Category Archives: Musings on God

Excerpts from Olivia Temporal’s devotional journal which narrates her personal journey with God.

Trusting God’s Timing

God’s Time or Man’s Time

When the Lord delivered me from a vast army, I wasn’t aware it marked the end of the first leg of my amazing journey in Christ.

So at the beginning of the new year, I set out with the same mindset as I had before: to work and provide for my family.

First, I reminded myself of my priorities to keep me from being enticed by the world. These priorities limited my options. After exhausting all my remaining options, I realized if I would adhere to these priorities I’d be left with nothing.

“It’s impossible the Lord would leave me with nothing.”

He was silent.

I waited. Each day seemed like weeks and weeks passed like it was forever. I didn’t know if I felt discouraged, frustrated, or hopeless. I considered waiting as inactivity therefore unproductiveness, and therefore a waste of time.

Maybe God’s silence means I should use my brain and do something. I would love to resolve the matter on my own though that would mean compromising my priorities.

During my Bible reading, I was reminded of three characters who needed to wait but did not.

Abraham and Sarah

In Genesis 15, God promised Abraham descendants of his own. Abraham and Sarah waited, and waited, and waited for the promised offspring. After they had been living in Canaan for ten years, Sarah remained barren.

They became impatient and took matters into their own hands. It says in Genesis 16:

1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

They rushed God’s plan and “helped” Him accomplish His promise in their own way and timing, in their own limited understanding, which made the situation complicated.

Sarah gave her maidservant, Hagar, to her husband. Abraham passively agreed to his wife. Just as they planned, Hagar conceived but disobedience has consequences. Hagar despised Sarah, Sarah blamed Abraham, Abraham avoided his responsibility and told Sarah to do whatever she thinks best, so Sarah mistreated Hagar, then Hagar ran away pregnant.

Their impatience shows lack of trust in God’s sovereignty and power to do what He promised. This only resulted in marital strife and strained relationships.

The promised offspring came 14 years after this incident, or a total of 25 years from the time God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans to Canaan. We find in Genesis 21, God did as He promised:

1 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Nothing is too hard for the Lord. God’s promises are not dependent on men but on His faithful character. He has His own way of accomplishing His plans according to His own time.

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8

Saul

Another passage that really struck me was 1 Samuel 13.

Israel went to war against the Philistines. With the Israelites having only a total of 3,000 men versus the Philistines with 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore, outnumbered is an understatement.

Their situation was critical and their army was hard pressed. All the troops with King Saul were quaking with fear.

The Israelite soldiers gathered together and waited for Samuel, the prophet, to arrive to make a burnt offering to God. Every day they waited increased the chance the Philistines would attack and Israel didn’t want to go to war without seeking God’s favor.

They waited and waited. Samuel said he would come in seven days but he did not come and the men began to scatter.

So Saul took matters in his own hands and made a burnt offering to the Lord even with a clear instruction from Samuel to wait and clear instructions from the Lord to the Israelites that only priests or Levites were allowed to make offerings and sacrifices to God on behalf of the people.

Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived.

Saul wanted to seek God’s favor before going to battle but he did it by disobeying His commands. He made a decision based on their circumstance and the fearful soldiers around him, not on the clear instructions of the Lord, thus his kingdom did not endure.

What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

Trusting God’s Timing

It is difficult to wait and “do nothing” especially when we are troubled or worried. We tend to resolve our problems based on our limited knowledge and understanding instead of trusting God who is all-knowing, sovereign, and faithful.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:7)

God wants us to inquire of Him in everything. And we inquire of Him not just for the sake of asking but with an earnest desire to obey exactly what the Lord wants us to do.

Obedience first requires attentive listening or waiting on God’s instructions, then being fully compliant and submissive to what was instructed.

Not all waiting is waiting around like one would in line or doctor’s appointment.

Waiting on God is not passive but active waiting — actively seeking, trusting, and preparing for His will.

It is a beautiful season to fully trust and be patient in God’s plans and timing, not on our limited knowledge or strength nor in our circumstance. A time to learn from the Lord, to focus on His character, and be certain that He is in control [not us].

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

First published on February 11, 2017. Rewritten October 2019.

A Pathway Through the Wilderness

I went out unafraid of the vast army ahead of me because of God’s promise and assurance to me the previous night.  However, as the day unfolded, my heart was again in turmoil. I began to worry about a lot of things. I easily lost sight of Him. In my eyes, the vast army became greater than my Lord.

Are you really going to deliver me?
Why?
How can this be Your battle?
Why would You show favor to me when I am at fault? 
Was that really Your message to me or am I only taking that passage to suit my own desires?

I became fearful and prepared to retreat but the Lord took hold of my heart and shifted my gaze back to Him.

My emotions were dictated by what I was magnifying. If I want my heart to be still, I need to focus on the steadfast character of the Lord, not on the changing circumstances and people around me.

I took refuge in His Word: “Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you… and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17) This was the only thing that kept me going each day.

Finally, after three weeks in battle, I found relief. The Lord delivered me but not the way I expected it. He led me to a safe place but through a route I never wanted to take. Hoping to understand what happened, I asked the Lord: “Was it really necessary? Does it really have to be this way?”

He replied through the passage in Exodus 13:17-18:

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

Even though the Israelites went out ready for battle, God knew they might change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war against the Philistines. So He led them through a different route. Then He had them turn back and encamp by the sea. Pharaoh thought “the Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert” so he pursued them but the Lord gained glory for Himself through Pharaoh and all his army. (Exodus 14:1-4)

At first, it didn’t make sense to take a longer and more difficult route when there are easier and shorter alternative routes for that same destination. But considering my hesitation about an important decision, I believe God did this so there would be no chance for me to change my mind and choose not to go out of my comfort zone.

The Lord is provident. He knows my heart. He knows exactly where He is leading me and what route I should take in the same way He knew exactly where He would lead the Israelites in their journey from slavery to the Promised Land.

Just when I thought the battle is over, He said this to me again:

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

Oh yeah, the Lord is not yet done! This was just the first leg of a journey I never ever imagined even in my wildest dreams! I await in eager expectation to witness God’s glory and to see the fruit of His work.

But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
(Isaiah 43:18-19)

First published on April 14, 2017.

Fear Not, For the Battle Belongs to God

A Vast Army Ahead

It wasn’t easy to make this important decision. After contemplating about it, I was still hesitant and thought of postponing my plan.

I asked the Lord what I should do. I had hoped He would tell me to do what my heart desired. But He instructed me the opposite and even told me to go an extra mile and do what was difficult for me.

God’s message was clear and I was rebuked that my desires and actions were reflection of my defiance. He wants me to submit and respect authority, to imitate His character, to not just have an exceptional output but more importantly have a right heart before Him. He also wanted me to do something that was not even necessary.

After a few weeks, I asked Him again what I should do. I had a feeling this event was something inevitable and I thought maybe the Lord just wanted to correct my heart before affirming my decision. But He told me the same thing as before — no.

As the situation went to a climax, I cried out to the Lord wanting to be out of it. I asked His leading if I can do what I had been asking Him. The Lord comforted me by reminding me of His character and the things He has done:

Father, You are ultimately in control – You always are in all situations.
You are the same yesterday, today and forever.
You never change Your mind.
My days are already set before You.
You are faithful and dependable.
You have shown Your faithfulness time and time again.
I have no reason to doubt You.
You are true, steadfast and unchangeable.
You are not swayed by mere men.
You are God all-powerful and all-knowing.
Yet in all Your majesty and splendor, You make time for me.
You have turned Your eyes on me and have shown me mercy…

Fear Not, The Battle Belongs to God

The Lord led me to read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.

A vast army from the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord.

At first, I just wanted to be encouraged with God’s character and the things He has done by reading Jehoshaphat’s prayer:

O Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 

Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?

They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir… Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

They cried out to God in their distress. And I realized this is the exact description of what I felt – distressed!

As I continued reading, the Lord comforted me with His response to Jehoshaphat’s prayer:

…This is what the Lord says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them…

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you… Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”

God’s response was addressed to Judah, Jerusalem and their king Jehoshaphat. But God’s character described in this passage is true for eternity and was the only thing I held on to.

Though they were greatly outnumbered, king Jehoshaphat obeyed without question. He trusted God and led the people to obedience. His confidence was not from great assurance in their military ability but confidence that comes in trusting God’s faithfulness to His promise and the assurance that He would be with them.

Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” . . .

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.

Find Peace in God’s Presence

The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

The Lord was glorified through their obedience. He not only gave them victory over their enemies but also peace to the kingdom of Jehoshaphat.

Faith and trust in God produces obedience. Obedience is key to receiving God’s favor and blessings.

Problems, challenges and trials reveal the contents of man’s heart. And our response shows how we perceive God and how much we trust and obey Him.

The Lord is faithful in revealing my deepest sins, rebuking, correcting and confronting me through His Word — the Bible. At the same time showing and reminding me of His character, comforting and encouraging me to have a right heart before Him and to obey regardless how difficult or unreasonable it may seem.

We find true peace not in having a favorable circumstance but in God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. It enables us not to depend in our own strength or in what we see but only in God’s power and sovereignty.

God’s presence comforted me and His voice, through His Word, assured me. I found peace in the truth that though I am shortsighted, He who directs my path is all-knowing and trustworthy.

My situation did not change but the Lord changed my heart. I had the courage to face the vast army because my God promised to be with me. All I needed was to obey what He told me. The result belongs to Him.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

(First published on March 15, 2017 entitled: “Finding Peace and Comfort In the Face of a Vast Army”)

Further readings and study about King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30

“When You Trust God, There Is No Need to Fear”

Ambushing Satan with Song

Who Will Go for Jesus?

When Did We Become Passive?

Father, since when and why have we become so passive?! Have we been like this all this time?

At the beginning of this ministry, I asked long-time ministry leaders and volunteers to share their salvation testimony. Having known them and served alongside them for a decade, I was excited and confident that they would be more than eager to grab the opportunity to share their story beyond their spheres of influence.

Their response was the exact opposite. At first, I was disappointed but as I think about it, I get more confused.

We are part of a local church where the Bible is faithfully preached. We were taught about the Biblical basis and the importance of evangelism and missions, there are a lot of equipping classes and training about evangelism and missions, there are numerous ministries and church activities that allow us to apply what we’ve learned apart from sharing the Gospel and witnessing to our spheres of influence at home, school or work.

I was in a ministry which multiplied from one Bible study group to about a dozen, and it was all because of building relationships and witnessing to friends in the workplace.

So I do not understand where their response is coming from. It’s not that they are unwilling, they’re just busy. Unavailable.

Unavailability is one of our challenges in encouraging others to take part in the different tasks in the ministry or in helping meet the needs of others in the church.

So how come they responded the same way? Do they realize it or are they unaware? Is the task too demanding? Is it because of the unresolved misunderstanding?

Writing one’s salvation testimony is just a one time work, not a lifetime commitment. And this is the testimony we had written and had shared before, I suppose, and we’re commanded and taught to share with others. So I really don’t know what’s the challenge.

After two months of asking people and following up on them, the Lord reminded me of a Bible verse so I moved on and asked Christian friends from other churches instead.

I was surprised they were more than willing and excited to do it. This was God’s affirmation that whatever work done for Him is His work. He planned the content, provides resources, and brings people to contribute. He has firmly and faithfully shown, week after week, that He is in control and will provide for every content He wants written or shared.

An affirmation and reminder that no one is indispensable in God’s work. In the absence, unwillingness or unavailability of one, the Lord provides another. He will never leave Himself without a witness. Jesus said even the stones would cry out if people keep quiet. And the whole creation speaks of His glory.

Why Have We Become Apathetic?

In August, someone sent a personal testimony that said: While at Bible school, I heard about people around the world really wanting to get to know God but there weren’t enough Christians willing to go.

I’m aware that there is a greater need in other parts of the world, that very few commits to serve as a cross-cultural missionary, and Christians do not share the Gospel more than we ought to. At the same time, I thought most “committed Christians” are ready, willing and available especially for the Gospel, and my experience with believers in my local church is an isolated case.

This statement coming from someone I know who lived on the other side of the world reflects what I have seen this year in this side of our world with regard to witnessing in our Judea and Samaria. This awoke me to the reality of how Christians respond to the Great Commission.

I thought the greater need for the Gospel in other parts of the world was mainly because of their resistance to the Gospel but now I understand it is because very few believers have the heart for the world. But how can we see the need of the ends of the world when we are passive even to the needs of our Judea and Samaria?

It made Jesus’ command in Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2 so true, real, relevant, imperative, urgent, living and active — to beg for laborers to be thrown into the harvest field!

Do a lot of Christians know not only the command but also it’s relevance and the state of the world? And if we are aware, what are we doing about it? Now I understand why missions-minded people are at times frustrated.

Indeed, a Christ-centered theology is a missionary theology.

How, why, and since when did we become so apathetic? Is it because of lack of awareness or lack of heart or both? Do our hearts break what breaks Yours?

How can we be so consumed of our own lives? How can we think only of our own selves, family, career, welfare, and advancement? Sometimes we even take pride of our ministries and programs in the church when we can’t even intentionally and effectively reach out to our Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and have forgotten that You also told us to go to the ends of the earth. Jesus, You are the God of the whole world not just of our family and our city!

Who Will Go for Jesus?

Looking back at the pain that happened in the recent years, I now find the reasons for my tears seem so petty compared to the greater need of a quarter of the world population who have yet to hear Jesus’ name for the first time, and the sacrifice and persecution that a handful of missionaries and believers endure for the sake of the Gospel.

If there’s very few who are willing, available, see the need, have the heart, and committed to finishing the Great Commission, then who would do the remaining and still extensive task? Who would go for You, Lord?

Here I am, send me! I want to go, Father, please I beg You to throw me into the harvest! I want to go to a people where no one has heard Jesus’ name, where the Gospel is most needed. I want to share in the suffering of a handful of believers who sacrifice their whole life for the sake of the Gospel. Millions of people have been waiting for 2,000 years. How much longer do they have to wait?! Thousands die every hour, there’s no time to waste. The remaining task is still so immense, it cannot be done by only a handful! Throw workers into these unengaged unreached people groups, Father. Throw me!

Have mercy, Father. Have mercy on these people who have yet to hear Your Gospel. Forgive us, Your people, for being apathetic, selfish, and self-centered. Change our hearts, open our eyes to see the great need, enable us to respond the way Jesus responded to our need — with love and compassion for the lost, and remind us that His sacrifice is not exclusive to our family, friends, and community but for the whole world.

Facing A Task Unfinished | Keith & Kristyn Getty

Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ the Lord

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired by the same ambition
To Thee we yield our powers

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ the Lord

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love constrained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We go to all the world
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

Request for Constant Prayer

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Ephesians 6:10- 20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

While I am aware that we are in a spiritual battle, I used to think that the battle is only about our sinful nature. Then in January 2019, I read this article that says:

When God Moves, Satan Responds

The consistent pattern throughout the Bible is that every significant move of God is preceded by a season of increasingly difficult, discouraging opposition. And if we take Ephesians 6, Daniel 10, and other warfare texts seriously, we can understand why: God is invading what Satan considers his territory. God’s kingdom is breaking through the lines of the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13).

If we are not encountering opposition, it’s likely we are not attacking a strategic location. But if we are, we are on to something. Where the enemy is fortifying his forces is where we must focus our assault.

And where the enemy is fortified, there is going to be a fierce fight if we are going to achieve a breakthrough. We are going to receive volleys of flaming darts (Ephesians 6:16). We are going to be attacked on the rear. There will be spies in the camp. There will be jeering and intimidation and accusations. There will be efforts to destroy our morale and determination.

A Call for Breakthrough Determination

So this is a call for holy determination. Keep praying and don’t lose heart (Luke 18:1). Just like in any large-scale war, there are many battles. Some breakthroughs are achieved relatively quickly; others require long, persevering endurance. But either way, breakthroughs require a determination to keep up the assault.

Usually breakthroughs are not achieved by prayer alone — there are works to be done and courage to be exercised. But real spiritual breakthroughs are not achieved at all without prayer. Concentrated, specific, persistent, prevailing prayer, often engaged in by two or more (Matthew 18:19), is needed to weaken our spiritual opposition. And fasting is a wonderful help. “Fasting tests where the heart is. And when it reveals that the heart is with God and not the world, a mighty blow is struck against Satan” (A Hunger for God).

So if you’re praying for a breakthrough and not seeing it, and in fact experiencing more temptations to discouragement, frustration, weariness, doubt, and cynicism than before, do not give up. Increasingly intense fighting always precedes strategic breakthroughs. Strategic ground is not yielded easily. You’re up against more than you know. But “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and he will give you justice (Luke 18:8).

Don’t lose heart. Grow determined. There’s a breakthrough ahead.

Source: “Praying for a Breakthrough” by Jon Bloom. Desiring God.

It was because of this article and a prayer that the Lord placed in my mouth that made me understand everything I have been going through since 2017 is because of the war I am waging — proclaiming the Gospel.

The Lord is doing something great; there’s an incredible story I had only been sharing with my family and friends but the Lord wants me to share it to the whole world through different media platforms. And He promised an abundant harvest. This promise is actually more unimaginable for me than the story I’m about to share. And it is the only goal I’m looking at, it’s what fuels me in everything I’m doing now — God’s promise of an abundant harvest.

The war is fierce; everything came unexpectedly for me and once it’s revealed it may shock everyone. Although it’s nothing compared to what the apostles and the first-century church experienced or even what Christ went through. Every day the Lord upholds and encourages me. Yesterday He told me what Paul and other apostles went through to encourage me from their example, a lot of believers experienced greater sufferings than I have, and to teach me how to respond, which I find more difficult than persevering:

We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. (1 Corinthians 4:10-13)

I also read a post on Facebook about last Sunday’s sermon where our senior pastor was tagged: Don’t Shut Up! (pertaining to the proclamation of the Gospel). I decided to attend the Tagalog service with my mom hoping she’d no longer sleep during the sermon and I barely got anything. 😭 But this short encouragement from the English service filled me. 😁 And I’m excited to watch it online. It’s exactly what I need in moments when professing Christians are hounding me to stop what I’m doing without realizing it meant stop sharing the Gospel! It’s obvious where that came from.

It’s only now that I realized I am in the frontline of the battle. Flaming arrows are coming from every direction and they are either distracting or slowing me down from the task. I’m not used to sharing my spiritual journey in public because I consider it an intimate portion of my life, neither do I share prayer requests with strangers and I rarely share my deepest prayers with anyone. But now realizing I am in the frontline made me understand I badly and urgently need someone to constantly pray for me, not just me praying for this alone. Sharing this is even difficult for fear that it may offend but God is continually training and teaching me to speak boldly, and reminding me that my allegiance is to Him alone.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Thank you. I greatly appreciate your prayers. God Bless!

This is just a quick note and isn’t part of my weekly blog, I hope to publish this week’s post tomorrow.

God’s Favor and Provision

What a pleasant surprise!

Only 10 days after publishing Uncontainable Musing’s Facebook Page, I got this notification:

2019-07-14-07-10-30

From the very beginning of this ministry, it is the Lord who has planned the content, brings people to contribute, and provides for resources. Everything is covered by God. I don’t know if getting free credit is common in FB Pages, BUT I certainly didn’t expect that God would give me an advertising budget this way and this early! 😂😍 How amazing is the Lord? 😍

So here’s my very first boosted post as seen in FB and IG:

Here’s the second boosted post which would consume the remaining credit:

This serves as a testimony and memory of God’s faithfulness, favor, provision. And this is just the beginning! Weeeeeh! ❤️

For My Eyes Only

Well… It’s entitled that for a reason. I’d appreciate if you’d give me some privacy. Thank you!
I published this only because the Lord wants me to.
But this is “For my eyes only”.

Please exit now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I forgive you if you close this now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

✋ Stop right now. Thank you very much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

😡

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Offering to You, My Father . . .

Now again, with this persistent and irresistible desire to share this? Olive, what has gotten into you? Why are you sharing this in public?! Maybe I should’ve called this blog “Intimate Thoughts”. Nah! Some people might get the wrong idea.

Father, I know You have anointed me for this task. This is the purpose of my existence. Though it’s still a mystery to me how You had thought of me before the world began and at the same time didn’t want/planned sin yet I was conceived out of it. How can that be? But whatever it is, I am immensely grateful for having You and knowing You (grateful is even inadequate; I don’t know how to thank You.) And it is for this reason I was born and is alive now: to proclaim Your Name to all the Nations in whatever way You show me.

I want to do whatever You want me to do, Lord; I want to please You and find favor in your eyes. Now I know how it feels to seek approval from a father. Just like a child who would say to her dad, “Daddy look what I did!” “Wow! That’s awesome! Great work, anak.” I bet she’s beaming with happiness because her dad’s approval is her greatest reward. And that is exactly how I feel. Your approval is my greatest reward. I want to please You and constantly feel your presence, to constantly hear Your voice.

I had tried pursuing achievements, knowledge, position, power, money, relevance. But I found everything is only as good as my last performance. So I had to keep on, and on, and on, and on. Until these pursuits had become tiring, repetitive and boring. None is completely satisfying and enjoyable. So I always find myself back to You because You are the only one who fills my heart and completely satisfies me.

At first, I left everything because You said so. But now, I chose to leave everything because I want to for You, by Your grace. I left everything yet I gained more than what I came for. Your ways are so exciting, Lord, You never fail to exceed my expectations. You have given me the opportunity to experience giving myself fully to You: my whole life, my whole being, my whole time, all of my resources (well, technically they’re no longer my resources xD). Everything I know, all of my skills, knowledge, gifts – everything I have or the lack of it I give to You. And I will do it over and over again because I want Your approval and Your favor. And I want to serve the purpose of my existence: to be how You intended me to be and do exactly what You purposed me to do.

I’m in a season of the most enjoyable, fulfilling, satisfying moments in my life because of Your presence. Since the time You told me to write in 2016, I have felt Your constant presence and leading I have never experienced before. Maybe because of the freedom to spend time with You for as long as I want; I don’t know. And even during my lowest moments, while it was painful, it was one of the most fulfilling because of our unceasing communication and Your comforting voice sustaining me. I remember when I was a new believer, I kept on asking You what it’s like to pray unceasingly. That’s Your command but I didn’t know how anyone can do that. More than a decade after, You taught me during the most painful moments of my life. Because of these experiences, my heart is slowly embracing the fact that suffering will always be a part of my life here (will always be talaga?! unending? xD). But I have something to look forward to — an opportunity to be more intimate with You and learn from You from a standpoint of suffering.

At the same time, I know greater things are yet to come! I’m excited about what You’re doing but at the same time getting impatient and tired of waiting because of the cause of delay to this! But remember Your promise, Lord. You promised an abundant harvest and I expect it will be infinitely more than anyone can ask or imagine. Nothing is too difficult for You.

As I do this ministry, help me not to be task/goal-oriented but people-oriented. I don’t want this ministry to be brought down to a mere to-do list. People are more important than tasks. And ministry is for people. My work is not about doing but being — being like You in character as I relate with other people

And in all these, Lord, there is only one thing I ask of You: Your presence. I want to always feel Your presence, hear Your voice, know Your instruction, and be certain of Your leading. What would I do without it? What would I do without You? This is Your work. This is Your mission. You are the authority. And You promised You will ALWAYS be with Your people to the end of the age.

So I offer this to You. This blogsite is Yours. The story of Your people. The testimony of Your character. Your story. We offer this to You.

. . . I hope You are pleased with it. ❤️