About Me

This blog is dedicated to the glorification of my King Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 18, 2011

There is a faith worth more than gold, so refine me lord through the flames

An act of faith is a heart of praise.

As i was struggling with my sins a few nights ago and I felt helpless to ward it because I'd been having to battle this certain struggle for a time now, God reminded me of this simple truth.

wow.... I had almost wanted to go to bed, not willing to fight, and desiring to simply close my eyes and ignore this feeling that had come upon me. But as I was saying a short prayer, the lord simply reminded me what faith is.

and truly, isn’t faith simply trusting god despite whatever hardships and pain and struggles that we go through? and so then is giving praise not the highest form of faith when one is being put through the fire of trials and circumstance? Doesn’t thanking god for the struggles that we face demonstrate a strong trust in Him--in his perfect and pleasing will, in His path laid out for us, in His ability to deliver us from our sufferings?

And so when god spoke this to my heart, I was overcome and I started thanking God for my situation, for truly God placed this struggle in my life for my good. Thank you lord, that you gave me the privilegdge to struggle through this, because I know you will deliver me because you are mighty to save. Thank you Lord for giving me this burden because when I fully overcome this by your grace, I can then help others who struggle with this sin as well. Thank you Lord, for putting trials and suffering in my life because I know that they only draw me closer to you, to depend on you more. Thank you lord, thank you...

As i began to thank the lord, the burden on my heart started to lessen. and so I asked God,
Lord, please give me a verse that I can read so that I can hold on to your promise. Lord I want to hold onto your truths...

He then led me to Luke 11--
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you;seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
-(Luke 11:7-13)

And as I was reading this, the lord spoke to me and said,

joyce, when have you ever asked, and never received?
when have you ever sought me, and never found?

At this realization I began to tear, for the Lord started bringing to my memory of all the many answered wonderful prayers, all the miracles he’s done, and the matchless, unconditional love and grace he’s poured over and over and over again onto my life. And everytime I sought, I have always found. Evrerytime Ive asked... god really has given... even though I really don’t deserve it.

Lord... I really cant recall a time where you left me, remained silent, dealt with me with impatience, or did not provide for me everything that i needed and asked for...
you have even given me so much more than I have asked, so much more than i even deserve! and lord... I believe you are faithful to see me through and deliver me, because you have always been more than faithful to me, and you will remain faithful til the end.

today god confirmed to me again through a verse that truly thanksgiving is the best way to break any stronghold in my life, and even in the lives of others.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
(romans 5:3-5)

wow... to think upon this paradox--we rejoice when we suffer. when we actually do this, the problem isnt a problem anymore, but is instead transformed into something that can bring more glory and more honour, something that is welcomed and accepted, not spurned and despised. The suffering is actually beautiful now in light of this, because when we share in Christ's suffering, we share all the more in His surpassing glory.
Truly, it is a blessing to suffer, for it is the only way to go from Glory to higher Glory –by overcoming one trial to another. The bigger the trials, the greater the glory.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

this is my prayer in the fire, through weakness or trial or in pain

This week is byfar one of the weirdest/ hardest weeks ive had thus far.

I don’t really know where to start…
So I guess ill just begin with last week…for some reason I was having suicidal thoughts. I know this sounds morbid and scary, but I don’t know how to describe what im going through without telling this part as well. I had come back from a worship/ prayer time at PIHOP, and all of a sudden I was consumed with dark thoughts… I wanted to die, and didn’t want to live anymore, I hated the people around me, I just wanted to be alone. And I thought, “why am I feeling this way? This doesn’t make any sense…” I really didn’t know what was happening and I was too tired to fight so I went to sleep asking god to take these thoughts/ feelings of bitter negativity away from me. I woke up the next morning, still not feeling refreshed, a sense of heaviness still weighing upon my heart. The whole week was just… weird. Battling daily, fighting, being wounded by the devil’s sword, praying, and not knowing what was wrong with me, being overwhelmed with emotions ive never felt before.

Last weekend I stayed in Irvine because I needed to do a group project, so I couldn’t go home (which I usually try to come home every weekend to attend my home church and see my family). Whenever I am in irvine, I visit this church called Blessed, and every time I have went I truly have been blessed with the Lords love and presence, and just by the people there. Then during prayer time, the pastor came up and said, “I sense that some of you are struggling with the spirit of death, and that it has been plaguing you over this past week. If you need prayer raised your hand.”

And when he said that, I thought to myself, “omygosh… so that’s what ive been battling through this whole week… a spirit of death.” With the new clarity I had received, I raised my hand to receive prayer.afterwards I met up with my friends from vegas (they had come to visit cali and came to Blessed as well) and I told Ron how the prayer really touched my heart and the how pastor was spot on. Ron then received a word of knowledge from god, in which he told me that the reason why im struggling with his is because I was advancing in the spirit, and Satan felt threatened so he is trying to hinder my relationship with God. But more importantly, my friend told me that the main reason why I have a spirit of death is because someone around me is struggling with this, and that they are unable to pray so God gave me this burden so that I can intercede on their behalf. When ron told me this, I was struck. a few people came to my mind, so afterwards I prayed for them, not really knowing what to do.

The next day on Monday I was still trying to grapple with my thoughts when my friend called me to tell me she was coming to pick me up to go to JHOP (Irvine’s house of prayer, J stands for Jericho). Right after I got off the phone with her, I was overwhelmed with an intense feeling of unrest; my spirit was not at peace at all. I tried to pray it off, but I couldn’t shake the feeling off of me and I was thinking, Lord, why am I feeling this?? This doesn’t make any sense… God is there something wrong with me? What are you trying to show me? Later when my friend picked me up and I got in her car, I told her what I was struggling with, and about my weekend and how God was trying t help me feel other peoples emotions in order for me to better intercede for them. If I can feel the spirit of death from other people, then perhaps people’s emotions transfer onto me and im able to feel them as well? After I finished talking, she looked at me and was completely silent.
“omg jamie… what are you feeling right now?”

“im sorry joyce… I think youre feeling my emotions right now. I really have this spirit of fear, and ive not been at peace because its overwhelming me”

So after this car ride it became more obvious to me that perhaps a lot of other weird thoughts ive been having might not actually be of me, but God trying to help me become aware of other’s emotions. When I stepped into Jhop, I wanted just to rest in his presence and have the Lord’s peace wash over all the anxiety and weariness that I had been wrestling with that day. But when I tried to worship God, I couldn’t. There was this extreme pressure on my chest, and I couldn’t find it in my heart to bring myself to worship Him. I tried to pray it off, but surprisingly, I found that I couldn’t even bring myself to pray, much less speak his name out loud.

“okay Lord… something is definitely very wrong. God I don’t know whether this is my feelings/ something wrong with me, and attack from satan, or someone else emotions.” I sat there for a while not knowing what to do, feeling a bit helpless. “lord… please help me… I don’t know how to pray at this moment…”
just pray
“but I cant lord, I cant even open my mouth to pray to you”
just pray”
“okay, alright god… If I pray and this thing goes away, then that means that this someone else’s burden”

After this I prayed for a while, and when I stopped praying I noticed the pressure on my chest was completely gone. At that moment I realized that someone in the room was struggling with the inability to worship God, so I asked the people around me if they needed prayer.

All this took place Sunday/ Monday.

The rest of my week started going more downhill… for some reason I just didn’t have any desire at all to spend time with god. I didn’t want to talk to him, and I just wanted to ignore him. It was completely bizarre. I did not even touch my bible this whole week, much less pray. My prayers were basically… measly ten minutes, prayers to the air, a prayer “just to pray”… if that makes sense. I couldn’t comprehend what was going on, and why my heart was so hardened. It was so horrific... i felt as if my spirit was literally dying inside of me.
The thing that scares me even more is that sometimes its really hard for me to discern whether the things im struggling with/ the emotions im receiving is really of me or someone elses’. And when I receive things that I normally don’t feel, my first thought is, “ something must be wrong with me.” The lines become blurred and suddenly, someone else’s emotions really mistakenly become mine, and I become overwhelmed with these weird thoughts/ feelings that im having. As my friend was praying for me a few days ago, God was giving me a lot of clarity concerning my situation and told me that what He has given me—the ability to literally feel what other people are feeling—is a gift to bless others, but that satan has been putting a lot of fear into my heart and trying to confuse/ distract me.

So on Friday, God showed me who exactly was struggling with the spirit of death.

That’s a whole other story but I think for now… if those of you who are reading could pray on behalf of my friend-- she is really struggling with so much...-- that she may come to the full revelation of the depth, height, width, and length of God's perfect love for her, and to believe that God is still with her.

and also for me, that god may give me a spirit of wisdom, discernment and love so I can really properly use this gift to reach out to others in the way that God wants me to. Im still not sure why I have such a complacent/ hardened heart right now but I think god’s clarity is so crucial so that I may not be overwhelmed with all these different thoughts and emotions that are invading me, but that I may be able to utilize this gift so that i may intercede on behalf of others with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul.