Friday, July 21, 2006

Me? Yes, but God? No

This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

That's from Jeremiah chapter 17. I thought, how horrible for those who do that...It's just too bad for them. I mean, Not even seeing prosperity when it comes... I sure didn't want to be in that person's situation. The following came after those verses:

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

Ah, anyone who trusts in the Lord will never have to worry even when things seem really bad. Anyone who trusts in the Lord will never fail to bear fruit or please God. Well, that sure sounded a lot better didn't it? So all I needed to do was to put my trust in the Lord...Simple....or was it really that simple? Well, the answer was in the next verses:

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

Heeyy...come to think of it, I've actually been the person who "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength" many times in my life. Trusting in my own strength or other people to bring me happiness and security. What's worse is that I realized, I've sadly also gone over to someone "...whose heart turns away from the LORD."

Yes, the heart is deceitful. Making you think that you're not one who is at fault. The first thing that comes to mind and heart is that defensive feeling of "not me". When in fact, many times it has been very "me". And in those times, I really can say, "It's just too bad for me". If I can be deceived by my heart, who else can keep me from being the person who trusts in man?

...Well, you got it. It's in the next verses:

"I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve."

I cannot trust my heart to tell me to do the right thing. I can be deceived by my heart but God can't. I can't trust my strength, but I can trust His. What's more is that I just simple don't know everything, but He does. I can't control the world no matter how badly I wanted to, but He can stop space and time if He wanted to. I can't become the person who trusts in the Lord and have confidence in Him if it were not for Him, by His power, by His will, and by His means. I believe this too was what Jeremiah felt at that time when he said,

14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.

I cannot, but God can.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wazzat You're saying??

Have you ever experienced the "Wazzat You're saying??" phenomenon? I call it the wazzat phenomenon because right after listening to what someone was saying, right after your brain parses the person's words as logical, you just dont get it, and it makes you go, "Wazzat?"

That must have been what the people listening to Jesus went after He told them about the Parable of the Sower. Even His disciple went "Wazzat?". I too wondered with the disciples why Jesus used parables. Didn't that just make it a lot harder to understand? But He did explain...(Matt.13:1-18)
For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts

Many times we don't realized that we have allowed our hearts to become calloused. We joke around with things we're not suppose to be joking with and think that its alright. We tolerate things that happen that you know deep inside should not be tolerated. We compromise to gain instant gratification or are too lazy that we prefer the wrong things for convenience sake.
The people would have understood if they only opened their hearts, listened with their ears,and see with their eyes...
So the next time everything seems to be white noise, lets just step back, pause and see if the problem is not the parable...but us.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Confused and out of control

8:23 As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.42 8:24 And a great storm developed on the sea so that the waves began to swamp the boat. But he was asleep. 8:25 So they came and woke him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die!” 8:26 But he said to them, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it was dead calm. 8:27 And the men were amazed and said, “What sort of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”

I was reading in Matthew one morning and it was just so amazing that this passage was next up on my devotional. I've already been throuhgh this a couple of times in my life, but as things are with God, He will always find a way to speak to us when we come before Him. I was going through confusing times in my life, though I refused to admit it. And this passage didnt shine on me out of some clouds. It simply spoke.

Many of us experience a lot of fear and very hard times too painful to mention but I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. Many also tell us that its no big deal because it will just pass. Many will tell us that its just a phase and many other reasons to belittle the hardship that we were facing. They might have been through those hardships, but we're
IN it...So those advise might help...but only this passage made me hang on. It reminds me that despite my confusion and feeling so insecure and out of control, there is a God who is powerful to freeze time and space if He wills it. But best of all this God is in control and this God knows what I'm going through. He didnt tell me to just get over what I'm going through...He simply told me to trust Him because He can do what I can't. All I needed to do was call.

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