Sunday, 6 May 2018

What if God lets your problem to stay a little bit longer to teach you something?

Photo Credit :

Matthew 17 : 20
"You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."

This is a very well-known and often most-cited verse when it comes to the topic of faith and problems. We always look at our big problems as the mountain. 

For example, one guy is trying very hard to find himself a decent job, but he has not been getting interview calls, and even when he did, he wasn't able to do the interview well, which in turns resulting in him being rejected by the company; and the cycle goes on. To him, acing the interview is his big mountain, and he thinks to himself maybe if he has a little bit more faith, pray more, then he will overcome this mountain and miraculously get a job he desires. Nothing wrong with having more faith and praying more asking for God's divine intervention, but what if, acing the interview is not the only mountain he needs to overcome, what if there are other mountains (for example his attitude towards his interviewers during interviews, or his skills that need to be polished) he fails to see but God wants him to overcome those other mountains first before the gigantic one. And what exactly do I mean by that... 

Often times, we get fixated on our problem or the breakthrough that we want to achieve and blindly use this verse as a weapon or "blackmail" in our prayers, saying something like "Lord I have faith that I will overcome this problem, I believe it Lord, please let this problem go away, because I have faith that it will." But what if He lets this mountain to stay for a little bit longer so that He can teach us something or so that we can overcome other smaller mountains first, mountains that we overlooked thinking they are not a problem but little did we know, they can be a problem in the future if not addressed properly. For easier explanation I'm gonna use my story as an illustration :) 

Okay so most of you know that I have a clothing line business, however at this point of time I cannot say that it is doing very well or it has reached a certain number of followers on the social media platform or that the monthly revenue is always mind-blowing throughout the year - and I'm fine with it, at least now, after I realised about this faith-and-mountain thing. Up until last month, I often found myself being overly sad if I feel that the business is not doing well, I would pray asking God for the breakthrough and I thought it was alright to be sad about it. But recently I realised something else. Yes I need a breakthrough and yes this thing is my mountain right now, but even though this mountain is still present, throughout these past few months that I've been feeling sad, actually I've been removing other smaller mountains like for example the ability to learn from mistakes, getting back up after feeling down, the ability to be humble and take in advices from others, to name a few. 
I know that it is very easy for God to suddenly pour me with so much orders that I can't even handle it on my own, or for Him to suddenly multiply my business overnight. However, as much as I want an overnight success to happen, I ask myself again this question, am I ready for it now? Am I able to handle all those? What if He suddenly multiplies my business now because of my "faith" and because I ask in my prayers without myself knowing that I don't have any experience for the breakthrough? Then most likely, the success won't stay for long if I cannot manage it well. You see, our God is more interested in shaping our characters, preparing us for the good success that He has planned for us in the future, rather than just turning us into an overnight sensation or giving us sudden fame without any strong character or experiences as the foundation. More often than not He doesn't spoon-feed us. 

So what I'm saying is, if you are in a situation faced with a big mountain that you always earnestly pray for it to be removed, but it is still there looking at you in the eye, try to take a step back and look at yourself or your surrounding. Maybe there is something that you need to address first, "smaller mountain" that you may not realise but need to be removed first before this big mountain that you are always focusing on. Remember that everything happens for a reason and everything stays for a reason too, even problems (ha!)

I hope this helps you to take a fresher and more wholesome perspective of your current situation if you find yourself facing your mountain again and again no matter how big of a faith you think you have ;) 

God is good all the time, All the time God is good. Cheers!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Green Pastures in Psalms 23, is it really green?

Video from:

Psalms 23 : 1 - 2a 
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures...

After watching the video, even though it changes our perception of 'green pastures' completely, it makes Psalms 23:1-2 become even more beautiful. Here's why...

I see a partnership here between the flock of sheep that depicts us in real life with their Shepherd who is the Lord.

I say partnership because the sheep are following Him, not being dragged around. For this to happen, they must be willing to follow the Shepherd and He in return must be willing to walk at the front and lead the flock.

1. The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing
The key is the Lord being our Shepherd and when this happens, we lack nothing because all our needs are being provided for. We see the flock of sheep even though they are in the desert-like green pastures, as long as they follow their Shepherd, they will always find grass to eat. Everyday there will always be enough grass for them to eat. But can you imagine if there is only the flock of sheep roaming around without the Shepherd leading them? I doubt those sheep will ever be able to find the patches of grass hiding beneath the rocks. So the key is actually not the pastures, but the Shepherd leading. 

2. He makes me lie down (in green pastures)
Sheep are very prone to being eaten by predators. They are always on the lookout of their surrounding, to see if there is any danger around. For them to be able to lie down means they are at ease knowing that their Shepherd is doing his job of watching over them. Same as us, when we know the Lord is watching over us and have our best interest at heart, we don't need to worry, no matter the circumstances we are in, we can lie down peacefully and be at rest knowing that the Lord has got our backs.

3. (He makes me lie down) In green pastures
I think that green pastures here depicts our lives and circumstances.
Life is not always a bed of roses, like how 'green pastures' is not necessarily always green.
No matter how bad or good our circumstances may seem like, as long as the Lord is our Shepherd, we will lack nothing and can be at rest.

It's interesting why the green pastures in Israel looks like this, because if it does look like what we have all first imagined it to be like (really green with lots of grass in sight) then I guess the flock of sheep don't really need any Shepherd around to lead them to find their daily food. The green pastures look like a desert for a purpose, to teach us that we don't focus on the circumstances, but focus on who is leading our lives.

Be blessed :)

Friday, 20 January 2017

Prayer-answering God


So, lately I have been busy working on my new clothing line and I am very happy and excited about it. Honestly when you are busy doing something that you love, you don't really have time to feel down, confused about what exactly are God's plans for your life and at loss of what to do in the future. Thus explains my absence from blogging recently (ugly naked truth huh!)

But of course I am not saying I forget about being constantly in His presence and feeling grateful for all His goodness; which then leads me to this short story that I'm going to share with you all... 

As some of you may have known, after all these years, I finally braved myself to embark on a new journey of being in the fashion industry, following what my heart really leans to. So I needed to hire a tailor, I was quite unsure of the fundamental characteristics that I should look for in a tailor, how to really spot a good one among so many skilled tailors in Jakarta. And where to find them. 

Last year in October when I first started, I remember praying a prayer, asking God to guide me to a good tailor just like how Abraham's servant asked for guidance to find a good wife for Isaac, in Abraham's homeland. He prayed a specific prayer, with a specific request to help him be sure which woman was God-sent. As for my case, last year I didn't have that specific request yet when I prayed this prayer. Months went by, and finally this mid January I put an advertisement on local newspaper looking for a tailor. One day before the interview/test day, I had this small voice in my heart saying that I want a tailor who calls me by "non" (Indonesian for "miss"). 

A lot of tailors applied for the job and I interviewed many before finally deciding to hire someone. We had a deal, I asked him to start immediately the next day, and also by then I had rejected a few other potential candidates too. But I guess God had a different person in mind to be my tailor. My newly hired employee texted me on the first day of work saying that he wished to start working the following week instead (wait, what! First day of work and you say this to your employer), and yes I was disappointed even before I start. I went to call an applicant whom I just rejected the night before, but turns out he wasn't that interested in the job offer either. I was scrolling down my list of applicants when a text suddenly came in saying "Good morning, I am on my way for the interview" (in Indonesian of course) I was surprised, being fully sure I didn't have anymore pending interviews that day, but I welcomed him anyway. Eventually I hired him and he's been working for a week now and so far things have been great, skills and attitude wise. And remember how I had a specific request in my heart saying that I want a tailor who calls me by "non"? Yep among so many applicants, he is the only person who calls me that. The rest called me "bu" or "ci" (Indonesian for "maam" or "sis"). 

Last night I was praying, thanking God for a smooth first week when I was reminded of the Abraham's servant's prayer I once prayed last year. Amazing how God brings things into place. With this, I am all confident that I'm on the right track and I have only good things to expect. So friends, be confident of what you pray for because our God is a prayer-answering God, and He is serious about it. 

Be abundantly blessed!  

Genesis 24: 12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

First year in Jakarta

Photo credit: (via google)
Happy 1st anniversary to my blog! Even though I haven't posted anything in the past few months. Oops! But anyhow, it has been an interesting year for me. I started writing right after I moved back to Jakarta during my time of uncertainties, to uplift myself and boost my faith each time I feel down.

But truly God is good and He will not abandon His child. First few months of adaptation after being 11 years in Singapore, and finding out what I wanted to do here in Jakarta felt like I was in the ocean. I related a lot to Hillsong United's Oceans song where the lyrics say "You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail, and there I find you in the mystery. In oceans deep, my faith will stand," but I love how the song also declares hope when it continues on saying "Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your sovereign hand will be my guide." 

I held on to His promise knowing that there is more in store for me in Jakarta, just that it hasn't been shown to me just yet. Well I'm not saying I have it all figured out now, but at least now I know where I am heading to (for those curious readers, I am working on my clothing line now). I realised that all I need is enough passion to keep me on track, continuing what I am doing; and a lot of grace to get me to my goal.

" Enough passion, a lot of Grace "

I didn't say the opposite (a lot of passion and enough grace) because I don't want to lean on my own strength and effort. And when the time comes for me to look back to these times of my small beginnings, I want to be able to say: It is truly and only by His grace that has gotten me this far.  I can't wait for that day.

Monday, 5 September 2016

"But My love won't fail," says the LORD

Hi blessed readers, hope you are all well in Christ.

Something sweet happened to me some time last week and I want to write about it and share with you guys. So, last during my small group (we call it DATE in my home church, JPCC) session, we sang this beautiful song by JPCC Worship: More Than Enough. Even though this song was originally released a while ago, but I haven't really listened to the whole complete song yet, so it was kind of my first time hearing it last week and the song was captivating.

On Sunday that week in church, they played a praise song titled Kembali by JPCC Worship Youth before service started, and it was another song that I loved. So while listening to the song and waiting for service to start, I had just a slight thought in my mind that it would be great if the worship team decided to sing those two songs during service; it would be a perfect combination, I wished in my heart.

The praise and worship team members started to fill up the stage and the rest of us stood up, ready for a great service ahead and, lo and behold, we were all singing Kembali. I was beaming from ear to ear. After praise song, the worship leaders led us into time of worship and well to my another pleasant surprise, we were humming to the tune of More Than Enough. I didn't know what happened then, such a coincidence. When the music started playing, I found tears flowing down my cheeks uncontrollably.

I knew right there and then, my God is always by my side and He listens to the desires of my heart. Such a simple and trivial wish of singing two specific songs, He listened and answered my silent request. How much more will He pay attention to our lives, problems and desires. So if you ever think or question whether God is there to listen to your prayers, to notice your desires or not, don't worry because He does. And He only wants the best for you, His children.

Below are the links to those two beautiful songs, please enjoy
More Than Enough:

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Don't always give; Receive

Maybe the title has caught you off guard a little. Haven't we always been taught to always give?

I recently read a book by Francine Rivers, titled Bridge to Haven and thought about this little lesson that I am going to share to you guys.

Abra is a sweetheart who grew up in church, surrounded by people who loved her more than she imagined. However since young she struggled with self-identity and overwhelmed by feeling of rejection because her biological mother had abandoned her when she was just a newborn. Even though while growing up, she was loved dearly and genuinely by her adoptive family and friends, she couldn't shake off the feeling of being unwanted and an outcast. Until one day she decided to leave Haven, her home, in search for the life in which she can be someone everyone adores, the life she thought she didn't already have, the life she thought she wanted all these time. But things didn't work out as well as she had planned it to be, Abra's story when she left home is similar to the story of Prodigal Son in the bible. After realising her mistakes, she wanted to go home to her family, to everyone in Haven but couldn't because she thought everyone would have hated her for what she had done. Thus she built another wall around herself, made up of hurt pride and ego.

After some time of fighting her ego, she gathered the courage to go back home. Abra finally learnt to receive the forgiveness, abundant grace and love being poured to herself unconditionally by her family and surrounding community. And the beautiful thing is, when she was overwhelmed with grace and love, it overflowed. Just when Abra thought her life was now perfect, one lady came up to her one day and confessed that she was actually her biological mother. But because she was now full of grace and love, she was able to look at her mother, through the eyes of grace instead of condemnation.

Learn to receive forgiveness, grace and love 

Don't let pride and ego stand in the way and prevent you from receiving God's grace and love. Nothing you did in the past can change God's provision of grace and love for you. Just like Abra's family in Haven and her, the Father in the story of Prodigal Son with his son, and the Lord with all of us. Learn to receive His grace and love, so that it is in you and overflows to others through you.

We cannot give what we do not have, thus learn to receive, so that we can give.

Be blessed always. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Miracles are born out of Rest

Now Jericho was shut tightly because of the Israelites. No one was allowed to leave or enter. The Lord told Joshua, “See, I am about to defeat Jericho for you, along with its king and its warriors. Have all the warriors march around the city one time; do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the horns. When you hear the signal from the ram’s horn, have the whole army give a loud battle cry. Then the city wall will collapse and the warriors should charge straight ahead.”

Joshua was leading the children of Israel to enter the promised land Canaan but they had to first conquer the city of Jericho. Battle of Jericho, in my opinion, is a well-illustrated story of how miracles are born out of rest.

Now, resting doesn't mean no work. God still told Joshua and the Israelites to march around the city one time each day for six days while seven priests carrying the ark of the Covenant, and to march seven times on the seventh day, before He brings down the city wall for them.

God expects us to work, not to toil. 

Who would have thought to fight Jericho, the Israelites would only need to march, carry the ark of the Covenant and blow trumpets? To understand more about how thick and strong the wall of Jericho is, hop over to this website, if you are too lazy to read the full-of-reasearches-and-explanations article about the wall, just know that archaeologist have verified that "humanly speaking, it was impossible for the Israelites to penetrate the impregnable bastion of Jericho."

But faith and rest in the Lord have resulted the children of Israel that miracle.
Joshua and the Israelites camped along the river of Jordan before the siege and throughout their camping days, Joshua and the Israelites spent ample time with the Lord, constantly being in the Lord's presence and guidance on how they should enter the promised land of Canaan. It was recorded that Joshua sent two spies to spy on Jericho and when they returned, they told Joshua, "Surely the Lord is handing over all the land to us! All who live in the land are cringing before us!" - Joshua 2:24

They didn't overwhelm themselves in pity and being discouraged by the stronghold of Jericho, instead they were charged up and confident that the Lord is with them when they fight and they didn't toil in preparing themselves for the siege, instead they lingered in the Lord's rest and presence.

JOSHUA 3:5 Joshua told the people, “Ritually consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will perform miraculous deeds among you.”

Don't underestimate the power of resting in the Lord and lingering in His presence. Do your part of the work and let God do His part wondrously, while you rest in Him, being fully confident that He has taken care of it all.

Psalms 127:1-2 
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor uselessly. Unless the LORD guards the city, its security forces keep watch uselessly. It is useless to get up early and to stay up late, eating the food of exhausting labor— truly he gives sleep to those he loves.

Be blessed always.