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 []

In Worship

I was pretty busy this past weekend—busier than usual anyway.  I really don’t get out much.  Anyway, an old high school friend of mine came out to visit for the weekend.  The plan was to go out with a few other people in the area that are from my guild.  (Yes, by “guild”, I do mean of World of Warcraft variant.)  Whoa, that means I need to be social in the real world?  Like I said, I don’t get out much.

With the exception of one of my housemates, the people I was with are not Christian.  Actually, I really don’t know exactly where their hearts are with their Creator, but my observation tells me they aren’t Christian.  Besides, I’m not the one to judge.  The point is, I prayed that I would be on my best behavior and that my actions and words would be more Christ-like.  This is something I definitely need to work on.  It’s really easy to get back into old habits especially when an old high school friend is with you.

Now, when I say I am on good behavior, it doesn’t mean I’m going to be preaching the gospel to my non-believing friends at every chance I get.  If that were to happen, the only friends I would end up with are the ones that already have a clue about the gospel.  I want my behavior and attitude to be Christ-like.  If the Holy Spirit is in me, it should be obvious that I’m a Christian without saying anything, right?  (See Matthew 5:14 ff)

That said, this post isn’t about how we got together for dinner on Saturday night which followed a bit of singing at a Korean karaoke bar  in LA—I should probably stop with any further details right there.  I know everyone had a great time that Saturday night.  It was fun to get out and do something different.

The next morning, I took my friend to the airport. On the way back, I felt a large burden in my heart.  I don’t know what that was all about.  I felt like I needed to pray for my friends the night before.  The prayer felt authentic.  It’s like I knew each person well enough to get a hint of an idea of each of their burdens in their lives.  We are all adults—mid to late 20’s—going through real life issues—whether it was over a job, a broken or mending relationship, soul or purpose searching.  That burden amongst all of us was real.  I carried that feeling on Sunday.  I felt sick for most of the day.  I lost my appetite.  I didn’t want to do anything.  I wanted to stay in solitude hoping to hear God’s voice.

I went to church later that evening.  CCV was having a special worship service.  The entire service was nothing but musical worship.  The church is blessed with some of most talented musicians in the area.  The church felt it was time to take a step back and breath—to thank, praise, and listen.  I wasn’t quite sure if my voice was up to the task considering I just spent the night at a karaoke bar, but I was there ready to give it my all.  Again, I carried this feeling of burden weighting me down.  I don’t know if it was just mine, but it felt like from the knowledge I knew from my friends, I carried some of that pain.

When we—the congregation, God’s church, in His house—began to sing.  I was immediately filled with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 8:20) and began crying out to God.  And this wasn’t a battle cry or anything like that.  My tear ducts began to overflow and I couldn’t control this emotion.  At that point, I knew I heard his voice.  I remembered what He had sounded like.  That voice I heard over 10 years ago and was only lost through the distractions and decisions I selfishly made.  He told me everything was going to be okay and that I should not need to worry (Matthew 6:25 ff).

I asked God what should I do next.  He answered in the most amazing way.  Being in authentic worship is awesome.  It’s a stunning reminder that He is always moving in you and He will keep His promises to work through you.  Thank You.

I was relieved.


As I mentioned in another post, I remember missing out on my daily devotion once in the past four months.  I think that’s a pretty good streak.  I have been “blessed” with a good amount of time on my hands.  I’ve been out of work for most of the year—”in between projects”.  That means I’ve had a lot to think about in my free time (too much free time, in my opinion).

My prayers have been mostly about myself: struggles, lack of focus, financial trouble, etc.  It’s been about me.  I’m asking God to help me out anyway possible to get myself out of this rut.  I’ve been looking for affirmation for what decisions (which I believe are mostly mine) I should take that will determine my future.

Yup, my prayers have been pretty selfish.

I’m not a big fan of taking entire versus out of context, but if you’re familiar with the story of Job, check the last chapter in his book.  The Lord accepted Job’s prayer for his friends (Job 42:10).  Praying for one’s behalf is intercession.  I’ve never even realized this word is directly associated to praying to God in one’s behalf.

“Worship and intercession must go together; one is impossible without the other.  Intercession means raising ourselves up to the point of getting the mind of Christ regarding the person whom we are praying (see Philippians 2:5)” -Oswald Chambers

So I’m trying something different (for the better) in my daily devotions.  No longer will I pray to God only for myself.  As a matter of fact, I’m going to try to pray to God for others only.  He knows in my heart what I truly desire, but I feel I should refocus my prayers for those around me.

I must not forget that ten-plus years ago someone did pray for me to come to Jesus.  Who knows how completely lost I would have been if that one Christian who knew me did not intercede.