December 9, 2012

When God speaks but doesn't say

 "You're still in rebellion and you know what that is."


Just riding home from work and I felt God say this. And yes, I do know what "that" is. (Yes, Lord.)

It's amazing enough that the Great Creator of the Universe cares enough about the details of puny human lives...

But how good of Him to speak "just enough", for us to connect the dots and fill in the blanks. For us to be active participants in the learning process and not just be spoonfed robots. (As a teacher, I know how challenging this is.)

Aside from being effective, there's also a different kind of adventure when there's a mystery involved. Do you like spoilers? I don't. I'd rather not know what the author or director knows; I want to be as confused, intrigued, and surprised as the characters in a story. So in the story of my life, written and directed by Him, I'd actually prefer not to know :)

Lastly, I find it gracious that even though He and I both know where I am in error, He would rather not say. How gentlemanly! It's not like I'd be publicly humiliated in my mind but thank You anyway ^_^

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." 
--- Jesus

I don't want to be in rebellion. It's an empty waste of a life. Thank You for reminding me where I am in error, and for how You say (what You don't say).

December 3, 2012

Why I didn't go to church today

I didn't go to service today because something was not right.

Jesus quoted from the ancient prophet Isaiah: These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

My heart wasn't right before Him. Surely, public worship and catching up with my church friends could remedy the situation, right? Well... sometimes.

If my relationship with God is not doing well, ultimately, it's God and I who need to communicate. Other people can inspire me and teach me, but I can only apply what I learned when I finally spend time with Him.

So today, I decided to stay home after all. And blog. And think. And rest.

My heart is still some distance away from His. But at least, it's closer compared to yesterday.

P.S. I believe this post balances and complements this one. ;)

December 2, 2012

Wisdom is a balance

That's right.

As Paul told the Ephesians to "speak the truth in love," so must we think, live and act with God's balance of truth and grace, justice and mercy, power and love.

It's a balance. It's easy to think of God as this All-Powerful, Majestic Creator (only). And it's easy to think of God as just this All-Loving, Goody Best Friend (only). But a half-truth is a complete lie --- we might completely miss out on God if we only know (or choose to see) one aspect of His Being.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." (Psalms and Proverbs)

Wisdom is knowing the Lord in the complete sense (well, as much as fallen limited humans can anyway). Wisdom is looking at the complete picture, first about God then about how He has made me. Finally, wisdom is about pursuing a life full of meaning and purpose.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) That last part always gets me. It's funny how I proclaimed 2007 as my year of power, then 2008 my year of love, then... then... nothing. Obviously I lack "sound mind", "discipline", "self-control" (the various translations of that verse); as well as having too much fear (the first part of that verse).

Thanks to God, things are finally changing. This year, without my declaring it (haha), turned out to be my no-fear year, and miracle of miracles, even a little sound mind.

Finally, some balance. I feel His Power strengthening me, His Love encouraging me, and the fears fading away.

As for self-control, I'm learning, bit by bit. (Case in point: I wrote this next paragraph after being distracted by one hour of Plants vs. Zombies.) We're not yet there, but getting closer.  :)

Thank You LORD for the balance, the wisdom, and the complete picture. ♥

In case of emergency

Is this how we think of God?

Yes, God is "our refuge and strength in times of trouble"... but what about the other times? Do we treat Him like a fire extinguisher, collecting dust (at the back of our minds) until the next emergency?

Our God is bigger than any emergency. I've been a Christian long enough to observe that whenever something feels like it's a CRISIS, it's because I've lost sight of CHRIST. My universe was revolving around something else, such that when a problem appears, I panic because my new god can't really do anything about it.

In case of emergency, I find myself running to God. Which makes me realize how *far* I've drifted from Him. But that's OK --- what matters is we're back together. :)

In case of emergency, I need to break my heart. And put Him back inside.

Tempted much? Some reminders

These days I'm very tempted. And I fall, fall, and fall.

Reminders from His Word: 

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”
 (1 Corinthians 10:13–14) 

"Do not give the devil a foothold."
(Ephesians 4:27)

"When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."(James 1:13-15)

There's also a very good discussion here: "10 Temptation Truths"

God bless you, and God bless me. Gotta claim that. And look to Him, first and foremost, once again.