That Morning I Heard From Him…

“And don’t pray to God, ’cause He won’t talk back”

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As much as I like the soundtrack of Begin Again (one of my favorite films, by the way), this part of one of the movie’s soundtracks, A Step You Can’t Take Back,  somehow bothers me and makes me uncomfortable whenever I listen to it. Maybe the writer of this song was referring to some other god or maybe it’s a metaphor or something. I only love music but I’m not a music and lyrics genius so I can’t really tell. Nevertheless, one thing’s certain here: this statement is in no way the truth.

I strongly disagree. Because God does talk to us. And I’m saying this not because I’m a Christian, but because God really talks to us. In many ways. In many forms.

And I personally experienced that. God talked to me. In one of those days when I felt I was not deserving of His presence.

It was the fifth and last day of the annual prayer and fasting time of our church. I was supposed to do my morning devotions but I woke up late so I decided to do it during lunch break instead. But that wasn’t what God wanted to happen.

It was 10 minutes before 7am and my work starts at 7am so I should be going already but that task was very important so I had to message my co-teacher that I will be late for work that day. I finished the task just before 8am so I actually could head on to the school so I won’t be super late. Then my eye caught the Prayer and Fasting booklet and my journal on the table. Then there was the prompting to do my quiet time that very moment.

Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant to do it since the P&F material this year is too extensive (at least for me) and requires more time than usual, with the spiritual exercises and all. And it meant I will have to call my school and tell them I had to go half-day.

I know I’m not a super Christian and oftentimes, I don’t walk the talk. But there were some moments in my walk with God that I could really feel when He wants to tell me something. And that day was one of those moments.

The topic that day was about how to hear from God. And that’s something that really interests me, although I have to admit that it’s not really often that I hear from Him. While reading the instructions on the spiritual exercise, crumbs of doubts started filling my mind and heart. I just felt that I’m way too insufficient to hear from God that time. Imagine, I couldn’t do my morning devotions because I would be late for work but I could call in late when there’s an urgent task from my online work? I’m definitely not a model Christian. I mean, why would God talk to me?  I felt undeserving and unqualified to hear from Him that time.

But He did. And the scene’s still very vivid in my memory. These were the very words He spoke to me with:

“I’m the one who created the situation that caused you to be late from school. Because I missed you. You are so busy with your life that we only talk for a bit most of the time. Like a mother waiting for a call from her daughter living far away, I long for you to call Me and talk to Me and spend some time with Me. Yes, you are late for work today but you don’t have to worry because I will take care of it. I am more important than your job. I tell you, you don’t need to worry about your 2017 because I have it all planned perfectly for you. I am in charge of your 2017. You don’t have to worry. All your fears, anxieties, stress, cast them all on Me. I will take care of them. Just believe that I am with you.

There are times when you think you are insignificant. There may be times that you feel you don’t matter, that you are just a small piece of a puzzle. But I tell you, you are significant to Me. You are highly favored. You might not realize it now but I’m storming heavens to pour out the abundance of blessings and love on you. You are so much loved. You are very important to me. Never doubt that even for a second. I have loved you then and I will continue to love you till the end.”

I was crying the whole time I was penning down those words as I hear it. I didn’t expect that actual moment to happen that very morning. It was just so surreal.

I had to pen those words down because I want to read it over and over again. It was one of the remarkable encounters with God that I will definitely go back to whenever I feel down and unqualified. I’m not the highly spiritual type and I failed Him a lot of times but He still loves me and gives me that much importance to actually talk to me and let me hear His voice.

And I’m not psychotic (hello Dr.Gregory House!).

God actually talks to us. He is never busy for us. It is actually us who usually veer away from His presence when we get too busy with work and other things. And I’m guilty of that. I felt undeserving of His love but He still gives it to me in so much abundance.

You may have not experienced hearing from God yet but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t talk to you. Oftentimes, you just have to lock yourself from the world and really spend enough time seeking Him. Take time to enjoy His presence. He can talk to you through a friend, a Bible verse, a situation and promptings. You just need to be sensitive of His voice and believe that He really can talk to you.

When He seems silent, don’t be discouraged. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. According to Oswald Chambers, when God is silent, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible — with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. Silence can also be a sign of intimacy. God wants you to seek Him more and He wants more of your time.

Faith. Never doubt. That’s the paramount point. You have to trust Him that He listens even if He seems silent.

 

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Close Your Eyes

When the future gets real tough
And silence speaks too much.
I’ll reach my hands to you.

I’ll be all you need, close your eyes and just believe.

Love, it can break your heart,
But that’s where true love starts.
Trust me, I’ll show you.
Life, it can beat you down,
But I’ll still be around.
There’s nothing I can’t do.

I’ll be all you need, close your eyes and just believe.

Life is shorter than you think,
It can get lost inside a blink.
Don’t let it pass you by.
And me, I’ve loved you from the start,
You’re the blood that beats my heart.
Search and you’ll find me.

I’ll be all you need, close your eyes and just believe.

*******************************************
The melody of this song from my current favorite Dave Barnes is not so outstanding as his other songs but the lyrics is simply remarkable–the kind that would just struck your heart right from the start.

It is God’s love song for me. It is God’s love song for us.

This song was written by a human but the words were provided by God. It was God who wrote this song through Dave Barnes to remind everybody that yes, life can be tough at times but no matter what, He’ll always be there for us because His love is unconditional and goes beyond all seasons of our lives.

So when at times you feel out of tune in the melody of this life, look up and feel the love of God embracing and surrounding you. God is love and He is always true to His promises.

Dear Enemy: Your Mission Failed!

Eventhough it’s still dark in here
The enemy failed to blind my eyes from seeing the tiny spark of hope in this place
Even if it’s difficult
Even if it’s uncertain
There’s still no other place I’d rather me now than HERE
Because this is where God wants me to be
The enemy failed on his mission to draw me away from my King
This season, these struggles just brought me a lot closer to Him.
I will continue to wait on Him and I will sing praise to Him while I’m waiting
For I know that His plans for my life never fails
His love never fails…

What is my part in the mission?

Since the start of the year, I kept asking myself if world missions is really for me. A year ago, I signed up for Nepal mission. Haplessly, I wasn’t included in the team that left for Nepal. I think that’s because God saw that I was still not wholehearted with the mission thing that time–that it’s 50% for the purpose of the ‘real mission’ and 50% is for travelling purposes. I didn’t feel bad at all because I know that God has His own reasons and He knows exactly when’s the right time for me to go out (if ever).

During the mid part of this year, my heart for missions gradually tapered off. While more and more people from our church are going out of the country to do missions, I suddenly found myself on a retreat from this particular field.

I must admit, there’s still a bigger part of me who still wants to go to far-flung places where they know less or nothing about Christ, but maybe, just maybe, going out of the country to join the world missions isn’t really for me this time.

My sister signed up for missions for next year. Honestly, I asked God why can’t I do that. I kept asking God what He wants me to do right now and why do I have a feeling like I was suddenly put on a halt in terms of my growth in my Christian life. Why is He not sending me out like what He’s doing with the others?

In His own majestic way, God answered me through this daily inspirational thought which I’m subscribed to:

While the way people do missions has varied throughout the years, the idea of “goers” and “senders” has not.  God continues to call people to go and preach His message to people throughout the world, and He continues to call others to help send people on their way.

The Apostle Paul talked about this idea in his letter to the Christians in Rome, written almost 2,000 years ago.  Paul wrote:

“…for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:13-15).

In the past, these verses have conjured up in my mind a vision of missionaries climbing over the top of a mountain in some remote jungle, bringing the good news of Christ to the people in the valley below.  As the villagers would hear this good news being proclaimed to them—news that they had been longing to hear for years—they would exclaim, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Today I read that passage with a different vision in mind.  Why?  Because, in many ways, I’m now a missionary myself, writing to people all over the world to encourage them to put their faith in Christ for everything in their lives.  The scenery has changed, but the principle is the same.  

Instead of climbing a misty mountaintop, I’m sitting at my desk in my bedroom, looking out over miles and miles of wide open spaces.  I’m on the second floor of a two-story, traditional American farmhouse in the heart of the great midwest.  There are no mountains to block my view, and only a few other farmhouses dotting the ground in the distance.  The corn and soybean fields have been harvested for the year, so all that’s left is a clear view of the horizon in every direction.  

Yet when I push the “send” button on my computer, I realize that this message I’m writing will make its way over the plains, across the country, under oceans, into the sky and back down to the earth again.  

Within an a instant, this message will show up in places like Papua New Guinea, an island half-way around the world in the South Pacific, where someone just signed up to receive these messages on Monday, saying, 

Missions is changing, but the message stays the same.  When Jesus told His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation,” (Mark 16:15) He didn’t put any limits on where to go, how to go, or who to go to.  He just said to, “Go!”  He wanted them to take the message as far as they could, starting in Jerusalem, spreading out to Judea and finally to the ends of the earth.    


I was then reminded of my previous post about insignificance when God told me that He called me out for a different mission. I don’t have to feel insignificant or any less at all because there’s a very special task that He called me out to do.

Through this article, I was blessed to realize my role in the missions. I may not be included in the courageous soldiers of God going out into the international battlefield to spread the Good News but I know I have played and I’m still playing a great part in those missions. I may not be one of the ‘goers’ but at least I’m part of the ‘senders’ and that alone already made a difference.

God placed a different passion in my heart and I have a different role to play. Perhaps it’s through my writing, through this medium, this piece of sanctuary I call my own on the web, that I could pursue this part that God called me for. I have received really touching messages from people I know and some I don’t who told me they’re blessed with my posts about God and that those posts helped them realized God’s importance in their lives in one way or another. Maybe that’s why God blessed me with this talent to write and express my thoughts through writing–this is my part of the Great Commission and this is how God wants me to share great things about Him.

“For some of you, this may be a reminder of what God has already called you to do.  For others of  you this may be a confirmation of what God has been stirring in your heart in recent weeks or months.  And for some of you, this may be a totally new thought—a totally new direction that God wants you to take in your life.  Whatever the case, I want to encourage each of you to get involved in whatever mission God has put in front of you.”

 

Each one of us has a part to play in spreading the Good News and all of those roles are of equal significance. Seek God with all your heart and ask Him what role He wants you to play. Once you receive His answer, do your part with all your strength and with joyfulness of the heart☺

 

“Am I Insignificant?”

It’s really been a while since I last heard Jesus’ whispers. I know I am in a particular episode in my life when He is stretching my patience and perseverance and at the same time, letting me use the wisdom He blessed me with to understand what He’s been trying to teach me since the start of this season. I’ve been praying to Him, asking Him to make me understand what He’s up to and what I should do next. But He’s been so silent, as if letting me figure it out on my own or maybe telling me to just wait some more and just relax.

Until yesterday when Jesus finally let me hear His sweet whisper again.

The entire Victory Malate family was at the PICC yesterday to celebrate the church’s 15 years of honoring God and making disciples. At one point during the celebration, actually after the preaching of Pastor Steve Murrell, Pastor Nixon went up the stage, showed a video of what the church is expecting to happen by faith in the coming years which is to make Jesus known all over the nations and the world, and asked everyone afterwards to talk to Jesus on our own on whoever He wants us to disciple and share the good news about Him to.

In my prayer, I actually asked Him  what He wants me to do. I’m not really good in discipling people. I do share the good news about Jesus when my friends or any people who come to me to share their problems. Some of them would tell me that they’re blessed with the words I share to them, but when I invite them to come to church, they would always beg off. In my shallow state I would often feel that I am so insignificant when it comes to following the Great Commission of Christ which is to go and make disciples just because I can’t even invite my friends to attend the church.

During the course of my short prayer, Jesus comforted my weary heart by assuring me that I am not of less value and importance as that of His other sons and daughters going to missions or are so proactive in fishing for people. Jesus actually told me that I am in fact doing a very special role in His Great Commission. He told me He actually chose to place me to the field, to a particular group of people where He knows I could do excellently in sharing the good news about Him—WITH THE CHILDREN. Jesus told me that He sees my strength with the kids and that’s one of the reasons why He took me out of my previous professional field and put me into the world of teaching.

Tears fell down while I was praying to Jesus that time. I kept thanking Him for letting me hear His voice again and for assuring me that I am not insignificant at all. Then I was reminded of that time when I heard His voice for the second time when He told me that I am not invisible in His eyes through directing me to the story of Gideon in the Bible. It’s been the second time that Jesus talked to me to reassure that I am His dear daughter and that He is concerned and pleased about me just as He’s also pleased with the other church leaders who are actively doing their part in Christ’s commission.

Perhaps I am in a season when Christ is teaching me to find security in Him alone, that I should not be reminded time and again of His love for me because even if I don’t hear His voice as often as I would want to, the constant TRUTH of His unconditional love for me never changes. This has been one of the toughest seasons of my life since I started my walk with Jesus but I know that this season is going to bring a lot of understandings, realizations, and great awakenings in my life.

I know this season isn’t bound to end sooner but I am more faithfully excited now to what it’s going to bring to my life. Bring it on God! I am just amazed at how He could make you feel His presence even at times when you feel so far from Him☺

One of the big differences in knowing Christ and living a life according to the world is that with Christ, you know that when you experience struggles, you consider it as a season of understanding what Christ wants you to do or He is teaching you on some points of your life. If you live a life according to the terms of this world, you view these struggles as burdens,curses, or even punishments because of the bad things you’ve done. It’s better to live a life of teachings than to live a life full of punishments☺


“You are not forgotten…”

Take me back to the day when I first met You.”

A good friend once articulated this statement during the time she was having personal struggles and felt so much in need of the Father’s comfort. Though I wasn’t having any serious spiritual or emotional battle that time, that statement already overwhelmed me and made an impact to my wondering mind and intrigued heart. It was like something’s telling me that one day, I’m going to use that statement as I go through this journey with God.

Perhaps that one day is now. Well, not literally now as in today, but it’s actually the season I am in at the very moment. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what season God has placed me right now. I am still in the state of confusion.

Would God want me to do this or that? Would He want me to get involve or just be eagle-eyed on what’s happening?

I haven’t been hearing from Him of late. No, I don’t blame Him or feel ill towards Him for being silent. In fact, I’m not even sure if God’s really silent or I’m just being too preoccupied with the things of this world that I can’t seem to hear His small voice.

Perhaps, it’s the latter….

I’m pinning it on myself why the once aflamed me suddenly became impassive.

God’s been wanting to put that fire back and fortify our relationship but I’m the one always looking at other things to make and do instead of just following Him. I am no longer focusing on Him and setting my sight straight to Him, and worst, I am even allowing the enemy to distract me by acknowledging his lies.

I have become tired of this world. I am slowly becoming exhausted of this walk. Even my writings’ becoming a crap.

I have been feeling on a rush about most of the things in my life these days. Maybe it’s the I-am-hitting-30-in-a-few-years syndrome that’s making me feel like I need to accomplish this and that before I hit that age. I am putting pressures on myself. It’s as if I’m in major panic over what I should do with my life.

The result of that panic and pressure: failing to enjoy the journey.

I was reminded of God’s perfect timing again in the Bible verse shared in the church this afternoon:

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

A Time for Everything

 1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die, 
   a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, 
   a time to tear down and a time to build, 
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
   a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 
 6 a time to search and a time to give up, 
   a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, 
   a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
 8 a time to love and a time to hate, 
   a time for war and a time for peace.

I know God wouldn’t want me to continue moving in this kind of rotten thoughts and emotions. No. No. No. God said I am too precious for Him to let the enemy captivate my thoughts and emotions and overpower His sovereignty in my life. I am sure that God wants me to just stay calm and be secured in the truth that He has a greater purpose for me than what I have for myself. I can only see up to this point in my life but God is looking way way farther, even beyond my imaginations.

I don’t have a clear vision of what’s in store for me and I’m not quite sure what’s the purpose of this season of my life. I am not even sure when this period will pass. I am just certain that God is in the works and He knows what’s perfect for me. Whatever His plans are, be it involving spiritual and emotional battles like what I’m going through right now, one thing holds true to the very end: GOD’S LOVE NEVER FAILS. His plans for us are always to our best because they are propelled with unconditional love that only God can shower us.

As I was writing this post, this particular song keeps playing in my head, and because of that, I’m making it the official soundtrack of my current season:-)

You Are Not Forgetten – Israel Houghton

People walking by, very seldom they say “hi”
they don’t know how wonderful you are
If they only knew all the things you’ve been through,
if only they could see your heart
I hear you crying for help, please don’t blame yourself..
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten

When it’s time to go to sleep and you try your best to keep..yourself from falling apart.
There’s no need to fear, because I’m already here, and I’m the one who sees your heart..
I hear you crying for help, please don’t blame yourself..
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten

You are not just a face in the crowd, you are not a forgotten child
Let Me whisper it loud, I love you, oh, I love you

You can hold your head up high, ’cause I’ll make everything alright, I’m committed to you smiling again
And eventually you’ll see people’s similarities, everyone just needs a friend..
And when they’re crying for help, you’ll be able to tell them, please tell them for Me
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten

Quiet Time Message: You Are Not Invisible in MY Eyes…

I rarely hear the small voice of God. I always long for it but I fail to hear it as often as I would want to. In my quiet times, one thing that I always look forward to is that wonderful moment that I could get to hear His still small voice.

Before I became a Christian, I didn’t think that it was really possible to hear God’s voice. I had this notion then that God would only listen to my prayers but He would not let His voice be heard by a ‘commoner’ like me. I thought then that His voice was also exclusive for the really spiritual ones.

But God proved me wrong about that notion the second time last May 15, a Sunday, during my quiet time with Him. I was reading the book of Judges in the Bible and I was already in the story of Gideon. Just a brief backgrounder, Gideon was a young  man from the tribe of Manasseh. During that time, Gideon’s family was the least in the said tribe and he was the weakest in their clan. That was why when the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon one day, he was apprehensive when the angel told him he was going to save the Israelites from the Midianites. He just couldn’t believe that God would pick him from the other much stronger and worthy men from their tribes.

But God chose Gideon. Despite him belonging to the least clan in the Tribe of Manasseh and him being the weakest in that clan, still God chose him.

I don’t know why but as I uttered my prayer to God that time, I felt like the words didn’t just come from me but from God. The moment I said the words “I am not invisible in Your eyes,” the tears went down from my eyes. I knew that very moment that God was really talking to me, that He was really making me hear His voice. God told me that I should not feel small or that I don’t matter at all because He could see me. He could see me worshipping Him and even if I’m just one among those many people singing praises to Him on a Sunday service at church, I matter so much to Him and that He appreciates everything about me. That even if sometimes I feel like I’m a loser, God still finds favor in me and that He puts great trust in my ability.

I cried that time because I was in great awe of God. He is indeed a personal God. I just couldn’t contain the overflowing love and reverence to God that I felt that time that my tears just couldn’t stop from flowing.

My prayer to God after that was for that feeling to always reside in my heart; that that overwhelming feeling would be my shield everytime the enemy will put words of anger and insecurity in my heart and mind; and that I would just dwell in His loving presence all the days of my life.

I am not at all a good person. I failed God a million of times in my life. But that precious moment when He let me hear His voice, I just felt God was telling me that His loving will forever be unconditional.

God will never turn His back from us.

I just hope and pray that I could give back to Him even at least a portion of that kind of love He’s been showering me since the day I was born. I hope and pray I could love Him enough not to hurt Him by doing wicked things and to consider Him first and foremost in everything that I do.

I pray that as I continue this wonderful walk with Him, one of these days, I will be that kind of daughter God desires me to be.