Surrender

Last Sunday, we have the privilege in our church to be ushered into God’s wonderful presence by JPCC (Jakarta Praise Community Church) Worship Team led by Pastor Sidney Mohede. Some of JPCC’s songs are instruments in my personal walk with God and have been my anthem in one of the seasons of my life – songs like More than Enough and Jesus It Is You.

Then they have included in last Sunday’s song list is the song Surrender from their newest album Made Alive.

While singing the song, the Lord spoke to me: “Child, surrender to me”.

And I answered, “Lord, you know I have surrendered my life to you”.

And He said again, “Surrender”.

Then I cried. The Holy Spirit revealed to me what God is asking me to surrender.

Then I said, “Lord, I surrender to you my fears, my anxieties, my insecurities and my doubts”.

And when I said that prayer, God has poured out the peace that transcends beyond my understanding came upon me just as what is written in Philippians.

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

And when Pastor Sidney Mohede started his exhortation, I got confirmation on what the Lord spoke of me. It’s not just my life that he wanted, He just doesn’t want the good parts of me – God is interested in all of me and that includes my emotions, my thoughts and all my cares.

He ended up his exhortation with this:

Growing closer to God is not the result of trying harder but the result of surrendering more.

As a result, each day I surrender to God the good and the bad things in my life and I let my faithful God steer the wheel of my life. Because where would I be if not for His infinite grace and love.

Here’s the official video of JPCC Worship:

Does God Care?

Does your mind ever doubt if God really cares for you? Are there any circumstances that you don’t understand why it had to happen?

I had a couple of rejections two weeks back and somehow, those circumstances left me in puzzled why that has to occur. I actually ask God,

“Lord do you know the implication of that?”.

Of course, God knows. That is why He brought me to the verse that He is my creator and He cares for me.

As cliche as it may seem, God cares for me. I know that God cares, from the depths of my inmost being, I know that whatever circumstances I am right now, God does care for me as what He said in Isaiah 44.

I have been nursing my broken heart for the past week, but God never left my side. He kept on reminding me, that I may have these rejections over rejections, but God is for me. He will never reject me when I call on for His help (Isaiah 58:9). When I call, He will answer me, “Here I Am”.

If God is my creator, He knew what I needed today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

God cares for my feelings. When I felt sad, He comforted me. When I felt broken, He made me feel whole because I am whole in His care and love. When I am happy, He is happy for me.

God cares for what I need. He is my Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. He will give each day my daily needs. He is my Great Shepherd.

God cares for my loved ones. He said in the scripture that “If I believed, my family shall be saved”. He is my salvation, therefore, He is my family’s salvation too.

God cares when I am sick. He died on the cross so that I can be healed.

God cares when my faith is weak. He is my strong tower, my refuge so even if my faith falters, He will strengthen my heart to have faith again, to persevere again. And when we are weak, He is strong, His grace is sufficient for us. (2 Cor 12:9-11). God’s grace and love are new every morning, His faithfulness never ends.

When my mind cannot fully understand why some things I did not perceive happened to me, I trust that God is my Creator and He knew my needs and He cares for me. God wants to help me in ways I might not be able to comprehend. But I know that My God is for me and that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

 

 

When The Answer is No

The irony of it all, when I have started writing regarding the word Wait, then I received an answer from the Lord which is No. I am sure it was God that woke me up very early this morning – when I am supposed to pray and look up and wait for my answer expectantly. Instead, I received an answer of No. My thoughts raced like flashes of light of what to do. Then my spirit told me, “Thank God”. I kept repeating the words:

In everything give thanks. The Lord is good all the time – my God is all-powerful and an all-loving God.

And then I cried. I am now back to zero but still, I prayed and open my window curtains and literally look out at the horizon. This is not the first time I have received a No from the Lord – to be honest, this is the second time I received a No from Him on the same prayer. But the truth is, God is still Faithful whatever the outcome of our prayers and nothing can compare to His promise I have in Him.

In dealing with the answer No – I always look up at the scriptures about hope, His faithfulness. Meditate on those words and I tune my spirit what God has to say. I was brought to the words of Paul to the church in Rome:

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5)

What an encouragement that whatever hope I have placed in His hand, though I have been waiting for it for over a year now, I know that hope will not be put to shame – not because I twisted God’s hands to give me that blessing. God will not put that hope to shame because of His great love – His love is more than enough for me. My heart may grow tired, my eyes may turn puffed, but His love and power and mercies are never-ending, never failing and never changing.

Another way I deal with God’s No is by surrounding myself with Christians that will uplift my spirit and give the encouragement I needed. In my case, it is difficult – my family is not here; and sometimes, I couldn’t bear my heart to the people near me because I don’t want them to think that I am being emotional and needy and pessimist. I am not like that. But I thank God for my biological family and few prayer partners that when things happened like this, they will give me scriptures to ponder on. The theme of their encouragements are almost the same – if I think this is good for me, then God has something better for me for He is good. Then my dad reminded me of one of my life verses:

I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread. (Psalm 37:25)

And while I nursed my broken heart, I always put myself into the spirit of singing – I listen to the songs that speak of God’s greatness in my life. As of the moment, I have been listening to the song More Than Enough of JPCC, on repeat – the very same song that I was playing when I received the first No this year. I know that one day, I will understand why He said No again, just like I understood why He said No the very first time. I may be overwhelmed right now, but truly, His grace will overflow in my life.

Word for the Week: Wait

Sometimes, I wonder how to really wait well on God’s answers to our prayers. While I was browsing at my bible today, I saw a reminder of God’s instruction to me a year ago – September 18, 2017. The Lord has told me to Wait Expectantly from Psalm 5:3.

I don’t think it’s just a happenstance that I stumbled again on this verse while I was in another season of waiting. This week, I would like to reflect on the word “Wait”.

Again, God is telling me to wait expectantly – and I asked God but how do I actually do it? I searched in the different Bible versions on how to be actually expectant and hopeful.

Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you[a] and watch. (Psalm 35:6 ESV)

God knows our prayers but we need to articulate it every day. As what Paul has instructed the church of Thessalonians to pray without ceasing, I am too have to rejoice and keep praying until I receive from the Lord. Once the psalmist is done with his prayer in the morning, he kept an eye on God’s answer. God is asking us to look up and watch at the horizon, the answer is coming; it will surely come. To wait expectantly is an expression of the psalmist of his confidence that surely the answer will come; certainly, help is coming.

And when the time my sight is faltering – when my mind is messing up with my faith, I will tell myself to keep the faith – grow more in my faith. I know that His grace is sufficient for me, for God’s power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor 12:9). All I need is a daily dose of His grace for me. My God is an answering-prayer God. I have seen Him move. While I am on this waiting season, I can be assured that God has an answer for me.

The psalmist ended the chapter with an instruction to rejoice in the Lord and sing for joy for indeed, His protection and blessing will be upon me and His favour will be my shield in this waiting season.

 

God is Faithful Even If My Faith Tank Is Low

At times, I feel that my faith tank is running low. I have been honest that at times, I get anxious.

As my last day at work is nearing, I had mixed emotions causing me to be anxious. I am sad that I am leaving my current job; I am happy that I am looking forward to something new from God; being worried about coming out of my comfort zone and the worst, me getting my brain overworked because of the waiting.

Many times, God has put us into waiting. And to be honest, I am a person who is not really good at waiting. I remembered when I was in college if a friend of mine is late by few minutes, I would leave her and would send her a message to catch up at school. Two weeks back, I was in Manila and living in a country where convenience is a necessity, I find absurd to stay in the queue for 30 minutes only to get an answer as No. I have been tested on waiting, again and again, and most of the time, I failed the test. And God is putting me again on another waiting season in my life. I wonder how other people do it; do they get anxious too? Do they overthink? At times, I wonder why I can’t wait gracefully and faithfully. I wonder why my brain acts up and kept me awake at night over the things that I have already placed in God’s hands as if I have any control over those things.

Then last Sunday, the preacher brought us to the scripture in Hebrews 11:11. Sarah, though she had struggled at her own faith, she was considered to be a person of faith. Not by her own merit; not because she has her faith in full-tank but because her faith rested to God who made the promise and she considered and judged God as ”Faithful”. This encouraged me to go on and wait upon the Lord, to have more faith again; to fill up my faith tank again by celebrating His goodness and mercy because my God who is the author and perfecter of our faith, is Faithful. I will keep trusting God that He will answer me in His perfect time; not on the time, I deemed fit. For indeed, God has made everything beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).