Friday, October 8, 2010

Devotional 081010

Dear brothers and sisters,

Good morning. It makes me feel so good to have a whole week at home. I treasure the time at home or in office more than at the lounge in airport. Praise God for giving me this ministry to mobilize churches for global missions in wherever God wants me to go. I am thankful to be at home as much as being on the road for His Kingdom’s sake. This is a gift from above that I can still travel and fall asleep on new bed wherever I go. I appreciate how Eugene Peterson caught so much insight from Psalm 131 in his meditation. I am sure his message is from God at all time, but we are simply too busy to listen when we study our bible.

My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore (Psalm 131).

Our lives are only lived well when they are lived in terms of their creation, with God loving and we being loved, with God making and we being made, with God revealing and we understanding, with God commanding and we responding. Being a Christian means accepting the terms of creation, accepting God as our maker and redeemer, and growing day by day into an increasingly glorious creature in Christ, developing joy, experiencing love, maturing in peace. By the grace of Christ we experience the marvel of being made in the image of God. If we reject this way the only alternative is to attempt the hopelessly fourth-rate, embarrassingly awkward imitation of God made in the image of man.

Many who have traveled this way of faith have described the transition from an infantile faith that grabs at God out of desperation to a mature faith that responds to God out of love … as content as a child that has been weaned.” Often our conscious Christian lives do begin at points of desperation, and God, of course, does not refuse to meet our needs. There are heavenly comforts that break through our despair and persuade us that “all will be well and all manner of things will be well.” The early stages of Christian belief are not infrequently marked with miraculous signs and exhilarations of spirit. But as discipleship continues the sensible comforts gradually disappear. For God does not want us neurotically dependent upon him but willingly trustful in him. And so he weans us. The period of infancy will not be sentimentally extended beyond what is necessary. The time of weaning is very often noisy and marked with misunderstandings: “I no longer feel like I did when I was first a Christian. Does that mean I am no longer a Christian? Has God abandoned me? Have I done something terribly wrong?”

The answer is, “Neither: God hasn’t abandoned you, and you haven’t done anything wrong. You are being weaned; the apron strings have been cut. You are free to come to God or not come to Him. You are, in a sense, on your own with an open invitation to listen and receive and enjoy our Lord.”

The last line of the psalm addresses this quality of newly acquired freedom: “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.” Choose to be with him; elect his presence; aspire to his ways; respond to his love. This is the expression of a mature child of God. We don’t crave for God’s constant attention. We love and enjoy His presence at all time. We have confidence or security that He is a faithful God who will never forsake us. Whether we “feel” His presence or not, we know He is always here for us. Earthly kingdom may change and economy may collapse but He remains in reign forever. This is the kind of hope we have in Him that can make a difference in our daily encountering with our world and the people around us. It should be our joy to see God’s name be glorified in and through our lives! Amen? Have a blessed weekend.

With love for His glory,

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