I pray that we can wake up and realize the potential that we all have in Christ. I have many doubts and lies that I believe in myself that I have to bring to the Cross. Rend our garments and mourn for deliverance, it's time to take our faith to the next level. A lot of us believe lies, even lies that have been planted years ago. I am a testament to that. Christ can renew us. I even see this week the struggle I had bringing truth to lies, because the lie was so deeply embedded in my mind that it became a tree of death. But resist the devil and he will flee. I sometimes get upset because I see people with instantaneous deliverance and I kinda have to struggle per se. But that in itself is a sin - comparing myself to others. But God is the faithful witness and He doesn't lie. He has plans to prosper us. It is only when we give up on God that He can't continue to work in us. It's through the brokenness of the heart, that he creates his masterpiece. There are two analogies I will use:
1. Someone once told me how our life is like a piece of tapestry. On the back it looks like a bunch of lines but once the work is complete and you see the carpet, it is quite the work.
2. A mosaic: Essentially a bunch of broken pieces but make up a larger image that we did not quite see when we started our work.
So you may not see why you are going through what you go through but God works in mysterious ways
I'll bring this home...
I don't remember this but apparently when I was a kid I had speech problems. Like, I was 4 and couldn't formulate proper words or sentences, my speech skills were severely impeded. People told my uncle that he should prescribe pills to help me with my speech. He objected and just trusted that things would work out. My cousin even told me that she thought I would be deemed a 'dumb' kid throughout school. Eventually, uncle said , to his dismay, that I became quite the chatterbox (I was 6-8 when I could talk normally). Throughout school, teachers always said that I talked too much and became the cause of much disruption in the classroom. At work, I sometimes forget that I'm at work and I communicate with people via screaming Lol. I remember my accounting teacher telling me that I have an announcer voice (now I don't know if that was sarcasm or out of annoyance, but I take that as a compliment). My cousin was even surprised that I ended being a straight A student. She told me twice, once in middle school and once last year that I guess God does work in mysterious ways. Now, I love to talk and write and hopefully would like to pursue such things. God saw life when no one else did as well as my uncle, who knows what would have happened if I took those pills....
PS. God is so cool. I'm trying to not indulge in worldly music and trust the pied piper has been bringing songs to my mind. Must resist Fleetwood (yes I am an old soul I blame my uncle), it is really enticing. I was raised with oldies like Springsteen and Young. It's carnal, but you gotta admit that was some 'good' music, the devil knows what he's doing. I remember saying to myself that I want some good worship music not some cliches. Because I feel a lot of worship is filled with all this unnecessary noise. I personally prefer acoustic things...but that's jut me. Anyways, God showed me this group, thanks God. Slowly I'm seeing how God can meet our innermost desires which is something I am just learning and learning to love.
So my midterm was blessed. I only attribute that to God's grace not because of my goodness. I had so much peace through this all as opposed to last semester where I had tormenting thoughts and actually quit my courses, but that's another story. So thanks for your prayers everyone. Just to tackle my two assignments. Through this I've been praying even more so. Often, when we are bombarded with things we neglect meeting with God because we think that will consume our time. But the more I sought God, the more grace I had in things. Anyways, two more assignments than blessed freedom. I can almost taste it...one more day of drudgery that is.
Off tangent, but I sense God really wants me to do a comprehensive study of the Bible. Just like I would do any other piece of informative text, because the Bible is literal history. And after my coworker telling me I don't know the Bible and seeing scholar Dr.Michael Brown being able to argue the Bible as a result of knowing the Bible, I think it's time to follow suit. I mean I read the Bible but I want to know it, and just have the sure foundation. Because I don't want to just go off the people's preaching because so much of it is sketchy now a days. We have people who water down the Gospel so much. People who take the Bible out of context. I just want to see for myself and be radically renewed in my thinking and formulate my own convictions and conclusions with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Anyways, Valentine's Day is tomorrow. I am not that bitter or jealous..maybe just a little. I kid you not, the video I posted is stuff I've heard people say to me. Be it friends or family. Like I have AIDS or something for being single, but at least I still have my sanity in tact and my virginity and my money and my freedom. Hey, I aint ready to wash a man's laundry and cook for him ;I am a wild stallion and this saddle is not ready to be broken (or is it...you never know with God). Kay, I sense I am rambling it's probably a result of the extra large coffee I had, so tata and have a blessed day.
Here are some random thoughts partly induced by coffee mostly by Holy Spirit:
So I have a limited window of time before I have to start cramming for my second and final midterm that's tomorrow, God sent me a scripture regarding this situation : A lazy person's way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway (Proverbs 15:19). Can we say ouch? I did repent and I am thankful for God's mercy and grace but He wasn't going to let this slide easily. Trust me after this week, with two midterms and two assignments due I never want to be stuck in this predicament again- unprepared that is. I even wanted to post a video regarding Valentine's Day and I have it done. I just need to edit it but I don't think I will have time to edit it until after Friday.
Anyways, at work I know this co-worker who is anti-theist. No she does not negate the fact that there's a God, just not the Abrahamic God that I love and know. She is very vehement in her beliefs, but through these months I was able to see that there's more beneath the exterior of anger.
So her daughter was rejected her work permit again and is considered non-existent in this country. Her daughter is potentially suicidal. And lonely. I've been praying if I can do something like hang out with her or something. She is finding it hard to make ends meet and she was quite overwhelmed at work today, so I kinda just asked " Have you ever tried praying, I know you're not religious and all..."
"It doesn't work, trust me Habiba I've been religious for 50 years and it's all hogwash (another word was stated but I will just censor)."
"Why would God let all this suffering happen."
"We live in a fallen world."
"Are you serious Habiba, do you really believe that?" (When she asks this question I can feel the judgement in her eyes as if it were saying Habiba how can you be so smart and yet so stupid LOL)
"Yes, faith is not logical."
So she goes on her typical religious rant on why she hates religion and stuff. She says I haven't read my bible blah blah blah. I know I haven't read it through and through (like from the beginning and end) and she tries to state that I am a 'selective' Christian because I've read certain passages. She has though. I try to explain to her that the difference between me and her is that the Holy Spirit gives revelation. Some time passes.
Then we talk about her bi-polar mom. This was after she asks about my upbringing in which I tell her I live with my uncle and aunt. But any whose, her bi-polar mom seen her dad's corpse chopped up in pieces post world war 2. She doesn't know if it was Germans or whatever, but needless to say her mom was never the same. At this point, I asked whether her mom died of natural causes. She did not, she had a severe manic episode and lets just say she worn her heart out. My co-worker regrets not being at her mom's deathbed, she was 30 minutes late. At this point, my coworker starts tearing up and I feel awkward trying to comfort her (like um you don't have to feel guilty, gosh I'm not Dr.Phil). My coworker hasn't had the greatest life either and perhaps she feels like a failure since her daughter who she intended to have a better than herself feels stuck . Perhaps there's some generational curse going on I really don't know but I do believe with prayer that God can reveal Himself to her.
Scripture Reading: The Valley of Dry Bones Ezekiel 37:1-14
God wants to restore that has been declared dead in this nation. In the context of CrossPower many people are in a lull. God is something you have to pursue for yourself. Pastors can only talk to us for so long until you have to make a critical decision about your walk with God. You have to be intentional about God. Only then will God will restore You. That which the enemy has taken can be restored in Christ Jesus. Seek him full heartedly and remove all idols. In my life, what is worth losing my eternal life over? Nothing. God is the only constant through the winds and storms of life. Do I live to please men or do I live to please to God; a critical question you should ask yourself. Seek holiness, seek truth and you will find it. Humble yourselves and pray. Deal with the sin in your life in order to hear God's voice.
Sometimes I get bouts of loneliness, although it is getting better. I always struggled with it. (Even when I was a kid I remember randomly feeling some emptiness that I could not quite explain and that kinda intensifying in middle and highschool. It climaxed last year, but I think now it's good. Of course there are the monthly mood swings, but I'm praying for God to take dominion.)
I pray up a storm at church and feel good for the week. Then I go to school and it just comes all over me. I get anxiety. And I know very darn well that I prayed and spent time with God this morning (which included asking for the covering of the blood ,the armour of the Spirit and dying to self). The reason why I am so confused is that those in the world are suppose to feel like this right, well I'm not in the world and I still feel it LOL. Of course there is spiritual warfare. Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. He is always roaming waiting for his opportunity to pounce...Focus. Focus. Yet, I can’t help shake off the lonely feeling as I go on the bus. I tell myself to cleave onto Jesus. I meet some friends later on and randomly talk about God (thanks Holy Spirit). I didn’t go into detail but the typical “you’re name is Habiba and you're Christian”, which sparked some interest since they were muslim. Yup. We engage in nice conversation, but I can’t help but feel that I don’t fit in while talking to them. Hopefully, I will encounter her again to share the gospel. I go home feeling defeated (what battle I loss is beyond me). Then I try to find some positive scripture “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper” I’ll take that. Although my spirit doesn’t resonate with that I need to keep praying ,trusting and believing that one day it will all make sense. Anyways, time to blast some worship music and commence stu-dying for midterms that I 've procrastinated on. Lord have mercy on my soul and may reading week come ever swiftly and valentine's day go ever quickly.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. ISAIAH 43:2
Yes, God wants us to save multitudes or heal the sick and be nice. However, the most important thing is to have intimacy with God. All of these can be dead works, if we are not pursuing God on a regular basis. In my life, when I neglect to seek God, things don't go the way I intended. I start operating in my own strength. You can't serve a saviour you don't know.
I do acknowledge spiritual warfare. I have been experiencing a lot of it lately. Confusing thoughts, fear. memory lapse ( I kid you not i notice I have been forgetting things and my mind blanking out sometimes) and anxiety especially when I am trying to move forward with God. Like really lay my life down for the furtherance of the gospel. Often, I get discouraged and I'm like " I did not sign up for harassment, I'd much rather be comfortable. God, why are you letting me be tormented like this , I'm trying. And I know the devil doesn't like that. But can this happen less?". So I get angry with God and don't talk to him. Haha, I feel like a petty child sometimes. And then I start thinking who needs God I seem to be doing pretty fine. I have some friends, maybe worldly, but they're still somewhat decent. I don't need God.
And that's where one can become prideful and a hardness of heart occurs. Thankfully, God loves me too much to allow me to go astray. I kid you not when I know I'm not doing what God wants I can feel the Holy Spirit just prompting me to talk to God. "That means humility and no God I'm really upset with you.I don't want to Holy Spirit, God wasn't there when I needed him and he left me hanging, that is sooo not cool. " Ignore the message. I try to sleep and the Holy Spirit is like what if you die without God. And I don't know maybe I think I'm Chuck Norris but I'm like , "well I will figure it out." But I don't know something happens (perhaps I actually use my noggin) . Eventually, I realize the necessity of God and crawl back to Him. "God, you know I was kidding about all the stuff I said we still be homies, no seriously God, sorry for being bitter". It's not always like that, but I sense because God wants to really do a work in my life the devil really doesn't want that to happen. And I feel like I'm in the middle of a tug of a war. It doesn't help that I am being put in more uncomfortable positions to glorify God and I'm like can we just slow down a bit. I need to breathe.
I realized I need to always be humble and ask for prayer when I feel stuck in the mud. I know I get embarrassed asking Sis Deb for yet another prayer request, but the Word says there's no condemnation. Daniel prayed 3 times a day. Paul said pray without ceasing. The list goes on and on.
Prayer and the Word at first can seem intimidating and perhaps even boring. When we watch shows that show people jumping off cars and people showing off their jiu-jitsu, prayer and quiet time can seem unfulfilling in contrast to that. I used to struggle with other thoughts when praying, like food and surfing. You name it I probably thought of it. If you can't pray an hour at first, start with 30 minutes and gradually build your way up. Make a fixed time for prayer to happen, rather than just letting it happen. Have an accountability partner. Set your mind on the higher things rather than the world so quiet time can seem more exciting. Trust me, when we are not filled with the junk of the world everything heavenly seems more appealing. Spice things up, Go for a walk (ideally some where with pretty flowers) admire flowers and talk to God. Go to a coffee shop and just journal and talk to God. God is flexible and does not limit us to the confines of our room.
Just today I was having a talk with the senior pastor's wife. The wife mentioned whenever her mom had a problem she would just lock herself in her prayer room and pray. She would come out of the room with joy. God wants that for you and me. To be willing to come to him with every problem. When I lose things I pray to God to show me or bring it back. When I do assignments I pray for God's guidance. Before work sometimes I pray for wisdom, guidance and peace. He wants that, that dependency. There is nothing that we can't talk to God about.
It's just a matter of whether we are willing to make the time. We can get so busy for God that we forget God. I am not saying it's wrong to reach out be a part of a group and do various activities for God. But we should always strive to seek God first. The path is getting narrower and we can't just do what we want anymore. I'm thankful to be learning that.
Needless to say, some of my news years resolutions have not been the way I wanted it to be. It was initially good, but some warfare and lack of zeal caused me to not follow through. But I'm not giving up. I'm also grateful that God has given me opportunities to share with people in the midst of this. Please pray that these people would be open to the Lord.