man, it has been awhile i actually repent and seek out for God. last year this time, i was in Ethiopia with my brothers and sisters fighting our hearts to serve God. God’s presence was so near back then…whatever happened to that? tonight, i told God that i actually missed Him. the days have been evil and i have been trying to hide my face from God. like Jonah, i turned away from the face of God/His very presence in the many different ways that i know of (not necessarily the visible physical sins, but the heart that desires anything that would not be pleasing to God, not living according to His will). but then i can’t really outrun God because He is everywhere, and His grace just draws me back in the end.
the interceder. though my prayers have not been as passionate or personal as it was before, there is the Holy Spirit who always prays for me so that i can have the will to head back to God. [Galatians 4:6 – Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,Father”.] how do i know this more than the bible saying it? if it were all my doing to approach God, i would be nowhere, not even to realize that there is a God who loves me. this is how i know my God is real, and this is how i know it is by grace that i can go back to my Father. i am thankful for the Spirit more than ever.
the righteous. i was listening to Pastor Piper’s sermon on Psalm 1, and the psalmist called himself the righteous. when i read the verses that would have me call myself righteous, i feel guilty and uncomfortable because clearly i know how sinful and messed up i am. John Piper affirmed what i was thinking… yes, we can call ourselves righteous in Christ’s name. yes i am righteous in God’s eyes. maybe not in my own eyes or anyone around me. so hard to get this concept straight, and that’s probably why i act/think as if i am of evil. only if i know the true meaning of the cross, i would know that i am the inheritance of Christ’s righteousness. this is the most basic foundation, yet the one that i struggle the most with. Romans 3:22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
the fight. truly, the fight to righteousness is not mine, but of God’s. in fact, the battle has already been won. my prayer is that i would just obey His commands as He is clearing up this battlefield and building His kingdom. so often i would fight with all my might, and so often i get scared and run away from the field. so many times, He would pick me back up and tell me the battle is already won, and that i am more than a conqueror in His name. Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
the love. His love is the love that never fails, never gives up, never forsakes, never leaves,..and never leaves. it is the love that always redeems, always pursues, always gives more, always forgives, always transforms, always saves and always renews. it is the love that has been shown through the shameful death on cross. D. A. Carson’s book Scandalous states, ‘the truth of the matter is that Jesus could not save Himself, not because of any physical constraint, but because of a moral imperative. He came to do His Father’s will, and He would not be deflected from it. the One who cries in anguish in the garden of Gethsemane, “not my will, but yours be done.” is such a divine moral imperative from His heavenly Father that disobedience is finally unthinkable. It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was His unqualified resolution, out of love for His Father, to do His father’s will- and, within that framework, it was His for sinners like me. He really could not save Himself.’ my prayer is to experience the love that exists between God the Father and God the Son. it is too beautiful and majestic, so i do covet it.
the Promise. in one of his sermons, Pastor John Piper mentioned about one verse that his father gave before he left for Germany…. he said that he repeated the verse to himself so much that if he was in a coma and if there is a default button to make him talk, it will be this very verse that would come out of his mouth. i tried memorizing it last night, and it is really good, hope anyone who reads this do the same too. [relating this to medical terms, there is a test called Caloric test for comatose patients. the test involves putting warm/cool water into the patients’ ears to see the eye movement (slow/fast). Irrigating inner ear with warm or cool water induces endolymphatic convection currents that in turn, induce nystagmus, thus the eyes move sideways. it will tell if the patient has the brainstem intact or not, or if there is the MLF lesion (you can look it up because it’s so cool) but you know… if i were in coma state and only my eyes can move through the pouring of water into my ears, i want my eyes to move in a pattern that signals these words… the Word of God’s promise] the verse is –
so do not fear, for i am with you;
do not be dismayed, for i am your God.
I will help you and strengthen you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
what a legit promise from God and we are His children of Promise. my last prayer is that ‘i know i will dwell in heaven with You when my time comes, but these times that you let me spend on earth, God, please dwell in me so that i will know what it is like to be in heaven with You.’ let Your kingdom come in my heart.
along with all the reasons above, just because God is God, we can always go back to Him.