For 3 weeks, we were in the midst of a “perfect storm”; but as the hymn goes, “it is well with my soul”. Interestingly, a contemporary version of the hymn was sung in church yesterday…so timely. I realized that I needed to hear that hymn all over again. With a battery of tests following one another (at the tail-end of the storm, just this morning, my 2-month old tablet, the device that I’m using for blogging and quiet time suddenly conked out!), I caught myself suspiciously thinking “uh-oh, so what’s next?” However, I really don’t think that attitude is consistent with having Jesus in me. I believe that through the song, God wanted to remind me that IT IS ALL WELL because HE REMAINS FAITHFUL and I should continue to have a confident expectation of HIS GOODNESS. And so, we feasted. 🙂
The last 3 weeks could have been the worst in my adult life…if not for God. It was what Charles Dickens would describe as the worst of times, yet the best of times. In the past 3 weeks, I was able to really spend time alone with the Lord and just immerse myself in His presence.
To quote Pastor Alvin in yesterday’s message (paraphrased): The Power of God may change you from without, but the Presence of God will change you from within. Want His Presence more than His Power, because if you have His Presence, you’ll also have His Power.
Three weeks of basking in God’s presence not only healed me; through it, God revealed the state of my heart, and I felt Him transform it. It was such a life and heart changing experience.
Today, we’re finally in Day 7 of this “course” on Attitude that I found myself taking in the last of those 3 weeks (can we call this Applied Attitude? Or Attitude in the Valley…something like my practicum courses, OLA or BA 123 hehe). Today’s verses seem to recap lessons from the valley:
I believe that as a final word for the season, God wants me to PRACTICE the revelations and instructions that I have learned and received from Him in the valley…that I should model my way of living on it. He doesn’t want me to be stressed, but wants to preserve this peaceful state of heart and mind, so I can continue to hear Him more, however hectic my day may look like.
As preached in the past 2 Sundays, Revelation follows an Encounter which in turn will be followed by Action. This cycle is what comprises Life in Jesus. A revelation of salvation (who He is, what He has done and who I am in Him) causes me to be glad. Though this salvation involves day-to-day sanctification, the joyful thing is that I can continue to rely on Jesus’ finished work for empowerment and victory even in the midst of the refining fire. His voice and counsel delights me. His presence makes me glad and displaces worries in my life.
Our story is not yet over, and we still have dreams for children and a house, as well as desire for favor and continued advancement in our callings. We desire to give the best response in each and every opportunity to be used by the Lord. Though we may have been through a rough season, we will not be stuck there.
Crossing over is often not easy. All the more reason to continue contending in prayer. We are called to make known our definite requests (ergo, each and every little thing) to God with thanksgiving. This is the perfect antidote against anxiety. Yesterday, a FB friend posted something re: contending in prayer.
As we cross over to our promise land, the intimidated enemy utilizes seemingly daunting tactics. He keeps on forgetting that God has the power and the ability to make all things work for those who love Him and whom He has called according to His purpose. Our God has won the victory, ergo no weapon formed against us can prosper. Hence, we should not focus on the enemy’s strategies, but rather focus on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. I just realized that since God is the only one who genuinely and ultimately embodies these qualities, we are to ultimately focus on Him. With eyes of faith, we are to set our gaze on matters that point to Him.
With His peace in our hearts, by His grace, He gives us the ability to respond with a forbearing spirit to whatever comes along. May such forbearing spirit be tantamount to a shining light for Him.
(Btw, today’s my first day in the office…and so I better go back to work.
Cause this candlestand to reflect Your light, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.)