Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Power of Poverty

Recently, I was reading through my friend Becky’s blog and chanced upon this quote below from a book written by Thomas Dubay called “Happy Are You Poor.”

“It must be noticed that the values of the kingdom are just about 180 degrees removed from the values of the world…What are the world’s basic values?...It is assumed that every one knows them and that most people live by them. What are these premises: prestige is a primary value… bodily comfort and pleasure are indispensable… this life is all we have, and so let’s enjoy it to the full… impressing people with one’s possessions and accomplishments and attractiveness is important… sexual excitement and satisfaction are crucial… success is ‘coming out on top’ in relation to others… money is a must, for without it one can have very little of anything else worth having in life.

“If we turn to the pages of the New Testament we find a picture as opposite as it could be: humility, being last, unknown, hidden in Christ, is a condition for getting into the kingdom… prestige is worthless and even an obstacle to greatness… the hard road and the narrow gate, carrying the cross every day is immensely important… dying to our selfishness and crucifying our illusory desires are indispensable… impressing people is of no importance at all, whereas being pleasing to the divine eyes is everything… virginity is a favored and privileged state, and chaste fidelity in marriage mirrors the very union of Christ and his Church… one may not try to best others; rather he is to serve them as though he were a slave… it most difficult, indeed it is humanly impossible, for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of heaven…It takes little imagination to see that one who freely chooses to be poor is far more prepared to understand the previous paragraph than one who is surrounded with luxury, comfort, pleasures of sense, who basks in prestige and position, who lives only for the good opinion of other human beings.”

-Thomas Dubay, Happy Are You Poor, pp. 57-58

The moment I read this quote my soul was convicted and my spirit was awakened to what it means to truly live as a saint. To live as a saint one must renounce the love of this world: 1) Lust of the flesh 2) Lust of the eyes 3) Pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). In order to do this, one must be detached from worldly things and walk in humility as one who looks to please God and not men. Poverty has much to do with both of these concepts.

The next day after reading this quote on her blog we met to talk and she randomly said, “If you are called to Hollywood you should read this book by Thomas Dubay…” I knew exactly what book she was referring to, more so, I knew God was speaking loud and clear to change my worldly values to godly ones. I have thus been reading Dubay’s book on factual frugality, often times weeping under the spirit of conviction as I read. To be poor in spirit, soul and body is a call to live a life of sparing-sharing, not hoarding but being always ready to give to those in need. Jesus called us to be in the world, but not of it. We are pilgrims in this world. Our true home is not here but in eternity. Our hearts are not to be set on the things of this world, but on things eternal.

After living in Hollywood, Ca for the last 3 years I must confess that the value system of Hollywood has at times enticed me to live according to its value system, not God’s. Yet, God’s value system is completely upside down from Hollywood’s, let alone the worlds. Jesus is the best example of a Saint who lived in this world, but free from its entanglements. He was not controlled by people or things, but He was controlled by the will of His heavenly Father. My prayer is the Lord would teach me to live in simplicity, true sainthood and to be free from all that is evil and selfish. People in the world can tell if you are a true saint, one who is not out to promote oneself or one’s agenda, but one who is totally and completely given to the Lord and serving others. I have failed many times in being selfish instead of self-less. Faith without deeds is worth nothing. I pray I would be one who doesn’t carry the title “Christian” but rather one who is known to love. To love others as I would love myself, to love each in a way God would love them.

“Lord Jesus, forgive me for the deceitfulness of my heart in desiring anything besides You. For nothing can satisfy me apart from Your very Word and precious presence.”

“They are blessed, (happy condition) who are poor in spirit, for they have the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:3)… “If I am filled with myself, married to my own ideas and way of doing things, convinced that somehow I am the hub of the universe, there is of course no room in me for being filled with God, for accepting or even desiring His wisdom, for making Him my center of gravity. Indeed, sensitivity to the divine is dependent on humility…And poverty has a great deal to do with humility. We human beings tend to equate our level of to be with our level of to have. The more we possess, the more we are --- in our own minds. The man with a large estate, several cars, a sizeable portfolio just assumes that he is superior to the slum dweller. The woman who is seldom seen in the same dress is sure that she ranks higher in human society than the dowdy wife whose family is on welfare. Perhaps the chief reason prestige is so immensely important to many people is that the impression they make on others dictates their own value. And an abundance of material things, in their opinion, enhances their prestige. They are living as slaves in the minds of others. Being subject to human evaluations, they are little inclined to the divine…People who by choice embrace a frugal lifestyle assess themselves far more realistically than those who do not. They are free from a subjection to the minds of others. They know of their intrinsic worth before God and do not feel a need for the shoddy props afforded by mere things. Being innerly un-cluttered, they are ready for the divine invasion. It easily happens.

Saint John Chrysostom who calmly endured exile said…

“What are we to fear? Death? “Life to me means Christ, and death is gain.” Exile? “The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord.” The confiscation of our goods? “We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it.” I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth.” (Thomas Dubay, Happy Are You Poor, pg. 59-60)

The above quotations are not an indictment against the wealthy. God blesses the rich and poor. It is a matter of the heart, not of having or not having wealth. But, one can not serve both God and Mammon. You will either love one or the other. Do not love money more than God. Do not desire wealth more than God. Do not pursue prestige, power and position above the Lord your God, if we do we will become spiritually bankrupt, corrupted and unable to receive the kingdom of God. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Let us live to serve others, to promote others above ourselves, to live in meekness and weakness and thereby giving God all the glory. Let us be mindful of the things above and not on the things below. Let us be poor in spirit and be ready to give to those who have a need. For how can we say the love of God is in us if we see a brother or sister in need and not help them with a gift?

1 John 3:16-19
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

I have so much more to say, at the end of the day I’m asking that we ask the Lord to test our hearts and rid us of anything other than Himself so that we may be in this world, not of it, but full of the love of God in which this world so desperately needs. Let us not talk Christian, but live Christian by not adhering to this world's value system, but be a reflection of the God and Man Jesus Christ.

Under the mercy,

Jaeson Ma

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pray for Student Church Planting Movement

Dear Prayer Team,

I am currently at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (www.ihop.org) and just finished our first 2 weeks of training 15 AMAZING student missionaries from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Canada and United States. The Lord never ceases to amaze me and challenge me in new ways every day. I read a quote once saying, "To see God in everything makes life the greatest adventure!" Well, these past 14 days have been quite an adventure! Thank you for your prayers because we were able to equip these student missionaries with important inner life foundations that will give them the staying power to be life long missionaries in East Asia & Back to Jerusalem: Intimacy w/ Christ, Bridal Paradigm, Fellowshipping w/ the Holy Spirit, Father Heart of God, Core Identity, Eschatology, Intercession, Cross Cultural Missions Dynamics, Back to Jerusalem strategy/vision & nightly spending 4 hours in the IHOP prayer room.

All 15 of these student missionaries have challenged my own walk with the Lord. It has been evident that the Spirit of God has hand picked each one, put a passion for missions in their heart, to the point many of these students have honestly shared that through the last 14 days the Lord has been calling them to literally be willing to lay down their lives as lovers, even martyrs for the Gospel if called to it. I am deeply humbled by their authentic love for Jesus, selfless abandonment & passion to partner with God in His mission. I want to thank you each for praying for this very first "AFF" (Antioch Forerunner Foundation)

Thank you each for praying & supporting this AFF student missions training program! I'm realizing how IMPORTANT this training is to the future of God's end time mission movement. We are literally forging a new work of "prayer and mission" together in order to raise up a new student volunteer movement that will preach the Gospel of the kingdom to every tribe, nation and tounge! We thank God for IHOP partnering with us in AFF so that these students would receive the call to make priority the first and greatest commandment to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt 22:37). We can not fulfill the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) without first obeying the Great Commandment (Matt 22:37) and that is why AFF is so crucial to student missions because it establishes the heart in intimacy, before we release the vessel in authority & mission.

Today, we transition into the second half of AFF which is Student CPX. We will be taking the 15 student missionaries of AFF and joining them with 20 other student church planters from 13 states and over 5 countries to plant student churches at the largest First Nations Native American University in North America "Haskell University" in Lawrence Kansas. We will need your dedicated intercessions as we pioneer a new work for Christ and establish His kingdom w/ blessings to the first nations students of our nation. We are believing through these next 2 weeks at Haskell University we will see the BIRTHING and BEGINNING of new wave of student church planting movements on campuses across Nth America and into every nation of the earth, specifcally reaching those in the 10/40 window.

Please keep the 40 students & staff in prayer for AFF & Student CPX in your prayer daily from July 20 - Aug 2. This is a new apostolic work that has never been done before in our time. It is exciting, but also very sobering. We desperately need CHRIST to be UPLIFTED in our nation(s) and in this generation. Let's believe God in prayer for another student volunteer missions movement to reach every campus, every city and every nation!

Please also do keep me personally in prayer. My body has been very fatigued since arrival in KC for the past two weeks. It could be the weather change, having to oversee the long days of training and also the spritiual dynamics involved, but I know I'm going to need more prayers for God's angels to give me strength, wisdom and His spirit to finish leading this training well. God's also been humbling me in different ways, I will share in another post what He has been speaking to me. Good stuff fosho! =)

For the Great Commandment and Great Commission,

Jaeson Ma

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Call DC 2008


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Whom have I in Hollywood but You?

Psalm 73:25-28
25Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
28But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.

The more I am in this mission field called Hollywood the more each day I yearn and burn for only one thing ~ the presence of my Lord Jesus Christ. The last months I have been ministering daily in Hollywood believing God for a revolution of love in this dark industry. It's sad, but the more people I get to know the more I realize how lonely and lost Hollywood is. People don't trust anyone, they are paranoid, they are given to selfishness, self promotion and are deeply insecure. Yet, beyond this Hollywood mask that makes everything look so perfect on the outside, these people are hurting so badly on the inside. They are rejected, hurt, full of pain, jealousy and anger. Not everyone of course. I have been deeply encouraged by seeing so many come to Christ every week since the Holy Spirit has led me to this mission. I'm not exaggerating when I say weekly I encounter person after person in this industry encountering the presence of the Lord. Most if not all of these encounters have been through simply hanging out with lost people and sharing God's prophetic words to them. People here are so HUNGRY for purpose, destiny and meaning. Each of them want to be something, yet they don't realize they already are something. People here are desperate and hungry for significance. Yet, you can't find significance externally, you can only find it intrinsically by knowing your identity as God's beloved.

I mean, just yesterday I was randomly walking down Melrose Ave on July 4th enjoying the sunny day. I looked across the street at this cafe and see a friend of mine who is a party promoter for major clubs in Los Angeles. I was introduced to him by a friend who converted to Christ months ago. At first I was going to pass by, but then the Holy Spirit spoke to me go join him and his friends for breakfast. So I obeyed Holy Spirit. When I sat down with them he was with his girlfriend and two others. We started talking and he told me some problems he had recently. As I listened I began to encourage him and told him what God was telling me to tell him. He was shocked because the words were confirming what was in his heart. Then his friend next to him who was a graphic designer started sharing. As I listened God spoke to me about him also, I told him God had given him a special gift of photographic memory and that he would work on a "hologram" project in the future that would be very significant. He also went into shock because he told me his company is currently working on a "hologram technology" for their next product. Turns out he was the son of a preacher, but had been running from God. Then I noticed my friends girlfriend had a fresh scar on her right shoulder. I asked her what happened? She told me, "she had just had surgery for a dislocated shoulder" but this has been a long term problem for 7 years where her shoulder keeps slipping out of joint. I told her Jesus can heal her now and asked if I could pray for her right then. She said "yes" so I laid hands and commanded her shoulder to be healed and all pain to leave in Jesus name. She said, "Thank you." But, I told her to check if the pain was still there and if she could move her shoulder normally. She said, "Are you serious?" I said, absolutely. All of a sudden she turns to her friend and starts talking in Korean amazed. She tells us, "I can't believe it the pain is totally gone and I can move my shoulder in ways I couldn't before! I can't believe this?" Her boyfriend was like are you serious? He then began to thank God. Then I continued to prophesy over her friend. God showed up at a breakfast cafe on Melrose that morning. It was beautiful. After the breakfast I invited them to one of our Sunday night Hollywood simple churches they all said they really want to come now. Crazy. You just never know when God will show up. We just have to be available for Him to shine through us to others at all times.

This is one story of many that I see happening on a day to day basis in Hollywood, or what I believe one day will become "Holy-wood" why not? Light always outshines the darkness and God is simply asking us to be His light in this dark world. You say, "What can one person do?" I'll tell you right now that one person can do a lot. God doesn't call us to change the whole world all at once. He calls us to change one life at a time. He calls us to be faithful to what we know is right to do. Our every moment, our very lives, our entire purpose is to serve and glorify God with every fiber of our being. Glory showed up on Melrose that morning for a moment. Imagine if everyone shined the light of God's glory everyday, every moment with every one. The world is waiting for the glory of God within us to be revealed so they can see God and come to know the meaning of life.

Which brings me to Psalm 73:25-26

"25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

The more I'm in darkness the more I need to cling to the light. The darkness will consume you if you are not in the light being re-lit everyday. I hate darkness, but I love the light. The more you are around darkness, touch darkness and feel darkness the more it offends you. I remember text messaging my boy Carl while I was walking down Melrose that morning before I met those four at the cafe saying, "Man Melrose is dark, I can feel evil on these streets." But, I asked the Lord to give me an opportunity to dispel the darkness with the light of God in me. He did.

I need God. I burn for God I yearn for God I want God more than life itself. Hollywood can't give you satisfaction. Money can't give you satisfaction. Power, prestige and pleasure can't give satisfaction. Accomplishments, worldly success, sexual immorality and fine food does not bring you lasting satisfaction. Only one thing does. The presence of God. The more I see how empty the soul of this land is, the more I cry out to God in heaven. "Whom have I on this earth but You? What do I have in this world that can compare to you? My Lord my God you are my portion. If I have You I have everything. Daily I need to draw near to you. Each moment I must be with You. I grow tired in this land of darkness, there are too many lost souls, too many who need you my God, so I cry out to You Father in my weakness and humanity, be the strength of my heart and be my portion forever. For you are incomparable and all I desire in this life is You. Give me Your presence daily it is all I need. To those whom I meet let me give the presence You have given me to each of them, especially to those who need it most. Lord send revival and an outpouring of Your manifest presence and glory into Hollywood. Make it Holy. Make it Your habitation. I believer this dark land will soon become shining white as light. Whom have in Hollywood but You Lord? Fill me with Your love daily that I may be satisfied in Your presence. In Jesus name amen.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance "Bleeding Love"

So I have a new favorite dance show "So You Think You Can Dance" my room mate Jinder records it on Tivo each week and watches it religously. I must confess, I LOVE IT! I love the dance, choreography and talent. This dance has been my favorite this season so far "Chelsea & Mark" dancing to "Bleeding Love" its just super dope, full of passion, tite choreography and can I say "cute"? LOVE IT!!!