Thursday, June 18, 2009

Devotional 180609

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. How wonderful it is to see beautiful sunshine again. The fog is finally gone and we are greeted and embraced by a warm sunny day. Thanks for your prayer for Loretta; she is offered a temporary position at the City. She will return to work in the same office next Monday. Let’s continue to pray for those who are still searching for job.

"Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink…" (Matthew 14:29-30). The wind was actually strong, the waves were actually high, but Peter did not see them at first. He did not consider them, he simply recognized his Lord and stepped out in recognition of Him, and walked on the water. Then he began to feel with the actual things, and down he went instantly. Why could not our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves as well as on the top of them? Neither could be done saving by recognition of the Lord Jesus.

We step right out on God over some things, then self-consideration enters in and down we go. If you are recognizing your Lord, you have no business with where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are, but immediately you look at them you are overwhelmed, you cannot recognize Jesus, and the rebuke comes: "why did you doubt?" Let actual circumstances be what they may, you keep focusing on Jesus, and maintain complete reliance on Him.

If you debate for a second when God has spoken, it is all over. Never say - "Well, I wonder if He did speak?" Take action immediately; fling it all out on Him. You do not know when His voice will come, but whenever the realization of God comes in the faintest way imaginable, quickly abandon yourself to Him. It is only by abandonment that you recognize Him. You will only realize His voice more clearly by your unhesitant response to His call.

Sometimes God visits us in a most unexpected circumstances and timing. We thought we would encounter God while we pray or doing our devotional reading. We assume this is the only environment that we will encounter God. We reduce God to the size of our spiritual compartment. When we did not hear God during our devotion or worship time, we complained and concluded that He was not there or in existence. We fail to recognize God in our most boring or stormy situation in life. We did not pay attention to His presence during the non-religious activities or mundane part of life. Even if we did sense His presence, we hesitated to respond to His voice as though it was only your silly imagination. You definitely will not abandon yourself to such leading because it seems to be irrational or emotional. You feel like a religious fanatics or a jerk.

We may not have supernatural encounter with God like Peter had. But we would encounter stormy experience like Peter had. Where is Jesus in the midst of our stormy circumstances? I like the insight that I had learned from the revival meeting on Saturday night: 1) Jesus is praying for us – “he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray” (Matt 14:23a). As Paul said, our sweet Holy Spirit is praying for us each day, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). 2) Jesus is drawing close to us – “Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake…” (Matt 14:25). The Holy Spirit will help us learn to rely on God at all times. 3) Jesus will come on board on boat – “those who were in the boat worshiped him” (Matt 14:33). Jesus wants to enter into communion with us at our stormy days. Draw close to Him by reading His Word and sensing His Work around you. When you sense His guidance on any given situation, learn to abandon yourself to Him in prayer and action. He is the One who can calm a stormy sea.

Love you by His “calming” strength,

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