When we obey God, things the world thinks are impossible become possible. Nearly 40 years ago, God directed me to go to Israel…without telling me why. The only thing that I knew for sure is that I was supposed to meet with Prime Minister Menachem Begin. In the natural, that was ridiculous. I didn’t know anyone on his staff, and there was no reason to expect the leader of the Jewish state to meet with a completely unknown minister of the Gospel.
But the Spirit of God had spoken to me through the wonderful promise of Isaiah 43:19 about the new thing He was going to do in my life. I was at a very low point then, suffering from a serious medical condition that made it very difficult for me to speak and minister to others. I even considered leaving the ministry and finding something else to do. But God was about to replace my desert with springs of water that flowed freely.
In obedience, I made the trip. Through a series of contacts that could only have been the result of divine intervention, I eventually did meet with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in his office. After a few moments of small talk, he asked why I had come to see him. Of course, since God hadn’t told me, I couldn’t tell him! So, I changed the subject as best I could.
After that happened a couple of times, he pressed the point. Reluctantly I told him God sent me but hadn’t told me why. I was so embarrassed, but I didn’t know what else to say! The Prime Minister laughed and said to his secretary, “Shake hands with him—you’ve finally met an honest man!” After we talked a little while longer, Mr. Begin told me that when I found out the reason I was supposed to meet with him, I should come back and see him again. I promised him that I would and left his office.
The next day was the anniversary of the death of Yonathan Netanyahu in the daring raid that freed more than 100 Israeli hostages from the airport in Entebbe, Uganda. As I read the story in the newspaper, the Spirit of God led me to go to the family home and express my condolences. It was on that visit that I met Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time, beginning a friendship that has lasted for decades.
When I returned to meet with the prime minister the second time, I told him that God had revealed His purpose for my trip: to build a bridge between Christians and Jews. With a laugh, he asked, “Like the Brooklyn Bridge?” “A bridge of love and understanding,” I replied. “Then let’s build it together,” he said. And for the rest of his life, I had the privilege of working with Mr. Begin and being his closest Christian friend. The great worldwide prayer movement of the Jerusalem Prayer Team was born that day in the Holy City in the office of the leader of the Jewish state.
I had no idea what God had in mind when we started out. I certainly was the last person anyone who knew me would have expected to be meeting world leaders and speaking to thousands on behalf of Israel. I was terrified to speak in public because I stuttered so badly. My life was gripped by fears, and I had horrible ulcers. I didn’t have any hope, but when God has a plan for us, He equips us to do the work to which He calls us.
When He makes a new way, no one can oppose His plan. No physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental opposition can overcome His mighty power. “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8).