Small steps

I wrote this post to my 6AM Morning Prayer group while I was away in Hawaii on May 1st. I couldn’t help wonder and look in the recent past of all the blessings God has done in my life, yet I felt I was still missing something and unsure how to respond to that.

Hello prayer warriors!

As I mentioned in my last stream-of-thought post, I’m so excited to be part of such a loving and devoted community to both God and each other. We were all once broken, and in Him we are made new (2 Cor 5:17).

This has been on my mind since I flew out last Thursday. I’ve been figuring out how to organize these scattered thoughts, and this idea is nothing new under the sun, but it was something I was reminded of when I left after our morning prayer and pondered upon 38,000 feet over the Pacific. So I’m hoping for those who find themselves in a similar place will find this helpful.

This is in regards to those prayers our hearts deeply desire for and ask God to fulfill (Psalms 37:4). I found God answering some of my prayers and not others. I figure it’s one of those it’s His timing and not mine so I should continue to seek, pray, obey, and wait in patience. Then after that thought occurred for some reason almost every sermon, message, testimony I’ve heard over the years that talked how God will show you just a few steps ahead or light a lamp to see what’s just in front of you and not the full picture popped in my head. “Okay, yeah sure, heard that one before,” I thought.

I wondered why experience the bits and pieces at a time before finally getting to the end? Why put so much emphasis on the journey compared to the destination? But then I realized these bits and pieces is God answering my prayers… And doing so daily. These small steps we take through life is part of our learning and spiritual growth. I am not ready for what my heart desires. I had to ask myself how do I prepare to be ready? Do I really want just what the destination has in store for me, or is the bulk of my heart’s desire the journey itself? I discovered the roots of what I long for are the fruits of me changing and being more mature and righteous as Jesus Christ works in me (John 15:2,4).

The accumulation of walking these small steps with Christ will mature our spiritual growth and our hearts will be made ready. So for those of us running into uncomfortable conflict with the people we work, play, or live with, I pray we continue to lift each other up in Christ to give us the needed strength to take on any trial. We keep praying that we keep faith and endure through it all so we are made complete (James 1:4)

Again, I’m sure many of you heard this before, but I guess it was my turn to get this “ah-hah” moment. At the end of the night when I find myself another day away from my destination, I take comfort that Christ is always with me through the journey… Teaching, sculpting, pruning me to be the servant He wants me to be.

See you all next week!


Not my ideal circumstance

I know I haven’t posted much about my devotions, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing them.  I do them every single day.  I may have only completely missed doing a devotion possibly 3 times since I (re)started this task back in March or so.  I read a piece of insightful literature, I read the Word, I pray, and I listen every single morning.  Some mornings I manage to devote half an hour, others I manage to only get in 15 minutes, and very rarely (which I should do more often) I pray and contemplate for an hour.

I do this because I know I’m not where I should be—physically, mentally, and spiritually.  I don’t know what I want to do career-wise (makes it worst since current job hardly gives me any work as of late).  I still struggle with the same temptations and addictions first discovered years ago.  And I know I’ve forgotten what God’s subtle voice sounds like.

With that said, my prayers haven’t only been for myself and my search to discover His Will for me.  I had to be aware of where I currently am and pray for the people around me.  It wasn’t until during a Sunday evening service in the middle of summer that he told me whom I should be praying for.  It was a reminder we should always be practicing intercession.

Daily, I prayed for this one person.  I prayed that I would be the person that God would use to intervene and tell the story of His Word.  But not once was I ever put in an opportune situation to do so.  But without fail, I keep praying every day for her.  And as every day goes by when I get to that part of the prayer, I keep asking Him, “Why should I keep this prayer if I’m never given the opportunity to her about You?”  And today, I ran into this tidbit in my devotions…

The Undetected Sacredness of Circumstances1

The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God.  In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance.  God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can’t understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands.  God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you.  Never put yourself in front of your circumstances and say, “I’m going to be my own providence here; I will watch this closely, or protect myself from that.”  All your circumstances are in the hand of God, and therefore you don’t ever have to think they are unnatural or unique.  Your part in intercessory prayer is not to agonize over how to intercede, but to use the everyday circumstances and people God puts around you by His providence to bring them before His throne, and to allow the Spirit in you the opportunity to intercede for them.  In this way God is going to touch the whole world with His saints.

Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being vague and unsure, or by trying to do His work for Him?  I must do the human side of intercession—utilizing the circumstances in which I find myself and the people who surround me.  I must keep my conscious life as a sacred place for the Holy Spirit.  Then as I lift different ones to God through prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for them.

Your intercessions can never be mind, and my intercessions can never be yours, “…but the Spirit Himself makes the intercession” in each of our lives (Romans 8:26).  And without that intercession, the lives of others would be left in poverty and in ruin.

And so, I will continue to pray.  I pray so that the Holy Spirit will intercede others around her and that they will gain the confidence to share His story.  I also pray that no matter what circumstance I find myself in—no matter how mundane or insignificant it may appear to be—that I listen to the Holy Spirit and do God’s Will to affect those who are around me.

  1. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, November 7th []

Here and Now

This song is done by the Ekoh worship team at CCV.  You can sample their album at the iTunes store.  This song has really resonates with me due to the re-identification of myself in these last 6 months.  The lyrics listed here is verbatim from the actual song on the album.  The lyrics listed in the CD inlet is slightly different.

I couldn’t find the exact chords, but I’m pretty sure it’s just D – G – Bm – A.  The bridge is just G – A repeated.  The last measure of the bridge before it goes back to the chorus would be G – Bm instead of G – A.  Please correct me in the comments if I’m off 🙂

I was so far, so far from You
But you pulled me closer, closer to You
And I called out to You and heard Your sweet, sweet voice
And I reached out to You and felt Your touch

In the silence You are speaking
In the stillness You are moving
In the chaos You’re still here
Here with us

I was so lost searching for love
But you are so loving, so loving towards me
And I called out to you, and heard your sweet, sweet voice
And I reached out to you, and felt your touch

God is still moving
God is still speaking
God is still healing
Here and now

You are still moving
You are still speaking
You are still hearing
Here and now

Written by Blaine Stark

Here I am

Oh! give me Samuel’s ear,
An open ear, O Lord,
Alive and quick to hear
Each whisper of Thy Word;
Like him to answer to Thy call
And to obey Thee first of all.1

I finished reading Bill Hybels’ The Power of a Whisper.  The primary reason why I started my daily devotions was due to forgetting what God’s voice sounded like.  Months would go by and I still couldn’t recognize what His voice even with the daily devotions.  I felt my distant from Him felt even further during this period of trying to get closer.  When I read the first chapter from Bill Hybels’ new book, I knew I had to pick it up immediately.  What caught Hybels’ attention (and mine too) is the story of Samuel as a young boy hearing God’s voice.

Here I am, you called me. […]
Speak, for your servant is listening2

Just thinking that God felt He would get to a little boy’s ear while asleep caught my attention.  God didn’t try to get little Samuel’s attention once but 4 times!  And the response that Samuel gives Him, “Here I am, you called me,” and then, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”  God did and he still does speak when you’re willing to listen.

Daily, I end my prayer with that.  I ask Him to speak because I, a servant of His, is listening.

  1. “Hushed Was the Evening Hymn” by James Drummon Burns []
  2. 1 Samuel 3:9-10 []

In God I trust

Do not let your hearts be troubled, Trust in God; trust also in me (John 14:1)

The following was originally written on May 23rd in a Moleskine I keep with me for taking notes.  Every once in awhile, I’ll write a stream of thought.  This piece has been duplicated on this post without alteration to the stream of thought.

Mark 6:25-34

I am told not to worry about the details of this world.  He says not to worry about tomorrow.  I should not need to worry about the food I need, the clothes over me, or whether or not I am provided shelter.

Abandon these things of the world—not personally, but quit searching for it. Seek God first, not these little details of the world.  God promises He will provide.

What’s really stopping me from walking in faith?  He is there by my side.  He pulls me forward in the direction I asked for.  He’s feeding me the knowledge I need to understand that this is what I need to do—where I am going—what worldly things I need to leave behind.

Despite my current worldly struggles and sins, I don’t feel Him abandoning me now nor forever.  He is implanted in me.  Trust Him.  Walk forward in faith.  He will provide every need.

This was my first step in trusting God.  The second step was to Job’s story.  In case you haven’t read Job, here’s the gist of it.  Job loved and feared the Lord and because of this he was blessed with a fruitful life.  God allowed the devil to take away anything and everything important to Job.  He didn’t understand why and cried out to the Lord why these horrible events has happened to him.  At that point the skies opened up and God reminded Job his awesomeness of God (beings in Job 38).  Don’t forget, God is and always is in control.

Once I realized I can authentically trust God that my life is clearly in His hands, I moved on to the next step: planning.  When I’m planning, do not ever forget to put God first.  If the Holy Spirit is truly moving in you, you can and will make every decision that crosses your path with the wisdom provided by God through the Holy Spirit.  You are still making the decisions (make no mistake that you will always have your free will), but the Holy Spirit will guide you appropriately.

To man belongs the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue (Proverbs 16:1)

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

God’s will becomes yours.  Pray. Speak. Listen, carefully.