Green Tea Field by Jaewoon U

Hi readers! I have some big news to share with y'all today. Starting from tomorrow onwards, I will start posting the daily devotionals that I am currently doing for my 21 days of fasting. Our youth group from 180 BIC Melbourne started this revelatory fasting since last Sunday a couple of days back so I thought it would be nice if I can share some of our devotional content to you all :) Thanks again for being loyal in reading my blog and all. I will always try to spend more time with you guys and devote more of my time for all of you so that we can grow in Christ together ♥ Keep yourself updated with the daily devotional entries (look, I will try and not miss a date okay?) when you click the 'Devotionals' tab under 'Categories' on the blog header bar. How do you even get there? You see that + icon in the small box in the top center of this page? Click that and a navigation bar will float in. Simply slide your mouse under Categories to reach Devotionals. Alternatively, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click '21 Days of Encounter' under Categories xx

Smile by Mark Bridger.

Waiting For a Divine Breakthough

(1 Kings 18:41-46)

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel."

1 Kings 18 showed the patience, faith and steadfastness of Elijah towards God's Word. This was a serious moment of testing for Elijah as he battled against himself, his own needs and his desire for God's promise to be fulfilled. The waiting period was so long that his servant was told to go away and come back to him on the summit seven times before seeing "a cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea". Unlike king Ahab, Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel (a favourite spot in the Old Testament for divine encounters I reckon...), "bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees". In other words, he fell prostate as a sign of obedience and desperation for God to answer his prayers. 

Elijah's heart was overfilled with compassion for the people of Israel, knowing that they worship Baal. He had a big dream to restore Israel to its former glory, a nation with no idolatry, a nation where God is the only sovereign Lord. Moreover, he was willing to act on it. If you read 1 Kings 18:25-38, you would see how Elijah manifested the great miracles of God through his faith and his obedience. God's favour was upon him because of his compassion, humility and steadfastness. What's worth noting from this is how Elijah never doubted God's decision and His timing. 

The prophet Elijah is a perfect role model for all of us to follow. I believe God will open doors of divine breakthroughs in our life if we persevere and rely strong on His word and promises. Yet we all know...this is easier said than done. The transfer of head knowledge into life wisdom and heart revelation is a major problem in my life up until today (and I can see it as a never-ending challenge in the future as well~). I've been raised up in a Christian family for longer than I could remember yet my childhood years were a blur in-terms of my relationship with Christ and how intimate I was with Him. Christianity was a routine. Sunday in, Sunday out, church in, church out. It never really made a difference in my life until a year ago. Without realizing, I have dismissed and exercised so much negligence over my spiritual growth by not growing any spiritual fruits and choosing to be idle about it. I was becoming a big Christian baby! And truly, because of that, I find Elijah's story to be a rebuke and a refresher at the same in maintaining my steadfastness and obedience upon God's promises. I would wait on Him and would never give up before I see His promises being fulfilled to its fullest potential. 

In our lives we are faced with many decisions. Due to that, we also make lots of requests too, and desires, and hopes. Most of us are probably waiting on God to answer our prayers. The thing is...He already does. He knew what you were about to say before whenever you said it in prayer. He knows what you are going to pray about tonight. He knows our heart's desire and the best for us, but we will never know the latter. Sometimes God draws us into a season of trial and waiting to test and strengthen our faith, emotions and refine our perspective. If we hang on to His word, we are bound to emerge as victors with renewed strength, hope and wisdom. The main question is: are we willing and patient enough to wait on God until the perfect time comes?

When I first started ministering in Praise and Worship, I found so many faults and flaws in my keyboard playing that needed serious improvement. First of all, the style of music I played was completely different from the style of contemporary band music. Second, I was off-beat...way too often. Third, I never had the idea of singing the song whilst playing. Fourth, I was too rigid and expression-less when it comes to worshipping God through the piano. There were lots of moments where I doubted this gift Jesus has given me. Instead of practicing with delight and hope, I looked at my weaknesses with a feeling of incompetence and disappointment. Instead of looking up to God, I looked down at my two hands and became frustrated on why I could never play contemporary songs with ease. It's meant to be so much easier than classics, but I never could pull it off. It was such an alienated aspect for me and my musical background. It took me nearly one year to really start attuning myself to the style of modern keyboard playing. Although I love it now, that one year of training was not the most lovable period in my ministry life. In-fact, it's been quite strenuous. I battled with my own negativity pretty often and I did not necessarily emerge victorious all the time. Luckily, God always placed people and certain role models in my life who helped me in becoming a stronger, more resilient person. I learnt how God's grace never stops working in my life in the midst of these hardships and challenges. There were surely other problems beside music that I experienced, and some of them seemed so significant then but so trivial now. God had transformed my mind into maturity without fail and all I needed to do was to believe in His power, His perfect timing and my community around me. 

Our lives will always be ridden with new challenges and hardships, however it's not our past, our incompetence or our abilities that define our social legacy, rather it's how we respond (or CHOOSE to respond) with these internal battles within ourselves. Never lose the focus that you are a justified son/daughter of Christ. Hang on to His promises and hold strong to hope ♥

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." 

(Galatians 6:9)

Maira Gall