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true faith

many times in the old testament, spiritual examples like Jacob and Joseph set up stone monuments as a witness or to remember a moment in time, where they had an encounter with God. =.0 hmm, i want this post to be a witness to myself. i hope that when i forget and stray from what God speaks to me, by writing down my revelation, it will not only encourage others but convict myself as well.

there is a reason why many times i'm provoked when people talk to me about clubbing, drinking alcohol, dressing up. what is there to prove? i'm reminded of how i was in secondary school days, when even religious activities like helping out in cell group, rising up etc. was done in the spirit of feeling useful, feeling accepted and seen, or even secure that I would be walking right in the sight of God because of the things i do. perhaps that is why i make it a point that i don't want to see or approve of people on account of the things they DO.

so many times, we tend to form this presumption of people based on what they do:
- cell group leader! very spritual!
- top athlete in your field! Wa...
- whoa, you work in Starbucks??
- wow, you know how to dive?
- wa.. going Europe for holiday - again?

but only God sees who we are in the spirit. even we do not know ourselves as well as God does.
for if we are beautiful, is it not given by God? did we have a say concerning the wealth we are born into? do we earn our salvation by the good things that we do? what do we have that we did not receive; what do we enjoy that isn't given by God, through our parents, through our employers?

it is true that God wants us to lead fulfilling lives. he wants us to look nice, to have cool gadgets, to have glory... acherly, really thank God that He is merciful concerning all our childishness. He doesn't judge, but waits for us to judge ourselves by the Word of God... or when circumstances build to a point that we fall from our pedestals.

can i say something.. i say this on the basis of my own experience. pride is everybody's pitfall. while you are not yet lifted up, perhaps you might confidently say that you will NEVER be like the leaders who are prideful, set apart whatever. but the Bible says, take heed to yourself that you don't fall while you think that you will stand.

=) which is why i love the way Max Lucado describes it. If you need to rest, don't worry about it, Jesus will fight for you. If you're in a season where you aren't serving as much, you're placed on the shelf, while your peers are rising up, don't worry about it. God doesn't judge as man does; there is no checklist of to-dos that you have to fulfill to earn His smiles.

On the other hand, those who are rising up and enjoying the view - rest from our struggles is God's reward for us. However, let us not grow arrogant or too above ourselves that we alienate and forget the reason for God's raising us up. It is for the purpose of bearing up those who are weaker in the faith now. There is a reason why there is rarely a moment that everyone in the cell group or church (no matter how small), experiences breakthrough. God uses people to test our patience, longsuffering and love.

Bobby impressed on us during a bible study session loooonnggg ago: he never takes it for granted that God saved him from his past. and yes, that's the point. it wasn't us that chose to answer God's call. it is our honor to have been called and received faith enough to respond. and stay. and persevere. and press in. and move on to perfection.

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