Saturday, April 07, 2007

Escaping the System

Most people think of servant leadership as serving others, not for Jesus, His first goal of leadership was to serve His Father.

Interesting. I'm 26 now, I have a blackberry with 2,000+ contacts, people calling me daily, my inbox averages over a hundred emails every 24 hours, ministry seems to be non-stop and the responsibilities of it are ever demanding. There are local ministry needs, regional, national and international projects and you begin to wonder like me the other day, "Where the heck did all this come from? I never asked for this? I was just trying to love Jesus!"

Sometimes, ministry can get so overwhelming. The expectations of people are unreal, the demands are daunting and you wonder if there is a way out of this "Christian matrix" I call the "system." In Western Church, I realize more and more how Christianity is measured by performance. Your success and value is based upon what you do, not who you are, nor how obedient you are to the will of Father. In fact, much of the worlds value system is adopted by the Church, "bigger is better", success can be counted, planned, measured and produced. You are expected to do the do, because everyone else is doing it. You are expected to do what Christians expect you to do, that is, how you should behave, talk like, act like, blog like, be like, etc. But the more I study the life of Jesus, I see the exact opposite. He gave Himself to 12 disciples, kinda screwy disciples, but He focused His attention on a few. He seemed to never mind the crowds, their demands, their wants, their needs, instead I see Him constantly talking to the Father and only doing what He saw the Father doing (Jn 5:19). Jesus was not "consumer driven or seeker friendly. He was God driven and Father friendly, meaning He was 100 percent obedient to the Father, it didn't matter what the crowds thought. In Mark 1:35, there are literally crowds of people chasing after Him to receive ministry, and He bounces, literally disappears out of the blue, without telling anyone and leaves the crowds with no apology to spend time in prayer. Then He moves on to the next place. He didn't care what people thought of Him, only of what God thought of Him. Jesus was never burnt out. :)

Mark 1:35-38 "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. Simone and his companions went to look (hunt) for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!" Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else- to nearby villages- so I can preach there also. That is why I have come”

"Jesus unswervingly sought His Father’s guidance for the direction of his ministry, rather than simply responding to popular demand, he took the initiative in terms of His overriding purpose. The demand for Jesus was so relentless in Galilee that had he allowed pressure from the crowds to determine the future course of his ministry, he would never have completed the work his Father had entrusted to him. As a servant leader his primary allegiance was to his heavenly Father. First and foremost Jesus was committed to doing his heavenly Father’s bidding, not to meeting the demands of his followers and the crowds. He came to fulfill the role of the “servant of the Lord.” (Leadership Next, Eddie Gibbs)

I'm at a place in my life, honestly, where I realize I can only give so much, do so much, before I lose my Christianity, what I mean is my "relationship and intimacy with God." Ministry can kill you, if you serve it as your God. People will never stop knocking at your door, wanting this or wanting that. There will never be enough time in a day if you serve people, because that is life and life is demanding. I guess it also gets frustrating sometimes when you can't be there for everyone, and they end up interpreting your inability to be there for them, as you don't care. That hurts. I wish I could honestly care for every friend I love, be there at all times, but I'm not Jesus. I guess it's OK to be limited or human, to not please everyone, whether they think well or ill of you, what matters is that you obey Father and make that the most important relationship of all. From that connection, everything else will somehow connect, I'm sure of it.

Sometimes, I seriously want to pack my bags, and bust a Jesus, disappear for a good bit and just spend time with Abba. I guess this is something you can pray for me about. That I would be able, by God's grace to control the system, not let the system control me. The system says, "You do, therefore you are" Jesus says, "You are, therefore you do" You are not loved for what you do, how many people you help, how much God uses you to change the world, or how committed you are as a Christian, you are loved simply because Abba Father loves you. And LIFE flows from obeying His will, not your own or the will of others.

Father, I pray for grace in the midst of a ever demanding world. Please give me Jesus' perspective and not my own or the world's. I'm tired of pleasing man, I only want to please You. Take me out of the system, for You have placed me in this world, but not of it. Keep my heart, anoint it with oil, give me grace to make the right decisions, regardless of what others think, help me to only obey You, walk with You, follow You, to keep intimacy as priority. I love You Daddy, I need more of You, I need Your wisdom and voice to make it through. I don't want to just make it Father, I want to live as Jesus did, I want live in the fullness of the Spirit, in freedom, JOY and out of a place of rest being confident in the will of God. Destroy the traps, the system that the Enemy has entangled so many in, let Your sheep hear Your voice and walk in it, do not let me, nor this generation stray from the one thing you have created us for, relationship with You, not with ministry. In Jesus name amen.


At 4/07/2007 09:14:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jaeson, youre amazing youre a blessing. Our Father loves you, I love you. enough said =]

Praise be to our Father, our Savior Jesus Christ (who defeated death puahaha), and the blessed Holy Spirit =]

At 4/08/2007 09:23:00 AM , Anonymous Judy said...

I want to try to understand, but I don't.
And I only want God who has a simple love. I think that you
Father loves me, and I love you, too. That's we are similar.

At 4/08/2007 10:10:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you ever feel like all of this is just another acting gig?

At 4/08/2007 10:27:00 AM , Blogger Jaeson Ma said...

Christianity, that which is created by man, the show, the expectation to perform, etc does feel like an "acting gig" if you let it, that's why you have to ask yourself daily, "Why do I do what I do?" is it for the Father's will or is it for my own self preservation, value and worth. Our honor and value can only come from Christ alone, out of that place we can live and bless others with the overflow of what has been given to us. The world is stage, as Shakespeare would say, but to me, what matters is not what you do, but why you do it and if it's authentic and from the heart.

Who knows, maybe one day I'll get to go back to do acting and music in Hollywood if the Lord leads in that direction, for now, I must be faithful to what He has called me to. Shalom.

At 4/08/2007 03:59:00 PM , Anonymous Grace said...

A dear friend of mine once told me that there is the difference between serving the Lord and serving the work of the Lord. I couldn't agree more! I totally understand what you mean when you talk about that "christian matrix". I think that's what happens when human messing around with something simple.. We have that tendency to make it even more complicated that how it should be.. The bigger it is, the more complicated it becomes... Sometimes some of the system that created does make things a bit easier, but other things, they make it even harder for us or drawn us to things that doesn't really matter...

Jaeson, fight the good fight,keep persevering, keep pushing to the Father's heart.. Find your rest in Him and fight for the joy that comes in knowing Him and resting in His presence.. I pray for that one and single devotion in your life in following the Lord, that the only thing that really matters to you would be following Christ and Christ alone....

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." ( Number 6:24-26)

Be Blessed and fix your eyes upon Jesus!

in Christ,

At 4/09/2007 12:24:00 AM , Blogger Brian said...

Yo bro,

Amen! Our core identity, before anything else, is being His sons. God's used you to really encourage me and many others, but just as you shared, above all else, he just loves us because HE CHOSE to, not because of things we've done, and nothing can change that.

As He's our rock, our foundation, nothing can shakes us nor separate us from his love. And in that, his glory overflows from our lives.

" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps not records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

At 4/09/2007 01:13:00 AM , Blogger Bonnie said...

hey jaes,

Hosanna...Hillsong's new cd.. yes. it's freaking awesome.

thanks for all you're doing. i know ministry can be crazy. recharging in quietness is always the best way.

im praying for you. tell me if you need anything, especially during the meetings. personally, God is seriously rebuking the crap outta me..about pride.. haha. yea.. sucks..but feels good/sucky at the same time. I'm learning to focus instead of working so much.

Im His child and that's all that matters to him.

I went to Father's house (HRC's sister church) the other day to get more training. It was fantastic. My small group leader from GMI is training me more actually, so it's good that I have a mentor outside of our meetings. I hope to use all that I've learned to serve more in which ever way God leads...Anyway, just wanted to let you know if you need more administering or something during the meetings I'm here (not that I'm qualified or anything, but just want to be an empty vessel, ya know?)

Yea, Im praying for you man.
Btw, I rarely send you emails because of that 100+ factor...I know it can get crazy...but thank God that He is giving you super grace.

Love ya bro and see you in about two weeks.

God is so wonderful.
Father's love.... :-)


At 4/09/2007 01:18:00 AM , Blogger Bonnie said...

peace be with you.

praying for you brother.

for protection and perseverence.

:-) see you in about two weeks.

At 4/09/2007 03:13:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pastor Jaeson,

Saw your preaching. You are a phenomenal preacher, skilled communicated and are soooooo gifted. Whether your pulpit is a campus green, a film stage or simply ministering to an audience of One, your life was hand-picked in your mother's womb to impact multitudes. Stay hidden in His heart where the enemy cannot find you. The more of Him you have, the more to give away. I am praying for the richest, most blessed season of intimacy in your life. May He be your portion & exceedingly great reward. May He be the friend that sticks closer than a brother. May He be your Rabi, as He draws you closer than you have ever gone. Hide in His heart. One moment in the anointing is worth more than a lifetime of efforts. May you feel His pleasure over you. May He be your everything. May He be your everything.

At 4/09/2007 09:25:00 AM , Blogger Jaeson Ma said...

Thanks Bonnie,

I really appreciate your willingness to help out with the monthly trainings, you are a blessing sister!

Remember, next ECTC we are having a freestyle cipher session, WORD!!!!

My prayers are with you also, stay in His grace keep pressing into His presence!

At 4/09/2007 12:35:00 PM , Anonymous Jeff said...

Hey Jaeson,
I haven't met you before but I was wondering if you had like 20 mins to be interviewed about being a pastor and about revival sometime later in the week. I know you're super busy but, if you do, shoot me an email at I go to New Life Christian Center Irvine and haha, i just remembered, I went to Lynbrook in San Jose and was at the fist CCLR, if you remember what that was. But yah, blessings and intimacy with our God upon you!

in Him,


At 4/09/2007 12:36:00 PM , Anonymous Jeff said...

Hey Jaeson,
I haven't met you before but I was wondering if you had like 20 mins to be interviewed about being a pastor and about revival sometime later in the week. I know you're super busy but if you do, shoot me an email at I go to New Life Christian Center Irvine and haha, i just remembered, I went to Lynbrook in San Jose and was at the fist CCLR, if you remember what that was. But yah, blessings and intimacy with our God upon you!

in Him,


At 4/09/2007 09:52:00 PM , Blogger ShibataCar said...

WOw Jaeson, I just watched your videos.
I got God-bumps up and down my spine--
Amenalujah dude. Amen-alujah.

At 4/09/2007 09:53:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Jeason, this is the first time I write in your blog.
May I know where is your church?

At 4/10/2007 06:22:00 PM , Anonymous Judy said...

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.(Genesis1:1)

At 4/11/2007 07:18:00 AM , Anonymous Judy said...

Lord you are always here with me.
There is no changing God is Thee.
You are the same yesterday and today and forever more.
I see you in Taiwan for Jesus~

At 4/12/2007 12:35:00 AM , Anonymous vince UCSB said...

praise the Lord that He's not demanding of us as the world is, yeah? what He demands of us He enables us to do.

At 4/12/2007 03:32:00 AM , Anonymous Judy said...

I can't believe the way Your love has got a hold on me Each morning I wake ti find You near You lift me above my fears and set my feet on solid ground All of my days belong to You And I breathe in Your breath of life that fills my heart You are my all consuming fire.
reaching for you~觸摸到神~~

At 4/12/2007 12:02:00 PM , Anonymous Ashley said...

It's interesting to read an exposure to such a challenge in the industry of ministry. It seems the conjecture of the general church-going-maybe-Christ-following-at-least-seeking public have of ministry, or people in ministry, is that they're superpeople (which is arguably understandable), but, I do believe that with such mindset, it's easily forgotten to apply that even people in ministry have a heart of flesh and are children of God. I will be praying for you.

And I am in need of your prayers as well.

God's called me to position in the film industry, and these people are so broken and lost and have been latching on in an expectancy that I would provide them more "goodness", not understanding it's the Christ in me they want. And I'm just jumping up and down and waving frantically in front of their blind eyes with "it's not me! It's my faith! Seriously, I have nothing for you! I suck! you have to experience my God!" and they're just content with having me as a good influence in their lives.

And it kills me and breaks my heart when, in conversation with these people, I'm told that they just want to be good people. That it's about being good people and doing good things. And when I prod by asking if they're content, I always get the "well, I don't want to be where I am now, I know I can be better, but I'm still a good person, but life is a journey so I'll figure it out eventually". And Satan takes this and runs amuck. He has these people so wrapped up in this game of "well I know I can get more, do better, have more" and so they're always in-search of their value... as though they think they're capable of finding it.

So Satan's got them distracted by giving them one of those pretty Russian dolls that you can open up to find another doll that you open up to find another... and it's never-ending. So they continue with these same mundane motions day by day thinking they're getting somewhere, because each day the doll is a little prettier than the day before. And so they lust after it not realizing it's just a doll.

Please pray for them.

It was good to meet you Tuesday night at UCLA CCC's outreach meeting. I was encouraged by Danny to come to listen to you speak. What a joy.


At 4/12/2007 11:09:00 PM , Blogger Luke said...

Man, I can't even imagine what it feels like to be pulled in all those directions and having the weight of obligation piled on you.

I just wanted to encourage you by letting you know that the seeds that have been planted with your tireless work for God are beginning to sprout. Up until now, it has seemingly been a struggle for the Asian American youth to be completely sold-out for God because of the tremendous pressures, expectations, and obligations that are placed upon them. However, because of the example that you have set forth, radical, sold-out youth are being raised up. Soon enough a tidal wave of revival and revolution will swell forth and the "work" that needs to be done will be shouldered by a generation, instead of a select few.

So keep on resting in Him and operate out of the overflow. Hopefully I'll see you at Nyack.

At 4/13/2007 11:02:00 AM , Anonymous priscilla hsu said...

Amen, Jaeson, so cute... I am getting obsessed with your online sermons. Haha, they are so great!! 8=p

At 4/25/2007 10:21:00 AM , Blogger jmg said...

Hey Jaeson, thanks for this post. I feel like I am having the same issues but only 1/10 the amount you go through! It's a good reminder and a good time to reflect just what I am doing with ministry and servant leadership.

I will be praying for you and for you to have that solitude time with the Lord. I know everyone needs it... but you especially! If you don't see it happening any time soon, make time for it, people understand!

-Janice Go


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