“Be still”

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Silence is void of noise, movement or action. To be still is to turn off the noise, stop the movement and do nothing.

“But Lord, there’s a dying world out there?!”
God: “Be still and know that I am God…”
Me: “But how will they know that you love them if I sit still?”
God: “I will be exalted among the nations…”
Me: “Okay Lord, I will be still and know you are God.”
God: “I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:11 “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”

It’s been difficult for me to be still and unmoved by all that is and could be going on . The restless “Jacob” in me says I need to be out there doing things and making a visible impact in the world and in the lives of people NOW. Circumstances around me shift like waves in the ocean, yet God is the Creator of the oceans saying “be still”. To my soul He also says “be still”. It’s a sobering reminder that God is in control and very active as I am still before Him who keeps the universe in place. Yes, there is a time to be active myself but there is a time to be still.

Having a mentor to help guide my steps through this year has been challenging in ways because I’m used to running my own show and set my pace. Having to concentrate my time and energy into a set time (one year) for a specific purpose has been hard to do. Especially dying to self has become less attractive when it’s actual dying to self, the flesh. It seemed that in order for me to be still before the Lord, and to realize that He is in control, that I needed to hit the wall. First, by being gently nudged by my mentor to “settle down”, I realized that she was right, though I didn’t want to admit it. I did and still do need to settle down more, not run around here, there and every where, but rather to be intentional in this unique setting God has placed me in this year. It’s easy for me to be busy with many “good” things but I’ve been reminded that the “good” isn’t always the best and right now the best is DP.  It seems that when I still don’t quite get it, along comes the blessing of a seasonal virus. Everything continues as normal even when I’m sick and in bed. All this helps me to learn a single lesson, realizing that I can be still for God is still God. I am learning what it means to be still and let God be God because things go best when I’m yielded to Him.

When Conviction Comes Knocking

I heard a knock that I didn’t like the sound of. The entity knocking was persistent and very pointed on certain matters. However, you can’t ignore a knock like that forever, and when you answer, be prepared for change.

I’m talking about conviction; particularly the conviction that pricks the conscience.

Earlier this year I came to the awareness that I was not willing to follow God. If that sounds really bad, it is. I followed God to School of Discipleship, but He was asking me about next year. I became aware that there were choices laid before me that didn’t fit with my idea of what I would do next year. God asked me, “what if I asked you to take that path”. My answer was that I wasn’t willing.

That answer didn’t take very long to scare me. Being in the place where you would tell God no is a very bad place indeed. When I realized where my heart was at, I asked for prayer from the guys I live with. This attitude was wrong and needed to be put to a stop, fast.

My housemates prayed for me. That same week we were having an emphasis on solitude; spending an extra amount of time with the Lord in prayer, the Word, and meditation. As I was alone with God that day He worked in my heart. I told Him, “If that’s the path you want me to take, I am willing. I don’t say that I like it, but I’m willing to follow You on that path.” His response was immediate and decisive. He told me, “Good, do it.”

The story doesn’t end there. As time has passed I am looking forward to my next year; I’m even a bit excited about it! If you knew me, you’d know that I don’t really get excited, certainly not easily.

God changed my heart when I asked Him to, during that time of conviction and repentance. It is testimony of His care, love, and power that He can change my heart like that and be changing it still.

 

School of Discipleship US

Gospel for Asia

Eternal Investments

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4:14

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

in·vest·ment = time, energy, or matter spent in the hope of future benefit.

The Lord has been challenging me in examining my heart for its true investment. These verses arouse a soberness that causes me to ask myself, what am I ultimately striving to treasure and invest in?

We have all heard the saying, “Life is precious”. Yes, without a shadow of a doubt, I believe it surely to be true. But what is it about life makes it to be so uniquely precious? The answer is Christ.

As a part of my curriculum this year, I have the great privilege to read the book Character of God’s Workman. Even though I am just a ways into it, this book has made me examine my own life in regards to God’s love for all humanity. There is a part in the book where Nee writes, “Many who would work for God have a serious deficiency, which is, that they are totally lacking in the love of humanity. They lack the proper respect towards men, and they lack as well knowledge of the value of man in God’s sight. Indeed, each and every life on earth has been uniquely designed and created by an absolute wonderful Creator. And in each life is a soul, a soul that needs to hear and know that Love Himself has come to give more than this life ever could provide–eternal life through Jesus Christ alone!

To invest in the lives and souls of others seems like the toughest, yet greatest possible investment on earth. To think about this investment forces me out of my comfort zone, yet it seems like the only possible and worthwhile investment when reflecting on the amazing redemptive plan that Christ has for all the world. Oh to simply invest in a precious soul! This is an eternal investment!  The benefits, being eternal ones, are of unimaginable value, as we anticipate to soon gather around the Lord’s Throne to worship Him forever and ever!

So, with life having that much of value, I pray the Lord would make me mindful of His love for all humanity. As we as God’s children,  have been huge beneficiaries of His amazing grace, may the Lord use us in the lives of others for whom He has also died and cherishes greatly.  As each life is compared to a mere vapor that disappears as quickly as it appears, I pray the Lord might continue to reveal the true purpose and meaning of life on earth. May our hearts be consumed with Christ Himself as our Treasure, and thus have an outflow of a love for mankind.

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Reminding Me of My Call

The cross on the stage.

Recently God has been reminding me of His call on my life here at Gospel for Asia. I know that God has called me here, but in recent weeks it has gotten tough.

It all started during Lent (the 40 days heading up to Easter). The whole focus of Lent is on Jesus’s death on the cross. I started having this thought, “If Jesus could give up everything to die for a sinner like me, then why couldn’t I dedicate my life to Jesus and reaching the 2 billion people who have never heard of Jesus.” As much as I tried to shrug it off, I simply couldn’t.

These are people who Jesus loves they are going to Hell, 80,000 of them every day without having heard of Jesus before. Why shouldn’t our hearts break for the people of Asia (especially in Nepal where the earthquake happened)?

Yet while this was going on, I was reminded of some of some of the difficulties serving here at Gospel for Asia. This is when God started asking me another question. He started asking me, “Are you willing to suffer hardships for my sake and for the sake of the call I have given you?” I was a little hesitant to answer that question.

With this question, you can go to two extremes. The first one is to blurt out something like Peter did and then be rebuked by the Lord at the end. The second extreme is to run away just like Jonah only to be turned back. The Lord knew my heart though. He knows I would be able to (with His strength) to continue in His calling and not run away.

Jesus never promised our life would be easy if we followed Him and shared the Gospel. On the contrary, He promised hardships and suffering to all who followed Him and His calling. Though this certainly didn’t attract followers, it sifted out His true followers from those who wanted to get something out of Him.

At the same time though, Jesus promised our lives would be fulfilling. Not only are we spreading God’s kingdom throughout the world, but the Lord promised heaven for those who believe in Him and do what He wants them to do. I choose to follow the Lord, what about you?

 

ONLY BELIEVE

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John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that who so ever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

We have all heard this verse many times and memorized it. But do we really believe and understand its truth? So often I think I must do something to earn God’s gifts and promises, and yet the Bible says only believe.

Here at Gospel for Asia School of Discipleship I’ve been learning that God uses others to speak into our lives if we will let them. This weekend something cool happened. Three times I heard a similar message, each time by a different person. I couldn’t help but think perhaps God is really trying to teach me something here! They were all talking about believing God and accepting the gift He is offering us. It is so crazy to think all I have to do is accept and I will be saved. But even accepting the gift of Jesus destroys ones pride. I want to do something for God, to show my worth, but He says “you can’t earn this, you can only believe”. I wonder how much I’ve missed out on in the promises of God simply because I didn’t believe. So it is that belief runs our lives; the choices we make, the way we spend our time and the desires we have are all based on our beliefs. It is very important what we believe, and I pray God will give me the grace to believe the promises He has written in scripture. Oh, what a freeing thing it is to believe our Saviour died for us while we were yet in our sin and He wants so much to have a relationship with us. Praise the LORD. God is definitely working at Gospel for Asia, and the best part is watching the staff follow Christ and walk in their example. They know who they are in Christ by believing His word and that is why they can follow Him. It is easy to follow someone that you believe the words they say.

Why should I go?

As my year at School of Discipleship draws to a close, there is the ever-present question of “what’s next?” or “what is God’s will for my life?” According to God’s word, I do know that “God’s will” is just that–“God’s will.” This means not my will–which ultimately means a total abandonment of self and all self-interests and the total consecration to the Lordship of Christ in my life!

As I have pondered the various ways in which I could legitimately lay down my life for Jesus and the gospel sake, the Lord told me to read Matt. 28:18-20. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth… Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” I had read this passage so many times and yet this time it stopped me and got me thinking really deeply concerning Christ and His eternal glory. As I felt the Spirit urging me to commit my life to pioneer missions amongst the unreached, especially to nations and peoples that don’t have any local witness, I questioned God by asking, “Why should I go? I mean, of what use am I to foreigners who will think me weird? And besides, I am not adequate to go anyhow.” The reply was very clear… “All authority has been given onto me”

“JESUS IS WORTHY!” This is the reason why I should go no matter how high the cost. In fact, the greater the price I am to pay to follow Him, the more precious and glorious He will become! The absolute Sovereign Lordship of Christ and His supreme glory over all the nations is what makes this such a “GREAT COMMISSION!” My only response can now be… “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

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