Delight

Last Sunday, our pastor shared to us that God told her that she is in to be a season of worship, of singing songs and continue dwelling in His presence. She asked the congregation to join her in this season especially this harvest season. It is true that at most times that we are so caught up with our ministries, planning for church activities, doing God’s work and often than not, we forgot to dwell more in God’s presence.

In today’s meditation, God gave me the word ”Delight” from Psalm 37:4.

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. (ESV)

This is one of my favourite verses in the Bible, but truth be told, sometimes too much familiarity breeds complacency. More often, I focused only on the second part, that He will give me the desires of my heart. I always seemed to fall short of the actual delighting in Him. To delight in Him is to make God our utmost delight and pleasure in our life regardless of the circumstances. Many times, we feel the pleasure in our life when we are in plenty or we have a new blessing or when we are newly promoted. I often asked myself whether I still take pleasure in God in other seasons of my life?

While I was reading the whole chapter of Psalm 37, God brought me to four ways to delight in Him:

Trust Him (Psalm 37:3). Last week, God spoke to me about surrender – trusting God means total surrender. We don’t just surrender the good parts of us, we also surrender the bad parts of us. I am still a work-in-progress. Every day, I lift up the things and emotions that I couldn’t control.  To trust in God is to fix our heart on the promises of God for the one that promised is Faithful (Hebrews 10:23).

Commit your way to the Lord is me giving God the right to direct my life (Psalm 37:5). The issue with me is that many times, I struggle and think of ways to solve a problem. Then I will thank the Lord for wisdom. I got it all wrong. God doesn’t want me to struggle, He wants me to surrender everything, even the ideas, solutions to any problem and not to lean on my own understanding. Sometimes when the problem comes, we started to rattle our mind and think of how to do this and that. We rely on our own strength, our own understanding and when we think of a solution, we present it to God. And when it doesn’t work, we asked God why? I am learning this lesson the hard way, to be honest.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 34:7). Quiet your heart, your fight-or-flight stimuli, your brain, your soul in His presence and pray. How do I do this? I meditate on His word. I meditate on the phrases and keep repeating it until my heart and my mind calmed down. These are some of the phrases I meditate upon on – ” You are my Shepherd”, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”, “His grace is sufficient for me”.

Keep hope alive as long for God to come through you (Psalm 34:7 TPT). Keeping hope alive is fixing our eyes to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, holding fast on our confession of hope without wavering because the one who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). Surely, the hope put to Jesus will never be put to shame.

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:

 

Update: I am following one blog site here in WordPress and have written a beautiful description of surrender – to surrender is brave.

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.

 

 

Weekend Worship: Who You Say I Am

Sometimes, our identity in life is defined by our past mistakes. Other times, it is defined by our current circumstances.

If trials come, we call ourselves the “afflicted one”.

In a career setback, we call ourselves the “jobless one”.

When our health reports came unexpected, we call ourselves the”sickly one”.

When the desire for a child came later than expected, we call ourselves “the barren one”.

Dwelling in our circumstances takes our eyes off to who we really are. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to be called the “afflicted”, the “jobless”, the “sickly”, the “barren”. Jesus came for us so that in Him we can be called the “Child of God”. He came so that even though we may suffer afflictions, setbacks, sickness and barrenness so that we may have life despite all of these things. Jesus came so that we can have an identity in Him.

We are chosen.

We may experience affliction, but we will never be abandoned, never forsaken.

Jesus is for us. And because of this truth, we can put our identity into practice. Our faith in Jesus is secured. We are who God says in the Bible because of what Jesus did at the cross.

Blessed Sunday everyone.

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).

Encounter – A Poem

In anticipation, I sought and prayed

A manifest presence to be felt;

A sound of a rushing wind to be heard

Or a tongue of fire to be seen.

I rose up to my feet, seeking Your face

How could it be?

That You would take notice of me,

Amongst the six thousand saints.

As I build my throne of praise,

I lift my hands to reach Your grace

By Your great mercy, my desire is Your delight

Amongst the six thousand saints, You inhabit my praise.

My heart’s desire is to encounter You

Like a wind that will swift me away.

And then suddenly, a gentle wind came blowing my way

Swaying me off my feet as I pray.

My heart is overjoyed, I sought of it for more.

I leaped to my feet, and draw closer to You in a beat.

I am like a feather swiftly swayed off my feet,

The gentleness of Your spirit, brushed my heart’s tears away.

In Your presence, it’s where I want to be

To meet You face to face.

** I was inspired to write this poem of my encounter with God last July 2018**