Thursday, April 14, 2011

From Faith and Beyond

Author Unknown... whoever wrote this, continue to be a blessings and let your light shine to many. God Bless you..

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An incredible journey starts with a single step,” reads a book cover with the image of my red chucks on it.
                Exactly a year ago, I set my feet wearing the same pair of shoes from the southeast part to the southwest portion of Asia. From the rich, fertile soil to the hot, dry desert. What I had with me was nothing more than two bags with clothes, a few favourite books, three pairs of shoes, 20 US dollars that I would have to budget for at least, half a month.
A pretty good employment had been waiting for me for more than month in the land of Ishmael. As I travel from the airport to my accommodation, this question was accompanying me in my mind: What would be an artist so lax and sanguine doing in a workplace so technical and organized where everything must be systematically handled and orderly done? At the back of my mind, I knew I did not need the answer. Besides, I also carried within something that is more than the tangibles. And the easygoing that I am, I could only care so much. As I always put it, just go with the Flow.
Culture, environment, work, people, ministry – everything was totally new. Those were the areas where I should make drastic adjustments as I entered this new assignment. Everything seemed in extremes, from point A to point Z. The culture and mores of the people are like poles apart from what I got accustomed to. The environment is also a lot, more different. The kind of job and people I now work on and with are 180 degrees turn from the previous one I had. And the biggest catch is this:  God’s new assignment to me is that something I have always dreaded of doing: singing. I would always tell the youth in the church everytime they would joke at me song leading that they could make me speak in the pulpit for two hours rather than see me sing in front of the congregation for two minutes. And if I do, that must be a compelling leading of the Holy Ghost, and we would all laugh out loud with each other.
As I recount my first year with the Driver of tHis journey, I just can’t help but recall how faithful He has been to me. From that seemingly meager 20 US dollars that met all of my needs in my first 15 days to my first ever salary, His provision and sustenance in every aspect have been overtaking me. He always has His ways to attend to me - in every call, in every need, in every situation.  There have been trying times, but everytime what is tangible and seen by the naked eye does not seem enough, I just close my eyes, and everything I need just keeps on coming in every way, while in one corner of His heart I am learning and loving to sit in stillness and trust. Why fret about my needs for the next days, when I know whose plan this is from the start? Why worry about tomorrow when, in the first place, I have been pretty sure of who’s holding my future? “For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
 Out of everything I have treated my home- church, work, family, friends, and country. Out of my comfort zone. From the day I took that single step out, the vehicle of this whole journey has been continually moving forward. Trusting in every turn along the way because I know who’s on the driver’s seat, everything is being revealed to me day by day. It excites me as the Driver ignites. This is faith levelled up.
Faith produces something one writer coined as negligent trust. She shares, “to be negligent is to omit to do what a reasonable man would do.” It happens on occasions when faith pierces beyond reason. Jesus perfectly demonstrated it when he was sleeping peacefully on a pillow in the midst of a raging storm, while His disciples were totally terrified and troubled that the next wave would surely rock and swallow their boat. Jesus slept in the calm assurance that His Father was in full control. Knowing that every bit of His life on earth was part of His Father’s bigger plan, He quieted His heart. His Father sent him to the world. He knew very well that He who sent Him would complete what had been started. Jesus was “being confident of this, that he who began a good work… will carry it on to completion until that day… “ (Philippians 1:6).
Jesus had a trust so negligent, because it carried God with it. He was not careless. He was carefree. He did not have to care and worry because He was fully assured that His Father was doing all the caring.  It was a trust so negligent but never sluggish. He knew when to do His part, and when to leave the other part up to His Father. His pattern:  trust, obey, trust…
                Trust and obey. It is the simplest way of living your God-given life to the fullest. There’s no more simplifier to your God-given assignments, no matter how small or big they are- be it in school, in the workplace, or in your ministry. You may feel small, unworthy, unable, and inadequate to do all the small and big things God is placing in your hands. Perhaps, you are just a new Christian, but your pastor is assigning you to lead the congregation in prayer. It can also be that you really are a dancer all your life, but here you are, being asked to sing and lead the congregation in worship, something that you have never really considered doing. You may not understand the whole picture. You are not asked to in the first place. You are only expected to simply obey. Even Moses, when the Lord called him to bring his people out of Egypt, saw himself incapable. Gideon, who was called by God a mighty warrior, was thinking he was the least in the weakest clan. In both’s weaknesses, the Lord perfected His majestic power (2 Corinthians 12:9). He rose up these two valiant leaders for Israel. It only shows that when God appoints, He anoints.
Like Moses and Gideon, God will take us out of all our comfort zones and bring us into heights so that we will learn to see ourselves at His feet, hold His hand, and trust Him more each day as He leads us in our Walk. There might be humps and obstacles along the way, but that mountain-moving faith planted in us sprouts as we step out and follow the Lord’s direction. When Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, God did nothing until the priests put their feet in the water, taking the first step of faith and obedience (Joshua 3:7-9, 13). God wants us to defy mediocrity and do greater things for Him, dare our faith and stretch it into greater heights so that He, who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith, will be glorified in us. He has big plans for you and me. For us to get in, we need to step out – out of our own ways, out of our own strengths, out of our comforts, and out IN faith.
Today, I walk on this desert wearing the same pair of red chucks, carrying within me an awed heart that has been planted with and grooming that very same thing I have from that first step out of my comfort zones: FAITH. People have come and gone, seasons have changed, but God remains the same. Here am I -step by step, faith by faith. And how incredible this journey has been!
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Caleb (Hebron, October 16, 2010)

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