I embrace the verse from Psalm 138:8 with a great AMEN!
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me” – Psalm 138:8
I am strongly reminded, that He, God Himself, who calls me and will fulfill His purpose for me. It’s not by my own strength, wisdom, and intellectual, I should find ways to accomplish it.
At times, we are trapped into a mentality of “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. Yes, it’s important to plan. Yet, often we are too preoccupied and anxious to plan to reach the destination that we think is right. Slowly our destination is distorted. Not the thing (not even our calling) that we are called to accomplish is the destination, but GOD Himself is our ultimate destination. How can one reach there by planning on his own without God, whose only power can enable us to reach that?
I realize that fulfilling His call in my life is not a solo-fighter attempt. But my mighty God and me! :) Often I’m exhausted of finding way to walk there, why? I forgot that His presence will go a step ahead of me and He will preserve my ways, provided I stay tuned with Him, not by myself and not by other strong people or connection we are linked to.
“At this point the person stops imagining castles in the sky, and pursuing foolish ideas, and his reasoning becomes calm and relaxed, with all choices removed, because the only choice has now become the purpose of God. Also, his emotions are weaned away from other people and things, becoming deadened so that nothing can hurt, offend, hinder, or get in his way. He can now let the circumstances be what they may, and continue to seek only God and His will, with the calm assurance that He is causing everything in the universe, whether good or bad, past or present, to work “for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28)
Oh, the blessings of absolute submission to Christ! What a blessing to lose our own strength, wisdom, plans, and desires and to be where every ounce of our being becomes like a peaceful Sea of Galilee under the omnipotent feet of Jesus!
from Soul Food (taken from “Streams in the Dessert”)
I thought that I’m a fool by losing ability and will to maneuver my life ‘cos i have all my choices removed, then I realize .. that kind of thought itself is a foolishness! I’m not foolish ‘cos I have my absolute submission to One who controls the universe!
At this point of time, I’m fully in awe and in love with my Creator. Beautiful encounter in the morning. :)
Strange but I realized I had a full day of joy, songs, and smiles yesterday. I couldn’t stop my mouth from singing, though I was supposed to fully study. An intimate and fun conversation with the Lord in the morning had made my day. I made a plead to God to preserve my life until the accomplishment Thy will in me. Well, we had a great talk.
Such a grace, to have a joyful heart to face the day. I remembered Matthew Henry’s writing, as I prepared my teaching for Sunday School, “On the Road to Emmaus”, last week. He said such:
Christ’s disciples are often sad and sorrowful, even when they have reason to rejoice; but through the weakness of their faith, they cannot take the comfort offered to them.
What a waste, isn’t it? I agree on why Apostle Paul emphasize so much to “rejoice”, as it can break or make your day.
“How different their lives would be, and how much more joyful , if they would stop indulging in self-centered and inward thinking, and instead would daily lift their experiences to God, praising Him for them.” – Streams in the Desert.
I believe the putting “Shonata” on my name isn’t an mere random accident. Shonata – improvisation of “Sonata”, a music piece. So my life shall be a beautiful song to my Master. Even though my tunes are not always perfect and often broken, I let the Maestro to correct, cancel, or trash my self-notes. So at last, it can be a beautiful and sweet song in Thy ears, as I ended my life.
“And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
“My situation is urgent , and I cannot see how I will ever be delivered. Yet this is not my concern, for He who made the promise will find a way to keep it. My part is simply to obey His commands, not to direct His ways. I am His servant, not His advisor. I call upon Him and He will deliver me.” – Charles H. Spurgeon –
Speaking out words as if a promise is easy and light, yet many of us failed to perform one. I experienced how broken human’s promises are lately, even when it comes to ministry’s matters. Maybe we need to learn not to utter words so quickly, but think carefully and pray about it first before giving a sense of unrealistic assurance or comfort to others, which often results in failure of compliance. I believe we shall never play with our conveyed promises, ‘cos we never know how severe it will be to those rely on it. (as I’m studying Business Law now, i realize how fatal it can be. Even the world learn to be careful, why don’t we?)
Our Lord is a faithful Promise-Keeper. As He is, so we shall aspire to be. He who made the promise will find a way to keep it. I believe that we, who called ourselves as His follower, shall do the same too by keeping our promise despite of lack of supports of men, unforeseen circumstances, and uncomfortable hindrances, unless God instructs us otherwise. When can we start to think about others, when deliverance of our promises is highly dependent on the situation/comfort of self? A word to conclude about human – selfish.
Talk is cheap. Words are plentiful. Deeds are precious. – H. Ross Perot
Be wise and prayerful with our spoken or implied words, even more to our promises.
As I had my quiet time reading Micah chapter 3, it reminds me on my country, Indonesia.
1Then I said,
“Listen, you leaders of Jacob,
you rulers of Israel.
Should you not embrace justice,
2 you who hate good and love evil;
who tear the skin from my people
and the flesh from their bones;
3 who eat my people’s flesh,
strip off their skin
and break their bones in pieces;
who chop them up like meat for the pan,
like flesh for the pot?”
4 Then they will cry out to the LORD,
but he will not answer them.
At that time he will hide his face from them
because of the evil they have done.
When we, Indonesians, will realize how our cruel ways & disobedient before the Lord’s eyes has separated us from Him further?
Today, 2 May is Indonesia’s National Education Day, “celebrating” day that is full of irony. Education has a great impact for one’s life, yes I agree. And is important for the “leaders” of the country in order not to commit such above. Also, the future leaders meaning the younger generation. If bad education, nurture, and discipline are still there, I can guarantee that those cruel ways will be just a repetitive. And guess, Who will hide His face when we cried out for help one day?
Indonesia & basic education. The “Denias” movie depicted some unfortunate people would like to embrace education, but failed to obtain it. Yet how many of us could easily obtain it, but never cherish it? The drive to excel derived from a full gratitude of God’s blessings has been fading away and away in most of us, the “educated”. If I could gather such unfortunate with high spirit for education and change their situations, I really would ..
Indonesia & her great minds. Many great minds, talents and people of Indonesia, yes I agree and how I wish Indonesia can be proud of them and cherish them. Have you, Indonesia? I witnessed many great minds all over the world, oh yes that’s great. But they are stuck there, willingly & happily. What have you done, Indonesia? Giving excuses because foreign richer countries can give them better incentives and money, so they are enticed by all these?
Often, you chase them out instead by not appreciating what they want to contribute to the country. To keep the competition in the country easier, you drive those great minds out so the averages can play their tricks. How Indonesia can grow when it is based on self-desire rather than the Truth?
Indonesia is such great country, for me, which really nurture a sense of love and loyalty to the country. Yet, as we grow up and watch the reality .. It’s you, Indonesia, that break our love and make us see that the loyalty has no value (for you). The subject on values and principles of Indonesia has gone fictional. And this nurture of love for the country has been diminishing over the years, as globalization and international standard has replaced what is traditionally precious. See how the younger generation will grow, Indonesia! I guess “Ibu Pertiwi” will even more “bersusah hati” and “air matanya berlinang”.
At times, humanly I wish to have enough education, expertise, experience, and fame to influence on what terrible state I witness before me and shut the mouth of those terrible leaders, who lead not by example but self-desire. But, I realize that is not what Indonesia needs. Indonesia needs more love and grace of the Lord to soften the leaders’ hearts, to correct them to the Truth, and to guide them to lead this country. And we, the people of Indonesia, need the Lord’s mercy and favor to do our part faithfully as Indonesians, a citizenship that God has trusted us to have.
Seven Social SinsPolitics without principle Wealth without work Pleasure without conscience Knowledge without character Commerce without morality Science without humanity Worship without sacrifice
– Quoted by Mahatma Gandhi in ‘Young India’, 1925 –
Nevertheless, Indonesia is still “tanah air beta”, my country.
There is no shortcut to a life of faith, which is an absolute necessity for a holy and victorious life. We must have periods of lonely meditation and fellowship with God. Our souls must have times of fellowship with Him on the mountain and exprience valleys of quiet rest in the shadow of a great rock. We must spend some nights beneath the stars, when darkness has covered the things of earth, silenced the noise of human life, and expanded our view, revealing the infinite and the eternal. F. B. Meyer
Source: Streams in the Dessert | April 11
In sustaining a stable and fruitful spiritual walk, I realize the importance of “lonely meditation and fellowship with God”. When life runs so fast, deadlines chase so impatiently, and friends pushes so eagerly, we start to think if God can do His mighty works by extending more hours per day instead of just 24 hours. Many blessings given, many great times experienced, and many prayers answered, yet so little time to slow down, digest, and give thank to the Lord.
Henri Nouwen confessed in his prayer, “I live as though there are things that are more important to be found apart from You.” (“Dare to Journey with Henri Nouwen” by Charles Ringma – translated). How sinful I have been by acting this way.
If I was given some empty days to track back all the plentiful beauties He has done since this year started, I would. I really would like to take time & flashback. He filled my cup so graciously, but it’s stuck within and I did not pour this out enough. I want my cup overflowing.
As fasted nearing to the Good Friday, I found back through a deep relationship to the Lord that Christ is still my sole heart’s desire. All things on earth can go away, but not this ‘cos I just can’t afford to lose my Lord. My heart is very much tied up to Him, and I will be more than glad if He can just secure and fasten this. Because a wicked me often easily deviates my mind, heart, and action from the Lord’s.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
– H. Lemmel-
And if breaking the heart of your loved ones is the most dreadful thing to do. My most loved One is my Lord, and I felt so terrible and stressed out by failing You yesterday, a day before Good Friday. If I can choose the timing, surely I wouldn’t choose that day. Even when I fail You, You still love me, the unworthy & undeserving.
I grow weary and I know I need rest, but the most beautiful one is rest in Him. :)
“Bear not a single care thyself,
One is too much for Thee,
The work is Mine and Mine alone;
Thy work – to rest in Me.”
“Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today”. (Exodus 14:13)
This verse contains God’s command to me as a believer for those times when I am confronted with dire circumstances and extraordinary difficulties. What am I to do when I cannot retreat or go forward and my way is blocked to the right and to the left?
The Master’s word to me is, “Stand firm.” And the best thing I can do at these times is to listen only to my Master’s word, for others will come to me with their suggestions and evil advice. Despair will come, whispering, “Give up-lie down and die.” But even in the worst of times, God would have me be cheerful and courageous, rejoicing in His love and faithfulness
Cowardice will come and say, “You must retreat to the world’s ways of acting. It is too difficult for you to continue living the part of a Christian. Abandon your principles.” Yet no matter how much Satan may pressure me to follow his course, I cannot, for I am a child of God. The Lord’s divine decree has commanded me to go from “strength to strength” (Ps. 84:7). Therefore I will, and neither death nor hell will turn me from my course. And if for a season He calls me to “stand firm”, I will acknowledge it as time to renew my strength for greater strides in the future.
Impatience will come, crying, “Get up and do something! To ‘stand firm’ and wait is sheer idleness.” Why is it I think I must be doing something right now instead of looking to the Lord? He will not only do something – He will do everything.
Arrogance will come, boasting, “If the sea is blocking your way, march right into it and expect a miracle.” Yet true faith never listens to arrogance, impatience, cowardice, or despair but only hears God saying, “Stand firm.” And then it stands as immovable as a rock.
“Stand firm.” I must maintain the posture of one who stands, ready for action, expecting further orders, and cheerfully and patiently awaiting the Director’s voice. It will not be long until God will say to me, as distinctly as He told Moses to tell the children of Israel, “Move on” (Ex. 14:15). Charles H. Spurgeon
In times of uncertainty – wait. If you have any doubt – wait, never forcing yourself into action. If you sense any restraint in your spirit, do not go against it – wait until the way is clear.
Source: Streams in the Desert |April 19 (emphasis added)
Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
Naught of this world’s delusive dream;
I have renounced all sinful pleasure;
Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.
Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor,
Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.
Nothing between, like worldly pleasure;
Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
Must not my heart from Him e’er sever;
He is my all, there’s nothing between
Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
Though the whole world against me convene;
Watching with prayer and much self-denial,
I’ll triumph at last, with nothing between.
“There is only one relationship that matters, and that is your personal relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord. Let everything else go, but maintain that at all costs, and God will fulfill His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purposes, and yours may be that life.” – Oswald Chambers-
And Lord, let nothing between..
“Kuberharap kepada Tuhanku, Lewat ngarai dan lautan menderu Kutak gentar, Dia tak ingkar Bapa Sorgawi mem’liharaku”
This chorus of “My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me” drove my tears yesterday morning. I fought to utter lyrics with courage and faith, while my soul was often still being tossed in the opposite.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” – Luke 10:27
The love to the Lord is interrelated in what reflected in/through our heart, soul, strength, and mind. When my mind said “I believe Jesus will bring me through”, yet my heart stores doubt. I’m wrong, insincere in my love.
O, little & shaky faith. Impartation of knowing to real practice and feeling isn’t that smooth seriously. Singing “kutak gentar” (I’m not afraid), while the uncertainty and too many analytical calculations blind my eyes as if overwhelm me more than the acknowledgement that the Greater Promise with Assurance by God is there for me. The faith went to its turbulence, unstable. Up and down like rollercoaster. It’s not cool, it’s not supposed to be.
God is kind. He knows I’m weak, vulnerable. His “rod and staff, they comfort me”, though in the form of little smacks. Thank God for smacking me, He still loves me. And James 1:6-8 really put me to an edge of deciding that I want to doubt no more.
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” – James 1:6-8
I changed the “he” to “Dyna”. If the Lord brings forward these sentences to me, I surely can’t help but agree. There’s a deep cry in my heart for not trusting Him. For being a “double-minded” disciple! Fool! Shame on me! I try with all my strength and soul to synchronise the knowledge and belief into real actions, but it’s hard. Every little coming fact in the world shakes me again and again. Yes, I am unstable.
Rev. Gideon Ang preached to say “Lord Jesus helps me” in Chinese, 主耶稣帮 我. I cried out of the silence of my heart, “主耶稣帮 我!!!”, which as if has its deeper meaning so dearly to my soul compared to other languages.
Oswald Chambers, my daily spiritual guru. He never stops reminding me to “commit to God”, to “maintain my relationship to Him” at any cost. He said it is “a transaction of will”. Oh yes! I surrender my will to Him, and what I take for action is not my will anymore, but His. Thank You, Lord, for this man who left great treasures to guide me to be more in tune with You.
I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. :)
Pondering about God’s heart. How much He might cry sacrificing His only begotten Son. But meanwhile, how much thought He puts on undeserving human to be saved from deadly curse of sins.
“Do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children” – Luke 23:28
Allow me to share great words of Oswald Chambers that reminds me how much it costs to Him to redeem me, the unworthy..
The center of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened – but the crash is on the heart of God.
– My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers-
John Piper mentioned many of us aren’t aware about how deadly the demonic power and indwelling sins, therefore we don’t feel how much we have been delivered with His victory of sins. That’s way we get little amazement on how powerful our Protector is, our Savior.
That’s how much God costs to save us. That’s how powerful our mighty compassionate God has been. And yet, how ignorant human have been receiving abundant Grace while treating it like a ‘cheap grace’. God might feel His agony towards our attitude on His salvation, yet we forget that we are the one who desperately in need that salvation the most, not Him.
Never allow anything to deflect you from insight into Jesus Christ. t is the test of whether you are spiritual or not. To be unspiritual means that other things have growing fascination for you.“Since mine eyes have looked on Jesus I’ve lost sight of all beside, So enchained my spirit’s vision, Gazing on the Crucified.”
– My Utmost for His Highest, by O. Chambers-
I am stunned realizing a fact which is a tragic irony among the Christians. These readings, reflection & song that I encountered stir my longing on souls for Christ. Wondering if it touches & stirs your heart to do something about it too.
Extracts from “Be Committed” (On the book of Esther) by Warren W. Wiersbe:
If in an ancient kingdom, a message of bad news could be so quickly prepared, translated, & distributed (When Haman wanted to kill all Jews in Esther 3:12-14), why does it take the church so long to disseminate the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ?
We have more people in our modern world, we also have better means of communication and transportation.
The problem must be with the couriers. (My friends, doesn’t it refer to us?)
The message is ready to go but we don’t have enough people to carry it and enough money to send them.
How much I would like to shout loudly “WHAT A TRAGIC IRONY!!!”, but the shout is reflected back harshly to myself, piercing to my heart. Do you see what I saw, friends? Do you see it?
It burdens me a lot when ‘people’ & ‘money’ have always be a problem for ministry to spread. These obstacles need to be overcome. We cannot stuck here too long before reaching the souls.
Billions of lost sinners in today’s world are under a sentence of eternal death, and most Christians do very little about it.
We can sit at our church banquets and Sunday dinner without even thinking about helping to get the message out that “the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (I John 4:14).
It reminds me at a striking sentence by John Piper, if I’m not mistaken..
“Everyone has a right to choose to go to hell, but not everyone has a right to choose to go to heaven”
Yesterday, while browsing a song book, an old song captured me translated like this..
“Billions of lives don’t know where to go
Billions of hearts has been too long longing for love …
To serve, to love, I want to be more of these”
This whole reflection makes me craving for souls. I need to do something! More than what I’ve done! C’mon Lord give me a signal, let me obey and go in Your time.
“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke
Are we cooperating with Him so that we are a part of the answer and not a part of the problem? – Warren W. Wiersbe