Shabbat shalom from Athens! The tour group finally came together here – gathering moss like a stone initially in our respective ports of departure and then converging on Dubai. It was not until we reached Athens that we finally caught up with the two who had gone ahead, bringing our numbers to 23.
Our prayer life was challenged early in the piece through some of us tempting providence by fronting up too late and through travel sickness for others. Not only this but there was a general strike here that day (Thursday) which threatened our entry into Greece. All things worked together for good, though, as we were welcomed by local Pastor George Markakis for orientation on the 1st evening. The language used by God to spread the gospel to the world was Greek. No wonder the foundations of our Western civilisation are to be found in this culture.
The next morning (Friday) found us at the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Using Zechariah 9:9-17 as her text, Jill intoduced us to 7 assignments which the Lord had given her for this tour. The 1st of these was humanism (the glory of both mind and body). In Greek mythology, Athena (wisdom from below) was born out of Zeus’ head. The group recognised that the spirits represented by these Greek gods were common to many if not all cultures albeit by different names. Acts 17 tells us that these powerful principalities confronted Paul on his 1st visit here. Why would it be any different for those of us on this tour? The spirit of humanism is the enemy and it is in us!
Next stop was the Theatre of Dionysus. The Roman version of this ‘god’ is Bacchus which leads people to drink wine to the point where anything goes! In other words, the spirit of revelry. Declarations were made against the fruit of this in the entertainment industry especially in Australia. False worship such as that manifested in the Mardi Gras must be replaced by true worship in our land. The time has come for true worshippers to worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23)
From there, the able-bodied climbed to the top of the Acropilis – representing multi-culturalism and syncretism which abound in Australia. Those present repented on behalf of our nation, singing Shma and declaring the name above every name – Yeshua ha Mashiach – without which no-one will come to God the Father. At this point, the enemy used 3 local thieves to distract one of our number & steal her handbag. Mercifully, nothing irreplaceable was lost but it was a sobering reminder that we are in hostile territory.
The final site for the day – Mars Hill (where Paul preached his message) overlooking ancient Agora (the law courts) had us asking ourselves which law we would follow.
Our first day ended with an anointed evening of praise, worship and teaching at Ps George’s Shalom Ministry Centre. What a weight of glory fell upon us in this upper room! The teaching from George brought revelation to us that principalities & powers such as the strongman Zeus cannot be bound by intercessors like us in any one location; they are universal. What we can and should do is receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation (from above) in the knowledge of Yeshua, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened that we may know all the promises in the rest of Ephesians 1:18-21. This will enable each of us to deal with such spirits when they manifest in individuals as & when they come to us for help.
From Martin for Jill and the rest of the group.