Chapter 8 – “You have your plans, but I have My plans.” Steve Martin

(Above photo taken by Steve Martin in Netanya, Israel on Sept. 25, 2019, of Lathan Wood. Our first night in the Land.)

The story continues…of my next book…

With one of the guys coming to Israel for the first time, and the other two, friends whom I was still getting to know, I wanted this trip to be special for them, and surely not a time they would want to forget.

If only the best plans carefully made are the ones that happen. But that is not always the case. In fact, one of the prophetic words I had received six weeks prior to coming was about to start to come true.

On August 11, 2019, I was early as usual for the 10 am Sunday morning meeting at Antioch International Church (AIC) in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Prior to the start Maynard Porter, whom I like calling Mordecai as he said he is when he spends time in Israel, approached me and said the Lord had given him a word, just after I had given him my latest published book, my 22nd, “Walking in the Spirit – with His fruit and gifts.” (Martin Lighthouse Publishing, August 2019)

I prepared to record the word, as I always like to do, for transcription purposes later. I would have to use my iPhone 8 though, being my normal mode of capturing video, my small yet easily handling Canon Powershot camera, wasn’t with me. After each recording, transcribed, I can go back several times and read what the Lord had spoken through a prophet.

Laurie and I had returned to Antioch in May of 2018, having been faithful members at Antioch for several years prior. Our friendship with the head pastors, Peter and Joy Wyns, along with pastors Jesse and Elizabeth Enns, began in 2001 when both Peter and I worked together at Derek Prince Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina.

During those three years in a rented building less than a mile from the current church location (the former Barn and Studio of Jim Bakker’s Heritage USA, PTL Club), Laurie and I were then part of the leadership team. Peter had also given us the opportunity to initiate a Friday night gathering called Beit Tikvah (Hebrew – House of Hope), which included Messianic songs, Shabbat candle lighting, challah bread, and a message on our Christian Jewish roots or “why we support Israel” delivered by either Peter, myself or another. Along with several musicians forming the band, we enjoyed the uplifting of Yeshua our Messiah as Laurie and I led vocally. Though never having a big attendance, others who attended too appreciated the fellowship time.

Then for the next two years we had been away from the church, only to be returned by the Lord to the place we really belonged, as a part of this church family. In the meantime, Christians for Messiah Ministries (founded by Peter) had purchased the Heritage USA Barn and 16 acres of land surrounding it, alongside the river. I had cast my “Yes” vote, in full support, as a CFM board member in the spring of 2014. The actual purchase took place and relocation of the congregation had taken place before that summer began, but we weren’t there for that time. We did attend the “grand opening” Sunday meeting in June 2014 and I recorded several videos for historical purposes.

Formerly the Heritage USA/PTL Barn auditorium. Now the home of
Antichich International Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina

So here we were again, in the place we had been at many times, first as Lifetime Partners of Heritage USA/PTL, since way back in 1985/1986. It is always great to see what the Lord restores, and how He does it, with people and places. (Another story. Another book. But some of these stories I have already written in “Prophetic Stories, Signs Along the Way” (2014) and my first book, “The Promise – One Man’s Journey To See God’s Word Revealed” Martin Lighthouse Publishing, 2010).

With the USA and Israel flags hanging purposely together on the AIC Barn’s back wall, with its cathedral style ceiling a good 20 feet above us, Mordecai spoke this prophesy to me.

“When I opened your book (Be Encouraged”, published July 2019) you showed me you had wrote 22 books. The Lord said the 25th book would be the book that is going to surprise people. It will be more about Israel than it is now.

This trip to Israel (My note for historical purposesthe one coming Sept. 24 – Oct. 4, 2019) will be different than any other time. Your eyes will be opened even wider than they have been before. Signs and wonders will be coming, and they will be coming to you, and other people that are surrounding you. Expect things to happen, but don’t expect things to happen the way you got it planned. You have plans but I have My plans. Just obtain what you hear from Me. The ones that are with you will hear a contradiction of different things. I will speak to you loud and clear. Make sure the directions I send you are where you are supposed to go.

This is a new trip for you, but as many times as you come back that your eyes will be opened, and your eyes will be opened more.

I hear the number 12. That you are going to help 12 different people make aliyah. You will have 12 individuals that you will be involved in for that to happen.

Also, some of the other people who are going with you their eyes are going to be opened about Israel in a different way.

This is a new season for you and for the other ones.

Remember one thing. I have opened the door for you to go to Israel more times than you can even imagine. On your next trip (Author’s note: Sept./Oct. 2019) you will invite someone who will go. They won’t have enough money to go but whatever they have they are going to give to you and you are going to support the rest of it.

Just remember I have chosen you. You. Not only anybody else but you to do certain tasks. No one can do this task no matter what they say.

Before you go to Israel there will be more words spoken over you and spoken over the people that are going with you. You are a guide in one way, but you are a mentor in another.”

(L-R) David Lauka, Greg Partipiloa, Steve Martin
Charlotte, NC airport before departure Sept. 24, 2019

With the Iberian airlines a month earlier changing the scheduled landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, coming from Madrid, Spain, an hour later than originally planned, I knew the 7 pm landing was really going to make the first night in the Land a bit of a challenge. Not only getting through the usual long tourist lines at customs, then bag retrieval, and finally obtaining the rental vehicle, followed by the hour-long ride to Netanya for that first night would put us there about 9 pm at the earliest. And after the long day already spent in airports and planes, I was hoping for a smooth transition.

Not.

It started out OK. We actually got an upgrade in the van Avis gave us, at no extra charge, because they didn’t have the one I had booked. Most fitting, because we needed it to fit all the luggage. And the four guys, one of which was 6’4”.

Traffic was manageable too. This was my 4th time driving a rental in Israel, and I like that they drive on the right side of the road, as Americans do. The only annoyances were the multiple “ding” sounds which kept going off each time a “safety concern” on the highway came on, as I drove swiftly onward. But why so often? (Glad Laurie wasn’t with me! But she is used to it after 42 years.)

Using my Google Maps on my smartphone, I made sure we pulled off on the correct ramp to make our way the short mile or so into Netanya. Located right on the Mediterranean Sea beach, I had chosen this to be the perfect place to get these guys a good night’s sleep for their first night here. Only a few more minutes and we’d be there.

O Lord.

After correctly listening to the woman’s voice and watching the vehicle move on the dashboard map in front of me, we arrived at a location it then smartly said, “You have arrived at your destination.” But we hadn’t. In fact, nothing in the dark looked familiar. Laurie and I had just been here in May, a few months earlier, so my memory wasn’t that much off. Not yet.

I checked the address on my hotel business card I had. I checked the entry I had made in the “Search” box in the maps app. Check. Check. But this wasn’t the place. I had no idea, so I tried circling back around again, being we were on a one-way street. Only it wasn’t as easy as thought. No side streets to go back around on.

I won’t bore you with the details of the next half hour of driving around, barley getting down some side streets as parked cars, many half the size of our vehicle, crammed every foot out of any parking spot they could find. At one point I had to back up over 30 yards when I couldn’t get through. All this at the directions coming through Google Maps. In English.

When I stopped and asked an Israeli (who did speak English, thank You, Lord!) about the address, he asked, “Are you using Waze?” (the Israeli created smartphone maps app). He proceeded to help me with it, saying the place was just around the corner, and I was good to go.

LO! (Hebrew for “NO!”) It just wasn’t happening.

And then the Waze map app was in Hebrew.

The streetlights weren’t getting any brighter. And I could sense the thoughts going through the minds of the other three. Our first night. In Israel.

You have your plans. The Lord has His.

Using my Google Maps on my smartphone, I made sure we pulled off on the correct ramp to make our way the short mile or so into Netanya. Located right on the Mediterranean Sea beach, I had chosen this to be the perfect place to get these guys a good night’s sleep for their first night here. Only a few more minutes and we’d be there.

But O Lord…

After correctly listening to the woman’s voice give commands and watching the vehicle move on the dashboard map from the phone in front of me, we arrived at a location “she” then smartly said, “You have arrived at your destination.” But we hadn’t. In fact, nothing in the dark looked familiar. Laurie and I had just been here in May, a few months earlier, so my memory wasn’t that much off. Not yet.

I checked the address on my hotel business card I had. I checked the entry I had made in the “Search” box in the maps app. Check. Check. But this wasn’t the place. I had no idea, so I tried circling back around again, being we were on a one-way street. Only it wasn’t as easy as thought. No side streets to go back around on.

I won’t bore you with the details of the next half hour of driving around, barely getting down some side streets as parked cars, many half the size of our vehicle, crammed every foot out of any parking spot they could find. At one point I had to back up over 10 yards when I couldn’t get through. All this at the directions coming through Google Maps. In English.

When I stopped and asked an Israeli (who did speak English, thank You, Lord!) about the address, he asked, “Are you using Waze?” (the Israeli created smartphone maps app). He proceeded to help me with it, saying the place was just around the corner, and I was good to go.

LO! (Hebrew for “NO!”) It just wasn’t happening. And then the Waze map app words were in Hebrew, preventing me from matching the street signs that were in English.

The light coming from the streetlights wasn’t getting any brighter. The moon wasn’t shining any shinier. And I could sense the thoughts going through the minds of the other three. Our first night. In Israel.

You have your plans. The Lord has His.

s His.

Three hours after touching down on the airport strip, the upgraded bed felt really nice. Did I say, “Upgraded”? Yes, after earlier getting the guys unloaded before I again tried to find a parking spot on the street, I was told upon my arrival, when I tiredly managed to get into the hotel front door, that my original booked room for me didn’t have the A/C working properly. So “Upgrade!”

It was going to get better yet! “Trust Me”, I heard, as I placed my ongoing confidence in Him.

(Special note: You can hear Lathan Wood, pastor of The Movement in Fort Mill, South Carolina, play the street piano on his first night in Israel. His first night there, ever! Check here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYgUNfZpQGM

You can also watch the other 65+ short videos I recorded while on this Ahava Adventure trip to Israel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWLWpKgxnes&list=PLlRsYroaU_0AZiDz4yBAQQbZnb-UvmBWE

Steve Martin

STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS My good wife Laurie and I (43 years in October 2020!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's NOW THINK ON THIS messages, and our Ahava Adventures annual trips to Israel. Steve has also authored and published 31 books. We live in the Charlotte, NC area, along with four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.

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