Tag Archives: faith

Asking for MORE

Last year, I asked God to test my faith. Not to give me what I want but to see more of Him. I get to know God more each day when I read the Bible but I wanted more. I wanted to know and experience God more in my own walk with Him. And so, I prayed for Him to take me to a more deep faith.

That’s 5 “more” there…

Just like when Elisha asked Elijah a double portion of his spirit, I asked God for more of Him.

Just rewinding a bit in 2012…

God gave me this burden to consider going for a full time ministry work. It is a privileged joy to be able to serve God fulltime.  However, I also wanted to fulfill my own dreams for myself and for my family. I can’t see my dream getting realized if I’ll go fulltime.

In a retreat that year, we were asked to write something that we want to surrender to the Lord. Right there, God asked me to surrender my plans and dreams to Him, to just totally let go. It broke my heart. As I wrote and committed it to the Lord, I was in tears. I felt like a portion of me was taken away.

After that, I just told God, I have done my part, now do Yours.

Forwarding to 2013…

There were no doors opened for a full time ministry work. God even gave me a better opportunity for growth in my IT career. It was a dream role I never thought I could have. I thought maybe God wanted me to stay after all. I got so energized with my work that somehow I forgot that desire of going full time for a ministry.

Then latter part of the year, a door for a ministry job opened. Work in my company became stressful and “spiritually” exhausting. I applied for the ministry opportunity. I considered resigning.

Not certain if I’ll be accepted for the position, I took a big leap of faith and submitted my resignation. And on my last day at work, I received the news for my ministry application that I was not accepted.

That’s what happened when you asked God to test your faith. Things don’t go your way. But it allowed me to experience God in a very, very, very personal way. Indeed, He wanted me to grow deeper in my faith.

I asked God why He wanted me to resign when He knew that I will not be accepted for that ministry. The response I got from Him – your character, your heart, more important than where you will serve me. The condition of my heart was not pleasing to Him anymore. Disgusting enough that God, full of grace and love had to remove me from something I might not be able to handle.

As I started 2014, I have never been more uncertain with my life. But that’s when deeper faith happens. All I know is that I have a SOVEREIGN GOD who cares for my heart more than what I can bring to Him.

Remember that dream I surrendered in 2012? Years before that, I wanted to apply for a permanent residency in Canada. However, I did not make it to the 2 years of full work experience. I got short of 3 months. I told God that if He really wanted me to apply, He will find another way. Start of 2013, the qualification changed. From 2 years, they only required 1 year. I was qualified. Then, hesitation came. I told God I surrendered this dream to Him already. I’m choosing to go full time.

But God is just amazing. He used someone to push me to apply. Did you ever have that peace that transcends all understanding? I had this sudden peace in me, confirming that I’m doing the right thing. Amazingly, everything went so smooth with my application. And with all the uncertainties I had at the start of the year, I received an email last February. My application for Canada got approved.

I gave God a jaw-dropping expression (literally). A face in awe of SOMEONE I can never fathom and describe but very real, very personal.

I’m excited how this year will turn out to be. 2013 has been a very interesting, growing, exciting year for me. This year, I’m just letting God continue to mold me, surprise me, amaze me, change me. After all, that’s just the way HE is – An Extravagant, Loving Father.

Last year, my theme verse was Hebrews 11:1 as God took me to a deeper faith.  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

I started this year – no job, plans surrendered, and full of uncertainties. I was only holding on to the ONE certainty in my life, my Lord and Savior Jesus.

This is my theme verse for 2014 – Philippians 3:7-8: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. “

Please pray for me as I seek God to give me a fresh vision before I leave for Canada. More than a fulfilled dream, this journey has always been about Him. I just want to make sure that when I move, I have a clear vision to remind me of why I went there in the first place.

Thank you to everyone who prayed with me on this journey. (Philippians 1:3 – “I thank my God every time I remember you.”)

In this life, it only takes a faith as small as a mustard seed to believe that God loves you so much and He cares about you that He wants to be involved in all aspects of your life. God will not force you. You have to decide if you want to believe. (And, I hope you do.)

To the only amazing God be all the glory!

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It’s Not Complicated

 

In my Bible reading, I’m now in the chapters of the Book of Exodus when God gave instruction to Moses in building the tabernacle, altar, etc. You know all the details and measurements. Every time I read these chapters, I’m always reminded of how God cares even to the smallest details. He was very specific of the color, size and length and materials to be used. The small details mattered to Him. Another thing I’m also reminded of, God is not complicated. When He gave the instruction to Moses, it was direct and complete, no guessing games or whatsoever.

As I reflect of who God is also in my life, He is also the same. He cares for the smallest details in my life. I remembered when I was trying to catch the last bus trip and I was still in the train. With my estimate, I know I will miss the bus but I asked for a little miracle from God. I made it to the last trip. I realized God cared for my transportation going home. There have been a lot of instances in my life that I never thought would matter to God, but every time I whisper a prayer, He would give me those little miracles which made me love God more. Indeed, He is also into the small details of our life.

If there’s such thing as “It’s Complicated” status in Facebook, with God, nothing is complicated. How He gave instruction to Moses, everything was laid out. Moses did not need to figure out what God was trying to say to Him. God gave all the details for Moses to execute. In my journey with God, He has shown the same. His yes is a clear yes and no a clear no. We sometimes think that God’s plan for us is something that we need to figure out or it’s a mystery. As I learn to totally trust Him, I realized that there is nothing to figure out. All we really need to do is to trust and obey. God gives answers in the proper time. And when He answers, it is always clear.

Last week, I became impatient with God. He asked me to resign last year and I thought that He would let me work full time in my church. The first position I applied, I was not selected. Another position was offered to me, I got excited and I thought this was what God really planned for me. Then, I was told last week that the start date was uncertain due to change of priorities.  I felt sad and cried. I was being a brat with God asking what He really wanted me to do. God was giving me a clear “No”. Twice. Very clear, right? And so, I conceded.

But God does not give us a “No” answer for no reason at all. Last Saturday, I received the email that I have been waiting for a long time. It was for my PR application in Canada, the immigration is requesting for my passport so that they could give me my visa. This was something I prayed to God and deeply asked Him not to give me a “No”.  And indeed, He did not! My application got approved! 🙂 And now, everything is making sense!

His No to me is a Yes to what is best for me and for His work for the church. God is not complicated. We are the ones making it complicated because of our impatience and lack of faith.

“God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

The Great Unknown

The Great Unknown 

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When you think you got it all figured out, you’re wrong.

All you can do is to continue figuring it out until you reach that point that you can’t even remember what you were trying to figure out.

Making sense?

Not really, right?

Exactly.

The moment you keep figuring things out, you will realize that they just don’t make sense at all.

Well, from your perspective.

There is a vision but the path towards that vision is just blurry.

But then, what can you really do?

Stop looking? Stop pondering? Stop figuring it out?

Unfortunately, that’s the only thing you can do when you don’t really know what you need to do.

You really need to stop.

Instead, keep praying. Keep trusting.

No matter what, never lose faith.

It will somehow break your heart but HE will never fail you.

You will shed some tears but HE will restore your joy.

It will test your patience but HE will sustain you no matter how long the waiting will be.

You just have to hold on to the promise that HE has the best ahead of you.

Just enjoy the journey of resting in HIM. Be still.

For what is the great unknown to you is the greatest known plan to HIM.

Someday, you’ll see.

And, you’ll be in awe.

[Giving it All] Day 3: God Will Honor You

Reading: Matthew 26:13

“Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Reflection:

My older sister, Amity passed away eight years ago. She was the person who taught me how to dream big and how to value family more than anyone else. Aside from her laughter and bubbly personality, these are the things I will always remember about her that I can share to people to give her honor.

Same with Jesus, He also honored the woman in the presence of the disciples and other people. Jesus did not just accept the offering of expensive perfume of the woman but He even praised her and promised her a lasting legacy.

People will sometimes not understand when we surrender our life to God. They may think that it doesn’t make any sense. However, God promised, “If we do not lose heart in doing good in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:9)

What does surrendering our life to God means?

It means that we are letting God take control of our life. We are trusting God our entire future. We are allowing God to transform our mind and hearts that we may see things in His perspective. This simply means, in every action we do, every word we speak, every thought we ponder, every decision we make and every relationship we have – it will not cause us to sin against God, instead it will please God and glorify Him.

But then, this is impossible right as no one is perfect like God? That’s why we need Jesus to be our Lord, our Master, our Savior. God can only honor people to be in heaven if God will see Jesus in our life. While in this lifetime, as you surrender daily to God, He will also honor you in ways you can never imagine. You just have to trust Him for that.

So, what kind of legacy do you want to leave for the next generation to come? How do you want to be remembered? Are you willing to make Jesus the center of your life?

In the gravestone of Amity, we put this verse to show people who would pass by that she never gave up on her dreams, on her own battles, on her faith in God. That’s how we want her to be remembered.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Are you struggling in letting go things in your life that’s hindering you to let God? Hope this prayer will be a start as you desire to make Jesus the center of your life.

Prayer:

Dear God,

Thank You for reminding me today how important it is to have a life centered in Jesus. Teach me Lord to surrender my life to you. Help me to let go of the things and relationships that are drawing me away from you. Help me to trust You in every step of surrender I will make knowing that You always have the best plan for me. May I be able to leave a good legacy of my faith and walk with You to others. I surrender my life to You, Jesus. I accept You as my Lord and my Savior. Thank You for a new life that I will journey with You. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Song:

I Surrender by Hillsong

[Giving it All] Day 2: Your Priorities

Reading: Matthew 26:8-12

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.

Reflection:

What’s wrong with the disciples? Was it wrong to give the money to the poor to help them? The problem here is that they missed the point of why the woman poured out the expensive perfume on Jesus’ head (Matt 26: 6-7).

We are like the disciples at times. We sometimes miss the point of why God allows things to happen in our lives. We sometimes fail to see things in God’s perspective. We tend to get angry with God without even seeking Him.

What the disciples saw as a waste, Jesus described it as “beautiful”.  The woman acknowledged who Jesus was and without having second thoughts offered her perfume to Him. She knew that  Jesus was very much worthy of the expensive perfume.

woman perfumeSource

Is Jesus worthy of your precious time? Is He worthy of your resources and services? Putting God first in your life is never a waste. In fact, it is the most worthy thing you can do in your life. Your life will never be the same once you have set your priorities right, with God being the first.

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”  This is the great and  foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

How do we put God first?

  • Making time for God. Have a quality time with God by reading the Bible and prayer.  When Jesus was on earth, He always wakes up early in the morning and even avoids the crowd when He needs to spend time with the Heavenly Father.  ( In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35)
  • Acknowledging God and His Word as your authority in life. The values and principle we live by should always be aligned with what is in the Bible. In our day to day, we will always face trials and temptations that is why it is important that we know what is right in God’s eyes through the Bible.  The standard of this world especially today is very immoral. We need to have a clear stand of what standards do we follow – the world’s or God’s. (And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2)
  • Choosing God in all circumstances. Compromise is very dangerous in our spiritual walk. When we start giving in little by little to the wrong things, we will eventually find ourselves justifying the wrong and making it look right. God does not allow temptations that we can’t handle. Temptation is not a sin but when we stop choosing God and gave in, then that’s when it becomes an act of rebellion against God – aka sin. But God does not let us overcome temptation on our own. He will always sustain us. ( No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13)

With God being the first on your priority list, loving our neighbors is the second most important. Who are these?

  1. Family – next to God should be our families. In the 10 commandments (Exodus 20), the first 4 talks about our relationship with God. The 5th commandment talks about family – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
  2. Ministry, Work – our ministry in church and/or work should never take priority before our family. When we fix our weekly schedule, there should always be an allotted quality time with family. Work takes us most of the hours in our week that’s why other activities should be properly planned. Ministry is also important as this is our service to God and other people. But if this takes up more time than spending alone time with God and quality time with our family, then, we need to drop it. God first, Family second.

If you want God to help you set your priorities right, you can say this prayer.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you dear God for reminding me today of how important it is to put You first in everything that I do. Thank you for Your Son, Jesus who taught us how to live a life that honors You.  Lord, help me to make my priorities right. Give me strength and teach me discipline that I will be able to spend more time with you in my day to day. Guide me also that I may be able to spend more quality time with my family. Teach me to properly plan my week so that the other things that I need to do will not take the time I should be spending with You. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-7

Song:

Forever by Hillsong

[Persevering] Day 7: Always Rejoice

Reading: Psalm 40:16-17

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.

Reflection:

I remember this line from the movie, Facing the Giants – “If we win, we will praise God. If we lose, we will still praise God.”

As we seek God, we do not only praise Him when things are going well with us. Our rejoicing and gladness with the Lord should not be dependent on our current condition. It should be constant and continuous regardless of. Though, this is never easy especially when we feel so trapped and hopeless. But just like David, he still chose to praise and worship God despite of his current situation.

Every time I feel down and start to question God, I just go back to His Word and remember the love He has given to us through Jesus. I am then reminded that everything in this lifetime is temporary. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) And that I can look forward to eternity in heaven, someday. This gives me hope and restores my joy.

I would also remember the things that God has done for me in the past. How He never failed me on the lowest points of my life. At times, we may feel that God does not hear us. But He does. His delays as we thought they are strengthen our faith, which makes us more dependent on Him and not in our selves. We just have to keep fixing our eyes on Jesus. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” – Hebrews 12:1. With this, we can have the faith and confidence to a BIG God and say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

Starting today, may you face each day having peace and joy regardless of the trials, challenges and problems you will be facing. Again, fix your eyes on Jesus. You can say this prayer to the Lord.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Thank you for the promise that you will never forsake us especially on the times that we feel so down and hopeless. I ask that you give me strength through Jesus that I may endure each day with joy and peace in my heart. Help me to trust and always fix my eyes on Jesus that my faith will not be shaken. Thank you for the trials as they make me more dependent to You and mold my character. I entrust to you my day to day, knowing that you will be my helper and refuge. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Song:

[Persevering] Day 6: Stand Firm

Reading: Psalm 40:13-15

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
Make haste, O Lord, to help me.
Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
Let those be appalled because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”

Reflection:

David was seeking help from the Lord because of his enemies who wanted to destroy his life. He had no one to run to but only to God. Are you in the same situation right now like David was?  You feel like no one likes you or everyone is against you? Or perhaps, you feel like your life is so messed up that people don’t care anymore about you? Or, you experienced being humiliated and belittled? Or if not, maybe you just feel burned out with your day to day things in life that you have to force yourself to get up from bed every morning?

If you are experiencing any of these, I want you to remember two things. One – God loves you. Two – God cares for you.

David surrendered to God those people who wanted to ruin him. He did not fight back and took matters into his own hands. Instead, He let God handled this trial in his life. And, God wants it the same for all of us. Whatever trial you are going through right now, God wants you to surrender it to Him. The Bible said that our enemies are not of this world. Ephesians 6:11-12, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rules, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The enemy is the devil who uses people or situations to tempt and provoke us that we may disobey God. But Satan will never win with God. When Jesus died on the cross and resurrected, Satan was defeated. That’s why what he can only do is take more souls with him to his destiny in hell.

When someone is trying to test your patience or has hurt you or doesn’t like you, always remember, that person is not your enemy. All you can do is to surrender it to God and just continue doing good to that person, even pray for that person. If you feel so tired and worn out with your work, remember that your boss is not your enemy. The devil uses this situation to make you hate your boss and even steal your time away from God. So instead of complaining, spend more time with God and give all your concerns to Him. The devil trembles when we do these things with God.

To be able to overcome the works of Satan, indeed, we must put on the full armor of God. What are these? These are mentioned in Ephesians 6:14-18.

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ”

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

You alone dear God is powerful, mighty and sovereign. There is no one like You and no one can defeat You. Thank Lord for your Son Jesus, because of His death and resurrection, the devil was defeated. Thank You for the victory we have through Jesus Christ. Help us Lord to overcome temptations and attacks of the devil. I can’t do it on my own strength Lord. I need your power to enable me to walk each day without being defeated. I surrender all of my problems, my worries, my concerns to you dear God. I’m letting you take charge of my life from this day on. Thank You for giving us a full armor that we can stand firm for you. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ( 1 Corinthians 10:13)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

Song: