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01 January, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU - May You Have a Blessed One!

May God's wishes for you all (not yours) come true in  2014!

This holiday season I have been so busy. Since December 22, 2013 I have been super busy with family’s visits. Although I have gone nowhere, but the time spent catering to them has taken all my time away from God. In fact, I had to force myself to keep my blog updated  because you guys have become my family too and I felt the need to remain in contact with you. That was the extend of my computer time.  Mind you that I am not complaining about being with families and taking care of them because this is all part of living this life for His glory. But I feel the need to confess I have been so busy that God had almost become an afterthought for me. Yes, I made sure even while doing  my chores I sang Christian songs to keep me somewhat close to Him, but it is nothing when you consider there is no time for real prayer and Bible reading to commune with the lover of my soul.

I had a break in between where there was no one around, but I found myself cleaning up the place and by the time I finished I was so exhausted I could not even remember my name. The next day the busyness started again with unexpected family obligations and visits. For a moment I had some clarity of mind and realized I did not pray at all that morning. Today I am back in my groove and I said goodbye to the last family members and celebration time for this holiday season, so this morning I was determined to go back to my God. The first thing I did was opening my devotion book “My Utmost For His Highest!”

As I read today’s devotion, my heart broke. I realized, I used to be this person with a determination of the will to be all that He wants me to be so that in the last day I will not be ashamed of standing in front of Him. But, for almost two weeks now, I failed Him and I was not this person at all. As I repented and renewed my oneness with Him I became conscious two things: One was the fact that it was so evident to me when we feel God so far away He never moved. It is always us who drift away step by step to the point that sometimes we find ourselves so far we do not even know how to come back because of the distance we have travelled away from Him.

The second thing that I found out is how the Spirit of God went out of His way to make me feel the difference. It was as if I had a welcome back home type of greeting from Him and my soul was thirsty for it, yet in my busyness the past two weeks, I did not even realize what I was missing. One of the reasons I broke down was the fact that I could be without Him for so long and I did not miss the intimacy because I was too busy and tired to miss Him.  As the Spirit rejuvenated my soul, He also made clear to me how God cannot talk to us intimately, if we are not right with Him.

I started thinking about you guys right away and felt the need to write this post. The truth is, I love my virtual family (you guys) very much and in my heart I am living out a brotherly kind of love with you. Often time I find myself looking forward to seeing you in heaven. I know that the truth in our hearts will be revealed and you will find out how dear all of you are to me, how much I care and how much I worry about some of you through reading perhaps your Blogs or Facebook page, I have a good idea where you are at.

The point I am trying to make is that while I hate the idea of New Year Resolution, I made one today and I want to ask you to join me in making 2014 a year where we truly exercise our will to truly look up to Him. I still remember how my full surrender delighted His heart few years ago, I want this closeness back and I want once again to delight His heart.  (I am so needy when it comes to my Father’s approval.) It is still vivid in my heart how I got there through the full surrender process through His grace. So when you feel God brings you to the end of yourself, when the road is so dark that you cannot find the strength to take one more step. When the pruning season seems unbelievably long and hardships in this life surround you to the point you can’t take the pain any longer, look up to Him.

How do you do it in the midst of a messy and painful life? Determine to live not one day at the time, not even hours at the time but only the strength to take the next step in and through Him. Oswald said ”An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.”

I know too well what Oswald meant here. What keeps us away from giving our all, is the thoughts that we take into consideration as we work out those what if scenarios. The only way to get His best for our lives is if we learn to shut down those what if scenario and trust Him for the next step, the next breath and the next flow of His divine grace. It is not about what tomorrow will be or bring, but how we live the very moment He put us in as He waits to see how we respond.

Paul did not lie to himself; he knew, God’s grace also demands that we make a determination of the will to embrace His life, His holiness and His righteousness. Make it a RESOLUTION TO LEAVE THE SHALLOW LIFE BEHIND! Let Christ be magnified in your body whether by death or by life. Let Him be your all in all!