Hi everyone! I apologize for being away for quite some time. Here’s a comeback post for you 🙂
The Lord has been good to me for giving me an opportunity and time to write again. Recently, I volunteered to write for SAVED App. But this one’s not about my writing; it’s about this cool stuff. So allow me to introduce you to SAVED App.
It is a great tool to inform its users of the love of Jesus Christ and to help make the Word of God easily available to anyone. With the Saved App, users can access a digital bible, read featured stories of various speakers and artists, Christian Testimonies, access list of Christian songs, and listen and vote songs on SAVED on Energy FM.
Christian artists Switchfoot, Kari Jobe, Paul Baloche, writers/speakers C.S. Lewis, Paul Washer, and some Christian celebrities, among others, are just few of the people who willingly shared their profiles and testimonies to inspire SAVED App users.
The articles are easily shareable via social media platforms to reach out to our friends and relatives online. Users can also get latest updates on SAVED events and other Christian events in Asia Pacific. Guess you might want to share the event and tag along friends with you.
If you want to know more about SAVED App, you might as well download it now! (available on iOS, Android, and WIndows phone) 🙂
In my recent post, Christians spell SUBMISSION with an ‘h’ and a ‘c’, I first discussed the ‘h’ – HUMILITY. It takes humility to submit. We should deny ourselves, swallow our pride, and acknowledge that the Lord has full dominion over us and over all the things on earth and in heaven. I cited Jesus as the perfect example for both submission and humility. Now, we won’t change our model for ‘c’ – courage. Let us now complete the thesis:
It takes humility to submit; and it takes courage to humble oneself.
Why courage? Have you thought of an instance when you needed courage to humble yourself? Or to be more specific, can you recall a time in your life when you thought that your self-made plans would go smoothly and would be for the best? but then, God poked you and asked you to follow His direction, instead of yours?
Let us admit it. Humbling ourselves is sometimes painful. We are too proud. We even say to the Lord, “Show me first what will happen if I obey you; then I’ll see if I’ll obey.” But the Lord is telling us “Obey me first, then I will show you what will happen.”
Our pastor’s wife shared us her testimony of one of the crossroads in her life: career. She was then working with a Christian company, holding a high position, and was nearly expecting for promotion to the next higher rank. But the Lord suddenly spoke to her through her devotions that there was something else God would want her to do. God wanted her to leave the company and transfer to another. At first, she was really confused and frustrated because she already had plans well mapped out in her mind. But the Lord did not stop speaking to her. It took 2 years for her to follow. She was really afraid at first because she it wasn’t that clear to her where God would lead her, but she eventually followed. God used her in ways she never expected.
Now, let us see the perfect example of courage – Jesus! When his time was near, he prayed to the Lord at the garden of Gethsemane. His prayer goes like this:
…he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”…for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”…he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. – Matthew 26:39, 42, 44
We can see here that even Jesus felt fear of what was waiting for him – death on the cross. In the earlier verse, it was even stated that he was “distressed and troubled”. It was too painful to bear, so he appealed to God the Father in a form of intense prayer. The ‘cup’ he was referring to was the wrath of God. God would pour out His wrath for mankind on His only Son Jesus, and the plan was irreversible (see Psalm 75:8). Jesus knew from the beginning that it’s impossible not to die on the cross. But, he took courage to humble himself to the Lord. He took courage to submit to His will by saying “not my will, but your will”. He took courage to face God’s grand plan for salvation – the cross.
This leads me to remembering the post that triggered me to add ‘courage’ in Christian submission. Last week, I stumbled upon the blog post, Pray for Christians in Iraq. We know what has been going around there because of the rule of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Our brothers and sisters in Christ are literally suffering from persecutions, physical assault, and all the most inhumane things we could ever imagine. Since the takeover of the city of Mosul, the militant group has given Christians an ultimatum: Convert, Flee, or Die. So we assume that those they killed were the ones who refused to convert and flee. They stood by their faith till death. They knew that they could be killed, nevertheless, they chose death over conversion.
It is hard to say that this is part of God’s plan. But as far as we can see, it is, primarily because it happened. Nothing happens in this world without God knowing it or without God allowing it. But one thing’s for sure, one thing we know: He knows what He is doing. He is our mighty, sovereign God. For those who have been persecuted and killed for the sake of His name, great is the reward that awaits them in eternity. What really struck me was their humility and courage to submit, NOT to the ISIS militants, but to the Lord. They did not kneel before other gods. They fought for their faith.
If we look into our own lives, of course there are areas that we find difficult to submit to the Lord. But let us be encouraged with the example of Jesus Christ and of today’s Christian martyrs, they submitted to the Lord even to death.
How far can we go in submitting our lives to the Lord?
Does the word ‘submission’ come to you as something offensive? degrading or intimidating?
To me, sometimes it does, and it started when I entered teenage life. From then on, it seemed that the ‘S’ word has become a bit spicy, hard to swallow, something that stings. Let’s face it. The moment we turned 13 or up, we had this subtle notion that we know what we are doing, that we can make decisions on our own, and that nobody can just dictate us what to do or what not to do (even our own parents).
That’s in a general context. When we tackled this in our girls’ bible study last week using the material, Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes, we dug deeper and discovered why it is hard for women to submit, and what we need to do, or rather, what character do we need to develop in order for us to submit totally to the Lord. Here’s what we found out (Part 1).
“Waiting in God’s time is the sweetest agony there is.” – LLPD
People, most likely, are skeptical to the idea of “waiting”. Who likes to wait anyway? If we want something, we tend to find ways on how to get it the fastest way possible or the soonest possible time. But sadly, more often, it would just take us longer if we stick to our stubborn crappy ways, following our own timeline. There are even some times when we don’t get it at all or even get an inch closer to it.
The thing is, we can’t force things to happen because – we don’t hold our lives; God does. We don’t control the time; God does. We don’t know everything; God does.
Therefore, waiting should not be a painful task at all. Yes, there is agony in waiting and in enduring the idea that we don’t know the end result but the biggest comfort is that there is Someone far greater than us who already knew what will happen in our lives (every single detail of it), from the very beginning. Isn’t that just amazing? Sadly, many people, yes even Christians, miss this thing because of being too worried, thinking “God, you’re running late, come on…what’s next?!”
So whether you’re applying for a job, or say you’re in the process of starting your own business, or (let’s not go farther) waiting for that special lover, remember that “waiting in God’s time is the sweetest agony there is.” Remember the line in a song “He makes all things beautiful in His time.” And I suppose everyone wants a “beautiful” ending.
Let me leave you with these verses and quotes, I hope they inspire you:
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. – Luke 12:7
Those who do not hope cannot wait; but if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. – Charles Spurgeon
Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. – John Ortberg
JESUS: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going…I am the way, and the truth, and the life. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME. – John 14:1-4&6
Lord, thank You for making Yourself known to us through Jesus Christ. And thank You for the assurance that You have prepared a place for us and will come back for us. This is more than enough to feel safe and secure in Your hands. You hold our future. There is no greater comfort in life and in death than this.