so what did i miss

Hello.

Back from the dead.

But I didn’t want to say it so loud yet in case I jinxed things.

I don’t actually know how I got here.

I got tired of myself and falling into a sin I didn’t want to keep anymore. It still took me a while to kick it though, because I’d still turn to it just for hecks. So I had to be intentional about it. Just not. Going there.

I don’t know when the turn happened. All I knew was that I was ready to be rid of it and was getting serious about kicking it so I stopped feeling hypocritical when I prayed. Great start.

Also, a lot of things happening, moving in the Spirit. Things to do. That I realise I can’t be down and out now. There are just too many things to do.

God things, of course. And I need to be on the same page with God to be able to do them.

I’m feeling a holy burden. For exactly what, I can’t say yet. But it feels like it’s something to do with prayer. The thing with holy burdens is that you want to do so much at once and you want to do it now and also I’m scared of the possibly many obstacles and discouragements along the way. But it’s so heavy. I feel a fire starting somewhere.

Actually, I feel like there’s a fire started somewhere already in my community, in my country. Just needs to catch a blaze. Fan fan.

I prayed for my cousin today. And I’m really proud of that, not because of me but because I was working onboard with God. Like, I felt Him prompting me in my Spirit to do it. And it happened. And I didn’t chicken out. Praise the Lord~

Nothing extremely spectacular followed per se, as it always seems to in testimonies. It was more of a big deal for me and the act of praying for somebody, a testimony of God for His strength in allowing me to do that for someone I love, than anything else.

She was really touched and I just felt that something beautiful happened there and then. It was just a moment but I felt that God was there and He did do something, however small, revealing His heart and love for people. And I felt she was moved, not by my prayer (lel nervous so I missed out some points here and there) but that I was praying for her, the gesture of prayer itself.

Rediscovering the privilege of prayer. Feeling that we don’t do it as often as if should, to intercede for people, as we are called to do as a chosen people and priesthood. Sure, we do it in our prayer closets at home, and we should do that, but I think it’s time to take it to the marketplace. Take God to the marketplace. Don’t tell people what to believe, show them. Pray for them. It can’t hurt. That’s what Jesus was on about anyway, going to the cracks of society to meet their needs and show them His love for them. That’s what draws people to God – how His love meets them where they are.

Of course, it scares me, the marketplace. I don’t even dare to pray for my own family members like that, ripe harvest in my own backyard.

But I wasn’t scared today, like I usually am. I think because God was very clear in wanting me to do this thing and I wanted the same. And it happened. It’s quite cool. He helped me overcome myself, like not to think or worry so much, not being anxious about what my cousin might think, and to not care about anything being awkward (greatest arch nemesis ever). Really felt this supernatural peace, that this is right and good in God’s sight to do and it will be done and I’m just literally His hands and feet. I just hope I’ll be able to do the same with other things, obey His call in the marketplace. It’s usually a big (scary) deal for me, sharing God in the marketplace. I think it always is for a lot of people.

Busy week ahead. Teaching cell and doing worship on the same week wew. Literally cannot life until after church on Sunday akdsnakln.

Then again, this is the life. Better busy in God’s house than letting the devil do his work with idle hands.

And for my sin… it will be the proverbial thorn in my side which I shall contend with until I die I think. Retreated back under the carpet for now. Only hope its relapse won’t be that messy. Ungh it consumed me for three months. Have to make up for lost time now.
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All the difference

Slowly catching up with the rest. Weighing my words with this hazy/slightly worried/kinda tired mind.

Oh God help me.

Ok.

There are instruments of God, and then there are servants of God.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21 – 23 (NIV)

The devo puts it this way: An instrument is a person whom God uses, whether that person is right or not. God will bless His word, whether a saint or sinner preaches it. But the servant of God lives in the fullness of His Spirit, evidencing the life of obedience. (Oswald Chambers’ Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional)

How I see it, instruments of God pretty much means anyone whom God uses to accomplish His will, whether they realize it/intend for it or not. Anyone can be an instrument to God’s will because anyone can be used by God in that sense, even what we consider not-so-good can be used for His glory. It all works out in the end.

Servants of God on the other hand aren’t just people whom God can use to do things in this physical realm. Servants of God are living in a whole ‘nother reality. They’re living in the Spirit and the Spirit is living in them and from that relationship comes that outpouring of obedience to God.

I used to be confused about this verse because I think subconsciously, I equated the outpouring of God’s power (prophesying and driving out demons and doing miracles) as being really holy and close to God. I kind of assumed that if you could do these things, you’re probably right and tight with God because otherwise, why would God use you and allow you to do all that? If you could do these things through God, doesn’t it mean you are after God’s will and that He approves?

And yet, He outrightly rejects them in verse 23. He tells them plainly He never knew them. And I’m like whut.

what talking you. contradictory much? What do you mean you never knew them if you allowed them to do all that fancy stuff? Doesn’t fancy stuff = much holiness + much tight with you?

So I’m looking at this verse again, and this is what I’m seeing. There is a connection between the one Jesus approves, the one “who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven” and about Jesus knowing this person/this person knowing Jesus. The actions and miracley stuff isn’t part of that equation. And here, another verse comes to mind:

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.

John 14:21 (NIV)

There is a relationship between doing the will of the Father, in the knowing and keeping of these commands, and knowing the loving God who gave them. And I think there’s something really intentional here, which set the instruments and the servants apart. The servants have a direction, they have a master to follow and they have the Holy Spirit who lives in them and shows them what the will of God is that they might follow. And they do want to follow. There is the intention of obeying God, through the working of the Holy Spirit and through grace. And anything that comes from that, whether supernatural or not, is a result of this relationship with God and being changed into His likeness.

The deeds aren’t it. The intention of doing the Father’s will, the actual doing of His will by His grace, knowing and loving Him, those are it. Deeds are one of the by-products of such a relationship.

So it’s not deeds = right relationship with God, but a right relationship = deeds. I.e deeds don’t always mean you’re a servant of God, but being a servant of God and being in that a right relationship with God will, as a natural consequence of obedience, have something to show for them (cos faith without works ain’t faith nya). One of those times an equal sign doesn’t mean equality. The mind games.

On the flip side of things, the people who are using things they “did” (or rather what God allowed them to do) as proof/justification for gaining God’s approval are met by a cold, harsh truth: God doesn’t know them and they don’t know this God either. Because they aren’t servants. They are mere instruments who have no direction/intention to accomplish the will of God. God uses them, yes, but that doesn’t mean anything about their heart for God.

I don’t know if it’s a stretch to say this but I feel like even Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was an instrument of God and he was far from perfect. Because of Judas, Jesus was crucified and salvation was brought to Mankind. So ultimate outcome is good, but was Judas acting in obedience to God to carry out His will? Nope. He wasn’t out to usher in God’s salvation for Mankind. He was more about betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. But did God use him for good anyways? Yup. So yas.

Devo ends with this deep thought about what they think God is saying in effect: “when you judge the work someone is doing, don’t judge by the fact that you see Me at work. Judge him by his fruit.” Why? Cos the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit is in essence, character. Many can do the work of God but no one can imitate the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Adapted from Oswald Chambers’ Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional)

And that character and that fruit, that’s what God really wants for us. Always thought fruit meant like “results”, in terms of work and numbers and accomplishing things. But it goes deeper than that. Fruit is in the mature young man and woman in Christ who turn to God constantly, dying to themselves and living for him constantly. They are the ones being good stewards of what He has called them to do. Everything else that happens physically, the work, the outcomes, is God at work anyways, through instruments and servants. It is the fruit of the character that the growing stuff happens and that’s the important part.

I just felt like this was really important. It was really important to me then when I was looking at it a couple weeks ago and it is important to me now although in a slightly different, deeper way. It also tied in with the last post about successful service and our relationship with God. Getting different stuff all the time. Practically grew up with that Matthew verse and am only seeing new stuff from it now. God so amazing.

Anyways, I has more gems and musings on a couple of desiringgod podcasts which I shall endeavour to share soon. Was going to do it with this one but I wanted to take sometime to think and re-think this devo/passage so that’s that. Also, brain is failing and methinks that words, especially those about God, have gotta be carefully written.

Goodnight, friends. Go pray. God bless, always.

 

Alpha Away

Where do I begin?

Why is every other post starting like this? Need to get my head together, this whirlwind, and put this all down somewhere.

Ok, um, ok. I think I got it. I think. So.

Let me try to do this from a new perspective, like from a ‘it’s not all about me’ perspective.

Holy Spirit retreat this weekend. That is, a two day one night thing away from life life to learn more about the Holy Spirit as part of the Alpha course. So I’ve been sporadically going for this thing my church is doing called the Alpha course. It’s basically like Christianity 101 for people who are curious about what the big deal is about God and the Bible and a place where they can ask all their questions. I’m currently in the Youth Alpha, so there are these pretty bite-sized and thought-provoking videos for us every week on different topics like “Who is Jesus?” and stuff like that. We’re somewhere in the middle of the course by now and the topic for the retreat was on the Holy Spirit.

Here are the videos we watched these couple of days. They aren’t very long and it’ll kind of give you some context as to what I’m going on about.

Alpha Youth Episode 8 Who is the Holy Spirit and What Does He do?

Alpha Youth Episode 9 How Can I Be Filled With the Holy Spirit?

Bottom line for me at least:

  • Holy Spirit is a person, that is, it’s a He, not an It
  • He’s equal with the Father and Son persons of the Godhead Trinity
  • He awesome

I’ve always had a confused idea of the Holy Spirit and I still don’t get everything about Him but that’s ok. God is a mystery I’ll spend my whole life figuring out haha. I think the word that throws me off the most is the word ‘spirit’. It makes me think of like, ghosts and stuff. And He is referred to as the Holy Ghost in some translations so He was always like a even more intangible version of the Father-Son image of God. When I pray, I don’t think I even refer to Him in prayers. It’s always ‘Father’ and ‘Jesus’. But I do know that the Holy Spirit is there, He is in me and He is working to change me.

Continue reading “Alpha Away”