June 27, 2012

God's Signpost

People have tendency to know future before it happen. Maybe that is why astrology, fortune-telling, tarrots, and so on are very popular from the ancient times up til now. As Christians, we know that those are forbidden. Why? Because it simply shows that we trusts our future in other things more than we trust our God who holds the future. But then we have another natural tendency which is 'more biblical'. We may often ask what is God's will for my life? Which step should I take? Some of us are so eager to know the detail of His plan so that we do not miss out a single thing. We do not want to be outside of His plan at all. It is a good thing though to have such eagerness :) God loves those who pursues His will in their lives. But do not get trapped in 'religion mindset' where it is all about what you need to DO rather than lean on God to let it to be DONE. There is a lot of confusion here. It takes a graceful balance between knowing what we need to do and let God to do the rest, when we need to be stand still and wait upon God, which path we should or should not take, and the list can go on and on. But here is the clue. God can speak through anything. And it is about whether we take time to listen or not :) It's all back on our intimacy with Him. The more you are used to recognize His voice, the clearer His guidance will be.

In this article, I would like to introduce to you God's Signpost. They are different from those we see on the toll road which gives specific distance where we are and how far are we from our destination such as "30 KM". Yes, God can gives you guidance but do not think that it will be a very detail ones and leaves you with complete certainty. His signpost will be a very plain instruction which place you need to stop, park, turn right or left, and so on. It your faith, isn't it? Oswald Chambers describes faith never knows
where it is being led, but knows the One who is leading. We can trust perfectly in a perfect God :) So what are the God's Signposts?

#1 This Way

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;

do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
-Proverbs 3:5-7 [NLT]

In this verse, we can notice two things we need to do if we really want God to reveal His guidance more clearly.We need to TRUST Him and SEEK His will.

How deep is our trust on His goodness? How earnest I want His will to be done instead of mine?

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. -Isaiah 30:21 [NLT]

#2 No Parking

As I went to my church, I saw a road with these 'No Parking' signs line up in a very short distance. Then I thought, does not it like how God works in our journey? He gives many "No Parking" signs in the road where God intends us to keep going on. In Genesis 11:31-32 told a story of Abram's father, named Terah, who was intended to go from the land of Ur to go to Canaan. But as they came to Haran, Terah and his family dwelt there. In verse 32 it was said, "So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years and Terah died in Haran"

Interesting isn't it? Terah has become one example of people who are called to travel from Ur to Canaan. But the Bible does not explain why he stayed in Haran and even died there. The name "Terah" means "delay", while "Haran" means "barren". Do not be another Terah who stays on a barren land ;)

When God called you to reach Unknown zone, keep going on in faith. Do not settle along the road. God will give you "Parking" sign in His appointed time and place. Do not quit before you reach there.

#3 Go Round

Hmm this one is strange ... Why should we go round when we intend to go straight or left? This "Go Round" sign usually appears on intersection road. It is very vital to manage the flow of vehicles so that they will not crash one another. It also demands each vehicle to reduce their speed and simply go round. In this life, God usually ask us to go round first before we go straight. There are various reasons for this. He wants to prepare you along the way before you reach your destination which may demand certain level of faith, responsibilities, endurance, and characters. These will not be developed in a short time. Thereby, God leds us to go round first until we are ready. Even the Israelites went round for 40 years in a journey which can be reached for 11 days because of their lack of faith.

"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps."
-Proverbs 16:9 [NLT]

Be patient as God leds you to go round. Enjoy His process.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks,
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 [NKJV]

#4 No U-Turn

There is a sweet meaningful hymn which says,

I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
No turning back, no turning back.

"One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple." -Psalm 27:4

When we say "all the days of my life" we need to mean it. In wedding vows and in our commitment to God. It is not a matter of how good we start, but how good we finish the race. A person is said a committed one when he finishes well what he has started. Once God has called you to a journey of faith, finish it well. Do not go back to the mediocre or worldly life you used to live. God rewards those who are faithful in His calling. He does not expect you to be perfect, but faithful. When you fall down, stand up, and keep going. No turning back, no turning back.

Let us be the one who boldly confess once we meet the LORD in Heaven,"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." -2 Timothy 4:7 [NKJV]

#5 Do Stop

Oh yes, there will be "Stop" sign too. Indeed, these signs may appear a few times in a day. God wants us to rest and simply spending time with Him. He does not design us to be a buzzing bee all day long. He wants us to rest and drink from His water of life to get refreshed. He wants us to be consumed with His flowing love.

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light -Matthew 11:28-30

In ancient times, the farmer would often to yoke a young animal to an older, stronger, or more experienced animal who would bear the burned of young animal through his learning. In this verse, Jesus is opening His arms widely and waiting for you to pass on your burden upon Him. When you feel that your burden is heavy and hard, it means that you have not letting God to bear yours.

Will you surrennder ALL your burdens to Him?

#6 Do Not Enter

Naturally, we do not like to be told "Do not ..." For many of us it seems like robbing us from our freedom. Maybe that is why so many people dislike hearing the 10 Commandments and the law really make us dead. The nature of sin is this: we are attracted to what is forbidden. We do not to be taught how to disobey, even such an 'innocent' child gets more curious the more they are forbid to do something. The "Do Not Enter" sign will not mean anything if we do not trust the One who gave it intends it for our own good. It is a problem of trusting in God's goodness. The Lord says, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32, NIV). Maybe what our natural eyes see as restriction is actually the thing that can set us free. Take an example, when we maintain abstinence in sex before marriage, it will seem like we are 'restricted' at the moment. But in God's viewpoint, He knows that when we do that, it will make us become its slave. And we will never enjoy its reward on marriage.

The more mature we are, the more we think like Him, and act as if He acts in everything we do. Maintain that perspective. The "Do Not Enter" is God's protection for you to enjoy His very best. Never doubt in His commandments and goodness. Do not let disobedience rob His gifts :)

#7 Go Together

The Lord never intend us to reach our goal by our own strength. He wants us to cooperate with Him and others. Do not neglect the importance of your relationship as you travel on the journey of faith.

A company of friends may not make your journey faster sometimes, but they do make it more enjoyable.

It is also important to notice in this "Share the Road" sign that not everyone will start with the same vehicle. Some may have started the journey with cars, some with bicycle or motor bikes. It takes a willingness to adapt with each other's phase to make the journey fun. The one with bicycle can also join the ride with those who use car to make the journey more efficient. Whatever the form of cooperation will be, it is better two travel with companion than alone.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
-Proverbs 27:17 [NIV]

The Value of a Friend
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one lift up his compannion ... And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
-Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 [NKJV]

The third cord is God Himself, and the relationship intertwined with God is a threefold cord that is not quickly broken -David Guzik

God's Signpost are the clearest when we are the closest to Him. The Lord will reveal it the most to those who let Him lead and obey whatever His guidance will be. So are you ready to ride on the journey of faith in God? ;)

-by Leticia Seviraneta

June 20, 2012

God Speaking

Do you hear God's voice? Some people think that this is a gift to a few people like for a pastor, minister, and so on. But the truth is ... if you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then His Spirit abides in you and you can hear His voice! Even for unbelievers, God's voice can be heard as our conscience although its wisdom is quite limited. We are called not into a religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus. Even our eternal life is to know Him. A two-way communication is certainly the best way to build a relationship :)

How to hear God's voice then? In Habakkuk 2:1-3 says:

"I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the Lord answered me and said, "Record the vision and inscribe it on the tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail through it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay."

Wow.. I think these are really powerful verses! Mark Virkler gives the keys to hear God's voice out of these verses, which are:

1) Stillness - I will stand on my guard post
It talks about our attitude of heart, our readiness to hear from God. It will mean that we will make time for it. We can even seek stillness in the midst of our activities simply to listen what God is going to say for us :)

2) Vision - I will keep watch to see [fix my eyes on Jesus]

3) Spontaneity - He will speak to me
His voice in our hearts often sounds like a spontaneous thoughts. But it is full with wisdom, encouragement, gentleness, and goes along with His Words.

4) Journaling - Then the Lord answered me and said, "Record the vision."
Writing our prayers and God's anwers brings great freedom in hearing God's voice.

I have found that as I apply these keys in my life, I can hear Him more often. And I do have the records! As I look back to the previous pages of my journal book, I am deeply encouraged and amazed on how faithful He has led me until this moment. I believe that this is an experience which every Christian should have to build a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Honestly,I am not a typical of routine-lover so I find difficulty to build this habit daily. Yet, as I am determined to build a greater relationship with Him, I do write more often and take time to listen to Him. Previously, I always wonder why do some people can pray for hours while I cannot stand for more than 10 minutes. Now I have discovered that they can do that simply because they are engaging in conversation with our beloved God. How awesome! What a sweet moment with Jesus. So I would like to share what I have got so far in my little journey in conversation with my ultimate lover and Lord, Jesus Christ :)

-November 17, 2011-
LORD, do You want to speak to me?

"I always want to speak to you. Your busyness often makes you difficult to hear My voice. You always can find Me when you seek me with all your heart. Be still, my child.

Do not worry for the days to come. I am with you always. All you need to care about is fixing your eyes attention to Me. I will supply you with greater riches you can imagine. Your life will be an outflow of My love for you.

My daughter, I am well-pleased with you. You are the apple of my eyes. Draw closer to me and I will draw closer to you. There's nothing that can separate you from My love. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.

I have already prepared all good things for you, dear. I always have. Trust me and take one step at a time. I will surely not to harm you but give you a future and hope. Come, enjoy, and delight in my presence. I am always near to you. Never will I live you, never will I forsake you. I am with you til the end of time."

Of course, God was speaking personally to me at that time. But He can use many things to speak to us. If one of these journal happens to fit with you, it is very possible that He is speaking to you too :)

-November 20, 2011-


Psalm 37 [CEV]

"Do not be annoyed by anyone who does wrong, and do not envy them.
They will soon disappear like grass without rain.
Trust the Lord and live right!
The land will be yours and you will be safe.
Do what the Lord wants, and he will give you your heart's desire. Let the Lord lead you and trust Him to help.
Then it will be as clear as the noonday sun that you were right.
Be patient and trust the Lord.
Do not let it bother you when all goes well for those who do sinful things. Do not be angry or furious. Anger can lead to sin.
All sinners will dissapear, but if you trust the Lord, the land will be yours. Those who obey the Lord are daily in his care, and what he has given them will be theirs forever. They won't be in trouble when times are bad, and they will have plenty when food is scarce.

If you do what the Lord wants, he will make certain each step you take is sure. The Lord will hold your hand, and if you stumble, you still will not fall. The Lord protects his people and they can come to him in times of trouble. The Lord helps them and saves them from the wicked because they run to Him."

"Come to me for I am a great healer. I am in control. Trust Me. I am at work. Just wait and trust Me. You will see my promise comes true in My time. Everything is possible for Him who believes."

-December 1, 2011-

Dear sweet Lord Jesus,
Here I come humbly to you. Offering this heart to you. Help me to fix my eyes upon Thee. Let Your presence consume me and become the source of my joy. Teach me Lord to be grateful in all circumstances. May I hear Your voice, Lord?

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world. The joy in Me is your strength. As your eyes and hearts turned to me, all is well. Rest on Me. Abide in Me. That is your only work you have to do . I will open the way in My time. Nothing is impossible for me. Your family are in my hands. Do not worry about them. Trust me to draw them near to Me.

You are my beloved daughter. I always keep watching over you and protect you. You are under the care of Me. Nothing in this world can ever harm you. Do you believe this?

Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid. Trust and obey. The rest is My part. So that the world may know and glorify Me. I will fight for your sake. I know the beginning and the ending. I hold them, your future, in My hands. And the end of all of these is victory. You are a victor, not a victim. You can love others as I have loved you. Me, Myself, will pour out my overwhelming love to the world. They will see, you will see, that I am your living God. Keep persevering, keep being faithful. I always have you in my mind."

-December 10, 2011-

Dear my Lord Jesus,

I realize that I have become Martha, not Mary. I am so busy like a buzzing bee. Help me Lord to see priority more. Help me to see the way you see it too Lord. My heart aches for this long separation. May your presence fill my cup and may I be satisfied only because of You. May I hear your voice Lord? What do you think about my life?

"True service for Me is a time set-apart with Me. I love your eagerness to do more for My kingdoms. But all your works will be merely work if it does not flow from me. You are my precious daughter. You need not worry to seek for a ministry for I shall supply for you. You need not worry not to meet him anymore. The time will come. Behold my dear! Just sit and spend time with Me. Shift your concern for others and you will find lots of opportunities to serve. To know Me is your everlasting joy. I am your Maker, Father, groom to be. I will lead you along My path. Surrender each day unto my hands. I will make it become a song for others to enjoy.

I love seeing you sing without pressure. I love you the way you are. A growing princess of mine. I will take care of him too. Do not worry. Keep up writing your blog for it will glorify My name to the world. Be strong My dear. You can break the ice and make friends with strangers. Do not be shy anymore. Break all the limits of your thinking and fix it unto Me only.

One step at a time. Bit by bit, little by little. Embrace the
present moment. Take delight in Me. Trust Me. Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. I love you more than you can ever imagine."

Oh anyway, you can also write a love letter to God! He is certainly be pleased ;)

-December 11, 2011-

How great is your way Lord! Though I may not understand, I will never stop trusting You. You know me to the deepest of my heart. You understand when I am weak, You rejoice when I turn to You for a refuge. You created sunrise and beautiful sunset everyday as a reminder of Your love. You made rainbow to remind me Your faithfulness. Nothing above the heaven nor under the sea could ever be suitable to describe Your majesty!

You are the only true God, the Alpha and Omega. You hold my future in your hands. In You only I find my Peace. O Lord, how can I love You as You love me? My love is very constrained. Compare to You, I am merely dust shouts praise.

O Lord never reject my simple offering to You. May You delight in me. May You shine through my life. O Jesus, sweet Jesus, Your company made me strong. You are light, the daily bread in my life. Let me be sufficient with Your presence. May I stop worrying for tomorrow and start living dailu with what You give.

Jesus, You are the One who can intercede everything that happens on earth. You can strengthen my loved ones. O Lord, may we grow into Your likeness. Purify us Lord all the more. Do as You pleased. Thy will be done. For alll the good gift, this beautiful feeling, comes from You. Make him the two, may You be the One. I will trust in You Lord, eventhough I do not understand. Let my heart dwell in You alone. Jesus, I love you ...

-December 16, 2011-

Why is this overwhelming sorrow and bad-thinking coming upon me? Protect my heart and mind Lord from fear and doubt. Grant me Your peace as I wait, grant me Your love to share. Are you teaching me to love You only?

"My child, my child, have faith in Me. Claim your faith. You can rely on My promises. I have so much to give when you are ready. You can never truly know Me, how faithful I am without letting you to walk in uncertainty. Know that I am Immanuel, I am always beside you. I will spread my wings over you and keep you secure. My faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall. Grow in your faith, delight in Me. I keep My people safely under My protection. You may be accused wrongly, but I am Your Defender. I am your God."

Jesus, I long to love You more. Could You bring me closer to You and fix my eyes to Yours?

"You take one step closer to Me, I will run thousand steps to embrace you. Do you feel how big is my love to you? You are My beautiful bride. Do not cry for I cry too. You need to see things just like I see them. Use your faith. Nothing is impossible for Me. Call Me, I will certainly come to you. I am not far, you know. I am in you, watching you, guiding you, protecting you.

A hug is a language of love which gives warmth to the longing soul. Know that My arms are always ready to hug you. Feel this immense love wherever you go, and you will be strengthened. Yes, My love is sufficient for you to do anything. My love empowers you."

-December 28, 2011-

Dear sweet Jesus,
I'd like to give You my present of faith. I want to stop worrying about future and doubting Your guidance. Yes Lord, take it all ... You can do many great things with Your hands. May You grant Me strength and patience to wait for the miracle to come and dreams shall come true.

"I am pleased with big faith. It unlocks my power and treasures in Heaven. You'll never know when or how it may happen, but certainly it will. Too many lacks of patience and have their own way instead of Mine. How sad ... Stay close with Me, drink My living water, eat My bread, and you will live. All of these is your preparation and foundation. People who want to do great things will receive more heat so that at the right time they will be able to withstand greater storm.

I will build My house upon a rock, not a sands. Feeling are sands. Experience, too, are sands. But faith ... is the rock. Let your faith stands firm, immoveable by the winds of the world. You are My chosen ones. Every good desire in your heart comes from Me.I am the one who has the most eagerness to make it comes true. But I have to fight for you so that you know that I am faithful.

Remember, Israelites wandered 40 years in desert because of their lack of faith. I cannot let the, inherit such treasure when they have no rock foundation to manage it.

A good-intention heart, the humble mind, and the submitted life will make all that I have entrusted flourish like trees and bear fruits in its season. Do you know how important the timing is? I cannot use fruit that has not ripen yet. It will be dangerous to elevate someone to the top while he cannot stand on the ground, a solid one. For this purpose, I allow this waiting season for you. Rejoice, My dear, in all circumstances. Pray continually. The taste of ripen fruit is excellent. So does your taste will be excellent in its due time. All you have to do is wait, obey, and I will prune you to make you be more fruitful.

I love you my child, I always do."

The proper foundation to hear from God will always based on the Bible, His written Words. We need to learn to discern between the truth and the lies. Keep asking, "What does God think about this? What does the Bible say?" This journaling time will be like a spontaneous conversation but it is much richer with His wisdom and truth. It is vital to hear more from Him than from the world. We need to let go every lies that enter our mind and replace it with His truth. I am sure you can do this too and I gladly welcome you to a deeper level of relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ :) I'd be so pleased to hear your response ;)

Proverbs 8:17
"I love those who love me, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me."

Leticia Seviraneta

The Highest Calling of All

We as modern society are bombarded with messages about being successful in life, how to become a billionaire, how to get a skinny body like a model, and so on. The majority seems to hold on to that principles and that make it seems so true. But is it really because of it becomes majority proves it to become truth? I doubt so. It is a good thing to have a goal in life, but it will be better to have the right one. Hereby, I would like to share with you my highest calling which is ... Godly marriage. I believe that a better generation are seeds from two people who strives to build a Godly marriage and family. From this view, I feel such a great desire to be part of this movement and help others to do the same too. Broken home is definately not a happy place to live in. Our children deserve so much more than an average family. They need a constant love, affection, affirmation, honor, and proper education so that they can grow maturely in God. And it all starts with two committed people to build a great Godly marriage.

Getting married is a common thing to do for people round 20-30's of age. But building a successful marriage requires more than just a status of common thing to do nor a coincidence. Marriage is a new season which is too long compared to how short we usually prepare for. There are not many of people who really put an effort to prepare a life-time marriage compared to a seasonal carreer or hobbies. We tend to underestimate marriage by 'going with the flow'. Not so many couple really interested to invest their time to pre-marital counseling, to read marriage books (we really have a bunch of great resources out there!), go to seminar, etc. Ironically, we spend too much time in our carreer or other things and do expect our marriage will be successful along the
way. The truth is, it will not. We cannot be successful in everything that we treat as a part-time job. We cannot be successful in marriage if we give it portions of our leftover time. Skills do developed more as we invest more time with it. So does with marriage. The more we invest to build great foundation, to prepare, to really know each other and discuss deeper issues; the more likely we will be succeed in marriage.

The purpose of marriage is to become more like Jesus Christ. It is a process where God will mold His children to be the man and woman He intends to be. Marriage is a highest academy of life whereby your character will be most likely be challenged. Your spouse will be like a mirror to you in which every flaws will be seen clearly. It is where two completely different people become one. As the result, there will be a challenge to adapt one another constantly. It is an environement to learn and grow time over time.

A marriage will be as strong as its foundation. I believe that as we build our marriage upon Jesus Christ as our Rock, we can be sure that no matter how strong the wind blows, we will be steady and safe. It is important to prioritize God and His principles in every decision-making in marriage. However, God Himself is the Author of marriage. To consult with Him is certainly the best way and guidance to lead a successful Godly marriage :D Hereby, I would like to describe some principles in marriage from Dr. Myles Munroe which I found very life-changing!

#1 We have to respect the marriage more than the persons in it

This talks about a commitment. People may change and perhaps definately will change (at least in physical terms). The one thing that will guarantee our marriage will last or not is how deep our commitment to the marriage itself. A marriage is not a condition where we can get in and get out as we want it to. It is one-way ticket. It is meant for a lifetime. When we think that divorce is an option whenever things get hard, that reveals our lack or respect to the marriage entity itself. God determines it to be a life-time until death set us apart. As we strive on difficult moments and work on together to solve each problems will give us a platform to grow maturely.

A marriage is two imperfect people committed to a perfect entity and make a perfect vow from imperfect lips in front of a perfect God.

Marriage is far more important than our personal feeling.There will come a time when we disagree with each other but that does not relate to the marriage itself. Be committed to the marriage, not only to the people in it, is the key success in marriage.

#2 Do have a healthy reasons for marriage
Many people have unhealthy reasons for marriage such as treating marriage as an escape from annoying parents, poor self-image and insecure, fear of being alone, pressure on age, fear of hurting current partner, and unwanted pregnancy. How could we build a great marriage with these reasons?

We cannot build a healty relationship when we bring an unhealthy baggage of the past. Our former pain, hurts, anger, insecurity must be let go before we enter marriage. It is a matter of making peace with ourselves and others to do a greater favor for our marriage. We do not want our spouse to be the victim of our anger, do we? :)

Being pregnant is also not a reason to get marriage, but to repent. It is better to rise the child alone rather than being with someone who is not ready and responsible for a life-time.

Healthy reasons to get married are as below:
- Because marriage is the will of God
A couple who consider to get married is encouraged to pray more together to seek God's will in their relationship.

- To express God's love to our spouse
God intends love in marriage to be "agape" love. It is unconditional love and a decision to love even the situations make our spouse truly unloveable. It is a sacrificial love, a determination to crucify our ego for the sake of others' happiness.

I guess this is truly a highest calling for sinful human like us. God shows us that in marriage we can never be succeed when we maintain our ego. He has been our role model to this type of love. How deep His love have touched our lives? We, ourselves, do not deserve such kind of love. Yet God gave it to us. There is no greater privilege to lay down ourselves for others. And marriage is the best practice battleground of all.

- To express sexual desire in Godly way
Sex in marriage context will act as a glue between husband and wife, while ourside of marriage will act as a destroyer of soul. God intends sex to be holy and beautiful. It takes a great understanding between man and woman to make it beautiful expression of love and not an egoistic lust.

- A willingness to build a family
Psalm 127:3-4 says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb reward. Like arrows in the hand of warrior, so are the children of one's youth"

There is no greater place to raise up children compared to a Godly home which is based on strong Godly marriage :)

- Friendship
A husband ought to be his wife's best friend and a wife ought to be her husband's best friend. It demands trust, transparency, and honesty.

- To share everything with spouse
An old proverb says, when we share our suffering, we make the suffering to become a half, and when we share our joy, our joy will be double. Marriage is a matter of sharing our joy and sorrown in loving and respectful relationship.

- To maximize each potential and support spiritual growth
A great marriage is the one that make you grow in your potential. It builds one another, not tearing others down. It intends to make each of partner grow more in Jesus Christ.It gives a place for partner to worship God, pray and learning God's Words together.

#3 The leave and cleave principle

Genesis 2: 24

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh"

There are three aspects in Genesis 2:24.

1) Leave.

This shows that parent-child relationship is temporary one and there will be a 'leaving'; The husband-wife relationship is the permanent one -"what God has joined together, let man not separate" -Matthew 19:6.

Problems occur in family life when these two roles are reversed and the parent-child relationship is treated as the primary relationship. Most of the cases, the parents are the sides who are most likely hard to let go their children. It is interesting that this command to leave refers to the children because the children are those who needs to decide to leave. It means to leave physically and emotionally. When we get married, our priority is in God and our spouse. Other things that messes this order will bring an inevitable conflict in marriage, probably a devastated ones.

Marriage is a primary human relationship. God even created Adam and Eve first before they created a parent-child relationship.

2) Cleave.
The Hebrew word translated cleave refers to the pursuing hard after someone else and being glued or stuck to something/someone. So a man is to pursue hard after his wife after the marriage has occured (noted here: the courtship should not end with the wedding vows) and is to be "stuck to her like a glue." This cleaveness indicates such closeness that there should be no closer relationship than that between the two spouses, not with any former friend or with any parent.

There is a tendency to take things for granted after marriage. Many people tend to act so compassionately in dating time, and once they get married they act 'so normally' like there is nothing special. Men usually study women until he graduated from high school of [her name]. But after marriage, many men tend to stop instead of taking bachelor or doctor degree in University of [her name]. The real meaning of 'to cleave' really gives us a hard insight that the pursuing needs to go on even after marriage. When we take things for granted, the quality will always diminish over time.

3) And they shall become one flesh
There is to be such sharing and oneness in every aspect (physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, social) that the resultng unity can be best described as "one flesh".

We are most probably having difficulty in balancing 'honoring father and mother' commandment with 'to leave and cleave parents'. I find that before marriage, our primary relationship is our original family in which God is the highest authority and the second in line is our parents. Thereby, honoring God should be at the higher priority from our parents. But we need to maintain always our respectful attitude to our parents. There may be disagreement with them, but disagreement can be delivered in respectful manner. And an important truth here is this authority is changed once we get married. When we get married, God is number one and our spouse is the number two. Do not put our former parents, siblings, activities at the top of these absolute order to avoid great conflicts in marriage.

There are still many more to be talked about. But I will stop here for now :) I would like to end this writing with this: Marriage is an act of faith. Let God builds it and be willing to use His wisdom to prepare from now on. It is a privilege, not a burden. I believe that a successful Godly marriage is not an impossible dream to be reached as we are willing to work for it. Let us determined in our heart to build this heaven on earth, shine, and bring healing to our next generation :)

June 10, 2012

Beautiful Pieces

Do you like to arrange puzzle? Some may regard it as fun activity which is full of challenges, some may get frustrated and give up before the puzzle is finished. What is the
highlight here?

It takes lots of enthusiasm and determination to finish what we have started well.

Isn't our life works similarly like the puzzle? For each moment given to us is like a piece of puzzle. At the mean time, we may not see what is the purpose of this piece of puzzle or how will it connect with one another. We often ask, "What is God's will for my life?" "Which path should I take?" "Who is the one who will be the best to be my spouse?" And we often get confused what, where, which, when, and how we are going to fulfill the God's purpose for our lives. God's purpose. The whole picture.

As each moment passes, we have a bunch of puzzle in our memories randomly. The whole picture is definately out of sight for our eyes are so finite with the one piece we got for each moment of life. Then how will we see and finally understand clearly the whole picture of our lives?

There comes a liberation as we acknowledge that we are merely humans made from dusts with a Creator, the God of heaven and earth who knows the whole picture, the masterpiece. He indeed is the One who designed it. He has designed it to be a beautiful picture beyond imagination. But each of us can only get it once we let Him guide us to combine each puzzle we have. Yes, it is only by surrendering each piece of our lives into His mighty hands. He is more than able to order those messy puzzle to reveal its beauty step by step. But we have to remember that this process could be ... painful.

God gave me this puzzle analogy to teach and remind me that everything is a process. It is good that we have a goal in certain things, but often God wants to deal something within us first before we reach it. Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years before she reached the land of Canaan. God lead me to a longer path while molding my character along the journey and He asked me to be grateful for each piece of puzzle I have right now. He reminded me that although I may not understand the piece of puzzle I got, I still need to be grateful. It is natural to let dissapointment sink in our hearts as our expectations do not match with the reality. But again, God places many pieces in our lives to remind us that "My way is not your way." Be grateful. It is as if God was saying, "Keep the piece and I will show you what for it is later on."

Do you know that it is much easier to arrange the puzzle from its sides? So the first thing that we need to do is to find puzzle which have straight side whether on their left, right, upper, bottom sides. Then eventually once we finish with it, we will get a kind of rectangle frame of puzzle. Notice this, once we surrender our puzzle of life to God, He will make its frame first. What is the frame? It is God's Words, His commandments, His boundaries. Most of us do the puzzle randomly. We start in wherever we like. Then somehow we lose direction and completely get lost in the middle. But God's ways are simple. He only asks us to rest upon His shoulders and walk in obedience. Step by step, He will make His path clearer to you.

The greatest challenge in doing the puzzle is when you have pieces with similar color. Moreover when it comes to black or other dark color. Everything looks so pointless. It describes our situation in difficulties of life. We may cry out to God, "Why do you put me in this situation? Why do you ask me to love such a difficult person?"

Hopelessness is a tempting friend in this area. Most of people get frustated and give up. But God is saying, "Keep going. Keep trusting. I know what to do. I am in control." The truth is there is something that only God can do and there is also something that only you can do. Our task is to know the difference. It is not our job to change people or situation, but it is our privilege to shine like stars revealing God's light in everyday's life. The rest is God's part. Most of us tend to "help God" by using our own way to change people or situation. But it is just never going to work. It is not a cliche quote which says, "Do your best, let God do the rest." How can I do my best? Just shine wherever you are.It is a profound truth.

Do you see obstacles that lies in front of you? It seems like a huge walls standing between where you are and where you want to be. Here is what I've found. The so called 'walls' are sometimes a 'white fence in God's eyes. Our obstacles sometimes are the one which protects us as well as a white fence protect the home within. It takes patience to stand still and obeying God as He prepares us to be ready. And it takes step of faith to step out the white fence. God is so much bigger than our problems. And what we think as a problem can be something which protect us from a bigger problem. A bit hard truth to swallow huh? :D

When we complain, our joy cease, and the devil rejoice. A long journey will be more enjoyable when we have companions and when we do not bother on how far we still need to go. Surround yourself with people whom will strengthen your faith and encourage your walk with God. Bother not about how far you should need to walk on but bother how fruitful you are along the journey. God's will unfold and put all the pieces together in its beautiful picture. There is a reason behind everything. A wonderful one. Keep persevering! Do not lose your enthusiasm!

So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:7).

Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart, and be thankful (Colossians 3:15)