Move on

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. (Isaiah 42:18)

When I first got saved, I had these nightmare almost every night. In my dream I was the same girl who slept around and did not have a single care in the world. But ever single night the enemy was taunting me with all the guilt and shame that I was struggling at the time. When I got saved, and God told me I was a new creation, I believed it.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

But night after night I would be having these dreams and think to myself, maybe I am not saved. Maybe I am not free from this. Maybe I am just the same lost girl I once was. It was a blatant trick and a lie from the enemy trying to stumble me into thinking that I was still the lost sinner I once was, but it took me a while to realize it.

God makes all things new. Once we have been saved through the blood of Christ, we become a brand new creation. God forgives us for all things we have done in the past. But there comes a time when the enemy tries to make us believe that we have not changed. That we are still tied to our past, and make us dwell in the past mistakes rather than moving on to new things that God is doing. We need to stand firm in God’s truth and recognize our new identity in Christ. We are sons and daughters of the most high God.

One day I woke up from the nightmare and did something totally opposite of what I usually do which is to be downcast and dwelling in shame.

I started to praise God

For he is the one who set me free and made me into a brand new blameless creation. I was no longer that old past self in the dream but I was a precious daughter of the most high. I kept on saying Thank you Jesus for setting me free. Thank you so much for your blood, and sacrifice that I am no longer that person I used to be.

Surprisingly the more and more I started doing that, the less and less the dreams occurred. It went from every night to 5 days a week to 3 days a week to only once a week. Then once a month, once in 3 months… Praise God but he truly set me free.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

I bet the devils were like “Crap! every time we give her these dreams to guilt trip her, she wakes up and praises God even more!!! This is not working!!!”

Lord, I thank you for making us into a new creation. Old things are gone, and we want to move forward with you. Let us be firmly grounded only in your truth so that nothing will shake us even if we get attacked. Thank you for second chances, thank you for your blood and forgiveness. Amen.

Rest, dear, rest.

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:3)

Few weeks ago, as I was reading through Exodus and Leviticus, God spoke to me about the Sabbath and rest. Genesis 2:3 is such a beautiful representation of “rest” that I had to meditate on this for a while. God has spent 6 days creating heavens and the earth, he created all the plants, animals and even us! But after finishing all the work of creation, on 7th day, he rested. My first, simple question was “Why did he rest?” Did God, after doing a whole bunch of creating for 6 days, get tired? Is that why he rested?

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary... (Isaiah 40:28)

No, I don’t think that’s it. He is an all-powerful God, he could have worked 7 days, 70 days and 7000 years if he wanted, but it was an intentional decision on his part to take a day to “rest’. I think there is something so powerful and key in this.

I used to think God “blessed’ he seventh day and made it holy, and that’s why he rested on that day, but actually it was the other way around. He rested, and because he rested, he blessed that day. It’s so interesting that from his day of rest, his blessing came.

A lot of the sermons lately I’ve been hearing about rest was mostly focused on the part of as human, we get tired and weary as we are ministering to others. So that’s why we need to rest in the arms of Christ. That is true, but I started to re-think about the order.

We work hard, and minister to others -> We get tired and weary -> We go do Christ for rest so we can recharge.

What if it was the other way around?

We rest in his presence -> We get filled with his spirit and we are overflowing in love -> We go out and minister to others from that overflow.

What if we rested in his presence more often and not wait until we get burnt out? What if everything we do came from the place of spending time with God? What if God created rest not as a rescue plan from being burnt out but as a way to bless us?

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters. (Psalm 23:1-2)

This is one of my favorite verse in the bible, and every time I read this, I picture myself on this green hill on a sunny day. I hear the water running ever so subtly in the background and my eyes are closed. My Lord, my shepherd, he is the one who made me lie down and he is the one who led me beside the quiet waters.

From the place of rest, he will speak to us. He will fill us with his spirit. He will bless us. Not just on a Sunday, or not only when I’m are tired, but always, I pray I will find rest in him.

Things of this world

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15–16)

I got married recently and my husband and I moved into this new apartment in Orange County. We found this place as a last minute lease-takeover and never seen the apt in person until we actually moved here. (I’ve never done this before) but I was just BLOWN AWAY at how beautiful and luxurious this apt complex was! I was immediately planning all the ways I can decorate this place and invite couple of friends for a housewarming. I was like a little girl giddy and excited all day yesterday, with adult apartment that comes with a fridge that makes ice! (I’ve never had this before, and I LOVE ice, so it was such a treat) I called up 2 of my old friends from this area and scheduled a housewarming this weekend. After that husband and I did a little cheers! and ate some delicious noodle dishes to celebrate our new home. It was like everything seemed so lovely and peachy, I’m living THE LIFE.

This morning, I woke up and the first scripture verse I read was this. And it suddenly hit me like a brick,

What am I doing here?

God has blessed me with this beautiful place to call home for a while, but everything in this life is very temporary and finite. We are here on a mission, and not just to coast through life and have fun. When we talk about YOLO (You Only Live Once), we immediately think of the hedonistic lifestyle because why not enjoy all you can while you are on this earth?

But the YOLO in the bible is you are only on this earth for a short period of time. We have limited amount of time. And the days are evil. We are to become a light that shines throughout the darkest place on this land. We are NOT to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2)

So what does that mean and what does that even look like? We have to be very intentional about how we spend our time, and what we do with our resources given from God. How are we stewarding them? I was blessed with a job where I can work remotely and still make a great living, but with that job, what am I doing to advance God’s kingdom? I realized how important it is to spend time in prayer and as for God’s wisdom and guidance in how we need to be living every single day, to truly make an impact to God’s kingdom.

It is so easy to just let a day go by without trying. It is so easy to be comfortable in our little Christian bubble with our Christian friends. But is that what we are called to?

Rise up, you women who are at ease,
And hear my voice;
Give ear to my word,
You complacent daughters. (Isaiah 32:9)

God does not want us to be complacent. He wants us to hear his voice and actually pay attention, and to obey. We are to be salt and light of this earth, and I think it is really time for us to truly run hard after God’s heart, which is people. Bringing people back to God.

The weekend plan quickly changed from a chill housewarming party to a potential start of a revival. I am going to share all the testimonies of what God’s been doing in my life to my 2 friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time. I got more excited than before, because I knew God is going to do something amazing through this hangout. With every hangout or gathering from now on, I want them to be focused on God, and sharing his love to others, encouraging others to run hard as well.

I’m ready to make the most of every opportunity given to me by God. Thank you Lord, for the opportunities, and all the people you’ve brought in to my life. Even in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic, I want to be a faithful steward in all the resources you’ve gifted me with. Use me, and also use my husband for your kingdom. Amen.

When you’re weary in doing good

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Countless times, I wanted to give up with this friend of mine. I would try in every way, to talk to her about Jesus, God and his goodness, but she always turned her back on me. I kept on showing love to her, it wasn’t because I wanted to “convert” her to Christianity, but I don’t know why… I just felt so much compassion for her, that I didn’t know what else to do. When you sow in to someone, who you care for SO much, and year after year, not seeing the fruit, it becomes quite discouraging and you start to feel “weary” in doing all the good that you’re doing.

But who’s strength are we operating under?

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I was trying to do everything with MY strength and that’s when things started to take a toll on me. I was tired, I was feeling defeated, and I started to even question myself, and what I’m doing wrong. The enemy started to attack my identity and use scripture like :

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19)

To condemn me and tell me that I’m going to be cut and thrown into the fire. It is crazy how the enemy will even take a part of the scripture and attack you with lies.

But over the several years, I started to witness a change in my friend’s life. She would randomly ask me to “pray for her” and “ask God to help her” Also recently she started to read the bible with me, which is something I never thought in a million years, would have happened. Slowly but surely, God was changing her heart.

To people who are feeling weary, I want to share this one scripture verse with you:

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. (Psalm 119:28)

I love how here, it says “Strengthen me according to your word.” This, I think is a key antidote, to our weariness. We need to be strengthened through the word of God. We need to be firmly grounded on his truth, or else, when things get tough, and you don’t see a lot of breakthroughs happening in real life, you will get discouraged and even tempted to quit. For me, reading the scripture just like how I eat my meal daily, has helped me GREATLY in being strengthened in Christ. You can clearly see the difference, once you start consuming daily “spiritual” bread.

Lord, thank you for your truth, and your wisdom.