Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the presence of God

we were asked this question last night. what does it look like for me to be in the presence of God? and i thought back to when i first really believed in Jesus. the 18-year-old teenager who woke up every morning excited to hear from his Father. who cried out to his Abba about every situation. who remembered all the time that his life was in God's hands. who didn't worry about the future because his God had a plan.

i'm 23 years old now. a lot of things have changed. i'm no longer in my first year of college. i'm no longer in my parents' church where i grew up almost my entire life. i have an beautiful girlfriend who loves and supports me. i'm in an amazing and healthy life group who prays for and encourages me. i'm serving in a church that believes in the mission of God and wants to share the Gospel and multiply the local church. there are a lot of things that i've had to say good bye to. and there are a lot of things that i'm really blessed to have in my life now. but there's something that i miss more than anything else.

i miss that heart. i miss that excitement for the Lord. i miss being amazed every morning by my God's goodness. and it's not that i don't experience moments of His goodness nowadays. but that continual walking in His presence. always knowing in every moment that my God is with me. not fearing the world and the opposition that i face. stepping in bold steps in His name. for me, that was my definition of being in the presence of God.

continuously in the state of being overwhelmed by how much He loves me and cares for me. so much so that everything else pales in comparison. that the world looks different and i'm not as worried or afraid of what will happen next. i was reminded of what it's like being with amazing friends or family and having conversations and laughing for hours. never wanting that moment to end. the presence of God for me was like that. like a good friend that i could sit down with and never want to stop talking to. where i didn't want that last encounter to end. and even if i had to leave wherever i was at the time, the conversation would continue throughout the day because we had so much to talk about. and there were times when not talking was ok. because we would just enjoy each other's company. and that was enough. God was enough for me.

now that i'm older, there are a lot more obstacles to that presence. worrying about getting married, thinking about a master's degree, trying to figure out how to make money, etc. but i don't want that to be an excuse. i don't want to look for an easy way out. God is the most important person in my life. and i'm going to make time and space for Him. to read His Word. to pray and talk to Him. to walk with Him daily. to simply rest and be still with Him. there's always a way to spend time with Him. i've just been so caught up with smaller things that i throw His presence to the bottom of my priority list. 

we were reading about how moses talked to God in exodus and how God told them to go somewhere but he wouldn't go with them. and moses refused and protested and would not want to go unless God went with them. how often do i leave God behind because want i want is more important than him? it was so convicting. i want the heart that says, "God, i'm not leaving this spot unless you're with me. God, you're my everything. how could i go without you? everything would be meaningless if you weren't there." the same way heaven wouldn't be the same if Jesus wasn't there. i've been leaving God behind and that's not what i want to do anymore.

i want to be like moses. a man who is marked by the presence of God. that when people see me, they see a man who just can't go on without Jesus. who can't take a step without knowing that his God is with him.

God, bring me back that place, Lord. where i would always seek Your face first. to look to where my help comes from. to be reminded of your strong and steadfast love and mercy always. bring me back to that dependence. to never want to take a step without You. my life looks so different without You, Lord. i do things just for myself or when i do things for others, it's because i feel like i should. but when You're with me, i do things because i feel Your heart. i see with Your eyes. i know Your compassion. give me more of You, Lord. i want more of You than the gifts that You have to give. give me more. set a fire down in my soul that i can't contain or control. i want more of You, God. let that be my prayer each and every day. each and every moment. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


so i have a job. i am working with kids with different types of disabilities and mainly autism. i really admire what the company does for the families from coming alongside the kids and the parents to giving them the tools and education that they need to be able to give the kids the best life that they can offer. but as i'm working here, God's slowly reaffirming my giftings and where He wants me to go. i am praying about getting my master's degree in counseling again and being faithful to my calling in that. it's just the type of person i am. 

i love being able to listen to people and help them through what their life situation is at the time. i love being able to help people discover new things about themselves and why they do what they do. i love being able to discover new things about myself in the process as well. i want to be able to walk with people through their journeys and change their outlook on the future as well as use their past to shape them into a better person today.

i feel like for the time being though, i need to remain faithful to what's been put in front of me. i get so antsy and anxious and want to move on so quickly. even when i know that it's not a good idea. i know that i need to stay here for as long as it takes. for as long as He wants me to be here at this company and serve the families well. 

He wants me to look to Him for guidance and strength. He wants me to depend on Him. He wants me to stop comparing myself to other people. 

I'm glad i got this chance to be able to work in this incredible field. i'm still learning. i'm still making mistakes. i was talking to good friend just yesterday about how in some cultures, you weren't considered a man until you were 30. i know not everybody agrees with that haha. but in a certain sense, i still feel like a teenager. just trying things out and making mistakes and learning from them. letting God continue to flesh things out in my heart. disciplining me and developing me. i'm glad i'm still discovering what my giftings are and how to develop them. i keep expecting so much out of myself to be perfect at things that i went to school for but i haven't had enough experience to be an "expert."

i need to stop taking myself so seriously. i need to stop worrying so much and hashing out all the different scenarios of what could happen. i need to trust God. i need to know that He is my joy and Good News. i need to remember that my mission on this earth isn't to be "successful" or to make a lot of money. it's to let everyone know about Jesus and the peace that He's given me. yes, i want to be responsible and take care of my family well. but the best way for me to do that is to be able to love Jesus and let my wife and kids know that i'm there for them emotionally and financially. to be able to make enough to be able to provide a home and food but at the same time, be in the home with them. 

i don't want to get so caught up with taking care of my family that i don't take care of them. if that makes any sense haha. i was given the blessing to be able to be raised by two amazing immigrant parents. a humble background and growing up in a low income home. and i had one of the best childhoods that a kid could ask for. i had loving parents and family and a roof over my head and food in my belly. that's what i want to give my kids. not only that, i had parents who loved the Lord enough to instill His love in me and that's what i want to pass on to my kids. =]

God, help me to trust you. with the future. with money. with everything. help me to trust you so i don't have to worry so much. so i can focus on loving people well and not focus so much on the green. =] i love you, Lord. you're so good to me. my life is Yours forever and ever.