Thursday, 18 July 2019
Richard Blackably, Henry Blackaby & Claude King (RBHBCK):
The outward appearance of success does not always represent faith, and the outward appearance of failure does not always indicate that faith is lacking.
YL: We must first define ‘success’ and ‘failure’ before we continue reading.
Are passing exams, winning a competition, overcoming difficulties, bringing someone to Christ… the outward appearance of success?
With the same mindset, does ‘failure’ mean NOT ABLE TO pass exams, win a competition, overcome difficulties, bring someone to Christ…?
To me, completing a 5 km walk is success. The key word here is ‘completion’ i.e. when a person sets a goal, works towards it and completes it – that is ‘success’. Let me emphasize that this example is my personal definition of success. Jesus defines the goal. I work on it. I will know whether I have completed the task, not based on the OUTWARD APPEARANCE but on the ‘inward feeling’ (an affirmation from Jesus Himself).
RBHBCK: A faithful servant is one who does what the Master says, no matter what the outcome.
YL: Abraham is a good example. He did many things that the LORD told him to do without questioning ‘why’.
RBHBCK: As your model, you need only to consider Jesus who endured the cross but who is now seated at the Father’s side. What a reward for His faithfulness!
YL: Honestly, I am afraid to compare myself with Jesus. I am far, far away from my ‘goal’ of being like Him – it’s a long, long way more to go… I am also afraid that pride might sneak in whenever I ‘accomplish something’ – I do not want to deceive myself and end up at the ‘wrong destination’.
RBHBCK: Do not grow weary – a great reward awaits faithful servants.
YL: From young, I was taught not to covet ‘rewards’. Perhaps, I have misunderstood the teaching. What I should guard against is: greed, the love of money… The ‘kiasu’ culture of my country does not help me at all. It’s a mind set on ‘I, me and myself’ - as a result, I run the opposite direction from the majority.
[I have yet to learn to be ‘kiasu’ and run to the altar for blessings. I always wait for others to go first. I believe God is greater than what we think of Him. He will bless whoever He wants to bless and not only the runners. I am sorry if I offend anyone.]
There are times when I’m in the pit of depression and desperately struggling to get out. Usually, it seems impossible to get out. There are times I feel very tired, disappointed, frustrated, irritated, helpless and hopeless. In those times of darkness, I am unproductive, stagnant, dry, uninterested, unmotivated and unable to do what I’m supposed to do, even simple tasks i.e. total lack of energy (spirit, soul and body). I need to be ‘plugged into the power source and be recharged’. I need to be patient.
It is also during those dark moments that I begin to feel abnormal sensations (sometimes pain) in my body. The condition of our spirit and soul affects the condition of our body. When our heart and mind are not okay, our body will also be unwell. Pain or strange sensations of the body cautions me to BE STILL - to sit at the feet of Jesus, and WAIT… He will speak to me – not loudly, but softly and tenderly:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling / Calling for you and for me / See all the portholes / He’s waiting and watching / Watching for you and for me
Come home, come home / You who are weary come home / Earnestly, tenderly Jesus us calling / Calling all sinners, come home
All for the wonderful love He has promised / Promised for you and for me / Through all our suffering / He has mercy and pardon / Pardon for you and for me
Come home, come home / You who are weary come home / Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling / Calling all sinners, come home
(Songwriters: Paul Mickelson / Will L. Thompson)
Father, this is the song that spoke to me about 18 years ago. It was sung on 7 Oct 2001 at my baptism because my pastor (at that time) remembered that I told him this is my favorite song. Today, there are many, many songs I like to sing, listen, meditate and encounter Your Presence. Thank You for songwriters who help us express in words the feelings and thoughts that we have inside us and so beautifully combine it with music so that together a song comforts, encourages, and strengthens our spirit, soul and body. Music and words are wonderful – they have the power to change the atmosphere (external) and emotions (internal) of the people. It is in Your Presence that we find joy, peace and love. Thank You Father God!
Lam Yee Ling