You become who you Look Up to

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… — Hebrews 12:2

In a world passing with digital data collected and utilized, calendar running with schedules arranged, and decisions made to the best of knowledge, no one is fully aware and in control of all the happenings in the world. This fact remains despite one rises to be the most powerful or wealthiest man in the face of the earth. Not to mention bearing this ambition as a life goal.

Nevertheless, there is an even more challenging quest that some will encounter. The difference is, this quest rewards security amid worrisome uncertainties, and the pursuer does not need to be controlling in order to gain it.

Walked on Water (Literally!)

In Matthew 14:28-31, Peter asked Jesus to allow him to “walk on water” (WOW! What an absurd request!). There he was, asking God to allow him to get out of his comfort zone — the boat, to do the impossible or the unconventional. Why did he ask, in the first place? (suspense for the moment) Continuing on, the passage says, that God was right there. So, when he came to encounter God, he knew he could ask for the impossible, and do it himself (well of course, by God’s power).

Now, he got out of the boat while looking to Jesus. In the next second, he was looking to the left and looking to the right. Guess what? Natural laws decided to work on him, and so he started sinking. (I wonder what was the sinking rate. Whether immediately, or sinking slowly — eg. first the ankles, then the limbs, knees, waist, …….) Anyway, as a matter of fact, walking on water was itself challenging and uncommon. But, it’s also natural for any human being to look to the left and to the right, to test the waters and see if there is a slightest support or affirmation or backup positions. In reality, from the time Peter entered the water zone, and acted against natural laws, it was God’s power that made the exception to the miracle. If Peter had acted before asking God, it would have been a foolish act. What more during a windy night.

Fix your Eyes on Jesus

However, God had indeed allowed Peter to do the impossible, and had taken care of him throughout the miraculous event. Peter was sinking, but Jesus held him out of the water and walked with him into the boat where the other disciples were.

Hence, there is one practice that needs to be honed in when doing God’s assignment, that is to focus on Jesus, and act by His power and providence. Relationships with people are vital to a healthy life, but they are not life sources. Looking to the left, and looking to the right, would not provide any useful support during stage time. Only God is the source of life, and He will certainly provide the nourishment and necessities to enrich those relationships with people.

The next time when doubt strikes, be still and know that God is in the midst!

Reference:
Psalm 139

When the Spirit of God is at Work in your Life

When the Spirit of God initiates a work in a person’s heart, that work could be so personal to the person initially. The prompting or inspiration is not immediately or directly shared by another.

At a glimpse on an insight formed from a multicultural experience (some relate to third-culture), or two back-to-back dreams received only by Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11), such a divine work is hardly agreeable by common understanding. It is also disputable if such unseen vision or inspiration originates from a person’s pride or selfish intention, or is truly from an invisible God.

No one can tell, except He who causes the inspiration originally. If He did, time and events will orchestrate His will and work.

And, these three ways will confirm it:

Wait and Seek

Sometimes, the people to be engaged with the inspired event are not there yet. It would be premature to have them engaged. For instance, a surprise birthday party is supposedly prepared outside the knowledge of the birthday bee. Or else, the party would lose its surprise element. Similar account can be traced to Abraham (Genesis 17) about God’s long-dated yet timely promise of a son, since when Abraham was initially 75 years old until he was 100 years old. And, he sought after God again to be aligned with God’s timeline and promise.

Ask for Confirmation

If the inspiration is from God, and not a request from our side, God will give the confirmation in His time. When we dial a number on a mobile phone, the screen will show up the number inserted, or it would give the dial tone for every number inserted. Similarly, when Gideon (Judges 6:36-40) asked for two back-to-back confirmations about God’s prompting of him on a rescue plan, which is to deliver his people from an enemy’s plundering and killing, God gave him both of the confirmations.

His Ways Prevail, Nevertheless

No matter what we do, or how we mess it up naively, what He has determined will come to pass perfectly in His timing and by His appointment. When a tax return filing is due, the due is still effective despite we filed it or not, or what “reasons” we submit for non-compliance. Similarly, Jesus’ crucifixion was determined since his birth into this world, for the good of mankind, despite what opposing events could have prevented that. (And no, time machine/traveling is not practically possible, and so on & so forth to undo the event)

God is Holy, and so are His Ways

In Genesis 50:20, it highlights the climax of Joseph’s story (we mentioned him at the beginning) about his decades-long expat journey caused by a betrayal of 10 of his brothers into slavery in Egypt (a foreign country). Decades later, Joseph rose to power in Egypt and finally reunited with his brothers and parents. This very statement by Joseph to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” highlights the very act of God that demonstrates His just nature. Amid the messy events due to man’s sinful nature, God’s intervention injected and manifested the beauty and blessings from His side, for the good of mankind.

The next time when your integrity is in question, or when being subjected to judgmental or skeptical eyes, stay calm and know that God is at work, and hearts are being transformed. Enjoy the co-op with God!

Highlights of D.L. Moody Quotes

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.” (1)

“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it” …(1) (Read more)


Reference:
1. SermonIndex.net. (n.d.). Text sermons : D.L. Moody : D.L. Moody quotes. Retrieved from  http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=33025