God, Regardless. | Quiet Time Excerpt

He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize him. John 1:10

duckling

I shudder to think of the disdain Jesus received from His own people. For a holy God, to whom dealing with sin is an insult, to live on the earth and subject himself to humiliation, is a task only he could do. Jesus endured utter disgrace and dealt with the filthiest sin, for me. Honestly I wouldn’t have recognized him. A carpenter’s son? My tainted mind would’ve looked for massive charm, undeniable power, fearful respect following him everywhere. If I were living around him at the time he came, I’d be one of the despicable people who didn’t recognize him. Only a personal encounter or crazy miracle might have changed my mind.

That mindset remains! God to me is God depending on what I see him do or hear him say. I forget all the time that he is God, regardless. He rules regardless of my experiences, my prayer life, my quiet time. He is lord over all my circumstances regardless of whether I trust him or not. He does however, have the power to change my life depending on my trust in Him.

Dear God, help me trust you even when you don’t meet my expectations. As a fatherless child is stamped with the father’s DNA and acts a certain way, I want to be your child and light even when I don’t see or feel your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Death Destroyed Death

There is a fullness of victory in his (Jesus’) death, for through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil. – Charles Spurgeon

I had to pause while reading this line and think of the implications it held. Death destroyed death. Death’s king is the devil. He has tried to kill all things godly since humans walked on the earth.

Life’s king is God. He has tried to bring life in all its fullness to the same humans. Somehow, the devil enticed man into an endless cycle of suffering and loss, in the name of being our own gods. He twisted the divine attributes of God to make it look like He was really the villain and we were better off without Him. Thanks to DNA and the influence of ancestors on our upbringing and biology, every offspring was born and brought up in the habits of death, specially tutored by the devil.

The devil himself, fallen angel of God, fell from Life because of his pride in himself. He knew only too well how to lure the rest of God’s beloved children into his cursed home.

Death is not just the end of our earthly life, and the fiery punishment of sin called hell, it is the things we do that constantly hide us from the face of God. The things we say and think that push God away from having a holy relationship with us. He cannot come to us if we do not let him: if all that is between us is mistrust, blame and corruption, He in His holy nature cannot have anything to do with us. He is a faithful God, and we bow instead to many other gods, including to ourselves. We want what we want, when we want, but He will not work for us against His own holiness.

Death separated God from His children, and the only fit solution He saw was to destroy the power of death itself. Death would still remain, but have no power over us. It would be only an end of a beginning with Him in His glory, for eternity. He could have easily destroyed us, but that would defeat the purpose of making us in the first place.

So Jesus came, Godhead in the flesh, and died in our place. He was the ultimate sacrifice of innocence that death could not fight against. Death was torn in two from the top to the bottom. ‘For the wages of sin is death’, but what is death from one without sin? God had the last laugh. He who created life knew how to restore life in the heavens and earth.03banner1

The torn curtains of death allow Life in all its fullness for anyone who goes through Jesus. Jesus is the one who died; Jesus is the way to Life. Because death could not hold this Godhead in the grave,He rose as prophesied after three days, defying laws of science.

Death was vanquished and still is as a defeated enemy; wounded and easily defeated by anyone who uses the power of Jesus. With death done for, we have access to full victory. It is not free victory, it was paid with a heavy price, just not by us.

We cannot ever take the price He paid for granted, for it was the most cruel, unfair betrayal to the King of kings. But he went through with it so we could be spared from eternal death with the devil. We are victorious, in Jesus’ name.

Slapping God | Quiet Time excerpt

“I have always loved you,” says the Lord.
But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”
Malachi 1:2

1025868_10200690054629553_922658382_oHow heartbreaking! 5 years ago I bracketed this verse in my Bible with the words ‘life story’. From the beginning of time till now in my life- the enormously pervading presence of the Father’s love has been easily dismissed – not just by those who have different spiritual beliefs but even those who’ve had personal encounters with Him!

The great ‘I AM’ is shown slogging for His nation Israel in the Bible’s Old Testament. He was forgiving, just, slow to anger and proved again and again to them His majesty. But Israel had a fetish for man-made gods- lust, pleasure, gods they could see and feel and shower their affections upon.

God sent His Son, the promised Messiah, to break the power of sin over them and save not only Israel but any and every foreigner who chose to believe in Him, so they could all live forever in His presence. He looked away from His only Son on the cross, bleeding and dying, for my sake.

After all that, in His quiet declaration of eternal love for me I retort, “How have you loved me?” What! Have I been written about in the Bible? Yes indeed, for everyday I fall into the same mistakes Israel made so foolishly. What deep sadness I cause God by constantly retorting at His love for me.

I retort when I give more value to pain than His will.
I retort when I fall to my knees before man instead of Him.
I retort when I can’t get my way; wondering why I ever believe in an old man upstairs.
I retort with my constant worry about days He hasn’t even brought yet.
I retort when I tell Him I can’t do it- His will, His plan.
I retort when I give Him a detailed report of the flaws in His masterpiece.
I retort when I love myself, my comfort, my pleasure, more than Him.
I retort when I blame Him for things going wrong, even after disobeying His directions.

The list is too big to complete. Everyday my lack of complete trust must be a slap to His majestic love for me.

I’m sorry God. You have loved me as no one has or will ever love in all eternity. Forgive my shamelessness in questioning and doubting your love for me. It is my desire to love you and your children in the same way you do. Help me trust you wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Delete Button (Quiet Time excerpt)

I – yes, I alone – will blot out your sins for my own sake
and will never think of them again. Isaiah 43:25

10470850_902635349755174_3932301531212664646_oHow can the omniscient, omnipresent King just ‘never think of them again’? The one who knows everything from the beginning to the end of time and beyond, can simply ‘blot out’ my sins as if they never existed?

He made me for His glory (Isa 43:7), says I am precious, honored, and that He loves me (verse 4).

For the sake of His glory and His righteous name He would rather delete my sins than say, destroy me. He would rather see His Son Jesus die for my salvation than see me die and be lost from Him forever. This righteous holy God is determined to keep me His child and longs for me to trust His word.

Satan makes it very hard for me to believe the ‘will never think of them again’ promise. It is so hard for me to forgive, but to not even hold the memory of wrongdoing against me is almost ridiculous. Am I limiting God to my own limits?

For His sake He will discard my sins. This righteous Father does not want His children to have bad records. He is eager to make them clean. All I need to do is take Him at His Word and ask for forgiveness. My ignorant pride prevents me from even admitting my wrongs, and when I have, it tells me that they are too big to be forgiven. It does not want to see a God bigger than me or my sins.

‘I alone’ – The great ‘I Am Who I Am’, bigger than the system of naming, says ‘I will blot out your sins’. If I believe anything about Him, I must hold on to this promise, else I cannot have a relationship with Him. I cannot be in the garden of Eden and hide from Him, He will throw me out. I have to believe He will forgive me, and never think of those sins again. I have to know His nature and never allow sin in my life. I have to ask for His help everyday to do so, be humble and let Him work in my heart to change me. Is it worth letting go of my sin? God thought it worthy enough to let go of His Son for me.

God, help. Help me have faith, trust, and surrender. I want to believe with all my being, that You can forgive me completely. Help me understand and rejoice in Your crazy good grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

100% Efficiency (Quiet Time excerpt 6/1/17)

He moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. –  Genesis 12:8

Worship is giving God the best that He has given you.

From love to guitars to clothes to companionship, He has given me many things. I can worship God by using it all in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. 

Worship is not a passive attitude but a courageous, selfless act of love to God. My mind is the most important seat of worship control. Instead of worrying about circumstances,
I can occupy my fascination with the depths of who God is through what I’ve seen Him do in the past and His promises for the future; through ascertaining the best road of action in accordance to His will as shown in scripture I can save time and lots of energy.

…a spiritual blessing…must be given back to Him so that He can make it a blessing to others.

This life in itself is so rotten, so temporary. The only delight apart from receiving blessing is to be used as a blessing. For whatever short while, being His blessing to someone else is a beautiful, lasting thing. I myself cannot bless anyone, but I can trust God to use my acts of worship in magnificent ways.14258079_610631605784156_7769302348202271784_o

Bethel is the symbol of fellowship with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abram “pitched his tent” between the two. The lasting value of our public service for God is measured by the depth of the intimacy of our private times of fellowship and oneness with Him.

He is the honey from which my work gets nourishment. Remove privacy with Him, and I will have nothing to show publicly as His.
However, quiet time once a day is not making the cut. If the measurement of value of His work is the depth of intimacy with Him, I need to worship Him through-out the day to better my public service, even and especially in the heights of busyness. For instance while shooting a video, I should constantly be open and willing towards His direction, remember who I am in His sight, and what my purpose is in Him. Anything else like worry or fear only cripples myself and those around me.
Days set apart for quiet can be a trap, detracting from the need to have daily quiet time with God. That is why we must “pitch our tents” where we will always have quiet times with Him, however noisy our times with the world may be.

My tent shifts between God and the world throughout the day. How can I be in one good place? I can’t be at His feet all the time. I can’t be with people all the time. If I train my thoughts to worship God 24×7, I can live between ‘Bethel’ and ‘Ai’; living in Him even when things seem to fall apart around me.

…some of us seem to jump like spiritual frogs from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God’s idea is that the three should go together as one. They were always together in the life of our Lord and in perfect harmony. It is a discipline that must be developed; it will not happen overnight.

Yes, I’m a spiritual leapfrog. I have moments of great connection with God, and great connection with evil. To discipline myself, I have to consciously practice worship and Godly waiting through the tiniest and biggest activities of my life. If I do everything as for God, even through my thoughts, my life will be 100% efficient, because He will use my everything to bless others. I want to be 100% useful.

Please help me Father. It seems impossible, but nothing is impossible through Christ who gives me strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Visible Unseen (Quiet Time excerpt 5/1/17)

 

What do you mean, ‘invisible God’?
Have you missed the orange flower bursting
towards the blue expanse of sky hugging
the horizon of rock and trees spanning
the bed of air tainted, but singing
atoms of praise, of sorrow, of submitting
all in all worship to a King, a Creator upholding
mankind proclaiming the processes of life, ignoring
Life itself and breath which keeps us breathing
songs of existence, breath solely smiling
at the beauty of His being, living
in the ants, leaves, sunbeams invading
my empty pupils praying for vision, seeing
a visible Kingdom, of a visible King?

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Farming My Mind (Quiet Time Excerpt 4/1/17)

“Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

Grow in grace- such a beautiful term. I didn’t think one could grow in grace, but that it is given. The phrase ‘work of the Holy Spirit’, is also expressive of tons of cultivation. Being righteous is not a magical process but involves a lot of farming in the soul, mind and body. “Grow in grace…grow in humility…grow in love” – characteristics that bring beauty. Beauty through hard work, seeking, learning, testing, thriving.

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A paper bouquet I made for my brother…he loves yellow. 

God will not shower knowledge upon me because of my denomination. “…love always cries, ‘Nearer, nearer.'” I am called to seek Him, desire Him, learn all I can about Him. If faith in Jesus is the basis of my salvation (Rom 3:22), I have to know Him like I know myself. What He likes, what He doesn’t like, what He’s like in different situations, why He went through the terrible ordeal of earth and death for me.

I cannot sit back and go, ‘God does not make Himself known to me’ or, ‘I don’t feel Him’ or ‘I wish He would do a miracle to help me…I prayed but nothing happened.’ His sheep know and listen to His voice and follow Him (John 10:27) which means they are around Him a lot and do not go into fields He isn’t in.

Just as a student studies for an exam- researching, memorizing, drawing relevance and importance from a huge portion, revising and then proving to the teacher his/her knowledge- I need to do the same with my knowledge of Jesus. Some subjects seem extremely easy to grasp, but when tested it’s crazy how little is remembered or can be articulated in a sensible way. With Jesus, everything seems said and spoken of a hundred times- salvation, death, resurrection blah blah blah. Christians tend to take His grace for granted and don’t bother growing in knowledge. But when tragedy hits and takes away something very precious one is bound to question everything and find almost no answers. There is much to be learnt for each individual, personally. People can break things down for me but the learning and absorbing can only be done by me. According to 2 Peter 3:18, everyone can grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

“…although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted.” It is true of my growth in Christ. As I learn a new aspect I become almost painfully hungry for more. I’m growing, but I know how much more I have to grow to know Him fully.

God, I need You more, more than yesterday. More than words can say. More than ever before. Help me find ways to learn and test my own knowledge of You, so it gets sharpened and clarified. Help me study your Word and know Your voice through prayer. Help me set aside times to be alone with You, and that those times will greatly benefit and direct everything else on my plate. Thank You for this life and this beautiful relationship You have started. I want to go as deep into You as the depths of Your being. Made in Your image- help me find myself too in who You are. Unclutter my thoughts and help me express what I find in You correctly and clearly to those who ask about You. Love Youuu. In Jesus’ name, Amen.