It really encourages me when the Lord draws me to read His Word, I begin to see things that others don't see (which I will address in later of this blog):
For instance, I learn about how Israel is (even till today) God's covenant people, because of Abraham their forefather whom God our Father has walked with Abraham through his life, and was faithfulness to keep His promise thus strengthen Abraham in the faith to express his own love to God in the form of sacrifice of his son Isaac, all which he had. Abraham asked for a son to be an heir, but the Lord God promised him great descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on the seashore, which beings out this truth: to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3), because God changed His name from Abram to Abraham, his inner man became strong to be able to see what God could see, and believe that He was able to raise the dead back to life -the ressurection (when they deemed barreness and death, God brought back to life for childbearing. This which gave him the confidence to stand firm in the test, for God could raise Isaac back to life) and to call forth things that are not as though they are (descendants even before Abraham had a son, that's beyond what we could ever imagine). Abraham began to understand what our Father in heaven will do - send His only beloved Son to redeem a people to Himself. An amazing story of prophecy, great faith and the faithfulness of the Lord.
You see, Abraham said to God, "May Ishmael live before you", but God said that "No, a son born from Sarah will be your heir, but Ishmael I will bless and make make him great in number". Very interesting that though Abram wasn't able to grasp the desire that God has for Him, yet God's plan still allowed that Abraham's will to prosper through Ismael but the promises will still lie on the promise seed from God Himself. The Lord had to change Abraham's thought and vision to see what only God see and will do beyond His time, raise up Israel to inherit the land in where Abraham dwells. Amazing story!
I've often asked myself, did God forget Israel and allowed them to come under slavery in Egypt serving Pharaoh as their master because of Abraham failing and faith in Ishmael? Maybe, but we can be certain to know that slavery came about because of Noah's curse on his own sons Shem Ham and Japeth, one to serve the other, which brought about the rule and reign of one over the other, thus inequality and injustice in this world of different people. Father God suddenly remembered His covenant with Israel when they cry out to Him from the hardship and despair of their slavery, and He has a plan to deliver them out of Egypt, Moses was typified as the Messiah in their time. I can imagine the reality that Moses had to face, being brought up by God fearing Egyptian women and then later learn that his own brethren are those who are in great misery and distress serving the master pharoah in slavery. Even when he tried to intervene for his own people, he felt powerless to do it, even against Pharaoh. Indeed, nothing is possible without God. Joseph on the other hand was rejected by his own brethren because of the dreams he received at a young age, and was sold as a slave and left in Egypt (a foreshadowing of what would happen to Israel later, and their Messiah who have to go through when he comes for his people) far away from His family, but it was very notable that the only difference about their lives was that God's presence was with them, and that's all it took for things to turn around.
A great and fascinating story to behold how God performing signs and wonders to demonstrate that He is the: I am that I am, greater than Pharaoh who had magicians to perform lying signs and wonders (which God's Word did forewarn about this in the end times to come, lying signs and wonders to deceive even the elect), and will deliver His people from the bondage of slavery into a land He promised his forefathers, flowing with milk and honey. This very much was a pinnacle in the Old Testament where God's strong desire and will was in full force to 1. Open the red sea and deliver His people out of Egypt and 2. Lead them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night and 3. Dwell with them in the tabernacle as they camp around on all 4 sides, 3 tribes on each side, and 4. Provide for them food and water on their journey to the promised land. Their high priest was a foreshadowing of a great high priest, Jesus that will come one day to make intercession for His people, because it was the Father's heart to bless them even before the appointed time that He will send His Son Jesus to save them. More than the burnt and sin offerrings which are odour to God because of the judgement on a lamb, the wave and peace offering was a sweet smelling fragrant to God for the mercy that came upon them when judgement was taken in their place, and therefore God's peace, provision and rest came upon His people.
It's unfortunate that the church has lost the connection in her ability to see that we are very much like Israel - God's people, grafted into an olive tree both Jews and Gentiles to serve Him. So in every way, we could learn that as much as it happened to them, it can happen to the church, because the Jews who from Israel are the roots, and we are the branches (see Romans 11). The promise of rest that was spoken of in Hebrews 3 and 4 applies to us for belief and unbelief even for the church. And the fruit (comes so close) of our lips and our tongue flows milk and honey to fill and satisfy our soul. (see Proverbs 18:20-21, and Songs of Solomon 4:11). If we bless, it brings forth life, but if we curse, it can yield death, for death and life are in the power of the tongue and he who loves it will eat its fruit.
You see, salvation is God's will and the beginning journey of deliverance even for the church but inheriting the promise is a whole new level where the journey and tests of faith calls for endurance of the church to stand firm in the faith. But as much as part of Israel had fallen unto unbelief, it is then very much the same that has happened to the church because only God gives sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. I personally feel that the church of members sometimes forget that more than prayers for our own problems and concerns in life, we often forget to pray for our own spiritual growth because life on earth is just an epilogue to an eternity but the church might have lost sight of the eternity because in part, we have become blinded by the worries and cares of this life we live on the earth, instead of learning and grasping more about the realities that God have for us in His kingdom, thus we live as though we're in unbelief.
I had envisioned death creeping into the church as much as how Israel at Mt Sinai has brought Egypt back to where they are, and Why? Simple, though they were physically delivered from Egypt, their minds and emotions are still back in Egypt, the food, the easy way of life where everything was provided by their master pharaoh. Remember? For to be minded of things of the spirit, we are able to live a life according to the spirit, but a mind that is after the things of the flesh, does so live a life according to the flesh. This is exactly what is happening for Israel in the wilderness and the church in a metropolis city of a nation (not just America, but pretty much Singapore as well). The mind and hearts of Israel was still back in Egypt therefore, they couldn't see God's grace and mercy when He was with them in the wilderness, but with Moses, it was so personal (God even spoke to him face to face). Therefore, to pray that we continually renew our minds in the knowledge of Christ our Lord, isn't it? So that beholding Him in His glory, we are being transformed from glory to glory according to his image. What's all that we have to do? The church only needs to behold the glory of Jesus in it's fullnest so that we can be like Him! That simple! Though it's discouraging to know that believers are blinded about spiritual realities, my God wants me to call forth a church that He desires, one that is not blinded, but able to fully behold the glory and beauties of Jesus in it's fullnest, and I'm still growing on this journey to see that.
About 3 years ago, I prayed for a desire to read the Word of God and to grow stronger in Him by knowing both the Father, Son and of the Holy Spirit more and more, but at that time, I was stuck in computer games, I never had the desire to read God's Word or to pray. One thing I do have and thank the Lord for is that He has placed in my heart songs of worship and praise, so that wherever I am, both either in school or at work, I can always carry a spirit of joy and gladness. It was a life that I live thus far, until recently this year, my prayer was answered! Never before do I have a concern to read His Word and to come to know and behold Him like never before, to renew my mind and refresh my soul with all that God is both in the Old and the New. It became hard for me to connect with my christian friends because they don't have the insight that I know begin to see in His Word, how His Word literally can be seen around me even in circumstances, the Word was like seed coming to life. For instance, I was on my way to the driving centre on a bus, and passing by some warehouses that was in big letters: "Storage Space". You can certainly see them still in Singapore along Hougang Avenue 3. There these large warehouses are as I sat in the bus, and then the Words just came to me about the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21 "For he thought to himself, 'what shall I do? I have no place to store my crops. Then he said, this is what I'll do - I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I'll say to myself, ' I have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat drink and be merry'". In fact this slogan, "eat drink and be merry is taken up often in FnB businesses and once I notice Marigold taking up the slogan "King of Kings" (you can go search it up, and you'll know what I mean). It is really a dreadful thought to me how they will answer to Him who bears His title, because it's being misused and misappropriated. That's what happens, when a church goes into business, the Lord Jesus has to overturn moneychangers table and ask them to leave, and I fear it has already happened. Yet, the Lord allowed it, so that His glory will be revealed in His true church that hold fast to His name and serve Him out of love that is shed abroad in our hearts. So because I came to realize that my friends couldn't see what the Lord has shown me through His Word, I did really felt distant from my friends because we do not share about the truth of His Word, any much as the time of gathering, then I realized as well that this gift was really from God alone, who grew in me the desire and hunger for His Word, in which was not possible by human capability to birth forth this desire to draw to Him unless He Himself gave them the desire to draw and know Him even more. It does aches my heart that I would want them very much to have the same desire and gift as well, as it happened to me, as often times I feel grieve when I have to join them in gatherings and feel like a hypocrite for them, by submitting to them who lead the group in the proceedings of worship and sharing of the Word. The Lord often times remind me to forgive them, as much as it was grief, I began to understand what Paul was saying in Romans 9, I wish very much that I wasn't save because of his love for Israel to be saved, because it is true that they are partly blind and I can't blame them because it happened to Israel as well as the church. Yet, I pray that not by power, nor by might, but by His Spirit that He has given to me, that they too will receive a desire and great insight in the Word of God (who is Jesus made flesh - John 1:1).
There's alot more that I want to talk about and cover, but I'll save it for another time and pick up from where we left off. I think it will be a great sharing that will bless readers following this post as much as I have been blessed writing here as well :)
Interesting but a word of advice from someone who has been on this site for some time. Please make your blogs shorter and space out the blog in paragraphs; for as it is it is too hard to read and keep concentrated.