Tag Archive | obey

BECOMING A LEADER (guest post)

Becoming a Leader

What is the first thing that crosses your mind when you listen to “Becoming a leader”? Is it having excessive authority, being respected by many people, surrounded with facilities and priorities? Or…….

 

BECOMING A SERVANT

There was a time when James, John and their mother come to meet Jesus (Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 10:35-45), asking for His favor to be seated on both right and left sides of Jesus in His kingdom. In the other words, they wanted to be a part of the Kingdom, having power and position. But Jesus answered, “…..whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:25-26 NKJV)

Becoming a leader doesn’t mean to become the sovereign or ruler. It means we become a servant. Jesus had set an example by washing His disciples’ feet. “He rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet…..” (John 13:4-5)

Jesus was much respected by His disciples, He took off His robe, girded Himself with a towel as a symbol that He positioned Himself as a modest servant.

If we want to become a leader who is favored by God, we also need to take off our “Robe”, be it our pride, status, ego and all the attributes that displays our proudness, and then we learn become a humble servant.

Becoming a leader is not about physical activities but also about humility. An arrogant leader tends to do things as he wishes, look down and dont appreciate his people, and is hungry for respect. Humility talks also about the willingness to see our people can be great , or even greater than us.

Leadership is about being of service to other, not to served by others. Set an example and stop ordering them according to your own will.

As a leader, we could not demand to be served and honored for “WHO are we” and “WHAT is our position”, but let us set an example in our speech and action. Then people will look up on us, not because of their obligation, but because of their respect from the deepest of their heart.

 

BEARING THE RESPONSIBILITY

Leadership is not a position or title, but it is a trust and responsibility

The higher the position and more people to be led means that the bigger responsibility which the leader need to handle.

Moses was chosen by God to lead millions of Israelite. Moses had to face many characteristics of the people and solved the problem for them. Moses realized he would not able to handle everything on his own. Because of it, Moses listened to his father in-laws to promote a leader of one thousand people, hundred people, fifty people and also for ten people (Exodus 18:21-26).

A leader has to delegate part of his responsible to others. Not for anyone but those who are skilled and have fear of God. They need to be honest and trust-worthy. These qualified people will be given responsibility according to their ability. They won’t be given task and later be ignored, but they will receive training and supervised until they become great.

So, how should we respond when people who we lead make a mistake?

In Exodus 24:12-14, God ordered Moses to be on the top of mountain. Before leaving, Moses gave trust to Aaron and Ur to be in charge of every problem that might occur when Moses was not around. The problem arose when the Israelites could not wait for Moses to come back (Exodus 32). In the middle of chaos, Aaron made a wrong decision. He molded a gold calf. God was so mad that He saw the Israelites bowed to worship this idol. God even wanted to destroy and replaced them with Moses’ descendants, but Moses didn’t stand up for Aaron to defend himself. Moses bore all the responsibility by asking for God’s forgiveness upon Israelites. And if God wanted to, Moses would be willing to erase his name from the Book of Life. We can see how big Moses’ heart was.

Bearing a responsibility is not about completing task, it also means willing to love people who God has trusted us to lead.

As God’s children, God puts us as a leader in order to become a blessing. God wants us to be successful and excel in everything we do. But above that, God wants us to channel His love to people that we are leading. Let us start to love and appreciate them as a “person”, not an “asset” in our organization. In love, there are rebukes and discipline, but also there is warm embraces. There is a time for a consequence when they commit a mistake, but also a time to help them rise from their failure and give them second chance.

 

OWN A RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER AND HEART

Saul and David are two great figures on the Bible. Saul was appointed and anointed by God to become the King of Israel (1 Sam 9:16-17). David went through the same experience, too (1 Sam 16:12-13). But what did make the difference between them? Character and heart!

In one of the battle against Philistine, recorded on 1 Sam 13, Israelites were on the edge. Before it happened, Samuel had ordered Saul to wait for seven days until Samuel told him what to do next (1 Sam 10:8). But because Samuel had not appeared soon, the Israelites were about leaving the King Saul. King Saul was afraid to be left behind, he made sacrifices with a burnt offering and peace offering which were supposed to perform only by the priest. When Samuel came and confronted Saul, he denied, defended himself and didn’t repent to God. Then God removed his kingship and gave it to David because God saw his attitude (1 Sam 13:13-14).

Now, let us have a look at David. Although he had been anointed as king, it took couple of years to make it came true.  And during these years, David had experienced many processes. He started to become a servant and armor bearer of Saul (1 Sam 16:21-22), became a hero that defeated Goliath and was being hunted down by Saul.

Saul was full of envy and thirsty of power. The folk’s song “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousand” has made Saul felt underrated and threatened. On the other side, David believed that the throne was given by God to him. David never thought to compete against Saul. Saul didn’t obey and fought back against God, but David felt regret and repented immediately when Nathan, the prophet, rebuked him for his sins with Bathsheba. Looking over his attitude, David has found the favor of God.

Ability may get you to the top, but the true character and heart that will keep you there.

We have seen many of great leaders that started their leadership right, but they were fail in the process. Some of them could get on their feet, but many of them still stuck in their failure.

Great leaders are not them who are never failing, but people who are realize of their wrong, willing to change and strive over their failures.

The heart is the source of everything. A righteous heart can help the leader to do the right things and keep him in enduring when God is processing him. Every time he can strike against all the circumstances, then his character will be molded and transformed.

David had started his process long before Samuel anointed him. David could surpassed all the pressure and fleeing since he had firm foundation. David built his relationship with God thru his quite time with God, he worshipped God with his harp and he shepherded his small amount of sheep faithfully.

Through this writing, I encourage each of us to be a leader like David, who accepted the rebuke humbly and wanted to repent immediately. Let us build our strong faith and have an intimate relationship thru prayer and fellowshipping with Holy Spirit. May us can be faithful on small things that God has trusted, preserve during process, walk on the right tracks, and do not go aside from God’s word.

 

HAVING INTEGRITY

As Christ’s follower who is trusted to be a leader, people will not only measure of “WHAT IS” our achievements, but also assess the “HOW” we achieve it. That’s why we must have big integrity than the leaders outside of Christ.

Integrity means determined to apply value of the truth CONSISTENTLY in any situation. In this case, the value that we hold is a higher value than the morals and norms of society, which is THE GOD’S WORD. People with integrity have sincerity and honesty. He will not become specious, and don’t have hidden agendas. What they say is what they do.

“Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37 AMP)

Leaders with integrity will be not in “gray area” and not “stand on two boats”. Leaders with integrity will be always consistent in words, attitudes, and actions.  They resolute and will not make compromise, not ashamed to admitted their mistakes, and willing to accept advice and criticism.

Skill can be trained, the knowledge can be learned, but integrity comes from the deepest of the heart. Integrity does not come just one night, but formed due process, maturity, and awareness. That’s why leaders with integrity are “expensive”.

We are able to achieve something if we have the ability and strong will to go forward. But if we do not have INTEGRITY, then all of it will only be a stumbling block for others as well as a snare for ourselves! Because without integrity then we will justify any means in order to get what we want. In the end, sooner or later we will fall.

He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.” (Proverbs 10:9 NKJV)

“The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” (Proverbs 11:3 NKJV)

Let’s be  leaders with integrity so we could glorfy God in every step of our leadership.

 

MAN BUILDING

We are called by God to not only set up an organization, but to build men who are inside.

Jesus called His twelve disciples with various backgrounds. For three and half years, Jesus has invested in each of His disciples. He put inside them the value of Kingdom, changed the way they think, built a strong mentality, and also changed their paradigm. One of His disciple (Judas) had chosen his own way, but another eleven disciples who had been transformed become full of fire apostles and willing to bear the cross to spread the Gospel.

Also we can learn about David when he was in Cave of Adullam, 1 Sam 22:2 recorded that And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them…..”

That time, David did not have the trained and scholar soldiers with him; they didn’t come from royal family, either. They were 400 people with bitterness, in distress and were nothing but trouble to the society. But under David’s leadership, they had transformed to become strong and loyal soldiers.

A leader has granted access and authority to do many things. We can use this chance to become the channel of God to distribute His love and power to touch and change people lives. If we see people that we lead have not reached our expectation, do not lose hope. Ask God to help us so we can see them as God sees us way before: For  consider your own call, brethren; not many  wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth.”(1 Corinthians 1:26 AMP)

A leader who owns God’s heart can see through the potential inside somebody over their current problems and weaknesses.

Take this time to impart the values of life for people that we lead. When they become great leader, our organization also becomes better.

 

STAND FIRM IN THE TRUTH

God has said in 2 Tim 3:1-9 about the last days. It is not easy to be a righteous leader in the middle of this corrupted world. From the time to time, the challenges and obstacles are getting bigger. We also see that the God’s children are often offered with frontal choices, either to be righteous but have to suffer disadvantages, or compromise with sin but surrounded by advantages. The world constantly offer us a dilemma.

In Matthew 10:16, God says “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

Wisdom and harmless could not be apart, being wise (shrewd) without harmless will make us sly, and harmless without wisdom will make people can take advantages of us.

We need to build everything in our lives on the strong and rooted Rock, so we will not be waived and swayed of the world’s currents. We have to believe and stand firm in God’s Word and do not go aside from it. It is not easy, but we can do it as long as we don’t depend on our own strength.

 

LIVING LIFE WITH FEARING GOD ATTITUDE

We have been talking about leaders that have a servant’s heart, carry big responsibility, and have a good character and true heart, having integrity, build a human, and stand firm on the Truth. But it all will be not happened if we don’t have the most important thing and become a major requirement as a leader: FEAR TO GOD!

A good Christian leader must have heart that fear to God! We could be a good people just because we afraid to get the consequence if we are not obey to God. BUT if we aren’t having a heart that fear to God then the goodness will not endure when facing the temptation.

There is difference between fears to God with fear of “God’s punishment”. Many people fear to God’s punishment. They fear get into the hell, they afraid will not blessed by God, they afraid get infernal, etc. But fear to the Lord is not like that way!

AFRAID TO GOD IS BASED ON HEART THAT REALLY KNOWS AND LOVE GOD. Because of love, people who afraid to God will be willing to bear the Cross, willing to deny ourselves and obey to God, will do vision and mission from God and not seek its own advantages.

The fear of God will make someone stand firm in the truth path. Because of love, they will not sacrifice their precious relationship with God just for the sake of temporary world achievement.

Wherever our position right now, verily God has implanted DNA from heaven so we are able to be a leader. As a leader we are trusted to make decisions. Each level and area of leadership has its own problems, and every decision has different consequences. The higher the position of a leader or lead more people, the taken decisions will give the wider impact and will facing the greater temptations. We need wisdom. Therefore we must live in holiness and fear to God. Because “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 NKJV)  and “For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6 AMP) 

On the other hand, God’s word says:

“Because they hated knowledge And did not CHOOSE the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies.” (Proverbs 1:29-31 NKJV)

Beloved leaders, let us always CHOOSE fear to God in every step of our lives  and let’s pray for the Holy spirit will pour God’s love in our heart. When we give ourselves to God, I believe these words will certainly be fulfilled in our lives:

“Then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them.” (Jeremiah 32:39 NKJV) 

Only through communion with Holy Spirit and God-fearing life will be born leaders that have great capability, wise, and endure to go through the process to be more trusted. Amen.

 

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images (edit with Pixlr App)

Break The Wall

break-the-wall-karinas-thought

Hello my dear readers! I am happy could come back to the blog with my own post and I am grateful to God in the middle of my busyness this evening I could write something to share.

A few days ago one of my business friends invited me to visit her new house.  She built a new big and luxury house that surrounded by thick and high wall. I felt a bit weirdness when saw the house from the outside; the house looks more like a fortress. My husband jokingly said, “Maybe this wall could only be destroyed by missiles. Or we must march around for seven days like Jericho wall”

I smiled but suddenly remembered about the story of Jericho wall (Joshua 6:1-27). As we all know the Jericho wall destructed by the irrational and unique ways. After spending forty difficult years wandering in the desert of Sinai, they came to the eastern banks of the Jordan to take the Promise Land and they were facing first obstacle. The City of Jericho! Jericho city was surrounded by virtually impregnable thick massive stone. But Jericho wall was successfully destructed (seemingly) by a foolish strategy.  This  was a strategy that given by God to Joshua: All men of war and seven priests that bear seven trumpets of rams before the ark must around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day they shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. When the sound of trumpets sounded they must shout with a great shout and the wall will fall down flat. (Joshua 6:3-5) Like most war stories, normally a giant fortress could be destructed only by enormous military force with all its weapons. But in fact, Jericho wall destructed not by military strategy and force but by beyond the logic supernatural power.

My beloved readers, in this post please allow me to share two valuable things that I learned from Jericho story. I hope and pray it could be a great lesson for us and could be applied in our lives.

 God’s promises, Faith, and Obedience

In my thought, there is an integral relationship between God’s promises, our faith, and obedience. When God promise to us, He will definitely fulfill His promises. God said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. (Joshua 6:2) This isn’t just a statement but rather to guarantee of God’s promise. God didn’t say: “…I will” but He even said “I have given…” even though the victory over Jericho was guaranteed but it wasn’t automatically. Israelite had to follow instructions from God.  Though God’s instruction seems odd and silly Joshua remains followed God’s command without asking and protest at all! Then Joshua said to the priest and his people:

“Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.”  And he said to the people, “Proceed, and March around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord.” (Joshua 6: 6-7)

Here, faith and obedience plays an important role so Joshua and his people got victory over Jericho. We can see the obedience manner of Joshua. I imagine if only Joshua didn’t obediently follow God’s instruction, I strongly believe the Jericho wall wasn’t necessarily collapsed and the Israelite will never enter to the Promise Land. Why Joshua and his people could be obey to do God’s command? The answer is because they have faith. It is written in Hebrews 11:30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days” although in the past Israelite’ faith had frequently failed, at the time by faith they believed and trusted God and His promises and they did God’s command obediently. It means they saved by faith and their faith evidenced by obedience. Here we can learn something important. When there are so many hurdles and problems in our lives and God give instructions that seemed doesn’t make sense to do, let’s accept the instructions by faith and do it obediently. It is written in Deuteronomy 13: 4, “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him”.

We must remember that God can use anything even the most unreasonable thing to declare His unlimited power. There was so much evidence in the Bible God showed His power through the irrational ways and beyond the range of human logic. God is never wrong. Any God’s instructions and commands has become a part of His plans and God’s entire plan is plan to prosper us and plans to give us hope and future, even not to harm us. (Jeremiah 29:11) We just need to trust by faith and obey it as our real deed. The scripture says that “Faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26) Joshua and his people showed their faith through deed by obey carried out God’s command and conquered Jericho and God fulfilled His promise by gave them victory over an enemy that was trying to keep them out of the Promised Land.

God’s way or our way

The second thing we could learn from this story is about God’s way. There is a vast difference between God’s way and the human way. It is written in Isaiah 55:8-9,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

I would like to take you to imagine the physical condition of Jericho wall. I am so sorry couldn’t take much time to explore deeper to find out the authentic information about the size of the wall. Below is the specification of the wall that I got from my father’s Bible archaeology books. Let’s take time a moment to imagine it. Jericho was surrounded by a great earthen rampart with stones retaining wall at its base, the size of retaining wall was around 12-15 feet high. On the top of that was 6 feet thick of mud brick wall and 20-26 feet high. There was similar mud brick wall on the crest of the wall with around 46 feet high above the ground level. Other archaeological discovery stated that Jericho wall consists of 2 layers. 6 feet thick on the outside wall, 12 feet thick on the inside wall, and the distance between outside and inside wall was around 12-15 feet. My dear friends, no matter about the size and construction, by human logic and reason this wall was very difficult to penetrate even impenetrable. If it can be, as I said before the wall must be destructed by very enormous military force but the fact Jericho wall was destructed didn’t by military weapons force but even by the very unique way.

In our daily lives, when the problems and obstacles hit us, which way we chose to overcome? Whether we remain chose God’s way even though His way looks so strange? Or we even chose our own understanding and way? The story of Jericho reminds and teaches us that God’s way is higher than our way. The world gives so many alternatives to solve our problems but once again we have to remember that God’s way isn’t our way. Personally, I’ve often felt God provide remarkable way and beyond of my mind to solve my problems. You know, when God gives an instruction or command, we must be fully aware that it’s God’s way and we must believe that God’s way is always the best for us. So there is no reason at all we still stand on our own understanding and disobey His command because God said:  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverb 3:5)

Dear, friends. What about us now? If this time you and I are surrounded by “thick wall” of problems of life?  Is there a “giant wall” that hinder God’s promises and blessings get into our lives?  Whether we want to break it down but we don’t have enough power?  This evening allow me to encourage all of us to learn from the Jericho story. Thousand years ago God showed His amazing way to tear down the Jericho wall. So it’s with us today. God will provide the amazing way to break our “Wall”. God will give us victory over the “enemies” that we face throughout life. Let’s ask to the Lord to show His miracle ways. Let’s hear His instruction heartily, accept it, believe it by unwavering faith and do it obediently. By faith, let us bear in our hearts and minds that there are no walls as thick as anything that cannot be break if God pleased. Don’t ever under estimate God’s way because actually He is the way (John 14:6) and our ways aren’t His way. Don’t ever rely on our own thoughts because His thoughts aren’t our thoughts. There is nothing impossible before God (Luke 1:37) and God does His best work in impossible situation.

Let’s keep our faith remain working together with action and make our faith complete by what we do (James 2:22) let’s prove our faith by obedience. Let’s show our faith to other as evidence that we truly believe God will always fulfills His wonderful promises. By faith and obedience to God we can conquer all “wall” of problems in our lives and we could be a winner. Amen

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: Google images

 

 

 

 

LEAVE YOUR “BIG BAG” (Guest Post)

leave-your-big-bag

I really love big size bag. Hand bag, tote bag, sling bag, or whatever it is I really love it as long they are big and have pouch “everywhere”. Well, I don’t even know when and how this fashion formed. Also don’t know the reason why! Maybe because of big size so I could bring much stuff or even I think I need to carry many things so need a big bag. I really just don’t know! The fact is this is a habit that very hard to be left.

A few weeks ago I suddenly really want to buy a new bag. Captured in my mind a formal, elegant and medium-sized bag would be very cool! But you know what happened? Ah…Again..! It’s not big enough, couldn’t, and I am afraid it would not be enough! Though initially I am interested with a medium bag my mind always filled with couldn’t, not big enough, and so on! And guys you could guess what happen next! Back to the habit! Big size bag stick on my hand!

Well, I really know carrying big bag with lots of stuff is the same like carrying a heavy load on the shoulder.  So often my shoulders feel so sore, stiff, and finally made my head dizzy! Friends, I always try hard to reduce the stuff to carry but I always difficult to decide which one I shouldn’t take it in the bag. It seems all stuff is important! But you know, in fact I scarcely didn’t need that damn stuffs.

 

UNNECESSARY BURDENS

Through the simple experience, the Holy Spirit teaches me an allegory, that quite often we bear unnecessarily burdens.  Sometimes unconsciously we did it for years. We become very familiar so that the burden stick strong in our soul, they shape our character and the way we thinking. It is so difficult to let it go. Increasingly the burden pressing and ensnare us. Make us unable to fully enjoy the joy and freedom in Christ, and make our steps become so hard and slow.

Burden could be anything. Could come in from life problems, but also could be made by ourselves. Examples:

-Pursuing achievement just for the sake of recognition of others

-Desire wants to get rich very quick

-Over perfectionist for the sake people couldn’t see our shortcomings.

-Trying hard to buy something far beyond the ability in order could be welcome in the certain social community.

-Manipulate our real situation because of shame or prestige

-Fear, anxiety, trauma, revenge, anger, disappointment, etc

-And the kinds of thing that do not grow our spiritual maturity, doesn’t bear the fruit of Spirit, doesn’t build godly character, doesn’t arouse hope and faith, and not make us dependent on God.

Whatever it is, all the things that hinder our walk with Christ are burden. Burden made us tired and weak. But there is good news.

 

INVITATION FROM JESUS

Jesus invites us through His Word:

COME TO ME, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST.(Matthew 11:28 NKJV)

HOW THE WAY?

TAKE MY YOKE upon youand LEARN FROM ME, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30 NKJV)

Come to Jesus! Let Him take our burdens and replace it with the God’s yoke. What is that? Willingness to life along and in tune with God by always aligning ourselves with God’s word. As long as we always live in obedience to God’s word and doing His call, it means the same we bear the God’s yoke.

Jesus promised that His yoke is easy and light. It is true! Because the fact is, we would not bear the yoke alone. Jesus carries it together with us.

But as light as any, bear the Lord’s yoke isn’t automatically change us as easy as blinking our eyes become immune to the pressures of life. We still have problems. We could still worry, disappoint, fear, arrogant, greedy, and the other negative emotional. That is why Jesus the Lord not only says “Take My yoke” but He also says: LEARN FROM ME”

We must learn from Jesus. But there is no instant learning. Every learning is always takes the process, and every process always takes time. Learning always involves two parties, teacher and student. We are as students need to open ourselves to be taught by Jesus as our Master. All that will be successful if we always obey and have the willingness to not give up in any God’s shaping. Then, what should we learn??

 

GENTLENESS AND HUMILITY

Jesus specifically said about for I am gentle and lowly in heart”.Jesus is the perfect example in gentleness and humility. He who is the King of kings had to let Himself be born in the flesh even to death on the Cross. In Hebrews 2:5-9 we read that to immediately Jesus made a little lower than the angels, which incidentally are His creatures.

In the three times of temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), Jesus actually had the opportunity to prove His power but He was not provoked by the Devil. Jesus chose to submit to the Word of the Father, then He said, “It is written …”.Jesus put the word of God above all else.

Similarly, when the Lord Jesus on the Cross. Indeed, He has the power to liberate Himself and repay those who persecute Him. But Jesus knew the Father’s will that He should die on the Cross and He chose to be obedient and faithful in fulfilling the Father’s will. That’s all the evidence gentleness and humility of Jesus.

Gentleness and humility will take us on walks toward the fulfillment of God’s plan.

Only the gentle and humble man that can submit and obey, so it can be more easily shaped and transformed by God.

But again, all of them require obedience and continuous processes. Don’t give up, the Holy Spirit will enable us to go through all the processes.

 

LEAVE YOUR BURDEN AND SIN

“Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses , let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 AMP)

There are many things could be a burden: health, financial, family relationships, spouse, career, and even ideals, all can be a problem and burden! It is normal we think about life problem. It means we are not indifferent. It is indicate we have responsibility. But do not let the thought drag us to the negative feelings that actually makes our soul depressed.

Leave our burdens by bring all the problems in prayer with faith and surrender all to God. The power of God is real and God’s help is always on time, even in ways that never occurred to us. There is a way out for all the problems in God.

On the other hand, don’t carry the “big size bag” filled with unnecessary things that could be a burden. Don’t fill our lives with self-desires, envy, angry, bitterness, worry, arrogance, and many useless things and sin. Do not open the door for sin because sin will ensnare us so we can’t run to reach the goals from the Lord.

If we always keep our steps day by day in harmony with God’s Word and faithful in the process to be meek and humble like Jesus, so we are freed from unnecessary burden.

Let us allow the Holy Spirit to change and shape our hearts, so that we are increasingly able to give the true response in all circumstances. Thus our souls will get joy and peace and we could more focus on doing God’s will.

God who commands us to do His will is God who have full of responsibility. He provides help, the certainty future with full of hope, and give assurance will be always going fine. The Holy Spirit will enable us to bear everything.

I pray this song lyric of HE WILL CARRY YOU could be a blessing for all of us. Amen.

 HE WILL CARRY YOU

There is no problem too big God cannot solve it

There is no mountain too tall God cannot move it

There is no storm too dark God cannot calm it

There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it

 

Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders

I know my brother that He will carry you

Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders

I know my sister that He will carry you

 

He said, “Come on to me all who are weary

And I will give you rest”

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images (edit with pixlr)

Speak To The Rock! (Man of Faith, Moses)

SPEAK TO THE ROCK -Karina's Thought

 

Hello dear readers! I am grateful to God could come back again with “Man of Faith” series. This time I’m not writing alone but I wrote this post with my dearest blog friend, Lauren Heiligenthal. Now I chose Moses as the 3rd figure. Like Abraham and Noah, Moses also mentioned many times in the Old and New Testament. After took study of Moses’ story, I conclude that Moses had two contradictory life sides i.e. side of successful and failure. Let’s have a look to the first side.

GET OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE

Moses was a great prophet with a winding life. He was born when Egypt felt threatened by the very high soaring population growth of Israelite and the threat made Pharaoh scared and issued an order to the all midwife to kill all of baby boy. (Exodus 1:16)  Because Moses’ mother think she no longer hid Moses, then she decided to took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. (Exodus 2:3) In short, the daughter of Pharaoh saw the baby and eventually took him as his son and called his name Moses. (Exodus 2: 5-8) Then Moses lived in luxury in the palace. But what happened? Turned out Moses didn’t forget his origin. Seeing his nation lived in oppression, his conscience revolted. He also acted and opting out of his enjoyment. He decided to get out of his comfort zone in the palace. Moses chose to fulfill God’s calling to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

Although Moses had some doubts and fears (Exodus 4:1), eventually he chose to trust and obey to God, leaving his comfort and willing to suffer just for God’s calling. This was Moses’ great faith step. He moved from the comfort zone to the faith zone. Was written in Hebrews 11:24-25:

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Moses used by God amazingly to bring the Israelite to the Promise Land though he had to suffer in the wilderness for 40 years together with the people who never grew up, never stop complaining, never be grateful, and never satisfied. By faith, Moses successfully made it out of the comfort zone that he fully realized it all came from sin.

In our daily lives, there are times we must be willing to leave our comfort zone. We have to decide to leave all the pleasures and choose God’s calling to bear the cross to follow Jesus. We would probably suffer. But in the bigger “frame”, it would be much more beneficial for our future later. God never reneged on his promises. God will never abandon us. Though In distress and difficulty God remains with us, guided us who obedient to bear His cross. Life is full of choices and we have full of authority to decide it. But God said:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Moses was choosing to leave his comfort zone to obey God’s voice and cling to Him to live in the Promise Land. What about us? Whether we’ve been dare to come out of our comfort zone? If we dare to pay the price to leave all of worldly pleasant things that will bring us into the sin? Do we believe though there may be suffering and there’s something must be sacrificed but at the end we will receive all of God’s promise? The world offer temporary comfort and pleasure but God promises the “Eternal Land”. Today let’s learn from Moses who dares to leave worldly pleasure follow God’s call to get into the Promise Land.

MOSES’ ERROR

Now we come to the second side of Moses, a contradict with his first side. Why I say contradict? Let’s take look. This time Moses did some fatal errors and made him got a very bitter consequence. Has been nearly 40 years Moses led a big, complicated and obstinate nation to keep on the right path. Turned out the Israelite attitude made Moses frustrated and affects his emotional state. Moses’ frustration and emotional peaks occurred when the Israelite angered and complained about the lack of water when they came into the wilderness of Zin and stayed in Kadesh. (Numbers 20:1-13) After he faced the Israelite’s anger then he spoke to God in the door of tabernacle of meeting and God said to Moses:

 ““Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” (Numbers 20:8)

At this point Moses couldn’t hold back his emotion, he cannot control his temper and made some fatal errors! Let’s have a look what Moses said in the front of Israelites:

“Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. (Number 20:10-11)

Let’s pay attention to the word “Must we…”  This was the first fatal mistake carried out by Moses. He didn’t suppose said “we…” Moses was supposed to say “God…” This showed that in his annoyance to the Israelites he spoke rashly. Was written in Psalm 106:3,

For they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.

 Beside his rash word, Moses had wrong motive, stolen God’s holiness and glory by Mentioned “We…”  Make a miracle is God’s work but Moses took credit of miracle himself, instead of attributing to God.

The second error of Moses was his disobedience. This is what I mean about contradictive side of Moses. When for the first time he decided to leave Egypt, he totally trust and obey to God’s calling but this time Moses stumbled and slipped disobeyed to God’s command. God clearly commanded to speak to the rock but Moses struck the rock twice. This was disobedience form of Moses and even worse, Moses showed his disobedience before the Israelites. His has done intolerant thing by as if disparaged God in the front of Israelites. (Numbers 27:14) God not pleased and then He punished Moses:

“Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)

My dear friends, what we could take as a lesson from Moses’ errors? The first important thing we could learn from is, if a great prophet like Moses even called as very humble man more than all men on the earth (Numbers 12:3) can be stumbled and slipped into the sin, what about us? Moses’ error is a warning for all of us that anytime what happened with Moses could be happen anytime to us as well.

The second is about self-control. Because of frustrated and temper, then Moses loss of his self-control and it made him fall into the sin. It’s very important for Christians especially for  Christian leaders. Self-control is a part of fruits of Spirit and wraps the other fruits. Without self-control then the other fruits will be in vain and we will be fall into the sin. It’s written in Proverbs 16:32: Better a patient person than a warrior,   one with self-control than one who takes a city. And: Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)  As a great leader Moses stumbled not hallows God caused of his lack of self-control. This should be an important lesson for many Christian leaders though have full authority but must take control ourselves, control each statement and command that come out from our mouth so that always uphold God’s holiness above of all and reflect His glory to others.

The last, we have to trust and obey to every God’s given tasks and have the right motivation behind our actions. Trust that God will always provide the way to complete the task though the task seems impossible to do and we doubt with our own ability. Obey to every God’s command because God never gives wrong command. Although it may give the same outcome, don’t do anything other than God’s command because it would make God not pleased and we will get the bad consequence.

My dear friends, last but not least, although Moses stumbled and got the consequence, yet he stayed faithful until the end. Accompanied by formidable signs and miracles he remains led the Israelites get into the Promise Land. His failure didn’t diminish the greatness of his name. Moses still known as a great prophet throughout the ages and he still received the honor of “entry” into the Promise Land when he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and talk with Jesus. (Matthew 17:3) Let’s learn from Moses’ life both about his faith also his failure. Life is always full of choices and because God really loves us, He gives us a chance to make a choice freely. But we’ve to realize that there’s always a consequence of what we choose. As clearly written in Deuteronomy 30:19, God gives us some option but He wants us to choose life and we will have live. Let’s keep our heart diligently, keep learning to control ourselves, trust and obey to God’s voice and always cling to Him so we aren’t easily stumbling and slip into the sin. God said: Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Amen

Karina – Lauren Heiligenthal

My great honor to Lauren Heiligenthal who willing to be co – writer on this post.

Image source: howgodprovides.com

So He Did (Noah, Man of Faith)

 

 

SO HE DID -Karina's thought

 

Hello my beloved readers, I am grateful to God could continue the second post of “Man of Faith” series. In my previous post we have learned from “The Father of Faith”, Abraham. Now I love to choose Noah as the 2nd figure of “Main of faith”

“Obedience” This is the similarity between Abraham and Noah.  Both of them had great faith and obedience to God. The difference is about what happened and what they did at the time. Now let’s take a look deeper to the Noah’s story.

In his old age, one day, Noah got commandment from God to do something very strange. Why it was very strange? God commanded him to build a super big ark that can contain the entire of his family and also pair of specific animal.

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. (Genesis 6: 14 -16)

 Dear readers, after I read this story carefully I found some unreasonable things related with Noah’s assignment. First, he never sees the rain and before the floodwaters God irrigate the earth from the land. The second, put together the whole (Without in the water animals), manage them all into the ark weren’t an easy job.  And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. (Genesis 6: 19-20)

The last, Noah wasn’t a ship maker. He didn’t have any experience at all in making a ship. Based on those facts, it is normal if we think that Noah’s assignment was very strange and I think it is very normal as well if at the time Noah refused the task that has been commanded by God. Noah wasn’t able to imagine how the shape of the ark. Noah didn’t have any references at all about how to build an ark because there wasn’t an ark ever made before.  He just had the detail of dimension, interior design and the used material. My dear readers, in order to get an idea how difficult Noah made the ark at that time, I spent time for awhile to discuss with one of my Father’s friend who accidentally works as a ship architect. He said, “Noah’s ark was unbelievable “masterpiece” of the ship in his generation.  It is not a difficult thing to build a ship that even maybe two times bigger than Noah’s ark in this super modern technology. Though just floating, but it was still totally so difficult to built super big ark with “a primitive” technology, without any knowledge at all in building the ship, and the all of the ark construction just made by wood.  The ark had a perfect ratio between length, width, and Height. It was the great God’s work through Noah”

Then what Noah did? At the time his faith begins to work. Was written in Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

 Without many questions and complaining Noah obediently did the God’s command. He did every single detail of the ark in accordance with God’s command. Noah believed that something hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it will never happen. Noah chose to obey. Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Genesis 6:22) After completed, God said to Noah:

“Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1)

 We all know what comes next and the end of Noah’s story.  And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:12)   Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. (Genesis 7:23)

Why God only saved Noah and his family? Whether Noah was a good man? Bible didn’t record it but the Bible notes that: Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6: 8 -9)

Noah lived in the corrupt, wicked and full of evil era. But he was able to remain faithfully lived in the Holiness and walked with God. He remains loves and pleases God more than anything and he had great faith to God. Throughout the long delay of the coming judgment, Noah continues to faithfully obey to God and even he preached to the people to repent before God destroy the earth. Another evidence that Noah always walk with God and pleases God was, after the flood, he built an altar and offered sacrifices to God (Genesis 8:20). Worship to God was a central part of his life. That’s why he saved by God from the flood.

My dear friends, I end this post with some questions to ponder. How our lives today?  Have we live not only as good person but as the righteous before God? Can we remain steadfast to hold God’s promise although maybe this time we haven’t seen the answer of what we ask for? Shall we continue to believe in God and continue to be grateful despite the difficulties continues hit our lives? Shall we, by faith, remain obey to do God’s command although we think it’s so strange and impossible? Whether we will continue to uphold our faith when we are in the situation that isn’t only difficult but even may be very wicked?

Like all of us right now, Noah was living in a sin nature but he has proved was able to remain lived in faith and obedience. Let us learn from Noah who have firm faith, let us learn to continue to believe even when we haven’t seen anything.  Noah didn’t need to test God before he built the ark. God commanded, he obeyed and he did it.  Noah remained faithful, trust, and upholds his faith to God even though he had to wait for 120 years before God fulfilled His word. Noah made faith as a believing. He didn’t know when God will fulfill His word, but he really believed it will happen.

Faith isn’t a feeling but it’s a choice to trust God even when our way ahead seems uncertain. Faith will make us able to see things before they happen and make us have foundation of all that we hope. Let’s face all of problems, trials, and challenges with faith. Let is open our eyes of faith and put it as strong foundation as written in Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

 By strong faith we wouldn’t worry about everything happen in our future. And we will see the fulfillment of God’s promises. We just need to have faith as small as mustard seed like Jesus said in Matthew 17:20:

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

We also need to maintain our faith getting bigger and stronger.  Faith is like a baby who always needs the best nutrition to keep growing. The best nutrition for the growth of our faith is God’s words. Let us continue feed our faith to grow by reading and comprehend God’s word every day and implementing it by works. God’s word said:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Roman 10:17)

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17)

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22)

Noah not only had a great faith but his faith worked together with action. By faith he did very well God’s commandment. If Noah was using the very strong gopher wood as the the material, let’s build our spiritual “ark” by using the very strong and unwavering faitt, with one door which is mean only The Lord Jesus Christ is one and only way for our salvation and the door into Heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

 Also a door that we can knock to hand over all of our problems, fear, anxiety, and everything we ask for.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

 Our spiritual ‘ark” just have one window above which is mean we have to always focus to look up only to God not look down or to the world around us and have three decks: Faith, Hope, and Love.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Learn to have faith like Noah’s faith by more strengthens our relationship with God through prayer, Involving God in every step of our lives, ask for the strength and wisdom, and let His Holy Spirit anoint our lives so ultimately we will have faith as a mustard seed and we will be able sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.* Amen

Karina – Living by faith

*Faith quotes by Corrie Ten Boom

Image source: christianitymalaysia.com

 

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD (Guest Post)

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD

Hello my beloved readers, this evening gladly I am tell all of you that starting from now, every week of fourth I will feature a guest writer in my blog. Why I am doing this? I simply want there is a different color and writing style on my post and open the chance widely to those who have longing to share their thought, devotional, poems, or everything that could encourage and make our spiritual growing more. This time I am so honored my sister in Christ, Sella Irene at sellairene.wordpress.com become my first guest writer. She discuss about an important thing in Christian lives, listening God’s voice.  Really great to ponder which voice we will listen. Whether we tend more often just listen our voice than His voice? And how far we remain obey do anything that has spoken by Him? My dear friends please enjoy reading this.

 

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD

 

The Lord thundered in the heavens.

The Most High uttered His voice.

 

He sends out His word, and melts the hoarfrost.

He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.

He sends out His commandment, and His word runs very swiftly.

 

Watch it…!

He sounds off His mighty voice…!

 

 The Lord roars from Zion.

He utters His voice from Jerusalem;

Then the pastures dried up, the top of Carmel withers, the heavens and earth quake.

 

The Lord’s voice is powerful and splendor.

The Lord’s voice whirls the oaks.

Makes Lebanon dance like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

 

The Lord’s voice flashes forth flames of fire.

The Lord’s voice rends the desert; the desert of Kadesh!

He makes the wilderness tremble, and the hinds to calve.

 

When The Almighty lift up His voice,

All creation bow down worship Him.

 

Hi flock….

Listen to and follow the voice of the Shepherd!

 

“GIVE IT ALL !”

God hath spoken once, Twice have I heard this, That power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth lovingkindness; For thou renderest to every man according to his work. (Psalms 62:11-12 ASV)

 

More than six years ago, I didn’t know exactly when it start and what causes it, I had temperature difference allergies. When my body got room temperature changes, for example, moved from hot outside air into the air-conditioned room or vice versa, then my skin would itch. It did not always, but often enough. And it was very disturbing. Even the itch can arise simply because something trivial, for example when I woke up in the middle of the night to urinate which requires remove the blanket and went out of bed to go to the toilet. Such temperature changes can make my allergy relapsed. Eventually almost every day I was taking anti-allergy medication. Over the years I took the medicine, and it seems became a main needed that should always available in my bag wherever and whenever I go.

One day, a friend of mine who may had been wrong eat something, suddenly her body and face itched and got small bumps. Then I offered her my anti-allergy medication. The itch was reduced after she drank it. Because she knew I still had it, then she asked for another pill for drunk later. Of course I did not mind. I immediately opened the bag and pulled out the drug.

But just as I was about to cut the package to take one pill that I will give her, heard very clearly a straightforward and firmly words in my heart: “GIVE IT ALL !”  I was stunned. Instantly my hands stopped while holding the scissors. My Spirit was chatching that it was God’s voice spoke to my heart. I was thinking fast, “What if I give half of the number of pills? Or may I leave one or two pills only for myself? Not a matter of price, but the medicine my needs. What if tonight I am itching and cannot sleep?” Like lightning, flashed one more words in my heart: “YOU TRUST ME ?!”  All conversation lasted only a few seconds. With two sentences as clear as that, it would be foolish if I denied. I did not hear audibly, but my heart and Spirit caught it very clear. Without thinking again, soon I gave all the medicine to my friend.

On the way home, I told to my husband. I am grateful to have a husband who have loyal heart to God and support me. He encouraged me to believe that God going to perform a miracle and heal me. We also agreed to trust God, and went home without buying the medicine again.

The event occurred about two and a half years ago. Since that day, somehow, my allergy never came again until now! I am free. I know the Father in Heaven has healed me. God has initiated healed me by asking me to did a faith act, which gave the whole of my medicine. And as the answer of my obedience, God lifted my illness. Lord decreed, the Lord also responsible to solve it.

Thankfully when I heard and recognized His voice, I soon learn to obey and trust Him. If that day I did not listen and did not recognize the voice of my Great Shepherd, or if I heard and recognized the voice but did not obey, I would lose the opportunity to receive a miracle.

 

LISTEN AND DO IT

 

“OBEDIENCE MEANS IMMEDIATELY DOING IN AGREEMENT WITH GOD AND DO NOT ARGUES WITH HIM.”

 

The Bible records the various miracles and wonders that God has done. Many of which occur instantaneously without the role of the recipient miracle. At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. (Luke 4:40)

But not the least that should be preceded by acts of obedience:

Ten lepers healed because obeying Jesus’s command to show themselves to the priests. Along the way, a miracle happened! When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. (Luke17:14)

Naaman, a commander of the king of Syria who suffers from leprosy, came to Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” (2 Kings 5:10) Although previously he was offended and angry because but eventually Naaman did it. So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. (2Kings 5:14)

Simon has worked hard all night catching fish, but did not get results. As he returned to the shore, Jesus went up the boat, sat down and began teaching the crowds who overrun Him. Done with the teaching, Jesus told Simon to shove off into the deep and let down his nets. Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. (Luke 5:5-6) Since then Simon followed Jesus and became His disciples, and then Jesus gave him the name of Peter.

Keep the heart remain in the holiness is the main key to listen the GOD's voiceThere are so many examples in the Bible of people who receive a miracle by doing God’s command. Therefore, it is very important to have a sense of hearing God’s voice. God has many ways to speak to us. Through the text in the Bible we read every day, by prophecy, preaching God’s servant, dreams, specific events, and even through the simple daily things, and others. The limit is very clear: God certainly will not give orders that are contrary to His word.

In the tussle and prayer, sometimes we waited for an answer that might actually has been available in front of us, but we do not respond to anything. Maybe we do not hear when God speaks, because we are too busy thinking and lamented. Also we may in fact hear the God’s voice, but we do not recognize the voice. We did not know whether it was the voice of God or our own voice. Or, we may also know that the Lord has said, but we are indecisive and too scared to move.

 

BUILD A RELATIONSHIP 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)

For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice,(Psalm 95:7)

 

God is the good Shepherd. Wherever our Shepherd takes us, merely is to provide the best provision and protection. When we read the entire Psalm 23, it is clearly written that the Shepherd always maintaining and guiding to a quiet place. Our Shepherd always protected so that we will be safe even in the valley of the shadow of death. Not only that, our Shepherd will also bring us safely to the Father’s home.

To be able to follow His leading, we must be sensitive and recognize the voice of the Shepherd. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27) How can we hear and recognize the voice of our Shepherd? Through build a relationship with Him. Just like building a relationship with someone, the more we closely with that person then we will get to know his personality. We know the habits, characteristics, and manner of speech. We recognize his voice when he called or calling. Even if the more intense make interaction, then only with certain expressions and without saying a word, we can capture his heart.  It is similar with building a relationship with God. If we continue to worship, pray, read, contemplate, and do His word, the more we mature in spiritually and know God. That means that it is easier for us to hear and recognize the voice of our Shepherd and obey.

“WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP, THERE IS NO TRUST. WITHOUT TRUST,

 THERE IS NO OBEDIENCE.”

 

Build a relationship always requires commitment and time. Jesus also has the commitment and time to have fellowship with the Father in heaven every day. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.(Mark 1:35) If Jesus felt that fellowship with the Father is very important, especially for us. We need it most!

Today… No matter our circumstances, and whatever answers of the prayer are we waiting, if we hear the voice of the Great Shepherd, immediately follow His mighty voice. Let us obedient and do what has been spoken. Then the power of God’s word it will work in us and change our lives. The miracle certainly happened!

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. (Psalm 103:20)

 

AMEN

 

By Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

www.sellairene.wordpress.com

 

The Head, Not The Tail

THE HEAD NOT THE TAIL - KARINA'S THOUGHT

 

I begin this post with a question. Do you want to be a successful in life? I strongly believe that your answer will definitely, “Yes, of course! I want to be successful in my life.”  That is so true. There is no one in this world who doesn’t want to reach a success in their lives. We all want to success in career, business, marriage, family, study, ministry or whatever it is. Maybe this time you all have achieved a certain level of success in a particular field. That’s great! Be grateful! However, not the least people among us still struggling to achieve a success. There are many people who actually have a life contrary to that I mentioned above. There are still many people who always fail to get a success. Many people said that failure is a part of process. OK, I agree! But it wasn’t supposed to ongoing forever. God wants to put each of us to be the head (successful) and not the tail (unsuccessful). Keep going up, not down. If we continue to be a tail and at the bottom, it could be a sign that there is something within us and it should be fixed.

…The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. (Deuteronomy 28:13 NLT)

Talk about the head and tail position, I love took the Joseph’s story as an instance. We all know since childhood Joseph was different than his other brothers. Jacob loved him more than his other children. (Gen.37: 3) and it made his brothers jealous and hated him. This is the beginning of Joseph’s suffering series. The suffering began when he told about his dream. (Gen.37: 5-7) Heard his dream; Joseph’s brothers hated him more and have a plan to kill him. (Gen.37:18) Fortunately, He wasn’t killed. But survived from murder plan didn’t make his life totally safe. His life still threatened because he was thrown into the dark cistern. Then even though he was free from the dark cistern, it was not a truly freedom because in fact his brothers sold him to the Midianite (Verse 28) Now Joseph’s status is as a slave. His status is not as the head, but the tail. Then what happen next? It turns out Joseph bought by Potiphar one of Egypt’s captain of the guard.

The most of us might think that there is no feat at all to be proud as a slave. But this thought wasn’t applied to Joseph. He was different. As a slave Joseph always get achievement and got the chance to live in Potiphar’s house. How it can be that way?  The scripture said:

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. (Genesis 39:2 NIV)

Joseph didn’t have a mental that always grouchy. He underwent his “profession” as a slave very well, whatever he did, he always succeed. Even though in the tail position, he could be the head. Why? Because The Lord with him. Joseph’s life journey becomes lighter? Not really. The next problem came. He tempted by Potiphar’s wife. (Genesis.39:7 NLT) But Joseph flatly refused. He wasn’t  tempted by momentary pleasure because he wants to live in obedience. The flesh may be willing, but his spirit refused. Joseph said: how could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” (Genesis 39:9 NLT) Because continuously rejected, Potiphar’s wife was furious and malign Joseph so he was thrown in jail. Position increasingly dropped! Joseph’s status now no longer as a slave but as a prisoner. How Joseph’s attitude? His attitude remains the same. He didn’t complain or blaspheme anyone, including God, but he still showed remarkable attitude that always obey and please the Lord.

Again we will see the similar condition like in the verse 2 but in the different place, in the prison.

But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed. (Genesis 39:21-23 NLT)

Difficulties might be increase but the fact, Joseph remains did as best as he could. Again we see that in the bottom position which lowers than a slave, Joseph can still be a head. Why? The answer once again, because The Lord with him and caused everything he did to succeed.  We all know the end of this story. For he successfully interprets Pharaoh’s dreams, he gets amazing position. From the prisoner became the most powerful man in the all land of Egypt. (Genesis 41: 40-42 NLT ) Joseph eventually became the true head.

Joseph experienced a long journey. He traversed three phases of process which is starting from the dark cistern, prison, and finally the palace. The interesting thing here is, Joseph always succeed even though he was in very difficult situation and even at the tail position. The important lesson that we can get from this story is, God always be with Joseph!  I am sure if God not always be with him, Joseph will not be able to pass through all of suffering and he will not be able to be the head. Just because God always be with him the hard problems and suffering not being able to stop Joseph to success became the head. Oh, our God is so marvelous! He not only will make us the head and always on the top, but he also always be with us in the process to be the head.  God gave Joseph strength and wisdom so everything he did always succeed and finally became the true head. It is a precious lesson for us. In our daily lives, we may pass through very unpleasant phases and even very painful. But right now I am telling you one thing: Don’t be afraid! God always be with us! David beautifully said,

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 NLT)

And Jesus also said,

I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)

God always be with us not only when we are in the safe and comfort season without any problems but God still be with us even in the outer darkness.

Why God was always be with Joseph in any circumstances? Let’s go back to the Deuteronomy 28:13 to get the answer.

If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.

 More affirmed in verse 14:

You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.

From the verses above we can get 5 points. First, listen to God’s command. The Second, obey to His word.  Third, not turn away of His command. Fourth, not follow other gods. And the last is, only worship God, not god. Joseph was successfully went through these 5 points and made it as his guideline. Joseph was obedient did these things no matter the condition he faced. He wasn’t disappointed, not trying to find other alternatives to survive. He didn’t grumble and blaspheme, he didn’t despair, and he hadn’t lost hope. Joseph choose to remain believe and walk with God in obedience and finally God made him the head, not the tail.

My dear readers, maybe this time we are experiencing very unpleasant phases in life. We may facing failures and in the tail position. Or we may currently in a hard struggle to pursue a success. This time allow me to encourage all of us one thing: Don’t be afraid and discouraged because God always be with us in any circumstances. No matter what condition we are today, let’s keep hold fast to the God’s word, believe without doubt at all, don’t tolerate the sin’s trap and don’t be tempted to take other alternatives because we impatient to undergo the process. God has promised that He will make us the head. And not only that, He also promised always be with us same as He was always be with Joseph. Even we walk through the darkest journey; if we always walk very close with Him, at the end of journey we will get success.

We will remain succeed even though we are pressed. We will keep moving forward even though detained. No one can stop God’s will as long we remain do what He commanded. Joseph has proved his obedience with always walk with God and he was succeed! Now it’s our turn to prove that by always listen and obey His word and commands, by not follow other gods, and always worship our true God, we will reap God’s promise that He will make us the head, not the tail and always at the top, never at the bottom. Are we ready? Amen

Karina – Living by faith

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