Tuesday, June 5, 2012

At cross-road, then suddenly, I am encouraged

For some people, they, once in a while, have seen me, or dropped by, at my meetings, or to this blog-site; for some others, we merely see (just see) each other frequently, and then, there are those who watched me over the last couple of years, especially, from the dramatic start of my “little ministry” some 4 years ago. Many actually took notice of me, from that time on. People took notice NOT so much that, there were really earth-shaking miracles happening; and I am NOT aware of any earth-shaking miracles directly via my hands, so to speak; maybe there was one dead-came-back to life testimony from the church, but that had no direct connection to me, unless it can be argued that my obedience and perseverance helped in the fostering of the corporate atmosphere of church and the corporate eagerness of members thereof to push to limit, the grace from God, for our afflictions.

Such fostering of corporate atmosphere and attitudes are really important, though. I am quite sure I helped in that generally, but I dare NOT say I helped in any of the specific flow of grace received by people, apart from those I directly have ministered to. Even for these direct ministry cases, it is still NEVER really I, but the Lord, who had ministered; I only give of my time, energy and attention to the Lord, and acted as instruments (ok, a part, God wanted [me] played).

It was dramatic at the early days
It was dramatic for me, and for some others, of the church, looking on or watching when it all started; it was due NOT to the earth-shaking miracles, but to the fact, that the Lord would use one from the congregation quite consistently, and NOT a pastor, to spark off a move in the church. The move was indeed a supernatural move of the Spirit of God, of signs and wonders and miracles, even though they were NOT of earth-shaking proportions. To be fair to the Spirit, I should NOT belittle all that the Spirit had done in my little ministry, and for the church, in this move.

There were healings of all sorts
I mean there were healings of many sorts. Not under my hand, but one that actually happened, was a case of a visiting preacher to the church, who had a minimally working heart, and having been prayed for, in a session in the church service, received complete healing – his subsequent visit to his same doctor confirmed full recovery of his heart.

Leg growing before my very eyes
The more dramatic instant healings under my hand were the 2 cases of seeing a leg growing before my eyes to level up legs of unequal lengths. Cases of people got slain, were common enough; one saw vision of waterfall, when I prayed for her; many were ministered to, for their emotional pains from broken and strained relationships.

Hurting people ministered to
The last type (above) clearly was a deliberate putting of me, by the Spirit, to minister, despite my own dealing of my then, divorce-affliction. It was truly by the grace of God that I could minister, and you know-what, I ministered with them NOT knowing I myself, was in similar affliction as them, and I ministered unencumbered by my own affliction, but rather because I could relate to their situations, the Spirit of God moved for them, the afflicted ones (Note: this is NOT suggestion that generally, people with relationship problems are to minister to people with similar problems, without the approval and supervision of the higher authority. I ministered with approval and knowledge of Senior Pastor, and after his discernment of my fitness, including my having voluntarily gone through deliverance clearance).

Started from the painful affliction
The general congregation does NOT know of my divorce affliction; and I state here, that it was my ex., from more than 18 years of marriage, who then wanted the divorce, and the church and I tried hard, to save the marriage but was to no avail. A long-drawn legal divorce battle then started and it lasted about 4 years, and it went all the way to the High Court. One can imagine the drains on me, from the various perspectives, financial, emotional, and time, etc (Church was updated and monitored the case). This is the 2nd article with this revealed (only lately), and if you are from the church, and you do NOT know, now you know, that I entered into that move of the Spirit of God for the church specifically, and more generally, into my ministry, from my most difficult period of life, in the deep end of my most painful affliction. If you wondered why some church pastors were warmed to the prominence the Lord had given me, it was because for those who knew of my affliction, it awed them as much as it awed me that the Lord would use me from that position.

Not merely a coping mechanics!
I have believed and I still want to believe, that what I have been doing, has NOT been a mere coping mechanics for my affliction. It was no doubt I was weak then, but it was NOT apparent to those looking on, from the outside. In fact, I sometimes, marveled at the boldness that I displayed from time to time, but it was really boldness, bolstered by the Spirit of God for those situations. Scripture said when we are weak, He is strong; I have experienced that.

God’s use, helped me to focus
It is no doubt that God’s use of me, helped me to focus on the right things. I mean I can now understand what is possibly going on, in the mind of people who are depressed. When you are emotional shattered, your focus can go all over places or to no place; such directionless is the worst place to be in, for you are very vulnerable; all kind of thoughts can enter you, including suicidal thought; and you can be drained out from “nothingness”!

We can be taught from it all
Of course, all of us need to cope, and we cope with the various circumstances we find ourselves in; but at times, we are at loss as to how to cope. It is therefore, NOT strange to observe that, at times, when one loses his/her long-time mate to death, the person dies soon after, too. One reason I believe, is that the person has NOT been able to cope. I tell you I could NOT cope on my own; I survived on the Lord. I survived by hugging the Bible to sleep! I had something that many people did NOT have, I had the Lord; for, for many years, I never really took my focus off the Lord, although I, like many others, did look at multiple things all the time, and were NOT particularly focused on the Lord all the time. Still there was a focus, and so, my case was a “to focus better”; in other words, a dimming off, further, of other peripheral visions – those things you see at the side of eyes, so to speak. The already dimmed things, like chasing after money, prestige and status, and things of the world, got dimmer, and the Lord got brighter, because of concentration of focus.

We are made to be a doer
Trust me, God made us to be a doer; we are NOT made inanimate, just to sit there, for show; we are NOT created to be idle. In other words, the soul does NOT idle. Why does Scripture prescribe against idleness if the soul does NOT idle? It is God’s prescription for the soul NOT to idle. It is the soul is NOT made to idle, and when it idles, it is against the prescription of God, and it opens itself up to danger.

Fire metaphor
The soul is like a fire. And like a fire, it is meant to be burning; and so, things for burning (or fuel) needs to be given to it, or else it either (a) dies out, or (b) it will try to latch on to whatever that could burn. When a fire is out of things to burn, it is going to cease, so is the soul with nothing to work on. So, just like the dying fire will try to latch on whatever that could burn, the soul may go for anything thrown to it, like the lies of the Devil.

Is there anything wrong for God to come, lest the soul idles? Of course, NOT. God has the right to give the soul whatever He pleases, for our souls are His; my soul is His. And so, God gave my soul something to work on, instead of leaving it to the Devil to dish lies into it. The rest, like they say, is history.

What now?
The question is, “What now?” In those days, and earlier, the Lord had given me dreams (literally, dreams as in dreams in sleep), and visions and pictures (these were more after the beginning of assignment by the Lord). Pictures or visions, and dreams, especially those with recurring themes, can have meanings, and they can be from the Spiritual dimension, meaning from the Lord, or for some people, from the “dark side”. I must say that, these are a way of God (in my case), to reveal his ways for me and for the body/church and for people. Some of the revelations of the deeper understanding of the matters of the faith-life come from these communications of the Lord - dreams and visions (in my writings too, the Lord, gives revelation). If you like, go to this article, and you can catch what I mean – “The Lord as Papa Eagle - a vision of love and faithfulness".

Having believed and said, what I have been doing has been a “move” or assignment from the Spirit of God, and it was given so that my soul did NOT idle and became vulnerable to destruction from the Devil, and so that, it did NOT cease from “burning”; after more than 4 years operating on the “move” God gave, I have come to the place of “What now?” If you read the “Papa eagle” article, link given in preceding para., you will realize that the Father God or Papa eagle unstealth-modes Himself to comfort, nurse and restore us (believers) so that, we once again, can fly.

Be self-reflective
I have been highly reflective on my life these several years, journaling like this, helps me in that. There is exhortation in Scripture, by the Apostle Paul, to self-examine ourselves lest we gotten out of the boundary of our faith (2 Cor 13:5). So, please do that, for yourselves, from time to time.

I have tasted, and cannot let go
The psalmist in Scripture called us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is he who takes refuge in Him” (Ps 34:8). Indeed, as I tasted the goodness of the Lord, I do NOT want to let go of Him. My soul wanted and continues to want to feed on that which He had thrown to my soul to keep it burning. My soul can burn on other things, but it stills want to feed on more of the same; in other words, it does want to continue to be a doer of the works of the Lord, and NOT simply go on, to fly again, to the east or to the west, in search of familiar fuels of the world. Of course, the flesh in me still rears its head and says, “Now you are strong enough, go take the world; haven’t you held onto the motto of ‘to be above average or average as that which is good enough’, you are already below average by the standard of the world, and you are NOT going to stay there but to sink lower, if you don’t do anything about it!”.

My contemplation before the Lord
Lord, I think of flexing my wings again, yet, if my doing that, would cause me to leave the kind of co-labouring I had or still have with you, I am reluctant.

Lord, you know that I have chosen, since very early on, to stay with the assignment, asking for growth in depth, breadth and height of the assignment.

Lord, you know I do push at the boundaries, but there is only so much I can do, lest it becomes fleshy effort, and would be of no meaning to you; but you do understand how I feel in the wake of the diminished corporate atmosphere for my ministry, as well as the minimal growth of the ministry, generally. It has been 4 years now, Lord; it was fine for one to two years, even, three; but it has now gone beyond 4 years, and increasingly, the fallouts from the divorce affliction are coming to an end, at least I hope the tail-end bits (important, very important), would come to their satisfactory conclusion. But this has been accompanied with “not much of actions”, so to speak, at the ministry-front.

What do you want me to do, Lord? I am still NOT thinking the whole thing was just a mere coping mechanics you do on me, though even if it were so, I cannot complain, but would still be as thankful as before, for your grace poured out to me, in my time of affliction. Even if it was intended such, by you, as a way out for me to cope, with my pains and to recover thereof, surely Lord, now I can still choose to stay, and I have to stay-right?

What about those “fishes dreams”, aren’t you going to re-route me back to those, or is it that I have missed those? Lord, aren’t fishes metaphorical, and every time and season has such fishes, and I can still be assigned to them, in the appropriate time and season-right? In any case, Lord, you have taught me that no believer can abdicate himself from practising your righteousness and justice, for such are the foundation of your throne, and therefore, Kingdom (Ps 89:14a, Ps 97:2).

Lord, you know that I clearly recognize that it is NOT all your part, and none my part, and at the same time, it is also NOT that we are to do by the strength of our flesh; and so, I am waiting to move. I picture myself, in these later days, like the eagle ever circling the sky, watching to see if there is an “intrusion” into my space-span, in which I have to act. It has been, lately, NOT much actions called for; but you should have noted I have been faithful with little, some calls of actions, here and there - I attended to them. Lord, others have stopped circling already, but I am still at it. Now what?!

I am only human
Is it NOT true, I am only human, to want to be kind of be meaningful with how my time passes by me, especially that I am NOT that young anymore? I do have my constraints and responsibilities too; I work for a living, and I have 2 teenage children to provide and care for (a aged mother, too); I am NOT working for the church, though I serve voluntarily there, and I run a monthly Divine Healing Meeting attended by few; there is NOT career-like kind of thing with these services in church or my marketplace ministry; and for these things, my boss is unlike any other, whom I could see and have a meal with, like I have a meal with my children; He is also unlike any other, whom I could sit down and ask, “How am I doing?”, and I get back regularly, a reply, “Here, here is my tally of you.” No, NOT nearly like that, although I really, really hope my God would talk to me more, about me and my stuff. He listens alright; I believe that, maybe more than, like I listen to the afflicted ones He brought to me, over these years; but Lord, I prayed for them, even hugged them, at times. Lord, how I wish you can be physical, be physically present before me; but you are spirit, and I am still very much bodily or in the flesh. Lord, you are God, and I cannot tell you what to do, and so, I still tell myself to just trust you; that you are able to sustain me, in my earthly life, to keep my soul burning.

I need encouragement from the Lord
Call the above musing, reflection, or whatever you will, I am only human, and I also need the encouragement from the Lord. And God did NOT fail to once again, inject me with a dose of fuel that I may burn on, for what He has started.

From the above writing, you can know, of late, I was NOT able to accomplish much, for the Lord, despite my giving of my time and energy (much, I should say), to avail myself where I have been - the church, attending both Saturday and Sunday services (3 services each weekend), and I spend time at the marketplace, in the Full Gospel Weekly Meetings, and my once a month Divine Healing Meetings. On top of that, there are the attendances at various church meetings and some other brethrens fellowship meetings to support them. I do have a choice to cut, but I have more or less, continued with what I have been doing from the beginnings of some 4 years ago. And, yes, before I forget, I have slackened on my blogging on my own blog-site, meaning I have released fewer articles (perhaps, too few, now), and this was for the reason of my putting of my writings as comments for Ps Prentis’ blog (http://prentis-createdtogivegodglory.blogspot.com/). The thing is that, I don’t get much feedback, NOT even frequent enough, from the church front, through the church leadership, or directly from members; and so, I really need the Lord to press a button or two, so to speak, to let me have a feedback or two, to encourage me along.

The encouragement
These are what I consider as encouragement for me to continue on, despite setbacks (which I will NOT be specific about, here):

The last 2 weekend church services had been a surprise for me, in this respect.

Prophecies NOT falling on deaf ears
Firstly, and very generally, I like to believe that the new Pastor in Charge has heeded the call to pay attention to prophecies given for the church, some of them given through me, and has begun to facilitate what the Lord would like done. The messages I hear are encouraging.

Back-pain of many years healed
Specific to what I do, as a voluntary (and lay) Altar Minister, praying for those with needs, and giving of words of knowledge and prophecies, I received this feedback 2 Sundays’ ago: A lady came forward for prayer, and before I began, she related that several months ago, I had prayed for her concerning her back-pain.

She said that, I said, at times, back-pain could be due to unequal lengths of legs, and then she said, she wanted to tell me that she was completely healed of her back-pain that she had been having for many years.

I cannot remember every situation that I ministered to people, but then, this lady could not be mistaken, for I believe I was about the only one in the church who would have told a ministee, about the unequal leg lengths could be the cause of back-pain. As I recall, I believe she was one of the few cases, which I would sit people upright, on a chair to check for unequal leg lengths. And so, she was the one that I did, a few months ago, and found that her legs were NOT of unequal lengths, but I nevertheless, prayed for her, for her back-pain.

She now said that, at that time she felt a sensation, and she soon found that she was completely healed of the pain of many years – the pain never came back; praise the Lord.

What was so encouraging about this testimony is that, for the several months that covered the period she received the healing, corporate atmosphere for such healing was rather poor, due to church leadership change casting a shadow over the specific ministry’s time allocation, and that all other lay active members had stopped ministering. I was still there, be there for the 3 services, and worst still, unlike before, I had to stay through to the end, all services, because if I had wanted to minister, I had to do it at the end of services; no longer earlier, after the praise and worship, which of course, takes place at the beginning of services. Call me a fool or whatever; wanted or not wanted, I avail myself, and so, I still prayed for people. It is so good to hear that the Lord honored and someone was healed of pain that troubled her for years. I told the lady to send in, a written testimony to the church, but we know how this thing is, people usually do NOT want to take the trouble.

Well, I prayed for her again, this time, for a previously undisclosed problem; she has a growth of 4-5cm in diameter, in her womb, from about 8-9 years back. May the Lord heal that too; and hopefully people would come forward to encourage, by their testimonies.

Salvation for an “Ang Mo”
That same weekend, the Lord also gave me the privilege, to pray for 5 other people. I seized the opportunities the Lord presented. I believe in opportune time, and we should learn to recognize that and seize that. At the end of it, I prayed for the last of the 5, who waited for a long time. The Lord gave me the privilege to lead this huge “Ang Mo” to Christ. The anointing of the Spirit was so strong, that this huge man could NOT stand under it, and he went down to the floor and “curled up”, and he was shivering. I commanded against any (dark) principalities at work, and I asked the man if he wanted to give his life to Jesus, and 3 times, he answered, “Yes”, and I led him to Christ.

By this time all pastors had left the sanctuary of the church, except the Senior Pastor and his daughter, seated at their seats in the front row, and just as they began to leave, I called the Senior Pastor over and told him of the salvation, and asked if he could get someone to take down the particulars of the man for the church’s record and follow-up, for indeed, my sensing was the man still needed follow-up ministry which the church could provide.

Pastor, another salvation!
Now, in last Sunday service, again, the Lord gave me the privilege to lead another foreigner to Christ, in church. After the Sunday 10.30 am service, I led a Burmese lady through the Sinner’s Prayer, and again the Senior Pastor was there, and again I got him over, to congratulate the lady, and the particulars of the new convert were taken down for the church’s follow-up. Isn’t God good! He encourages, and he encouraged me when things seem to be waning. It is nothing to boast about; someone sowed, and I merely was used as the reaper, by the Lord; but nevertheless, it is a marvelous thing to lead people through the Sinner’s Prayer; and Heaven rejoices when a sinner is saved, said the Word.

Write this, too – also a salvation!
Come to think about it, although things are NOT that consistent with my monthly marketplace Divine Healing Meetings (and I have just lost my Praise and Worship Leader, anyone want to volunteer?), the Lord just brought to memory, the recent episode of me, ministering to a woman (from another church) who has an aged mother of over 80 years old and who was at times, somewhat, mentally un-coherent; I prayed for the woman present at the meeting to be given the opportunity to share the gospel with her aged mother, and to conclusively know that, the old lady gives her life to Jesus. A month later, the woman came back, sharing that her aged mother gave her life to Jesus, and had even attended 2 sessions of the baptism class that will lead her to be baptized. The old lady NOT only accepted Christ but had understood baptism, and agreed to be baptized; praise the Lord!

God is good, and He is good all the time.

Anthony Chia, high.expressionsLord, I am shy already, that indeed I am weak that I need to get feedback to feel affirmed. Accept me, and give me time Lord, to grow to be less wanting to see, to feel assured of what I do, is NOT futile, even if it is only making myself available, be parked there, waiting for you to use. And Lord, I ask that I could develop greater spiritual discernment so that I could be ever ready to seize any opportunities you make available for me, to do exploits for you, and to be a blessing to others. Continue to honor me, Lord, even as I honor you, before men. Lord, I still have my frailty and my weaknesses. Help me to be an overcomer, for your Kingdom in Heaven is for overcomers (Rev 2 & 3). Amen.

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