Friday, November 7, 2008

Devotional 071108

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Lately, I felt like returning back to my language study mode at seminary days, when I memorized Greek and Hebrew vocabularies everyday. I even spoke Greek in my dreams. I named my children in Greek as well. I immerged myself totally into that language system. Now, I commit myself to improve my Mandarin for the sake of Missions. I listen to Mandarin Bible when I drive. I carry my Mandarin dictionary with me all the time, in order to confirm the pronunciation of some uncertain vocabulary or words. I literally took notes of some uncertain words that a Mandarin speaker said. Language learning becomes my daily routine only second to my devotional time. I became attentive to all the Mandarin conversations that I took for granted (I thought I knew) before. And seek every opportunity to learn and practice. I beleive this should be the same kind of attitude that we use in our walks with Christ. Don’t assume you know all about God. Seek every opportunity to learn from the Holy Spirit whenever He prompts you from within, and practice obedience to His teaching and guidance everyday. By doing so, we allow God to use us to impact the world in wherever and whenever He likes, which is beyond our comprehension.
The circumstances of a saint's life are ordained by God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance or coincidence. The Bible says, "All things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28a). God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you cannot understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God is bringing you into places and among people and into conditions in order that the intercession of the Spirit in you may take a particular line. "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" (Rom 8:26b). Never put your hand in front of the circumstances and say – ‘I am going to take charge by myself here, I must watch this, and guard that.’ All your circumstances are in the hands of God; therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in. Your part in intercessory prayer is not to enter into the agony of intercession (praying harder and louder), but to utilize the common-sense circumstances God puts you in, and the common-sense people He puts you among by His providence, to bring them before God's throne of Grace and give the Holy Spirit in you a chance to intercede for them. In this way God is going to sweep and change the whole world with His saints.
We should ask ourselves from time to time, "Am I making the Holy Spirit's work difficult by being vague and indecisive, or by trying our own effort to do His work for Him?" I must do the human side of intercession, and the human side is the circumstances I am in and the people I am in contact with (That means I should not detach or isolate myself from people in order to intercede for others). I have to keep my conscious life as a shrine of the Holy Spirit, then, as I bring the different people before God, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for them.
Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, but the Holy Spirit makes intercession in our particular lives for a particular purpose, without which intercession for someone will be useless and empty to our lives.
So, open the ears and eyes of your heart to listen and see Him at work around you. It is not a coincidence for you to be in where you are today. If God puts you in a certain situation, He must have a plan in terms of how to use you to intercede for the people in that circumstance. Therefore, your attentiveness to the Holy Spirit will make you a blessing to your world.
Love you because it gives me more joy in Christ,

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