Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Devotional 280709

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It was good to have a day off yesterday to catch up with some personal business in life. Our plate seems to be always full with unfinished business more than we can handle. Imagine you try to put out fire that keeps growing around you. You know you can only do so much with your energy and your limited resource. You are not superman and you do need to take a break to recharge yourself with energy from above. That’s why “devotional break” is not a luxury or an ideal way of living. It is a necessity or essential rhythmus of life that you can’t live without. Your Heavenly Father is waiting to re-charge you with His love and strength.

Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray... He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed” (Mark 6:45-51). It is understandable for us to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us to do certain things, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. But in spiritual reality, we must never put our dreams of success as God's purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We tend to think that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal in life; He is not. The question of where He leads us is actually insignificant. What we call the process, God calls the goal.

What is my dream of God's purpose for me? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unconfused, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish for me (He works on my life tirelessly); His end is the process - that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.

God's training is for now, not to wait for a while. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the consequence of obedience; we interpret wrong when we try to think of the consequence. What we call training and preparation, God calls the goal of His purpose for us.

God's goal is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.

Throughout church history, many devoted followers of Christ sought to practice the “sacrament of the present moment.” To them, their eagerness to plan for future, to prepare for future, and to control the outcome of future will cause them to miss the purpose of God for them in the present moment. Jesus asked us not to worry about the future (Matt 6:34). What we need to make sure is that we seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness now; we seize the current moment of life to be the kind of person God wants us to be, and to do the things for His glory in wherever He puts us in. Now is the moment He expects us to abide in Him, to see His work and to hear His voice. We don’t know what kind of lessons that He may give us tomorrow. He knows better and it is definitely not our business, to imagine and try to control the kind of purpose He has for us. Submission or obedience is the sacrament of the present moment.

Love you in this moment,

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