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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You desire truth in the inward parts

King David understood the heart of God when he penned the words, "You desire truth in the inward parts..." in his penitent Psalm 51. Often times, we literally "throw" up words from our mouths to God when praying without really weighing how much do we mean in our hearts what we say with our mouths. God in His great mercies do not answer all our prayers, albeit how eloquent they sound.

As a teen, I used to be and still is very touched and amazed by a particular prayer of saint Francis even though I did not know much about who saint Francis was.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

I would ponder in my heart, wondering who would have such pure hearts seeking to console than to be consoled, to understand thant to be understood, etc. It is definitely a prayer of one who clearly identifies with the death of Christ and could easily echo along with Paul, "It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me..."

When I go through circumstances which really reduce me to nothing, I would cringe and be upset. But, I hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit saying, "have you not prayed to decrease and Jesus to increase in your life?"

How funny, isn't it? Many at times, we were so sincere when consecrating ourselves before God and making prayers like "I decrease and You increase". How does God answer such prayers but to allow circumstances where our self and flesh would experience the crucifying pain of death? Sometimes, God answers our prayers by arranging circumstances that cause or seem to cause our reputation to be worthless or causing us to be unnoticed and ignored by people around us. Would we welcome such circumstances in our lives and say "Yes, Lord. I die this momoent. And I die daily. It's not about me, it's all about You."

He desires truth in the inward parts
Sometimes, we do not know our own hearts until God reveals it to us through trying circumstances in life. We would claim to be sincere and truthful but it would only be so until we have truly undergone His tests in this life.

It was not until Abrahim was in the act of nearly stabbing Isaac to death that God intervened and said that now it's clear that Abraham feared God and would obey Jehovah God to the point of sacrificing his one and only son.

Our God is a holy God. He is true and righteous. And He longs for His Bride and His children to share in His divine nature. No, He is not like the Liar who would take advantage of such circumstances in life to condemn us. Not only is our God holy, He is also a compassionate, loving High Priest who understands our nature. He reveals our hearts not to condemn us but to draw us to Himself. There is no need to despair when we come under the glorious Light of God. We can always run to the Strong Tower who is our Refuge and in Him, when we are weak then we are strong.

God is raising a new company of His end-time army. Doubtless to say, this army will be very powerful and equipped with His precious anointing, with signs and wonders following. However, these carriers of God's presence and power can qualify to be a part of this company when their lives are so transparent before Him that there is not even a tiny blot of darkness within. Rather, this company of God's army will allow the love, light and holiness of the Lord of Hosts to shine through their lives. Can you see the rising of this company? Can you see this glorious Bride of Christ? The golden light of God shine through them and dispell the powers of darkness wherever their feet would tread. Hallelujah! Come forth army of God!!

Father God, as you are preparing and birthing forth this glorious Bride, this company of end-time warriors, let me yield myself to you and allow you to complete your works of grace in my life for I long to be a part of Your glorious destiny. Let my prayer still be "let me decrease and You increase". Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I asked for more of Him...

In the recent weeks, I have been asking for more of God in my prayers. This is not about complaining or doubting the all-sufficiency of Christ in our lives. Those who have tasted that the Lord is good would agree with the phrase coined by Wade Taylor as having a "dissatisfied satisfaction". Having tasted the goodness and the delight of our lovely Saviour, we just long for more of Him. Having drunk the sweet wine of the Spirit from the wells of salvation, we just come back for more...

Two weeks ago, I began to sense the Spirit of God speaking in my heart.
Then, I argued "Surrender? Lord, you have spoken to me about surrendering myself before and I have responded to your call to surrender. What else is there to surrender?"

"To have more, you have to give more"
Slowly, I began to understand what He meant. If I want more of Him, do I have the capacity to contain more of Him? Is there room for more of Him in my heart? Or is my heart full of other things that shut the Lord away? I felt ashamed of my earlier argument. Even though I have responded to His call to surrender to Him, there are still areas in my heart that are cluttered with things that somewhat shoved Him away and made Him unwelcome in my heart.

"Surrender your time and energy"
Now, it's getting more specific. How do I spend my time and energy? Are they spent in pursuing worthless things? Or are they surrendered to God in the pursuit of Him (in line with my prayer for more of Him). Could I sacrifice my sleeping hours to spend time basking in His glorious presence? Do I spend my energy during my waking hours doing things as a devotion of love to Him?

No, these were not condemning thoughts that entered my mind. Neither were they legalistic demands imposed by the Master. Deep within me, I know that this is an invitation from the King. In my prayer for more of Him, He has graciously extend His invitation to me, "Come up hither..." Hallelujah!

Father God, turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,and revive me in Your way. (Psalm 119:37)

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

(to be continued...)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Call to Surrender

I heard our loving God spoke to me about surrendering to Him in the past weeks. About two weeks ago, somehow my spirit received God's (rhema) Word when I heard a preacher mentioned, "to surrender to Him everything including His call and giftings for us since we are nothing without Him (paraphrased)".

This word "surrender" has caused an 'uneasiness' within me in the beginning because I have yet to grasp the full meaning and intent of the Spirit of God when He quickened this word to me. There's definitely a lot of chewing (pondering and meditating) to be done.

As the Holy Spirit begins to enlighten my understanding on what He's saying to me concerning surrendering to God, I begin to receive more of His life and love. There's just such a longing for Him.

Firstly, I begin to understand that a call to surrender is an echo of His love. For a call to surrender is the prelude to His manifest blessings in our lives. The key to the fulfillment of His promises in our lives is summed in one word: surrender. Oftentimes, we grow weary of waiting for the fulfillment of His word. But the period of waiting is so necessary in the divine plan and purpose of the Almighty Creator. It is through the waiting period, we learn to surrender. When Jesus lived on this earth, little was mentioned about the first thirty years of His life. His silent (surrendered) years culminated in the obedient act of baptism before the launch of his public ministry.

A surrendered life also means the death of our "self" lives. The apostle Paul shared his secret of powerful life and ministry in Galatians 2:20 (which shed more light into the understanding of living a surrendered life) - "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me". When we yield and surrender our lives to Him, we tap on a higher surrendered life - His zoe life, the "Amen" life of Jesus. And what greater motivation for us to respond to this call to surrender than His love. As His love floods our souls and melts our hearts, we are just compelled by His love to yield our hopes, plans and ambitions for His good and perfect will.

Here's a song that aptly expresses a lovely response to God's call to surrender: -

Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into Your hands.
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into Your hands.

For it's only in Your will that I am free,
For it's only in Your will that I am free,
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.

Scriptures for meditation:
1. I am dead and my life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
2. He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15)