Saturday, September 27, 2008

In Suffering I Rejoice...

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Romans 5:3-7

This past season of life for me has been one of the most trying of times. Through it all, I rejoice, because I know that God is developing endurance in me. You normally don't want to endure anything. The word endurance is usually correlated with suffering and trials. Yet, its only through suffering that we can develop character. I'm learning more and more that character doesn't come over night. It's built over time. I don't know why I'm facing the challenges I have been facing, but I do know one thing I need Jesus more than ever at this moment.

My family has been going through trials. My closest of friends have been going through trials. My ministry has been going through trials. My personal life is being tried as I write this. In all of this, I cling to the above verse knowing that in the midst of problems and trials that God is developing within me endurance, this endurance produces character, and this character cements in my inner man a confident hope in Jesus Christ that can never be shaken by life circumstances.

Who wants to suffer? Not me! But, if suffering comes I rejoice because I know God is getting His way in me. Everything in life that happens, good or bad, is for one purpose: that we may know Christ more (Phil 3:10)

It's in the most trying of times, that I must make the most difficult of decisions. It is in the fiery furnace of trials that I learn to become a man. Because men are not born, they are made. How can a man become a man unless he is faced with challenges that he must overcome? How can a man rise higher if he is not first brought lower? How can a man be proven faithful unless he first has the opportunity to exercise faith? Is life fair? Certainly not. Jesus died without justice. But through His suffering and death injustice was overcome by His great love for us. In the face of unbearable suffering, trial and death on a cross, Jesus rose up to the challenge and made a decision that only a man could make. He faced fear with faith and became the ultimate God and Man, the Savior of the world. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2).

Being a man of God has very little to do with public ministry or recognition. Ministry is easy, living life is a challenge. Preaching on a stage is easy, but preaching with your life is what counts. Being a man of God has everything to do with being faithful in the little things, being obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit with every action big or small, being a man means making the tough decisions you have to make to protect the life of others even when others don't agree. It is about being a man who is faithful to God, his family, and loving others with purity of heart. None of these things can be proven in a man without having to face life problems and trials. So I rejoice!

With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. For it has been in these moments of suffering, that I have felt the closeness of the Holy Spirit more present with me than ever before. I need Him, want Him and desire Him because without Him all would be meaningless. But with Him, everything makes sense and life with all its unpredictability's finds purpose because my hope is in Him. He loves me. That's all that matters. Life is a beautiful struggle that brings us one step every day closer to Him. In this I rejoice! That I may know You more Jesus.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hanging w/ Pastor Philip

I've been able to spend some good time with Pastor Philip (my spiritual big bro) and his family these past few days. He is one of the greatest blessings in my life. A man who truly loves God, his wife and his family. He has taught me so much and I never cease to learn from his life wisdom. Thanks for being an incredible inspiration and teaching me in this season "to build my life and not the ministry" dat is da TRUTH!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Monday, September 22, 2008

Romance & Relationships (Part 3)

Part of the reason I have been posting this series of blogs on "Romance & Relationships" from my friend Becky is because her posts really helped me in gaining right perspective on God's purpose in relationships in general. For most of my life, I came from a Christian charismatic tradition that believed in "the one". Although, this idea is a good notion, I believe it can be dangerous if not understood in the right context. It's not that I don't believe in the one, but I believe God is a God of LOVE and relationships are about love, not obligation. God does not obligate us to love Him, so why do we think He would obligate us to love someone else? Love is a choice, an act of the will, a personal decision that requires choosing to love someone not because you have to, but because you want to. I choose to love God. In the same way, God is a good Father who will in His sovereign love suggest someone to us that would be a great match, but ultimately it is our choice to respond in love to that person.

It would be dangerous to marry someone simply because you received multiple prophecies, dreams, confirmations, and advice from others, but you never actually got to know the person. It would be sad to marry someone only because you were afraid of disobeying the will of God. The foundation of a strong relationship should never be fear, duty or obligation. The foundation of a strong and lasting relationship was and always will be love. The kingdom of God is built upon relationships, not power, miracles or prophecy (1 Cor 13). It is about a love relationship with God and loving relationship with others. Point being ~ don't build a romantic relationship upon prophecy, build all relationships upon love. And trust me, love takes time. Feelings come and go, but love will always remain. God may choose to use prophetic signs to catch your attention towards another, but take time to get to know the person, and ultimately it is your choice in choosing to love him or her. All the best! Read below...

Becky Hill's Blog

As we end this series on romance & relationships, let’s review the three over-generalized keys presented to healthy interpersonal relationships:

1) A free (honest/truthful/pure) motivation is the key
2) Confrontation is necessary and God given
3) It’s God’s hand & our heart

We now come to the place where most Christians try to begin their journey of understanding godly relationships - the Lord’s soveriegnty. Yet, my goal in this post is to clarify what I meant by my statement in my first post that “the one” does not exist. I will grit my teeth and clench my fists to stand firmly by this statement, but it does need to be qualified.

First of all, let me state that I do NOT mean to say: the Lord is not concerned about who we marry, or that there is no chance we will find a spouse that is better for us than any other person in the world, or that we are destined to always question whether the life covenant we make was from the Lord, or that God doesn’t set people up, or that it is solely our choice and Jesus leaves us to figure it out.

There are two main aspects to the Lord’s involvement in our search for a spouse: a) the counsel of the Lord and His intimate commitment to seeing us find the best life partner out there, and b) the real decisions we choose based upon the wisdom that He gives and the desires of our hearts. In every arena of life, there is a felt tension in this because it is messier and more painful than blaming things/putting responsibility on either the Lord’s overpowering force of will or entirely on our own choices, but this is reality. It’s God’s hand and our heart: His sovereignty, our free will; His advice, our decision; His commitment to us, our commitment to Him. Let me break this down a little.

A) We have a good Father who knows us well, and it is His hand that is ruling over our lives. He sees every desire of our heart (both good and bad), which means that He knows more than any other what we want and need in life. He is much more concerned about our welfare than we are. This means that we actually have to seek Him and listen to Him in every arena of our lives before Him, which definitely includes relationships.

We should be talking to Him about that certain person we’re interested in much more than we talk to friends or family. He has set up our lives so that they will not work unless we come to Him. PRAY about your future spouse in a general way (”Lord, this is what I ask for in a spouse”), as well as a specific way (”Father, what do You think about Marcy?”; “Lord, give me wisdom of how to interact with Jack”; “Jesus, I really like Susan, but I don’t know if she likes me - what should I do?”; “Lord, if Jacob would not be right for me, I ask that you would take this attraction towards him out of my heart”). He is so zealous to see you with a good spouse. You do not need to worry that you will never find the right person, as long as you are leaning into Him (prayer/listening) and taking initiative in time and space (active participation and pursuit of a relationship with someone).

Now, it is helpful here to mention a common reality in the body of Christ around the subject of marraige (especially among more charismatic Christians): dreams and inclinations. Personally, I have had several of my guy friends have dreams and words from the Lord about me being their wife, and I too have had dreams and impressions about marrying this person or that. I know of some healthy marriages that have been established through prophetic insight, and I also know of many people who have been significantly hurt and disillusioned by this practice. The best way to understand any prophetic activity around the subject of relationships is that it is the Lord’s counsel, not His command. Just as a good father has an opinion about his daughter’s choice of a husband, so the Lord does as our Good Father. He will give us advice through prophetic activity that we have to then walk out with discernment in the Sermon on the Mount. If you have a dream about Susy, it probably means that your Father in heaven is saying to you, “Susy would be a good option for you. What do you think of her?” Just as He gave Adam the decision of what to name the animals in the Garden and eventually what to call his wife, so He gives us a real decision in the midst of presenting us with good things.

Some practicals with prophetic activity:

1. DON’T tell the person about your dream or word from the Lord - if they don’t love you without prophetic persuasion, they won’t love you with it.
2. Hold your words lightly, just as you would a suggestion from your close friend. Although you may feel the Spirit moving on your heart, you must give room for it to grow into a real decision instead of a momentary passion.
3. Be as wise and godly with the situation as you would if the Lord had not told you about this person. The word of the Lord is no excuse to throw common sense to the wind.
4. Actually act upon it (don’t just ignore it and put it on the shelf). Instead of thinking, “Boy, that was weird that I had a dream about marrying Susy. I should probably stay away from that…” instead, try to be cordial to Susy and see if you could actually be interested in her.
5. Remember that the other person IS A REAL PERSON and not the fulfillment of your prophetic destiny or the answer to all that you’ve been hoping for. Don’t be selfish in your love, and don’t be idealistic in your approach.

B) The second aspect is a little trickier because “the heart is more deceitful than all else.” The Lord truly gives us the privilege of choosing who we will be yoked to in this life. He will not command us to marry someone we think is horrid, just to teach us humility. He desires that we would be lead by love in this life, not by obligation. He wants us to fall in love with someone so madly that we desire to give all for them and serve them willingly (Song of Solomon 8:7).

Marriage is the picture the Lord has given us of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). If our marriage is one that is based upon staunch obedience rather than on ardent desire, we will never be able to express His love for the Bride (Hosea 2:16). He laid down His life willingly for the joy of being with her (John 17:24-26; Hebrews 12:2).

Therefore, just as the Lord Himself will only take love that is freely recieved and freely given, so too we must actually choose to receive and give love with our future spouse. This does not mean that you give love without it being asked for, but it does mean that you will have to give of yourself when you are unsure of things and that you will most likely be hurt at some point. For practicals on this point, please see post #1.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Love Never Fails - Baby Emma a Heroine of our Generation

Emmanuel Chia Ai Lim

(13 Oct 2007- 17 Sept 2008)

Love Never Fails

I Cor. 13:8

On Sep 16, 2008, she developed a fever and was rushed to a private specialist hospital in Yangon. The Australian and UK trained Pediatric Consultant, recommended baby Emma to be immediately admitted to Yangon Children Hospital ICU for 24 hours monitoring as Emma has been diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Comprehensive treatments were given to Emma in that ICU but she didn't respond to the treatment positively.

In less than 24 hours, Emmanuel Lim (baby Emma) finished her race in Myanmar and went home to be with Jesus.

Many in different nations grieve over the lost of baby Emma's presence with them but her legacy in the grace of God will continue to shine brightly.

During her short and meaningful life, her inspirational story has also inspired the founding of Emmanuel Charity Fund Ltd. in Hong Kong and Emmanuel Foundation Inc. in U.S.A.

Emmanuel travelled to many nations with her parents and her brother Samuel Lim from June 24, 2008 until September 17, 2008.

During those days, she brought joy to people wherever she went. She grew stronger and stronger every moment as she has been nourished by love and care that she needs day by day. The travelled did not tired her instead, stimulated her senses and muscle movement. Since 3 weeks ago, she turned over by her own and could sit up straight with a back support and holding her head up. She has also gained much weight and length and head circumference.

She has called out "papa", "bebe" "tata" and made some melody. Her smile had been the most captivating. She lived her happiest moment while she was in Myanmar surrounded by family and grandparents from both parents.

She was scheduled to travel back to USA with her parent on Sep 24, 2008. It was a much anticipated trip by the family as well as many friends in Kansas City waiting to see her moving, smiling and stronger in so many ways that they had never seen since she travelled.

On September 17, 2008, Emmanuel Chia Ai Lim (baby Emma) finished her race in the grace of God and was received into Jesus' presence. She happily lived her final weeks giving hope, joy and love to many who are needy and sufferings in Myanmar through the charities she inspired to form.

Although, we will always miss baby Emma, her legacy will be with us and many lives will continue to bless through her inspiration stories. We wish to thank Jesus for the gift of baby Emma to us and thank everyone who has care, love and supported baby Emma. During her 340 days on the earth with us, she has been a burning and a shining lamp of the love and the goodness of God.

Baby Emma is a heroin of our generation. Though her life was short, God was with her and her life was lived to the fullest. Her one life has helped begin the discipling of a nation in Myanmar and her sacrifice will inspire many in this generation to lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel. I applaud you Emma, you are loved, cherished and will be missed, but remembered always in our hearts. God be with you forever. JMA

To understand more of the pr9phetic significance behind Emma's special life and what it meant to me click here to read previous blog posts on Emma

Monday, September 15, 2008

Romance & Relationships (Part 2)

I am continuing on the blog series "Romance & Relationships" from my friend Becky's blog. I take no claim to fame with the below nuggets of wisdom on how to approach a romantic relationship in a godly way. These nuggets below are pure gold, so take them to heart and put them into action. As a word of encouragement if you have messed up in your relationships in the past, remember that God's mercies are new every morning. Learn from your mistakes, ask God for a pure heart and seek to do what is honorable and right.

The below post from Becky has helped me think through the necessity of "confrontation" in relationships. If you are a guy or girl pursuing another I pray that you would find the courage to be honest, truthful and clear with your intentions with the opposite sex. Don't play with hearts, it only leads to unnecessary pain. Be mature and think about the others heart, before you think about yours. Love is selfless, not selfish. All the best!

Becky Hill's Blog

1) A free (honest/truthful/pure) motivation is the key
2) Confrontation is necessary and God given
3) It’s God’s hand & our heart

Okay, so if you’re just joining us on this discussion about one of the most pertinent and reoccurring topics to a young adult movement, please take the time to read the previous posts under “Amateur Sociology” and get caught up. We’re now on our second aspect: healthy confrontation. Please note that confrontation does not mean heated or hard interaction, but “communication that deliberately pressures or invites another to self-examine some aspect of behaviour in which there is a discrepancy between self-reported and observed behaviour.”

There is an innate fear in every human heart to embrace that which is painful–it is entirely contrary to our natural instincts. Yet, all relationships are made firm through conflict, whether that be external or internal. I once learned from a very wise man that there are three stages to relationship: discovery, conflict, and partnership. This applies to all kinds of relationships, whether they be familial, friendships, work-related, romantic, or whatever else there is. However, in our context I will examine this principle with a romantic lens.

When you first meet someone you’re interested in (please refer to #1 for more on this), you have a long period of time that you get to discover who they are. This season is crucial for a healthy relationship to come forth, and can be very short or very long, depending on how much time and in what kind of contexts you’re getting to know the person. In this stage, you are simply becoming fascinated with the interests, mannerisms, beliefs, life-processes, etc of the other and may be quite oblivious to anything negative.

This will not and should not last forever. There will inevitably come a point at which there is a breakdown in communication or a misunderstanding or a hard situation that brings in the element of pain into one or both hearts. At this point, the one experiencing the pain has two options–either he/she can choose to leave the issue to work itself out (which is not likely to happen, due to the fact that the only way people can work things out is when they are aware there’s a problem) or bring up the matter in a non-accusatory way to walk through the process of making the relationship grow. The point is, conflict does not have to be something you dread if you learn to walk through it together–it is acutally a much freer way to live if you know that the person you are pursuing a relationship with is going to tell you when there’s a problem.

Let me make this more tangible… Let’s say that you are hanging out with someone of the opposite sex in a consistent and extended way, even possibly sharing with them things that are quite near to your heart. You may realize that you are moving beyond the state of your normal friendships, yet you aren’t sure whether they are actually interested in you as more than a friend. At this point, the issue must be addressed. It is not wise or integrous to continue to advance in intimacy without the safety and boundaries of commitment. As a woman, if you realize you’re at this point, you either need to ask for definition/intention or (if you do not want to advance into a romantic relationship) intentionally withdraw to whatever degree necessary. For guys, you have to man-up at this point and actually clarify the relationship. Whether the clarification is that you are not interested in pursuing a relationship (at which point there would be pain for her and an intentional change of interaction) or that you desire to move forward into a committal relationship (which means that you’re going to have to be willing to be vulnerable to the option that she would say ‘no’), it must be walked out.

But what if you (man or woman) are getting to know someone and find that you’re very interested in having a dating relationship with them, yet you are unsure if you could see yourself marrying them? This should not keep you from doing the aforementioned steps. If a dating relationship comes forth, you must be sure that you let that person know on the front-end the hesitation you’re feeling (though it may be an awkward damper to excited romantic notions). If the cards are laid on the table as the commitment is made, it is much easier to walk things out in reality together. That way, you are not second-guessing yourself nor trying to deny the true issues of your heart that need to be dealt with.

If you’re in a dating relationship, there are so many areas of brokenness that have to be overcome, since we are broken people. I just want to name a few major ones that can really determine the way things turn out (not whether you’ll ‘make it’ or not, but whether it is healthy or not). Physical and emotional boundaries are something that must be addressed and upheld; if you are feeling your boundaries violated it is imperative that you speak out against it, for you will not be able to respect or trust the other person otherwise. Many times, they will not even know that you’re not comfortable with certain things because people have different concepts of what is and isn’t okay to talk about or do. They may or my not be completely innocent in it and it may be very awkward or embarrassing to address, but you must if you desire to move forward in your heart in a healthy manner. On the other side of things, you may feel as though the person is not even pursuing an increase of intimacy with you on those levels and that they simply don’t care, but likely this is not the case. Again, you must talk to the person, letting them know that you do not feel engaged at the level you desire and giving them real tools to move forward. All of this needs to be under the counsel and eyes of the Lord as well as godly friends who can give you sound wisdom.

Our last example would be if you’re in a dating/courting relationship and you realize that it is not the best thing for both of you to move forward into marriage. The questions of how to know this are far bigger and more subjective than can be addressed in this little post, but if that person is not the ultimate choice in your eyes (there’s no one you would rather be with) it is not godly to continue growing closer and more committed. In this situation, you must have the courage to end the relationship. It actually takes strength and much wisdom from the Lord to know how and when to do this and thus prayer is vital. It will hurt you both to follow-through with the breakup, but in the end you both will be very grateful. The other option is dishonorable to both parties, for to string someone along for the sake of avoiding pain is only going to knit your hearts deeper and deeper until the final break is worse than the initial, or until you follow-through with marrying someone that you’re not madly and incandescently in love with.

As we take this journey into relationship with other broken people, it is so crucial that we accept confrontation as a gift instead of a curse, for without it we would not have to grow in humility or lean on the Lord for wisdom and strength. Instead of shying away from issues, we must develop the skill and love to walk through them under the leadership o
f the Lord.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Romance & Relationships (Part 1)

Recently, I was able to read a series of blog posts on "Romance & Relationships" from my friend Becky Hill that really helped me think through some practical questions I had in my heart in this area. For most of my life, I have kept my romantic life private and I will continue to do so. I will be quite frank that I haven't had much experience in this arena simply because of the fact that I have been on a 7 year commitment to not date anyone since I was 21 years old. Well, that season has just about ended so I hope these next few posts from my friend Becky will help you as much as it has helped me to seek the Lord's hand and to keep a pure heart when it comes to divine romance...God knows I've made my mistakes in the past. May God have mercy upon us all as we seek His perfect will in choosing a life partner. (ps. my friend Becky may possibly even respond to your comments and questions if you have any hehe)

Becky Hill's Blog

I am finally continuing my Romance & Relationships series. I’ve been caught up in trying to have one, so I haven’t had time to write. ;) As a reminder, the three over-generalized, broad-stroke core principles to healthy relationships are:

1) A free (honest/truthful/pure) motivation is the key
2) Confrontation is necessary and God given
3) It’s God’s hand & our heart

So, let’s start with the first aspect. What do I mean by having a free/honest/truthful/pure motivation? There are many factors that play into this, but the bottom line is simply that when you are attracted to someone or unattracted to someone, you don’t shy away from it but carry yourself with honor in the truth. This means that you are willing to be vulnerable and have an honest approach to relating with the opposite sex. By honest I don’t mean transparent (tell them everything that’s going on in that little heart of yours), but open to real interaction (conversations) and grounded in reality (what’s actually happening between you two, not what’s going on in your fantasy world). The other main point of this is that in order to actually walk this out, you must have your identity and satisfaction fixed upon the Lord before trying to establish a relationship with another. Tall order? Yep, but we’ll talk about it.

Many people (especially in Christian circles) have a tendency to feel as though any kind of romantic inclinations are evil or “worldly.” Thus, to remove this ungodly distraction from themselves, they simply suppress the desires they have inside or ignore that they even exist. Whether it be trying to pretend like you aren’t interested in the person you like or feeling guilty for wanting to look attractive around a certain someone, it springs from a skewed view of the Lord and of relationships. We must understand that the only way we will have strength to walk through a relationship under the leadership of the Lord is by knowing that He is pleased with us in it. Otherwise, if you have a mindset that the Lord is disappointed or angry that you are pursuing a relationship, you will feel as though all that you do in it is unclean and violate your conscience by even doing things that are pleasing to Him, rendering you unable to rather partner with Him to have a godly relationship.

The solution to this is through the renewing of your mind in the Word and in prayer. First of all, it is a part of the command of God to “be fruitful and multiply,” and unlike the somewhat gnostic mindset of the Church, the priests of Israel who ministered before Him were encouraged to have wives (please look at the Old and New Testaments concerning the issue of marriage before claiming that celibacy is holier based upon two passages). Relationships are a part of the blessing of creation, and the curse was a break in that communion between God, man, and woman. Secondly, the Lord has given us an opportunity to grow in maturity and love through relationships (whether friendships, dating, or marriage) if we partner with Him in the midst of it instead of hiding from Him. To partner with Him is to ask His advice, to ask for a wonderful spouse, pray for strength, pray for/with the other person, tell Him your frustrations and fears, obey His commands and the nudges of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and all in all to just TALK TO HIM. By the way, as a side point, please do not only pray for your spouse or for someone you’re interested in; pray for friends of the opposite sex on a consistent basis as well (it’s not weird or stalkerish, it’s a command of the Lord that will keep you balanced in your view of the relationships).

Then, the hardest part about this is that you actually have to talk to the other person, not just God. When you’re attracted to someone and it seems as though you might work together as equally-yoked partners in life (not after knowing them for two weeks but after some time of interacting with them on a friendship level in different contexts), then you should begin to move forward in a relationship. For a woman, this is a little more tricky and for a man it’s a little more dangerous. Women, I beg you on behalf of every godly man out there, please do not be an enigma. If you like a guy, show him you’re interested. This doesn’t mean that you have to be the “stalker girl” or you should pursue the man or tell him you’re interested in him, but it does mean giving clear signs that you would not be opposed to a relationship (like smiling and saying “hi” when he approaches, talking to him when he’s around, being pleasant with him in a way that you’re not with other guys). Men, let me begin by saying that you are not a woman. You can’t move forward into a relationship by doing the things aforementioned–you have to be more intentional, which is obvious. If you see that a woman may be interested in you or if you’re interested in a woman but aren’t ready to marry her, just make your intentions clear. Chances are, they’re in the same boat. Yet you have to act on it. Now if you want to be friends with her for a while before getting into any kind of official relationship, just know that there is a point at which any honorable woman will close her heart to you if you do not act upon anything for an extended period. If she has any self-respect, she’s not going to wait for you even in her heart. Vulnerability is hard, but attractive if done progressively and honorably.

On the opposite side of the fence, there are some people who are so adamantly seeking to find that special person who will fulfill all of their hopes and dreams, bringing their loneliness to an end and balancing out their weaknesses by having corresponding strengths just in the right areas. This is a lie. Although most people can assert logically that this is a delusion and would never admit that they believe this, their practical life and day to day thoughts betray them. As mentioned before, this entire portion of honest motivation can only be realized through a foundation of being rooted and grounded in the love of the Lord.

Why? Because you can only pursue a relationship with the right motives and mindset if you are not seeking to find yourself in another person. A relationship is about finding the other and serving them, not finding yourself by leaning into the other. This is why it is so important to make sure you are as “equally yoked” to the Lord as the other is–you must both be first partnering with the Lord and leaning into Him in order to partner with one another to go further in Him. It’s not simply about making sure you marry a Christian (which many consider to be the only “must” of a godly relationship); it’s about partnering to pursue the Lord and serve another’s vision.

How do you know if you’re trusting more in a relationship to complete yourself than in the Lord to be your fulfillment? Look to your thought-life: what are you mostly thinking about when you get ready for your day; who is the first person that comes to mind when are you considering life decisions; what thoughts get you out of feeling depressed or in despair? If the answer to these is not Jesus, you are in real danger. If you’re feeling depressed and fearful of being alone, do not console yourself by thinking, “Well, I’m sure I’ll find the right person one day.” While this may be true, it is fixing your hope upon a spouse instead of looking to the Lord in prayer. Jesus cannot be your boyfriend, nor will He fill the same place as a spouse, but He is the only One who can satisfy the even deeper more fundamental longings of your heart. Biblically, the Lord never promised a perfect spouse, and He does not appoint “the one” from before you were born, but He will give you the desires of your heart if you come to Him in prayer. Let me make this more concrete. When you feel the ache of loneliness, say to the Lord, “Father, You know my heart and You know that I desire a spouse. This is what I’m asking for in a spouse, and I know that you care about this more than I do. I am lonely, and I need Your strength to be given to You in this season of my life. I love You and need You more than any other, and Lord give me a partner to love You with.” Even with this being prayed, there is a real chance that you may not find someone to spend your life with, and you have to trust the Lord’s leadership while wrestling with Him about it all the way.

Lastly, I must address a pitfall that is easy to stumble into, though it is quite obvious that it is an ungodly mode of operation. I speak of being manipulative or double-minded. Many people, both moral and immoral, do not use good discernment in their communication and interaction with the opposite sex. Sometimes this is intentional (especially on the part of women), because there is a longing to be desired even by those that we would not necessarily want to be in a relationship with. This is natural, but should be greatly resisted. Truth is the only way to live clean before the Lord, and you will (not might) end up hurting others and confusing yourself if you go down the road of sowing where you did not want to reap. Whenever you put out signals that you are interested in a person, you are sowing seeds into their heart and your heart that will bear some form of fruit whether you want it to or not. People can do this unintentionally as well all the time, but this is also just as dangerous: we have to ask the Lord to give us discernment and the ability to walk in the light before others. It takes time to learn and intentional seeking to grow in that area, but it’s worth it. This is not simply a skill that is necessary before marriage but especially after, since it is an abhorrence to sow seeds in another man’s garden.

Please let me know if anything I’ve said is unclear. I jumped around from paragraph to paragraph somewhat when writing this, so hopefully I hit everything with no confusion.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

seeking onething in HK

Preaching on "Emma- Love Loves You & Experiencing God's Affections"

onething Hong Kong was AWESOME. Over 2,000 plus young adults seeking and desiring Jesus above all in their generation. Over 140 young adults committed to be full time intercessors to worship and pray day and night for the city of HK. Another 700 committed to be musicians, singers and intercessors on their campuses, work places and in the city HOP. I was so HAPPY and encouraged after pioneering the youth and young adult revival movement in HK for more than 4 years to see the prayer movement mature to the place it is today. God is truly establishing a resting place in this great city of God soon to be :-)

At our student church planting training we had hundreds commit to the student back to Jerusalem movement and student leaders from every major HK university commit to reaching mainland students and start new simple churches amongst this unreached people group which is so very strategic in the wake of Asia's global rising.

I also had some awesome encounters and adventures throughout the week. God broke open the doors to the media and entertainment world even more on this last trip. Got to pray and prophesy and share the Gospel with many leaders in the entertainment industry. More to come...