Thursday, January 26, 2006

We stop too soon...

We have come to the beautiful gate once again. It didn't take us long to reach here, but we certainly looked tired... The chains and burdens all over our bodies weighed us down. I don't know about the rest, but I wanted to be free of all of that. I must gain that freedom, I must receive that breakthrough.

The invitation was given, and we did not hesitate to enter into His presence. The chains and the burdens were beginning to break off our bodies, and our strength was renewed. I've been to this place before, many times. I wondered about what is suppose to happen next. I had a rough idea, because I've been here before, but somehow I felt the Host had something more in place tonight.

Before I could get on with what I thought we were suppose to do, I found myself in a different place, a deeper place. The scene before me shocked me to the core. I've been here before too, but it was so long ago, and I don't remember feeling this way last time. I was afraid, because it was the ALTAR. I knew what I had to do, but I don't know what's going to happen. Will I feel the pain? Will it go away quickly? Where will I end up next?

My heart was filled with fear, I thought it should not exist in this place. Maybe I was focusing too much on the altar, I think to myself. Maybe I should just get this done and over with. With terror clearing expressed on my face, I laid down my body on the altar. And immediately when my eyes were looking upwards, I saw a man I thought to be Jesus. He looked down at me and smiled. I wanted to ask Him how dying is going to be like, but I think He knew what I wanted to say.

"Friend, if you don't participate in My death, how can you participate in the power of My resurrection?"

Called it a vision, or whatever, but this was the picture I had last night in prayer meeting. Many a times we just enter into the presence of God desiring to be set free, forgetting the purpose of FREEDOM, this SALVATION. Once the chains are off, we lift our hands in worship and thanksgiving. And we think this is the end of it. We stop too soon... We forget that the altar is a place of death - death of the old self, the self-denying. Salvation and freedom is given to us, that we may participate in His death - giving of one self, serving others, doing the right thing, focusing on the needs of others, loving the unlovable, giving grace to the undeserving - and the joy of His resurrection.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's that feeling again.

My spirit was really troubled this past Sunday. I couldn't understand why at first. I mean, I do know why I was feeling a bit upset that Sunday. Things happening around didn't really please my eye. But there was this feeling inside my spirit that I couldn't figure the cause for...
I completed the usual tasks of mine and headed to the corner of the santruary, where youth service will commence soon. My spirit was still troubled, so I became quiet before God. Stopped trying to figure why I was sensing such sorrow, just let the Spirit do the talking. It didn't take long before I came to a realisation - So much has not changed...
So much hasn't changed, and most of it has to do with me. God has done so much to assist me along the way, but somehow I have not experience the breakthrough, the personal revival I need. Not enough discipline, not enough passion, not enough initiative, not enough love... I have not done my part to the best of my ability. I let myself down, I let the people God has placed in my life down, I let the Dream-Giver down. I keep blaming and pointing fingers for how things are now, but I forget that I am also responsible in building the Kingdom.
Yes, things need to be changed. And that change has to start with me. I remember saying that before... I'm the biggest hypocrite I know. So help me God. Thank God for grace.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Accumulated work

Christmas season has come and gone, if you look from the world calendar's point of view. In Malaysia now Chinese New Year songs are beginning to play in certain shops already. Yes, the Christmas trees are still there, but that's because we're just lazy to take it down. Some are even considering leaving it there till next Christmas.
I was extremely eager to write something about Christmas. But work was constantly in the way. I miss the times where I could actually write 2 blogs a day, because there wasn't much work to be done back then. Don't get me wrong, there was always something that had to be done, just that the dateline seemed a distant future... back then. Since October our company woke up and realised the work that has to be done (not all at once, mind you)... There was a lot of "Oh you need to do that" , "Oh I forgot to tell you" and "Hmm, we might have a problem if we do that"... I got sucked into more and more things, and each day I meet the project managers or open my email in the morning there's the fear of more work needing to be done by Friday...
We, Christians (maybe not you), have been guilty of such behaviour for many years now. We like to cramp up everything till the Christmas season. There's the sudden realisation of how we need to share love with our neighbours, to remember long lost friends, opening our houses for the fellowship of the body, giving of gifts, etc... Going through Christmas 2005, I feel like we were completing accumulated work. We were rushing for the things we should have been doing all year round. And you know that I know that you know what comes out of accumulated work - Poor quality, stressed-out employees, wasted resources, lots of complaining... And the return on investment never seem sufficient.
I am thankful for the salvation of several during our Christmas Sunday. I also felt there was a certain breakthrough when I saw non-Christian parents of our youth coming for the service. Yes, Christmas tends to be a time where miracles seem more likely to happen. But the real meaning of Christmas is the giving of love everyday, my friends. The spirit of Christmas lives on when we share the love of Jesus everyday.
So open your house this week and cook a meal for someone. Call up a friend and ask how he's doing. Send an appreciation note to your pastor. I think it'll be much more fun and less stressful if we can see miracles happening every week when we choose not to accumulate work till Christmas. The time is now!!