Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘worship’

Never Letting Go Of the “One Thing”

Quiet TimeSunshine creeps into my room. Little birds called maya perch by my window to awaken me with their mischievous but sweet chirping. I breathe in the morning air despite having a stuffed nose, a daily sign of having allergic rhinitis.

Still, I sit up, meditate, and pray. When I open my Bible, revelation overflows, an encounter with God occurs. This is the One Thing I want to live up for. This is the One Thing I cannot trade with anything else with the world.

In this season of waiting, I am restored back to His presence and His intimacy. Like the psalmist in Psalm 27, I learned to pray: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.” (verse 4).

I’ve lost this when I was working. I’ve been focused too much on the thrill of being a part of daily news events that I’ve lost focus on the God who is sovereign over these events. I forgot that there is more worth in His presence than being among congressmen and senators. I struggled with my daily prayer walk with God. I tried to seek him but ended up exhausted and stressed. But deep in my soul, I am thirsty; thirsty for the Living Waters that can refresh me.

Most of all, I was hungry for an intimate fellowship with the Lord.

The experience of encountering God was all I desire. To hear, see, and know Him was all I could ask for. After the moment I resigned from my job, my empty cup was filled to the brim. Day and night, I sought for His presence. For the first time after all these years, I stayed locked in my secret place to wait upon the Lord for hours. I never thought I could experience what I used to envy the routine great men of God were able to do.

All that four years of prestige, ambition, and achievement can never make up for that moment of staying in God’s presence. I felt that every reward this world has given me was nothing compared to the sweetness of intimacy with the Lord. Oh, I my dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

But in all these, this waiting moment is my time to pray for the coming days. Oh, that God would guard my heart on the moment I return to the competitive world. Let me not make the same mistake of worrying as I wait for a new job. Let me keep on pushing in prayer, trusting in the Lord after I have done my part to apply for a new job. But, I pray that this fellowship would not stop the moment I go back to work. May it flourish not only in my life but in the life of many as well.

The blanket of darkness now hovers over my little village. Silence cloaks the dusty roads that were once invaded by the sound of playing children and roving motorcycles in the morning. Once again I am alone in my room, having nothing but my pen and notebook, my Bible, and myself. Come again the silence. Come again the longing heart. And upon my waiting, I hear His voice once again, breaking me into tears, tendering my heart to heart His heartbeat once more. This is the One Thing I am to live for. This is the One Thing that can never be compared to any other prestige in this world.

Reclaiming Destinies and Breaking the Waves

Twelve months. Twelve fruits. Twelve opportunities to undone me, mold me, and bring me closer to my real identity and destiny.

My 2012 was a year of shaking. The Lord was teaching me out of my stubborn self — to die from selfishness and to abide in Him fully. When my prophetic friend asked me what was the Lord’s promise for the past nine months, I was dumbfounded. All I could remember was the anguish and pain during those times. The emotional battles against the law and the lawmakers, the prayerful times shifted to complaints and mourning, my beauty nearly turning into ashes, my hope almost brought down to the cliff as I contemplated on resignation. I wanted to get out and give up. Yet, the Lord, who had other things in mind, held my sleeve as I let go of my grip. He had a promise, I’m sure He had — yet my ears were covered and my eyes blindfolded.

Yet, I faced 2013 with hope and expectation.

I still couldn’t remember what He was trying to say (and I haven’t even checked my old journal).  Yet, I clung on one word given to me almost two years ago: Romans 5:5, “…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our heats through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

As I contemplating this verse a few months ago, the Lord led me to turn to verses 3 and 4. I never have this hope until: we rejoice in our sufferings, that it leads to perseverance (verse 3) and from perseverance, character, which leads into hope (verse 4)! I believe such is the word for me for this season. And such is the shaking I received.

Through these shakings, I realized a few more things at the beginning of this year, even though the nine months has been ended. Despite character flaws, I’m taught how to react in grace and love and confront with wisdom during dire situations. From my silent struggle against insecurities, I’m taught to reclaim the authority vested upon me as a co-heir in Christ. The most striking lesson that I’ve realized and am still learning (though it was said to me a number of times) is to worship him despite of the fire and testing that I pass through.

My friend told me that the shaking I’ve received (and will receive) are just part of His refinement. This is the time that I have to open my eyes and ears and recognize the Lord in ways I’m not used to. I don’t know what would that be. All I have to do is to ask Him. And see Him move in ways I won’t expect. I just need to open my eyes and my ears to recognize what He’s doing.

There are three kinds of people in the midst of struggles: one who gives up, one who shrugs his shoulder and get into that routinary “survival mode”, and one who wants to learn out of that struggle. The third one is the kind that grows. At this season, the nine month conception should be over. So, what I’ve experienced were just birth pangs. The full birth of one’s destiny is after the nine month period. But if not, that means I haven’t learned my lesson.

I just realized I’m just at the beginning of what He’s teaching me.

Get out of the boat and walk on water, he said. Goodness, that quite scared me. But should I be scared when I’m with the Silencer of the Waves? It’s a step towards acceleration. I need to get out of the box. And I need to ask the Lord ways on how to do that.

To ask the Lord on a daily basis is a way to die to myself. It will keep me from storing up pride as He breaks me with His tender love and awesome glory.

Then my friend gave me the a word that this year is the year of bearing fruit. Seeing in a vision a clock with twelve hours, it indicated that in every month I will bear fruit. But in order to bear fruit, I must learn a lesson. I must ask what the Lord is teaching me at this point of time. When the pruning and honing is over, a fruit will grow…but not only in one month. That means, I will undergo even more fire and testing twelve times!

I need to ask. I need to see. I need to know. Such are the things that I must learn. But most of all, I need to seek the Lord more. Only in Him I will find the answers I need. For He knows the plans for me. And I am claiming His perfect will and His best for my life.

I’m almost 28 years old. But this is not the end of my dreams. Who says life ends at 30? I believe I’m still a little child being disciplined and taught by the Great Father. Why should I copy to the normal trend of human life? The Lord has plans that are way out of my normal blueprint. All I have to do is just step out, walk on the waves, and hold the hand of the One who called my name. What are twelve months of pruning when I got One Great Dad to back me up! 🙂

The Wiles of the Heart

I was so disappointed with a person I liked. He never considered my considerations. I blamed him for wasting my emotions over his sweet nothings. But there was no agreement, there was nothing really between us. They were all assumptions; I hated myself for almost falling for him. But a friend reminded me: what’s my purpose for wanting to see him? I need to check my heart.

I realized I was selfishly wanting to feed my earthly desire. It was turning out to be a fatal attraction. I did not realize, my Father was protecting me.

I was reminded by my spiritual mother that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). The world tells us to follow our hearts, but the Father tells us to follow His heart and His ways. The heart is so deceitful, for it is in our humanistic nature to be born with twisted desires (Matthew 15:18-19). Yet our own passions are so different from His desires for us. And yet His dreams for all of us are for our best, and our most of our passions and our dreams lead to the second best — or nothing at all.

I remembered how imperfect I am. Though I move with His Spirit, there are still so many issues of the heart that need to be addressed. With this, I have to die to myself again.

When I decided to surrender my emotions, I felt that a dark veil was removed from my eyes. My perspective changed. My heart renewed. I believe a part of His heart was poured into mine.

He made me see that my destiny is not as this world planned for me. This world just wanted me to take all, without asking the Father about it. It’s like being a rebel in a free world. But He reminded me that His plans for me are above that I dreams for myself. He loves surprises, I know. And I wondered how His dreams for me will be in His time. He’s teaching me to wait and to abide in Him as I do. When I do, there’s an ever greater blessing…and a big, pleasant surprise for me.

But in waiting, there’s pain. Pain because I’m tempted to be impatient. Pain because my flesh is battling with my renewed spirit.

And so I received revelation what my prayer means: Romans 5:3-5…”let me rejoice in my sufferings, so that it would produce in my endurance, then character, and then hope that will never put me to shame because of the love of the Father that has been poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit.” Such is the given Word for this season since last year.

To rejoice in my sufferings, I have to worship. There is real joy when I delight in the presence of my God. When His presence envelops me, these sufferings are nothing compared to His peace and steadfast love.

I remembered that it is a mandate, and a destiny, to bring His love and His kingdom down into this earth when I earnestly seek Him and call out to Him. In abundance, in trials and pain, His love and glory is above all…and we should rejoice in this truth.

So, what was I disappointed on? Oh, I almost forgot. The joy of leaning on His bosom and hearing His heartbeat filled with love just washed away the pain I had.

One Hour With the King

I have written this one like two months ago…somehow I kept it in my cabinet file but at this moment, I wish to share this brief but blissful moment to you. I know, I’m still growing and I pray I will be hungrier for His love and presence.

I miss those one-hour devotions. Though I know I need to discipline myself to have some time with God within the day, only by His grace I can do this. Truly, it is not by might, nor by power, but only by His Spirit such can be done because though the spirit is willing, the body is weak.

One hour in a day is so important with the Lord. “Could you not spend an hour with Me?” Jesus asked of His disciples at the Garden of Gethsemane, which I believe are being asked of us, too. But because of our so-called “daily pressures” in our lives, we shift our priorities to less important things. I myself have the tendency to be obsessed on my work and become a self-proclaimed workholic, which is not really necessary because work was already done. But I soon realized it just drained me of my self-preservation and became drained of my spiritual strength and insight.

I started that one-hour (actually added with one more hour) today. I pray I can do it until it becomes an unrelenting habit – obsessed with His presence. But I pray it will not become a religious factor. Once religiosity sets in, we lose focus on the Lord. We are not born for religion. We are born for His love.

But one hour is not enough…and it will never be. Indeed, better is one day in His courts than a thousands elsewere…oh that I may stay with Him for eternity!

Full Trust in the State of Massive Loss

“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
Job 2:21

This verse has been ringing in my head over and over for a few weeks. I just can’t imagine how somebody like Job can still praise God despite of his sudden tragedies in life. Just like the song, he was able to bless the Name of the Lord, for he knew that everything came from him.

When I passed through the book of Job, I was quite surprised to see how this man had already died to himself. He’s not totally blameless, you see, for he still had small flaws in his being. Yet, his viewpoint of God is so different from his contemporaries even from most of us. He knew that because of God’s infinity and greatness, he knew he had no right to rant and complain, but he wanted to plead his cause before the Lord. I felt quite guilty when he told his wife “…shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). I was even more shocked because his trust was not rattled when he said “Though He slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15). Talk about a person dead to himself!

It’s hard to die to oneself, I know. Although I have received the Lord Jesus and surrendered my life to Him, I must admit I’m not yet 100% submitted to Him. There are many things and aspects in my life that are hard to let go (on my part). Selfishness is a natural part of me. I have this short-term memory to forget that everything I have are just lent.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…” Psalm 24:1 says. Indeed, everything is His and yet he gave dominion to man (Psalm 8:6). And because we have sold ourselves to the enemy, we began to dwell in selfishness, forgetting that what we have are just lent so that we are taught to be good stewards.

The Lord gives us blessings but He does not ask for a price. It’s just, we have to remember that He has the right to take something from us for our own good. To learn not to whine when something is taken away is hard, especially when it’s close to our heart. He do blesses, but He wants us to become fully close to His heart and fully trust in Him. When we don’t receive a good salary though we have worked very well, shall we praise Him? When the car dies down while we are rushing to the office, can we still lift our hands in adoration? When we missed an opportunity to bring us to greener pastures, can we still say glory be to God? When the most beloved person died in a tragic way, can we still say blessed be Your Name?

Job had lost hundreds of camels, sheep, oxen, and donkeys. But I believe that most tragic was the loss of his ten children. In the end, he was able to worship as he mourned (Job 2:20). To worship God is to show we still trust Him, despite of tragedy. To worship at such a moment is a sign that we have died to self. It just takes much more of me to be just like Job.

I got a lot of pains and complaints and yet I want to just like Job’s character. I still have a lot of refinement to go through. I’m no holy person, but I’m just God’s work in progress. May I learn and know more, and let me become like Jesus. I pray, let me say despite of life’s pains, blessed be Your Name…

…And the Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulders

As a reporter in the political realm, I’ve become aware of the law and its technicalities. It used to be such a boring subject to me. But because it’s my job, I have to learn and understand it or I would not be an effective media personnel. Little by little, I was becoming used to it and soon, I was already enjoying it. But what amazes me more is how the Lord had shown that He is sovereign over any human law and that the government rightfully belongs to Him. No matter how clever a man of power can be, his wisdom is foolishness in the sight of the everlasting God, as He brings kings and leaders to rise and fall.

For the past week, I’ve monitored developments on a former president’s watchlist that turned sour. Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo or CGMA had been defying the law as she tried her best to remain in power as president for 9 nine years. And yet the government today is set out in putting down into justice all those who had done the nation wrong in her administration. One of these was her involvement (or her leading) in the 2007 election fraud.

As cases were filed against her regarding the electoral fraud, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed a watchlist against her. It’s kinda weird that she would suddenly become sick and be in need of a bone biopsy at that point in time. I got doubts about that. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court (SC), where which a majority of its justices were her appointees, filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) against her watchlist. The Aquino administration, due to the fact that they were not given a chance to be in an oral argument before releasing the TRO, filed a motion for reconsideration (MR). What the nation watched out for was the en banc session, in which I was assigned to be last Friday.

While waiting for the result of the en banc, I was praying that the Lord would intervene and justice be served. Those charged for a big crime against the nation should not be released to another country, especially when there are doubts on the countries where she wanted to be. But imagine my great disappointment when the SC spokesperson came out and said that the MR is null and the TRO is in full effect. Majority of the justices voted for such results in the en banc session. But I was still hoping that GMA would not leave the country. It would be unfair for her not to be out of the country while a case was filed against her. Besides, I myself found it too weird for the need to get a bone biopsy in abroad while we got good doctors who can perform that here in the Philippines. Wouldn’t that be an insult to our own doctors? On the other hand, it’s unfair that she gets a good treatment for her “condition” while we got thousands of Pinoys who suffer without receiving the proper treatment for their condition because of lack of money

The developments were quick. Earlier that day, DOJ and COMELEC filed electoral sabotage charges to CGMA and other a number of former COMELEC and government officials. Right after the en banc session and before GMA was able to get to her 5:10 pm flight to Singapore, a warrant of arrest was issued against her. Such speed in the Philippine courts is very rare, especially in high-profiled cases like this. Indeed, the Lord intervened because only He can make this happen!

At that point in time, I realized that God is moving in the government. No matter how corrupt or weak it is, when His people pray, He rises and moves like a restless lion. But He needs His children to pray as we have been given authority over the earth (Genesis 1:26). And yet we have to give it back to Him as it is really His all along (Psalms 24:1). But as a gentleman, He will not intervene until we ask Him to.

The government, as one of the pillars of society, rightfully belongs to Him. For the time being, it is lent to man, and yet it is He who appoints and brings down kings (Ps. 75:6-7).

It’s time. We have to continue breaking down the walls of corruption and injustice through prayer and worship. The battle still rages on. God is really at work. He is indeed God and His reign is established – not only in heaven – but also on earth which is His footstool.

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