounds the world.
I remember the story Corrie ten Boom told from her time living in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. In her devotional book Each New Day, she wrote,
Once, while we were on a roll call, a cruel guard kept us standing for a long, long time. Suddenly, a skylark began to sing in the sky, and all the prisoners looked up to listen to that bird’s song. As I looked at the bird, I saw the sky and thought of Psalms 103:11. O love of God, how deep and great; far deeper than man’s deepest hate. God sent that skylark daily for three weeks, exactly during roll call, to turn our eyes away from the cruelty of man to the oceans of His love.
When we depend on our strength and focus on the dark world around us, we will grow weary, even while doing good. When we walk in the Spirit and stay sober-minded—knowing God has a plan for all of the chaos going around—everything changes.
Soldiers in war do not follow their own will but the will of their leader. It is no different in the Christian life. God has called each of us where we are.
I pray you will share my battle cry: “Walk in the Spirit, be sober-minded, and do not grow weary while doing good.”
Right now, Christian, Israel and the Jewish people need us. They need our support and prayers. They need us standing beside them. They need our resources and our time. Our workers in Israel and around the globe are busy doing good. They need our prayers as they share God’s love through His Son in tangible ways. It is our responsibility to “not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9–10).
Our battle cry is not emotion-filled. It is a Spirit-filled cry of faithfulness. I pray you will share my battle cry: “Walk in the Spirit, be sober-minded, and do not grow weary while doing good.” Be encouraged, Christian: We are on the winning side!