As I retired to bed, I just felt like wanting to read the Bible. So, I took my physical Bible. And not knowing what to read, I asked a simple question, ‘God, what should I read?’ Immediately I heard an answer. A book which begins with an ‘E’. So, I thought, Ephesians? Then it doesn’t feel like that’s the one. Ecclesiastes? Could be!
I quickly thumbed through the introduction of that book. Eugene Peterson brilliantly wrote the intro. And I knew this is what God wants me to read.
As I hungrily complete the last chapter—I came to the final word of that book, which is:
Fear God. Obey His commands.
Or, in the Message version:
Fear God. Do what he tells you.
I like the AMP version, though.
It gives clarity to the phrase ‘fear God’. It removes the unhealthy connotation which may be attached to the word, ‘fear’.
Worship Him. Show profound adoring awed respect. Wow.
Knowing that He is Almighty God. Therefore WORTHY to be worshiped in this manner. Wow.
Next, keep His Commandments.
Now, I know of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament of the Bible. But I also know of the Great Commandment, which to me, is the mother or rather father of all commandments. This is it.
To quote Matthew 22:35-40 AMP from the Bible:
One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly (adjective) seek (verb) the best or higher good for others].’
The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
To fear God (out of reverence for who He is), to obey His commands to love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as myself…
BAM! I think I’ve found my life verse.
I’ve attended a two-day ‘Keys to Transformation Seminar’ at Elijah House. And this question posted to the attendees at the start of the seminar got my immediate attention—
Do you take God’s words lightly?
My instant response was, of course not!
But just take a look at this verse from the Bible:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1 NIV
Or, another translation in AMP
Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]
And I have the truth staring at me. I do take God’s words lightly!—because I do judge others.
(For a clearer context of this verse, consider to read this article by Wayne Stiles ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged—what Jesus meant’, then come back to continue reading this post)
That caused me to be worried, and I’d better be…
What other words from God have I taken lightly?
Those words which I’ve read and understood in my mind, but I didn’t ask God to help me live it out.
I worry not because of a fear of being punished, or of blindly sticking to religious laws. I worry because it shows a lack of my honour for God.
I worry because God’s words are truth, and I’m defying His words!
A shift happened—now when I read the Bible, I have a renewed interest in what God is saying to me through His words. The Bible became personal. And rich.
‘Do you take God’s words lightly?’ became my wake up call in my journey of knowing God.
Excerpt from my previous post: There’s a ministering course which I wanted to go to receive inner healing for all these knots and mess, which I’ve been trying so hard to untangle but failed.
And so I’ve attended Elijah House ‘Keys to Transformation seminar’. I’m delighted to share my discoveries about Elijah House, and also, inner healing.
- It’s for every Christian at any stage in their walk with Christ.
- It’s not designed to be a place for those with deep, personal problems and are only seeking help for themselves.
- Inner healing is not a single nor one-time process. It is also not something to repair or fix us. God intends to raise us anew in Him. Therefore our old selves have to ‘die’ so that the new selves can be born.
- It’s not a behaviour changing program where the attempts are to change how our mind thinks. It goes deep and deals a lot with our emotions and the actual conditions of our heart.
- It enables students to recognise the root causes of their problems. Often without knowing the root cause, the same problem will recur in different scenarios.
- Gain knowledge through the live teaching and video, and the revelation by the Holy Spirit to understand the reason why we are what and how we are. For me, it’s a great feeling to understand logically (through the enabling of the Holy Spirit) why I’m struggling with the same issues.
- Learn how to minister to others by observing how the facilitators minister in small groups.
- There are opportunities to be ministered to to experience personal healing through small group prayer ministry.
As I’ve said, it’s for every Christian at any stage in their walk with Christ. To me, what I’ve discovered about myself; the acceptance of responsibilities for my wrong responses to issues, and most importantly a heightened empathy towards others (for example, hurt people, hurt people) is a start to my walking in freedom with Christ.
Ran out of steam by running on my own strength. The invitation from the Lord has always been open to me, to go to Him. I didn’t take it seriously, not fully, anyway.
How does it feels like to drop everything at His cross, and follow His lead?
I was presented with this verse, right smack at the beginning of the war movie, Hacksaw Ridge; a true story of an American army medic, Desmond Doss, whose beliefs convicted him to not kill, nor use a rifle…even in the war.
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power . Isaiah 40: 31 AMP
Here I am waiting, abide in me, I pray
Here I am longing for You
Hide me in Your love, bring me to my knees
May I know Jesus more and more
God, I want to know You more. I need to know You more. I want it to be real in my heart. Lord, I want that kind of conviction to depend on the unshakable You.
They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle’s wings
Weird how an ugly haircut triggered a series of events…
I wanted to save money on a haircut, so I did something completely out of character. Instead of going to my trusted hairdresser, I took a risk and went to trim my hair at an express hair cut outlet. I walked out looking like I’m about to go to prison. I dread having to face people. #vain
That brought to the surface (weirdly)—years of gunk which I haven’t dealt with but need to.
So, I Whatsapp my pastor and told him these three things:
- I’m drained physically and mentally.
- I’m furious, cynical, bitter, and resentful. I want to get out from this prison—I don’t know how.
- Yes. I still can do my work. But I need space and flexibility to work from home. To sort things out away from the routine of forcing myself to go into the office—and face the increased toil of ‘behaving’ in public when instead, I felt like crashing.
My pastor without further questioning said yes, please go ahead. He understood my situation. #grateful
So I did the responsible thing and informed my team about the temporary plan that I will be in and out of the office more often. I didn’t dive into details. I think they sorta know I’m going through sh*t.
Today, I packed my laptop and stepped out of the office. Felt blur and directionless. Although I wasn’t leaving the office permanently, I felt sad. I asked, now what? I don’t know how to move forward. I don’t have any planned counselling.
There’s a ministering course which I wanted to go to receive inner healing for all these knots and mess, which I’ve been trying so hard to untangle but failed. The course, however, was fully booked until November. I questioned myself, how the heck am I going to get some handles to sort things out; now that I have carved the time to do so.
I started to doubt whether this new routine is worth to do, coz it’s more comfortable to go back to the old routine and plough through work and life. Like I always do.
But I have a hunch that—I can’t go on like this. I need to create space in my life. Space to do what, though, I don’t know. So, I took steps to do so, without knowing what’s next.
Then. In a matter of a few hours, I received news that one person pulled out of the ministering course, and I have the spot, would I want to join? Would I want to join?? Would I want to eat ice-cream on a blistering, hot day? I signed up immediately.
I don’t have to wait until November, coz God knows…(Yeah, He knows!) I only have to wait 1.5 days for the 2-day course to commence.
I don’t know what will happen during or after the ministering course. Would I be in so much emotional pain that I’ll feel like dying? I have been avoiding facing the pains full-on as I’m not sure that I can take it. What would I unearth?
What I do know is—God’s timing. It’s perfect, just like Him—He orchestrated my stepping away from the office and into this (scary) journey. And He loves me so, warts and all. He will walk me through this.
And these are all I need to know for now.
Life is much like going to the gym. The most painful part is deciding to go.- Robert T.Kiyosaki