CROWN & THRONE ISRAEL TOUR! PLUS OUR ANNIVERSARY MIRACLE
NOON WEBINAR TODAY! Crown & Throne Worship Tour in Israel March 12-26. You are invited for a journey of a lifetime! For more information click here.
Announcing the Crown & Throne Worship Tour—Israel! Jolene and I are celebrating our anniversary today. It was actually the first day of Hanukkah, 2003, when God supernaturally lit our unity candle during our wedding ceremony. Even as we were singing “Glory, glory, send your glory!”
This event set the course of our lives together. So it’s a great day to make a special announcement and invitation for you… The Crown & Throne Worship Tour! Israel, March 12-26.
This March my friends James Nesbit, Ed Watts and Jamie Fitt feel to retrace the steps of King David as he restored the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, Israel. Jolene and I are honored to joining in the mix. It’s a journey of a lifetime… and you are invited to come!
We’re going to have a special webinar on this today at noon with James, Ed, Jamie and myself. That’s in one hour. For more information click here.
The Best Laid Plans…
Please note that I didn’t plan to announce this today. I had already written a posting about our wedding miracle. Today I woke up realizing I needed to get the word out about the webinar announcing the Crown & Throne Israel Tour, focused on bearing witness to the restoration of God’s glory.
Then I realized James Nesbit had actually scheduled it on our anniversary… the anniversary of our Hanukkah miracle. Glory! You just cannot make this up.
Christmas and Hanukkah—Restoring God’s Glory
We are now in a season of the restoration of God’s glory on a national and even global level. Remember how God focused us on turnaround for 2016, and the restoration of His glory beginning in March 2017. It literally stunned me that the Israel tour was planned for this very time period.
That said—I so look forward to crossing the threshold once again. And experiencing His glory together!
It’s no coincidence that Christmas and Hanukkah converge this year. God is emphasizing even through this covenant convergence that we now fully in a similar season. A season of spiritual revolution when the Light of the World came into the world.
The Lord is also bearing witness to a covenant convergence between Israel and the United States this year. It’s taking on a new form. In both lands, forged by covenant with the God of Israel, we are in a perilous season which also bears witness to an incredible hope. The restoration of God’s glory!
So here’s our story. May it inspire you towards everything we are pursuing in this hour.
It All Began with a Dream Date…
Jolene and I were married on December 20, 2003—which happened to be the first day of Hanukkah. And as you’ll see, a miracle occurred in our midst. To a large extent we live out of the profoundness of this experience even today.
For years Jolene was known in her tight-knit church as the “poster child for single-hood.” She refused to date until she knew God had brought the right guy to her, just as He had promised.
Seven years before we met, God gave Jolene a dream where she was getting married on December 20. She didn’t know who she was going to marry, or the location, or even the year. But she knew she had a “dream date!” And over the ensuing years, Jolene prayed almost daily her coming wedding. She prayed especially that God would make His presence known.
Hebraically, the number seven conveys both completion and covenant. For those seven years after her dream, she wore a ring that bore witness to her covenant with the Lord, set apart for Him and for the husband He had chosen for her. When we became engaged, she actually put that ring on my finger… and it was a perfect fit!
My wedding ring to this day. That was a miracle. But the greatest miracle actually occurred during our wedding ceremony. When God supernaturally lit our unity candle.
Send Your Glory!
The “dream date” of December 20 marked only four months since our romance was first kindled. But when we discovered it marked the first day of Hanukkah, we knew God was compelling us to step out in faith! The significance of the Jewish festival even spoke into our ministry. Lamplighter. Named from the promise of Isaiah 62, that Jerusalem and God’s people would shine like a burning lamp.
So in a flash of brilliance, we decided to build our wedding ceremony around the lighting of our unity candle. We had a menorah specially shipped in from Jerusalem. We practiced lighting the unity candle the night before, and rehearsed special comments we had planned to say to God, to each other, and to our gathered friends.
The ceremony went flawlessly, just as planned. Jolene swept in like an angel. The bridal party assembled by the altar. We began to worship before lighting the unity candle.
As we were singing “Glory, glory, send your glory” the Lord suddenly moved. My best man Will Ford was the first to see it. He nudged me, a tear streaming down his face. He pointed to the menorah, and I gasped. Because somehow, the unity candle of our menorah was now burning. Nobody had touched it.
God lit the unity candle of our menorah as we were worshiping the Lord and asking for His glory to come. On the first day of Hanukkah. In front of everybody! To this day, the igniting of this sacred flame has marked both our personal relationship and our calling in the Lord. A living demonstration of what it means for God to light our hearts with the fire of His love.
And within this miracle a relentless quest was ignited in both of our hearts to see His glory restored. It’s why we have faith for this today.
Hanukkah marked the time when God’s Temple was reconsecrated to Him after it had been horrifically defiled. A Syrian army aligned with Greece invaded Israel. The leader of the army, Antiochus Epiphanes, seized the Temple and turned it into a worship center for his god, known in Greece as Zeus and in Syria as Baal.
The enemy is always seeking to defile the things which are most precious to God and to you. He is always plotting to overtake the thrones of our lives, claiming them for his own glory. Maybe you have noticed this. And his rule is never kind.
But God has a way forward to deliver us from oppression and restore us as His Throne of Glory. During the siege of the Temple, a group of spiritual revolutionaries known as the Maccabees arose against the occupation. Like the soldiers of the American Revolution, they were mostly untrained and hopelessly outnumbered. But still they faced down the strongest army in the known world and took back their Temple!
And when they took it back, they discovered just how vicious the desecration by the Greeks actually was. An altar to Zeus stood in the holy place, openly defying God’s covenant. The Greeks had even sacrificed a pig on the altar.
And for the first time in hundreds of years, the fire of the menorah, commanded by God to be kept burning night and day, had been completely snuffed out.
As an act of restoration of covenant with God, the Maccabees relit the flame of the Menorah. They reconsecrated the Temple to the Lord so that it could again become a Throne for His Glory. There was only enough oil in the lamp to keep it burning a single day. But supernaturally, the lamp blazed for eight days straight!
Your Life Can Become a Throne of Glory
The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah is centered on this miracle. And it conveys a clear message to all mankind. If you will step out in faith to see restoration, God will work with you. No matter how strong the desecration, the sacred places of your life and your world can again become a Throne of Glory to Jesus.
In our previous lives, Jolene and I had both faced down tremendous opposition by a supernatural enemy. We had both experienced betrayal, leaving our lives in tatters in a very similar way to Israel’s defiled Temple. The innermost sanctuaries of our lives had been sabotaged.
But the Lord was summoning us to join together with Him by covenant, on the first day of Hanukkah, to receive a new beginning. A journey out of brokenness, into the honor and stability and purpose and love He had always dreamed for our lives.
I want to emphasize that the miracle He gave us is available to you as well. Turnaround. It is always a journey. God specializes in taking wounded lives, seemingly beyond repair, and bringing restoration. Hope and love can replace despair and pain. Your heart can come alive again. Your honor and dignity can be restored. You can have a new beginning!
You can become a Throne for His glory once again.
It all begins with covenant. Just like the miracle of Hanukkah, the miracle of our marriage, the consecration of your life to Jesus Christ is your entryway into this restoration. You will experience His fire. He will provide for you and protect you. And He will show you a new way forward. A way which, if fully embraced, has the potential to redefine your world.
No matter what your challenge, your life can be restored. You can become a Throne of Glory! That’s the message of Hanukkah, and it’s Christ’s open invitation for you.