Friday, September 17, 2010

To wait's got its reward!!

Today's reading just reminded me of simply how impatient we are. This is something that strucks me all the time, it hits a deep core in my being, because it's just TRUE! No denying, not only am I impatient, I am a sinner. Everyday I fail God, one way or another, and every night, I have to go to confessing my sins. One of it is my impatience. He says, 'His mercies are new every morning", and thankfully, I receive His mercies daily. Knowing things about us, our inner self, we all have our weaknesses, our dark secrets and onlyGod knows what it is, and there is no denying. But being the Great, Good God that He is, faithful and forgiving, and very patient with us, I know I get forgiven untiringly by Him. As the next day comes when I pray again for His portion of mercy, for strength that I may avoid falling trap into temptation, and that I be patient to wait upon Him and learn to simply hear His still small voice in the quietness of my heart while tuned into His Word.
May you be blessed by today's reading, as we continue to declare our total dependence upon Him, and no one else.

September 17
God Acts On Our Behalf
Philippians 4:6-7 -Charles Stanley

We have become so accustomed to this hurried world that we've begun to demand speed in our spiritual life too. However, God "acts on behalf of those who wait for him" (Isa. 64:4 niv). Wise believers endure until the fruits of His labor appear.
In this devotion, we'll look at three reasons believers are called upon to wait.

First, God may be preparing us to receive His blessings. Perhaps we need new skills or greater maturity. Sometimes people require fresh spiritual insight before their hands are ready to hold what their hearts desire. For example, David waited years to sit on his appointed throne. But when he did, he was a wise, strong, and battle-tested king.
Second, the Father is often teaching His children to have confidence in Him. How would believers ever learn faith if God immediately fulfilled their every request? In my own life, the Lord has often said two words: "Trust Me." And He has never been late to meet my needs. No matter how we justify rushing ahead of God, doing so amounts to saying, "I don't trust You."
Finally, the Lord will at times withhold blessing to protect us from harm we can't see. We may never find out what caused the delay. But be assured that God examines the object of our desire closely before placing it in our hands.
Waiting is rarely easy, particularly in this instant-everything world. But rushing ahead of the Lord short-circuits His plan. Believers who do are left unsatisfied, and they often must live with terrible consequences. Be patient while the Lord works out details
. His best is on the way.

Friday, September 3, 2010

remember the rainbow???

In my last entry, I mentioned about the rainbow, a sign God gave in the story of Noah's Ark. As most of you know, our dilemna with our home loan situation and believe it or not, it's been almost 2 yrs when i started praying for this. The process has been more or less, 1 to 1 1/2 yrs now. the group helping us notified us that the month of September is when we will find out the verdict, whether we will be approved or not. What a scare! Wild thoughts hovering over my head! But, let me go back to the rainbow story...
My mom, to me, is one person whom God has given me as a source of stretching my faith. it was her that said "this is the house!" when we step foot in our home wayback 1996. About a week or two, she told me, "avine, it is okay to ask God for a sign, Stanley said." I said, "yeah, like the rainbow in Noah's ark." Then, she said, "I saw a rainbow already, so our house problem is already answered." Of course, pessimistic me, "ye of little faith" me, just kinda' "ahum, ok..." on my way to work, i said to God, "Lord, show me a rainbow then."
My first sighting of a rainbow was when i flipped the channel for this bachelorette tv show which i don't normally watch, i just have this habit of leaving the tv on, waiting for my regular fave shows, waiting for Ray to come home from his construction project in Millbrae. When the other guy was told he is not the one for the bachelorette and while walking back before leaving the show, he saw a rainbow, and to him, it was his mom saying he'll be fine, in Fiji islands, where the show finale was...that was one rainbow i saw. The next one was in the news, online, flipping the pictures from the anticipated hurricane arrival in the east coast. In between these 2 rainbow sightings, I keep telling God, "Lord, show me a real rainbow, one I will see from the skies". But alas, nada!! But by towards the end of August, my heart is kinda' sinking in so much bad news, about friends, Nelson, Mara, Nikki, my brother Joey, and our house, to mention just a few. Then comes a devotional reading, that hit home, "ye of little faith". So I said to myself, "self, just give thanks to the Lord for everything." Boom, another rainbow on a picture, it brought a smile on my face and I just thank the Lord. Constantly, if and when i am tempterd to be in a defeated mode, I just say "Thank you Lord." I even sing it to the tune of Don Moen's version of "Thank you, Lord"
Sept 1 came, I was at work and doing some reimbursements and an email flash popped at the lower right box of my screen adn saw the lady's name who's working on our loan. I hesitated to go back to my email screen, I blinked and said to myself, "Lord, be with me", then i switched to the email, clicked on it and read it. I had to read it over and over, at least 3x because I might be reading it wrong, but it said, "In regards to your loan modification, I just want to inform you that your loan modification came back from underwriting on 8/24/2010 as approved! They are currently prepping the modification documents which should be getting sent out to you shortly. The new terms are still not known. Please let me know as soon as you receive the paperwork from your lender." I was kind of shaking, in tears, but above all, in a shocking awe of seeing God in His full, majestic, beyond human understanding miraculous ways. It's ALL HIM! My heart was truly overflowing in thanksgiving, in much gratefulness, i couldn't contain it. I called Ray first, then Ria and my mom to tell them the news. In my heart, all i could say was, even if we didn't know the terms yet, (the "thomas" in me saying "what if we can't afford the new terms?, etc..."), if God has already allowed us to go this far, HE is going to see us til the end of it! Amen, Amen, Amen!
That night, Ray and I prayed, a prayer for thanksgiving and a prayer of forgiveness, for the moments we doubted, moments when we feared and lost focus on God's faithfulness, and our moments of impatience. My prayer kept switching back and forth, until towards the end, it was still a prayer of deep, profound gratitude. It made me realized, the depth of my gratitude to the Great God, that even in the many times that I was tempted to switch back to my old self, relying on my ways and putting God aside again, that I acted upon the prompting of the Holy Spirit to just be patient, to wait, even when I am getting annoyingly impatient towards things, events and people. The reality of God's Word to wait patiently on Him, in His infinite wisdom and not depend on our silly self, to fight my own self reliance and dependence. What a great relief! What a great load released! Just like in Joshua, when the Lord said that the battle is not ours, but His, not by might, not by power but by the Spirit of God...
I know there will still be more battles to fight, so much more heartaches, disappointments and frustrations, battles to fight our own weaknesses, problems in finances, in health issues and so much more, but Psalm 84:5-7 definitely spoke loud and clear in my heart. He allowed me, my soul to be so weakened, to have nothing and learn the sacred truth to admit that my Help only comes from the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who is Mighty to save, that God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, in my uttermost weakness, His strength is made perfect. My comfort is that they will go strength to strength (v.7) even if I go through the valley of Baca, Valley of weeping, because joy comes in the morning, His mercies are new every morning.
As always, my prayer is for everyone who will read this to build up their faith in the Lord God Almighty, to never disregard the cross, the ultimate sacrifice and form of the greatest love of love God has ever shown us, despite our weaknesses, shortcomings and great sins. The test is when we are at the bottom pit and making the choice whom to submit to and obey. Rejoice with us in this 1st victory and in continuous intercession for all the saints in need of heaven's grace. Let us storm heaven's gates with our faith filled prayers because, as Charles Stanley puts it, God did not design prayer as simply an avenue for requests; spending time in conversation with our heavenly Father is meant to help us know and love Him more, allow Him to find delight in us when we spend time with Him and when life turns into an aventure of faith.
Have a great Labor day weekend everyone, and be safe.