About Me

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When we are weak, He is strong

god chooses the weak to shame the strong,
the foolish things of this world to shame the wise,
the despised things of the world to shame the glorious and glamourous.

why was Israel, out of all the many various tribes and nations, chosen to be the channel of blessing in which all the world might be saved? Why was Israel picked to be the most abundant, overflowing, and victorious nation, the one whom god gaurded, protected, and blessed? Why was Israel privliedged to be the people who would see God's glory and majesty displayed like no other, set apart since the very beginning of time to be a holy priesthood and nations for the manifesting glory of god?

because israel was the smallest and most despised tribe at the time.

no one would ever suspect that such a small nation would be strong enough to defeat the hittites, the amaelekites, the egyptians. but that is the beauty of god. he loves to exalt the lowly and bring down the haughty. He loves to use the most unexpected people, the most foolish things to bring him the most glory so that the world will know that it cannot be a result of humanly strength, wisdom, or power--but only through God and God alone.

and even though the churches may be small here in Japan,
even though there may be few believers,
even though it may seem almost impossible for the nation of Japan to come to to the genuine saving knowledge of christ,
even though it may seem like japan is the most unlikely country to truly love you because of so many hardened hearts,

lord i believe that you have great plans for the nation.
Something that I've noticed here in Japan is that the believers and the missionaries here have great endurance, for the pastor stated that the average believer takes about 10-20 years to fully make the decision of accepting christ. But the chritans here are true believers, for they do not take christianity lightly. The missionaries and Christains here know what it means to be patient and long-suffering. I see a certain humility in the japanese church's hearts. Because they are small they know they need to lean on Him for strength.
Lord i believe that you will use the small churches here in japan to bring you the utmost glory, to usher in a reviving of the peoples hearts. I believe that you desire to pour out your spirit and Your love upon this nation like new wine, revitalizing the nation's heartbeat after you once again. I believe you will change and break this nation to be one who shines in the darkness-- and you will do it through the few believers and the small churches here in this land, through the meek and the lowly. For when we are weak, Lord You and strongest.

and that is all we need.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

japan update/ prayer request #1

It is currently 2am in japan, and this is my 5th day here. All my teamates have already gone to bed, but I feel compelled to write for a bit. god has been definitely been challenging me and stretching me so much, but he still knows how much I can handle and what I cant handle. I feel like I am a rubber band being stretched out to what I think is the farthest it can go, but since rubber is elastic, there is never an end to how much more it can be stretched. i keep on thinking and asking god, how much more must i endure? Even though I felt that I was being stretched beyond my limit, I have a feeling that God is telling me that he wants to stretch my wineskin more so that there will be more room for him to pour more in. the intense stretching and the breaking of my outer man has definately been an excruciatingly painful process, but i want to hold on to the the hope that at the end of the fire, i will have a heart, a passion, and a faith that is as pure as gold.

One thing that im struggling with is hearing god clearly here in japan. I don’t know if its because theres something wrong with me, whether it’s the environment that im in, or whether its god choosing to be more silent so that I could learn how to trust him more…but not clearly being able to hear him when I need him most has been definitely a challenge to me. I was struggling with the spirit of fear as I was coming into japan… fears and doubts about this missions trip. I must confess that I was questioning god’s plan for my life—questioning him calling me to japan, questioning why i was put in this team, and questioning whether or not it was truly worthwhile to come here for only three weeks. will me being here for such a short period of time be enough to bear fruit? i am definately so far from being perfect, as i realize that my trust in god is still small.

Something that god showed me when this year started was that this would be the year that he would grow me in stature and character, and i was so excited when i first heard this. Little did I know though, that growing in stature meant the stripping and pruning of the things that are ungodly—desires that are not of him, my habits that are not of him, different mindsets, my sins....its definately not been easy though, but i know that this discipline god takes me through will in turn reap a harvest of righteousness. a verse that comes to mind that has been so comforting in this time of testing is hebrews 12--

7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? ... Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our certain good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
- hebrews 12: 7-11

god disciplines us becasue he want us to be more holy like him, to bear the fruit of righteousness when we have been constantly trained and refined. this fruit of righteosness that we bear will result in a conformity to gods will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with god ( taken from the amplified bible). i definately feel like god has been disciplining me and training me to endure during this season of growing in stature and character. . i can see the ways in which he is shaping me to be more perservering, to be more patient, to be more loving, and to be long-suffering. all of these qualities and characterisitics goes hand in hand with the building of stature and charater... and will probably take you through the most painful journey to learn and obtain these characteristics. perhaps this japan trip will be the ultimate test of my character, a place where god wants to refine me even more quickly because he wants my life to bear a greater harvest of righteousness and holiness. During this time in japan, i have been clinging onto this praticular verse for comfort--

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight

-(Proverbs 3:5-6)

lord help me to see with your eyes and love with your heart. not by my power or my own strength, but it is only by and through your spirit oh lord that these people in japan will be changed. oh lord i want to trust that your ways are truly higher than mine and your thoughts so much deeper than what i can even begin to fathom so i will not lean on my own understanding, on what i see and hear through these human eyes.

to go where you go
to say what you say
to serve how you serve
to love how you love
to do what you do

i will follow you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

lost dreams

I feel as though I have lost my ability to dream.
I used to dream big dreams , believe in big things, but now things have changed
why is that? what has changed? is it because I have stopped believing that God has wonderful plans for my life? Is it because I am scared to dream? Is it because I don’t believe god can use me in that wide of a scale to bring many people to know him name? or maybe its because i don’t care as much anymore?

I know that God has taken me/is taking me through a season of humilty. Before this year, I would constantly dream of conquering the world for christ. my one mission in life was to go to the hardest, darkest, and most unreached parts of the world and reap a harvest of souls there, see millions saved and come to Christ, and usher in a new revolutionary movement. “god use me to create the next big revival movement!” would be my cry. looking back now, i see how filled with self-pride this dream was, and how i wanted to do big things for Christ because I wanted to be great, to be the most revolutionary missionary there was in all of history. however, this entire year has been a season of continual humbling, of being taken from the high places down to the low so that I could be broken and learn how to truly look upon myself with sober judgment. over this year god has been so gracious in highlighting and emphasizing and giving me insight into one particular aspect of his character—his humility. through his gentleness, through speaking to me in his still small voice, through revealing his love to me in the humble, little, and lowly ways, he has truly been completely redefining how I see him and how I interact with him. truly he came to be in gentleness because he wanted to teach me how to be gentle, and he is showing me his humility, his love for the weak because he wants me to learn how to be meek and humble.

it was not until this year that I was able to fully let go of these big dreams. before, I could not accept the possiblity of not doing “big” with things with my life, of not being at the forefront and center of revival. now as I sit and reflect some more, i am wondering whether i had let go of these dreams as an outcome of this humility training (of learning how to be meek and lowly, instead of dreaming to be great), or if I let go of these dreams as a result of lack of faith, an inability to hope and dare and dream.

as I was again reflecting a few days ago, I came to another conclusion—
I have lost my childlike faith in god.
its been very interesting because as i read the word, god continually shows me/brings me to passages that talk about children. and through this I have gained more insight into what it means to be “childlike”—

a child has a simple mind with few worries and little agenda,
a child is vulnerable and humble
a child is pure and innocent of heart and mind, untainted
a child is constantly fascinated and curious with the world around him
a child has a very tender and malleable heart
a child finds his primary identity in what his parents tell him
a child is completely dependent upon his parents and absolutely trusts and believes his parents

and as i was thinking about all these characteristics of being childlike, I realized how I lacked most, if not all of them. some thing that particularly grieves my heart is that ive lost my utter fascination and awed-struck wonder of god. i am not as captivated by him as I used to be, not as fascinated when he would tell me secrets or show me different things. I realized how my heart has lost its tenderness, how I have grown more calloused, more tainted.
before, following god was so easy because that’s the only thing I cared about, but recently, it has been a struggle to want to desire to seek god. I want him... but I also want to desire to want him because I feel that my heart isn’t always 100 percent there.

granted, I am doing a lot better than I was last month, and I know god is slowly restoring me but still i realize that i do not know how to love god rightly... how i am so far from correctly loving god. God has been so gracious to me though. I'm not sure how long i will be in this dry season, but each day i am more convinced that god is with me and hes holding my hand. tonight (just a little before this) i was crying out to god and asking him to help me love him more, and help me to break my hardened heart. and as i was crying out to him i kept on asking him to show me why my heart was so hardened, what unconfessed sins were in my life, and what i needed to change about my life. a little while later my friend called me to catch up, and i began to share with her this issue and she gave me more understanding into my situation when she said--"do you think god is bringing you into this season of dryness so that you could better relate to the people around you and in your church?"

wow! so true... many people who have always grown up in the church, sadly, have the most hardened hearts of all. perhaps god wants me to understand not just my church, but america more. I never have really experienced a lack of desire for god before this point and therefore could not even begin to understand how people could be passive with god. i think that actually going through this season has really opened my eyes and my heart to be more sensitive to the needs of the people at my church, and the people around me who are also struggling with a hardened heart.

battling through with a calloused heart is not easy. but i believe god will redeem it for his glory, like he redeems, restores and renews everything, even transforming what was bad and meant for harm into something good and beautiful.
please god, take me back to the beginning with you, to that day you won my heart and completely captivated me with your love. oh would you tenderize again this calloused heart of mine again, and make it malleable and shapable in your hands.
and if god is big and limitless, then truly anything is possible--and i do wish to dream again.
i want to dream so badly,to hope and believe and soar in the boundless skies with him again.
I want to dare to dream big dreams, and have big visions... because our god is a big god.