Good morning! How are you? I’m fine. This week Carina and I are in Israel, leading a tour group of pilgrims. Today we are on a tour of the Dead Sea. It will be a hot day. You know, the Dead Sea is far below sea level and one of our stops is at Ein Gedi, an oasis in the desert mountains of Judah. This is where David hid deep inside a cave from King Saul, who went inside looking for him.

It is up in these mountains you can find the conies (some translations use the term cliff badgers), a Biblical animal since God uses them to teach us the secrets of the 4 ”little ones” in Proverbs 30:24-28. That is typical for God – He has no problem coming down and meeting you where you are. You don’t have to come up to him, he comes down to you!

When teaching on wisdom, God bypasses the big animals and speaks to us through four small ones. The Ant spends the summer gathering for the winter. From the Ant you can learn how important it is to be prepared. The Conies make their home in the crags and stay there because they would be vulnerable anywhere else. All of us have weaknesses, but from the Conies you learn to position yourself on the rock, Jesus, so that he can cover your weaknesses. The Locust has wings, but it can’t fly. It can jump, however, but it has to jump at the right moment, when the wind blows. The wind is what advances it to the next place. From the Locust you can learn how important it is to wait for the Holy Spirit. To teach you the final, but very important lesson, God uses the spider.

Unlike the other three, the Spider already has everything it needs on the inside. When spinning a web, building its home, and weaving cases for its eggs, it only has to use what it already has on the inside. What Jesus says about you is that ”out of your heart will flow rivers of living waters.” You have it on the inside of you! He has given you the talents you need to do what you are supposed to do. The lesson from the Spider is to never give up. Continue to produce! The moment someone brushes aside a spider web, the spider climbs up again and starts weaving a new one. When a spider’s home gets destroyed, it doesn’t waste time thinking about it, it just starts weaving a new home right away.

Don’t focus on the negative, and don’t meet negativity with negativity. Instead, keep doing what you are called to do and what you have on the inside. Climb up again and weave a new web.

Part of life is that the things we have built up get torn down. That has happened to Carina and me many times. The enemy can attack your marriage, your finances, your health, your job, your relationships, your children, and the people close to you. But no one can steal the talents that God has placed inside of you, the works that he has prepared in you. Don’t give up. You are God’s workmanship. Keep producing what God has placed in your life. Everything you need to help you climb back up again is there on the inside of you.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem for the final time he said: ”Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The same comeback mentality that was in Jesus lives inside of you. You might be discouraged now, but God wants to encourage you to climb up again and weave a new web, to say out loud to yourself and to the enemy that: ”Give me three days, a week, a month or a year, and I will be back, because nothing can stop what God has placed on the inside of me. In Jesus name, I climb back up again.”

The lesson from the Spider is important in the work that you and I are doing together through Tommy Lilja Ministries. We are helping children, families and people whose lives have been destroyed, to raise them up again. You are helping them climb up.

The pilgrims that Carina and I brought to Israel this week all have different backgrounds. Some of them are wounded, others are very successful, but what we try to do this week is to help those of them who have fallen down, to climb up again. And those who already are up, we encourage to climb even higher.

That is one of the goals I have when you and I get together on Monday mornings: to encourage you and lift you up, so that you don’t stop climbing toward the goals Jesus has for your life.

Have a great day!