“God uses brokenness far more than he uses strength or talent. Talent makes you look good. Brokenness makes God look good.” – Rick Warren
May all of us make God look good everyday 🙂
I haven’t been blogging for ages. 🙂 I have been thinking about THE prayer topic for this year. In fact, there are many prayer topics in my life that I can pray for. However, from previous years, I know that God has always a main prayer topic (emphasis) for me, especially relating to my spirit.
Akin to 2011, the prayer topic this year is still Joel 2:13
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
Though it looks the same but I know it’s NOT – I need to “demolish and rebuild” a deeper level.
In 2011, God’s light shone on my hidden weakness- the constant void for love. I did not come before God in this aspect. I have been hiding away from Him all these while (just like how Adam and Eve hid away from God when they knew they disobeyed God). Through the years, I had been using myriad of ways to seek love to fill this void. At the end of the day, I realized I still have the “void”. Not only that, as a result, there were repercussions in my spirit; I received much accusations and self-reproaches. These became a stronghold in my life which hindered me from enjoying the blessings and love from the people whom God placed beside me.
Thank God that He thinks that I can no longer live in that state and interfered. He sent me Pastor, Hj and Lw to confirm (i) God’s unconditional love and (ii) Jesus had died on the cross for all my weakness. Through this relentless confirmation of these truths, it slowly helped me get out of my deep-rooted accusations and I was able to face God confidently. For the first time, after so long, I repented before God and resolute to not fall into traps to fill that “devoid”.
Just as the second half of Joel 2:13 speaks, “Return to the Lord, your God…. and He relents from sending calamity,”
God gave me a surprise. Mr J (John) proposed to me on my birthday, and on that day, I was really touched to see his sacrificial love (just like Jesus sacrificial love for me) and the most important thing is I see that he is the best (he complements me the most in inheriting the spiritual blessings).
As the saying goes, “Good feelings don’t last” and true enough, the “void” slowly crept back. The insinuations kept coming and sometimes, I do fall into those traps again.
About a month back, pastor gave me this prayer topic, to be a changed Rachel – let go of my worldly perspectives and restore my perspective in Gospel (it ‘s like God appeared to Abram to ask him to change his name to Abraham). Secretly, I was feeling angry and was adamant that I have already changed and there’s no need for this prayer topic.
However, this prayer topic lingers in my head the following weeks. Whenever I felt the void or unrest, this phrase “changed Rachel” (demolish my worldly thinking and rebuild in Gospel) came to my mind. Further on, when I went to church camp, as Reverend Lee was giving some examples of “people who were born again, yet, they have not received the transformational change of a born again spirit”. Immediately, this spoke to me. “Yes Lord, this is me, I am still living in my “old self”- my desires and my wants. Lord, I am willing to die to my old self and be a “new creation”. I continued to confirm in many areas these few weeks. I am still holding on to my thinking and beliefs and these obstructed me from living in bliss, peace and joy in God’s promises and truth (which is God’s original intent).
I have therefore concluded that it’s not by repentance of my actions, nor perseverance, hypnotism and motivation that I can overcome my weakness. But it’s by returning to God (a “changed Rachel”) that I can completely break free from those insinuations and traps.
I came across this song from Streams of Praise “炼净我”. I loved it as it’s synonymous to my prayer topic.
“Something in the wind learned my name and its telling me things are not the same”
When you see that a guy protects his girlfriend just like those in the dramas, do you feel at one moment that you want to be the “girl” as she is fortunate to have the guy dotes on her a lot and that is called L.O.V.E?
When you see a love story such as the video of Chris Medina, will you be touched and at one instance you feel that is TRUE L.O.V.E?
When you see a guy treats his girlfriend to a romantic dinner, do many romantic things, buy flowers and all the things (branded bags, clothes, go on a trip etc) that the girl wants, will your heart envy and think that those should be the measurement of FEELING L.O.V.E.D?
“Never judge a book by its cover”. I know it sounds cliché but often, conclusions are drawn from the exterior (things and expressions that you see at that moment).
If you are given a chance to be invisible and look at the heart of the girls in those three scenarios:
Will you see in the first case, a girl with a heart of INSECURITY, regardless how much the guy protect her physically and emotionally, she would worry that the guy might leave her for another person?
Will you see in the second case, a girl with a heart filled with SADNESS, as she knows that she might leave the world anytime and there will not be a guarantee that her guy will still love her even if she parts the world?
Will you see in the third case, a girl with FEAR as she do not know if one day she becomes a “devil”, no longer that “likable”, and what if she cannot reach the guy’s expectations, will the guy still loves, accepts and forgive her?
What about God’s love?
Psalms 36:5 “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies”.
This verse itself tells about two very important elements, Unconditional love and Assured love (Security) that Man’s love will never be able to give completely.
Unconditional love: A love that is not based on looks, background, conditions, actions, gifts, talents, wisdom, weaknesses, strengths, and even faith level. God loves you even when you can’t love yourself or others. His heart goes out to you when you often feel accused, His eyes longed for you to be freed from those struggles and sufferings, in Jesus Christ.
Assured love: A love that will never change even though heavens and earths may change. As God knows that the world will tempt you and you will be shaken, therefore He sends Holy Spirit to remind and assure you of His love, your identity and your inheritance. He also prepares a church for you so that you will not only be reminded but able to receive the “right” heart in understanding the essence of His words so that “you are not under law, but under grace”.
I am not trying to say that you should now live in solitude and you do not need love from Man. On the contrary, God would prepare the person to love you as how He convicts him to love and protect you. So to be able to enjoy this love that God prepares, you must first learn and accept the love of the Creator.
The other day, I watched “American Idol” Season 10 audition and came across this “love story”.In short, Chris got engaged to his girlfriend, Juliana. Shortly after their engagement, his fiancé met a car accident and suffered traumatic brain injury. Despite that, Chris loves her still, stood by her and took care of her.
After watching, it reminds me of God’s unconditional love which is greater and deeper than Man’s love. No matter how “ugly” my spirit is many times, no matter how my heart feels “dull and numb” towards Him, no matter if my actions are “weak”, no matter how “defiant” I am, God does not leave me. Instead He looks at me tenderly and immaculately, waiting patiently for “my eyes” to turn to Him only.
Song of Songs 4: 1 -7 (How “Lover” (God) looks at his “Beloved” (us) when “she” do not have the heart to hear God in the preceding chapter.)
1 How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from the hills of Gilead.
2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
not one of them is alone.
3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.
4 Your neck is like the tower of David,
built with courses of stone[a];
on it hang a thousand shields,
all of them shields of warriors.
5 Your breasts are like two fawns,
like twin fawns of a gazelle
that browse among the lilies.
6 Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh
and to the hill of incense.
7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.
May we develop stronger and greater love with God through all the problems that we faced!
“你 们 要 撕 裂 心 肠 ， 不 撕 裂 衣 服 。 归 向 耶 和 华 你 们 的 神 。 因 为 他 有 恩 典 。 有 怜 悯 ， 不 轻 易 发 怒 ， 有 丰 盛 的 慈 爱 ， 并 且 后 悔 不 降 所 说 的 灾 。”
“Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
I was planning to do some revision for my exams but somehow, I just can’t concentrate and focus. Was thinking of having an early rest to prepare for tomorrow’s service, but I can’t seem to sleep too. So instead of allowing my mind to have unnecessary thoughts, I thought of one of this favorite song of mine, “But for your grace” by Women of Faith.
This song never fails to touch and comfort me every time I listen to it because it remind me once again of God’s faithfulness, grace and love for a sinner and wretch like me. May I continue to see and confirm God’s unconditional love and boundless grace in every weakness, condition and situation. But more importantly, may I have that willing heart to see my delight and joy in Jesus Christ alone.
“But for your grace, I would not be saved
But for your grace, I would go my way
I’m forever grateful that
You have been faithful to me, Lord
For your amazing grace
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see”