Image courtesy via Jake Olson Studios.

Can God Trust Me in Exercising and Prospering His Blessings to Win Others and Glorify Him?

I first heard of this message not a while ago when Ps. Betty shared to us during Wintercamp. Themed "First Love", the news did not come as a surprise to me as a newly baptized Christian but it was meaningful and profound and really drove me to introspect my own life. Am I committed enough in my walk with God? Have I established strong, and maintained a consistent lifestyle of prayer and worship? Are my days filled with purpose, or should I rephrase "am I living my life purposefully, according to what's set before me?" 

God loves children who are fully devoted to Him. One of the main things about these children is that they enjoyed His presence and enjoyed fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. I was baptized into the family a few weeks ago and it really delighted me in how I was able to participate and contribute so much more into my youth group. Being baptized was a fresh beginning in my declaration to walk with God but it does not guarantee a great finish. Being baptized by water and the Spirit does not guarantee that you will become the blameless bride of Jesus in His second coming (Matthew 25:10-12). What guarantees us entry into the Kingdom is the state of our heart and lifestyle when we meet with Christ, and that is only possible when we are steadfast and pursuant in refining ourselves to be a pleasing, holy bride for Him. 

Ps. Betty shared to us the beauty of Psalms 91 and how the Lord declares His promises and grace through us through Moses's prayer.

(Psalms 91 God My Refuge and My Fortress)

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place, the Most High who is my refuge, no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For He will command the angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver Him. I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My Salvation." 

Psalms 91 is a wholesome expression of grace by Moses. He was given a surmounting "mission impossible" to free the Israelites from the Pharaoh. Not just that, Moses confronted the terrors of day and night, constant threats from the Pharaoh and his warriors as well as the people's grudging throughout the entire journey as they set path from Egypt to God's chosen land, Canaan. How difficult it must have been! Yet Moses was able to find strength and conviction that the Lord is His overarching protector, overcomer and fighter through all the "pestilence that stalks in darkness" and the "destruction that wastes at noonday". This Psalms would make no sense to a normal believer. I was questioning "how God, was Moses able to find such extraordinary strength to stay by Your Word? Surely he had everything he'd ever wish and wanted in Egypt, being an adopted Pharaoh's son and all. The riches of the entire kingdom was surely his and so is the honor, the gifts, the women, gold, power, all the treasures of the world. Yet he chose to be a desert wanderer for thousands of Israelites. The chief priest who sacrifices his entire life to please God." Even in the midst of all his faith, Moses was not able to enter the Promised Land because of a little seed of unbelief. Do you see how hard it is to get into the Kingdom? Sometimes the fear of the Lord trembles me in how I should live my life and I could only pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal as to how I can live a life that boldly approaches Him in intimacy and trembles in awe and fear at His presence. God, it just didn't make sense. The chief priests of the temple would shake from head to toe each year before the annual offering - the offering of sacrifice and of atonement. If the elders were found to be unclean, or have disobeyed any of God's commandments, the wrath of God would immediately fall upon them and they would instantly die being struck by lightning. Moses went through all that - the years of famine, starvation, total dependency on God's grace, the fearful chase, the crossing at the Jordan, the suspenseful wait in hearing about Canaan...and yet his faith enabled him to persevere with such extraordinary strength, continuing on the pilgrimage to the Promised Land. What is the secret?

Colour Explosion by Protik Hossain.

Dwelling in the presence of the Lord.

When we dwell and make the Lord our cornerstone, troubles will not give away. In-fact, troubles arise and increase. God reveals through our weaknesses of the heart and mind through our shortcomings in these problems. As true disciples, we have to constantly ponder on these weaknesses and ask God that we may find the solution in the Word. But what does it mean to seriously dwell in His presence? When I first started my walk, I was all ambitious in keeping up and maintaining a strong, steadfast faith. That is a myth. I soon broke whatever promises I made to Jesus soon after I dedicated my life. Looking back, I can't help but feel a bit embarrassed and funny about my boldness. It was ambitious boldness made from the heart. Yes, we all know that the heart is the wellspring of life. But it is also the core of our problems (Jeremiah 17:9-10). It states:

"The heart is deceitful above all things; and desperate sick. Who can understand it? I, the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."

But the heart can well be a wellspring of joy and hope, of strength in God.

"For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you." (Psalms 33:21-22)

Ps. Betty showed to us how important it is to hold fast to God's merciful love. These days I have been feeling under pressure a bit. For some reason, my mornings have been quite tumultuous. I have prayed that the Spirit would guide and protect my actions and decisions throughout the day, but still...nothing seems to be going right. We are currently building another unit behind our existing house and so much has to be done. The construction of the house is nearly complete, but landscaping and gardening is still a total wonder. You would not realise how nifty and tricky the whole construction and planning stages were. My parents stayed up nearly all night discussing budget plans, construction materials and every possible neat strategy to not be tricked by the builders. From mid-stage onwards, my dad handed the matters to me instead since he believed I was the better organizer when it comes to construction planning. I had to do so much work on checking up contracts, verifying contacts, liaising with technicians, builders, handymen, my mornings turned into a fizz of confusion. I believe that this tumultuous phase is part of the wonderful process God has designed for me to be a better person. Cliches aside, it really is difficult to manage my temper. Sometimes I would just snap out of the blue (and no, not PMS) and sometimes I would be absurdly confrontational to someone without considering their feelings. What I noticed was anger ABOUT imperfections, construction builders, delays in schedule started to crawl-in when my heart was not right with God. Frustration and a reflection of my own impatience and incompetency would start to show when I forgot how much He has blessed our family throughout the whole construction process, from getting council approval in the land permit to general framework and landscape designs, right down to furniture shopping. So what did I learn?

For His promises of abundance to flow, never stop maturing and refining our character in the Word, Prayer and Praise ♥

It was during those moments of near frustration that I began to speak my feelings to God and with much difficulty, tried to praise His name in the midst of all the stress. Miraculously, I felt stronger and more capable to endure and overcome all the worrisome moments. It was not easy friends. You would not forget all your problems for a short while whilst you praise God. In-fact these things would re-surface in your mind all the more clearer and you just had to be honest with God with all of these thoughts. Sometimes just believing and knowing deeply that someone is ready to take on all of your problems and refresh you with more grace is enough to make you run to Him and surrender all of your concerns. 

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.'" (Lamentations 3:22-24)

As previously mentioned, it is always good for us to remain strongly rooted in the Word so that we may use God's promises and the prayers and psalms to strengthen us. Use the Word! Use it to our advantage! In Psalms 36, King David - who stated himself as a servant of the Lord rejoiced in His presence and steadfast love. 

"How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light." (Psalms 36:7-9)

Another one that I found particularly pleasing (all thanks to the cross-referencing feature on my digital bible study app woohoo~) is David's song of praise. It talks about fully surrendering our entire life (our Spirit) into the hands of the Lord. In doing so, there are several benefits: knowing that you are loved gives you strength, and desiring to love God back just as He'd loved us gives us courage. The Word is a powerful weapon. It tells how strength and courage work hand-in-hand. Together they make a dynamite, life-changing pair that transforms our lives to be a better person, a victor, a true overcomer of all life's problems. Not because we choose to take the passive side, not because we choose to confront it head-on, but because we possess wisdom and discernment by sheltering and hiding ourselves within the Lord's presence. 

"Oh how abundant is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You and worked for those who take refuge in You...in the cover of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You store them from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord, for He has wondrously shown His steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. I had said in my alarm, 'I am cut off from Your sight!' but You heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. Love the Lord all you saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!" (Psalms 31:19-24)

As I was writing this, I suddenly got reminded of David and Goliath. It was the young king's first encounter with a Nephilim/a giant (back in those times). The young shepherd boy David did not know much fighting. With hands fitted to shepherd and shear sheep, he was in no way fit to take-on an all-feared giant by natural standards. Yet he was more than glad to approach Goliath and take him down. The young David loved to dwell in the Lord's presence. There, he received constant encouragement, strength and extraordinary courage to face the giants of his life, regardless if it is in the wilderness or unfamiliar situations. David's reason to confront Goliath was driven by a holy anger in defending the Lord's name and the reputation of fellow Israel, God's chosen nation. David was intimate with God and this enabled him to feel the anger and zeal that God felt, regardless of his physical age and with it, he struck down Goliath in such an unexpected way. How many of us are facing giants in our life right now? Instead of facing it with courage and wisdom, are we turning away from it? I used to believe that by being "passive", most of my problems would eventually disappear and be resolved by themselves through time. Sadly untrue, this thought is not uncommon. Being passive and choosing to ignore or neglect the problem creates other problems. Not getting to the ROOT of the problem, incompletely dealing or confronting with it creates other problems. Most of the time, we may not avoid it. We may feel okay to address our weaknesses but we don't fully confront and assess how terrible it really is. We fail to address the root of the problem. Instead of relying on God to check our heart, we rely on our own sight and introspection to assess ourselves, but who believes that the Spirit of God knows more things about us than we could ever imagine in our entire lifetime? 

I am actually learning more and more things in dealing with daily stressors as I write this piece. This is amazing, but funny...I guess He is speaking even to my heart as I write things that I never could have planned before? So back to the point, our Father yearns seeing us becoming true conquerors just as Jesus had already prepared the way to victory and eternity through Salvation. We just need to tread on and walk the path He laid out before us as we grow to be more mature emotionally and spiritually. 

Our Father knows how difficult our future will be when we actively commit our life to Him. He will be there to guide us through every single change of season, in times of goodness and trembling, in happy and difficult times. He knows our limits and will never test us beyond what we can bear.

So back to the main topic, how should we live our lives so that God may put more of His trust on us?

Number one, God does not seek children who only lust after His blessings but have no interest to pursue His true identity. And what do I mean by that? It is possible for a poor man to find great delight in the Lord and a wealthy man to find almost no joy in praising His name. What makes all this difference?

The State of Our Heart. 

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:34)

Here Jesus taught us a very important message through the rich man parable. As we mature in Christ, we are becoming more childlike in our dependency on God, more jealous FOR God and more anointed in wisdom and discernment. The Lord loves the humble (90% of Psalms approve of me stating this...) because sincere humility breeds strong resilience, perseverance and pure kindness in serving others. Humble disciples are mature disciples and that is how some people who are so deeply rooted in God can still see the abundance of His love and goodness in the midst of poverty and terror. Many missionaries faced the cliff of life and death when it comes to declaring their love for Jesus. Yet what they see is not a deserted stage of fruitlessness. When we mature and grow in humility in Christ, we begin to see how lavish His grace actually is. Even in pressured and troubled times, our foundation would remain strong and unshaken because we know that His love is much more than enough throughout our entire lives. It seems like I really know what I am talking about, but no, I am yet to discover such fullness and joy in Jesus as of now. I am still learning, still growing and strengthening my core foundations. I still don't know how Paul was able to reach his grand statement in Philippians 3 but I believe we should all press on to attain such maturity like him one day. I believe God is looking for many more people who are deeply committed and fully devoted and obedient to His teachings in times like today. The world is spinning so fast. It is so easy to start neglecting our relationship with Christ and backslide in these days where everything else seems to take our attention away. I pray that all of us, you and me, will find a stronger desire to seek Him with all our might and learn His ways each day in our lives, regardless how busy or occupied our lifestyles may be. 

Christianity is an ongoing process and we don't become wise Pauls in one night. We don't become empowered, Spirit-filled apostles in one night. We need to encounter God, experience His presence and begin learning to carry His glory wherever we go. It is through our changing attitudes, perspective to life, direction, thoughts and actions that really make God trust us more. Only the mature are given the full riches of the Kingdom and to be mature, we must be more than willing to be shaped. I believe most of you are going through some really tough ordeals at the moment too, obvious or undercurrent. But always believe that God knows our every situation and cares for us deeply. So talk it out with Him and seek more of the Helper! His grace is abundant and His steadfast love is forever ♥

Lots of love,


Maira Gall