The Lost Sheep

I feel I am not worthy to write about God and the things of above. Before sitting down for this, I was bothered by these thoughts: so you want to tell people about God but here you are, you just committed another sin. Forget about writing about God, do not be a hypocrite, no one will listen to a sinner. Forget about writing at all, don’t waste your time. And I almost believed the lies. True, I am a sinner, I am the lost sheep. The lies are that I am not worthy and that no one will listen.

Just when I am about to get on my feet in the spiritual battle and find my purpose, I find myself attacked and fallen.  Sometimes we think, God allowed it trying to take on the responsibility of our choices.  Yet God allows choices, and I choose to do those sins.  I go out of the fence and wander far from Him. It is a dark and dangerous field out there and I find myself being beaten down time and again, by my thoughts, my actions – deceived time and again. 

I asked God, don’t you get tired of looking for me and taking me back?  I accused Him of letting all these happen.  Why cannot He just keep me safe in the fence and so my life will be happy?  Why give me the freedom to wander off and hurt myself and others?  I cried to Him, I am so tired of trying to understand and fight and do what you want me to do and I am so tired of this life, there is just no way that I will be perfect, holy and a Christian.  Even my tears are tired of falling, my heart tired of breaking.  Everything about me is just simply tired, but the irony of it all, in the tiredness I didn’t let go of the rein of my life, I didn’t turn over my life to God.  I held on to it with my remaining strength, trying to fix things, trying to figure things out. 

God, on the other hand, in His faithfulness continue to prod me, silently calling out to me, seeking me, and keeping me.  I know He does.  I cannot explain how I know, yet I believe with all my heart the only reason I still have my sanity and that I am still breathing and writing this right now is God keeping me and keeping His covenant with me.  And He is asking me, aren’t you tired of trying to make sense of your life?  Why don’t you rest in me? 

I wish I can tell you it happened overnight.  That I heard Him and accepted the invitation at once without arguing; that at the point I accepted and rest in Him, things got better.  It was a process that for some would take a while for others longer. Finally giving in and resting in Him, there was peace, there was true joy in me.  But one incident, one memory, one harsh reality and boom!!! a huge wave of thoughts and feelings rush back. I try to run away but it caught me.  I try to stay afloat while it beats down on me.  Truly, me of little faith.  Forgetting the Anchor, forgetting to fix my gaze on Jesus.  Things didn’t get better overnight, but gradually, in little steps, in little moments, with the graces of God, smaller battles are won.  It may take a little more time for me to be truly okay, or maybe I won’t be entirely okay and memories will bring me emotions that will challenge my peace and joy, yet I pray to be anchored to His truth, that in this world, I will have troubles, and I have to take heart and remember that Jesus has overcome the world and has been victorious and in that my hope lies, my rest is in Him.

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18 NIV

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11 NIV

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16 NIV

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 62:1 – 2 NIV
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Jesus Owns You

In the Philippines, especially in its capital Manila, the roads are filled with these rowdy jeepneys – the engine sound, the sudden stops, the blings and stickers on their bodies.  As a driver, you would want to stay as far away from them as possible which is an impossible feat in the metro.  These jeeps would often have names written on their body or hanged on the back, sometimes stickers of zodiac signs, artwork, or the face of Jesus, others hang signs like “God bless our trip” or some pinoy hugot or humor quotes.

As I was done with my first trip this morning and on my way to the second one, I was already getting cheesed off with the bad Manila traffic, the buses and pedestrians, the chaos so early on a Monday morning.  And it’s a Monday.  Half-way to my second destination, this jeep cut me and I was about to lose it when I saw what’s written on its side “Jesus Owns You” and it spells JOY.

So simple.  3-letter word.  3 words.  Says it all.  It occurred to me how we all strive and struggle to be happy, to find peace, to be filled with joy – the joy that the world can never ever take away from us.  We search, we seek, we ask, we knock yet often we are left asking for more or asking more questions.  All along, what Jesus is telling us, what God wants from us, is to be owned by Him – yet we cannot have that.  I am my own, this is my life – don’t we all say that and live that?  I want joy but I want my life to be my own as well.  Hmm… I really don’t know how we can work around that when JOY is simply being owned by Jesus.

What does it mean to be owned by Jesus and why do most of us resist?

To be owned even just by someone is to be a slave of that person, to obey and act on that person’s commands.  Didn’t God give me

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March-ing by

Since this month started, seems like things were going fast.  Lent arrived and then – boom!  A week left of the month and I wonder where have I been?  I mix up days, forget dates, here but absent.  My mind drifting and sometimes shutting down.  I’m staring but not really seeing.  And right now, my body screams STOP!!!- but I cannot.  There are things needed to be done and things I wanted done.  I haven’t prepared a draft for my blog post this March.  I haven’t picked up the book I was reading.  I haven’t been sleeping at the designated time I wanted to, not getting enough hours of sleep.  Seems like I’m running after time.  Just like that, the days are marching past me.

I am overwhelmed as soon as I shifted my eyes away from God and focused on this world.  I am downcast as soon as I turned my back to His Word and embraced the world.

Last night brought me so much consolation.  His Word that is truly alive and active and accomplishes its purpose.

PSALM 27

[Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? Yahweh is the fortress of my life, whom should I dread?  When the wicked advance against me to eat me up, they, my opponents, my enemies, are the ones who stumble and fall. Though an army pitch camp against me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, my trust will never be shaken.  One thing I ask of Yahweh, one thing I seek: to dwell in Yahweh’s house all the days of my life, to enjoy the sweetness of Yahweh, to seek out his temple.  For he hides me away under his roof on the day of evil, he folds me in the recesses of his tent, sets me high on a rock.

Now my head is held high above the enemies who surround me; in his tent I will offer sacrifices of acclaim. I will sing, I will make music for Yahweh.  Yahweh, hear my voice as I cry, pity me, answer me!

Of you my heart has said, ‘Seek his face!‘ Your face, Yahweh, I seek;  do not turn away from me. Do not thrust aside your servant in anger, without you I am helpless. Never leave me, never forsake me, God, my Saviour.  Though my father and mother forsake me, Yahweh will gather me up.

Yahweh, teach me your way, lead me on the path of integrity because of my enemies; do not abandon me to the will of my foes — false witnesses have risen against me, and are breathing out violence.  This I believe: I shall see the goodness of Yahweh, in the land of the living.  Put your hope in Yahweh, be strong, let your heart be bold, put your hope in Yahweh.

 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭136:1‬ 

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 59:16

Wait on the Lord, Wait for the Lord

This morning, I received this verse from Psalm 27:14.

Now, I receive this short text about waiting on the Lord, to run in His pace and to trust in His timing.

The peace and joy that your heart and soul experience whenever you keep pace with God is so wonderful.  I am currently going through and learning about this waiting – and it’s not something that you learn once and then graduate from it.  Waiting on the Lord is a lifetime commitment, a moment-to-moment event and opportunity to glorify Him.  I will never get tired of hearing God telling me to be patient and to wait for Him because I know only He can give me the best.

Read: When I Lose My Patience With God – Christy Mobley