Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What to Expect When You Are Expecting

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Oh yeah the title seems to be about pregnancy but it is not. It is basically how to up lift our hope and expectations when we are asking something from God. I remember when my job in Barclays Capital ended, I prayed for a job that doesn't have a job rotation so that I don't have to work at night. After few weeks, my prayer was granted but I forgot to mention Him that I did not want to be an "on call support". But my new job that time required me to be available for any system malfunction at night. Then I remember a preaching from a pastor before that we should pray for the exact things that we want and not too vague.

When we are talking and praying to God and basically asking something, we should be more specific and don't settle for less. Sometimes, we hesitate to pray specifically because we don't have enough faith that anything is possible; we put in our mind that any prayer results will be just fine. Even Jesus prayed a specific item during His execution (Luke 22:42 - “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”). He sets himself to accept the Father's will, but he prays for deliverance. To help us pray more effectively, I have enumerated some things that we should always remember:
  1. Anything is Possible with Him. Oh yes, He has unlimited power and can reach anything. (Luke 18:27 - Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”) 
  2. Pray with Confidence. Stop being embarrassed for what you are praying for. Even if it is a partner in life, a better paying job or a new house in a famous village, be positive for the best answers. We should always be confident and that confidence starts with knowing that thru Him, we can do anything (Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all this through him who gives me strength")
  3. Strengthen your Faith. Believing into something that He promised us even it is not visible thru our eyes is a way of assurance from Him. Faith is one of the most important factors of our foundation and we should continue to hold on to it. (Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see")
  4. Prosper your Hope. Keep on asking for what you pray for until you heard His voice saying that "this is what I have prepared for you" and be assured that He has the perfect answers that resulted from our Hope that everything will be okay in His perfect time. Continue to ask without hesitations. (Luke 18:1 - "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up")
So always expect for the best and the above mentioned items can help a lot in managing the things that will come in our way after an intimate conversation with Him. There is no shortcut in achieving victory in life. So be specific to the things that you want and put hesitations aside when talking to Him.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Making a Stand on Your Principles

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Last Sunday, on my way back to Dubai via Singapore Airlines, I watched a documentary about the biggest Hindi festival. It showed there how far a believer can go just to prove their faith and make a stand on their religion. There was a man who gave up his right hand by raising it for 20 years. The other was not sitting down for 10 years. I was amazed by their conviction and I respect their own belief and ways to show it.

For sure you have seen some Christians who are ready to pay heavy price to stand for what they believe. But are we ready if we are the one being tested? How prepared are we in facing such situations and overcoming the fire? We should always be careful in what we do and how it may affect others as we might commit mistakes that will eventually result into negative atmosphere. Some real life examples include: (1) you are residing in a house where in another room, an unmarried couple is living together (2) upon entering Singapore, you lied about the question "what is your purpose" and instead of telling the truth [to look for a job] you will say "to spend holiday and pleasure". (3) You watched a concert of your idol rather than going to a Sunday service or weekly lifegroup

With above examples, how will you stand about marriage first before anything else; the rule on not telling lies; idolatry should be avoided and He should be the priority. Well, we should be careful in giving opinions as we might be labeled as judging others. The most important thing that we can do is to stay strong in our belief and faith by continuously avoiding such things and situations. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.) commanded us to be firm and brave when confronted by questions and doubts. Another thing is to provide concrete and biblical advice but never degrade others' morale. In bible, there are characters who gave up their lives just to prove and stand firm on their principles. We should also have a very strong foundation and be surrounded by people who can contribute towards Christian maturity.

Let us also remember that we always have Him and that we are not alone in this fight as stated in 2 Chronicles 20:17 (You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you). I am not telling you to literally give and risk your life to prove that you are worthy and can protect the teachings and beliefs to the full extent. Understanding your purpose and believing that everything should be complied biblically is a good start in showing it. We also have the priceless and most powerful tool in the world: prayer which brings us closer to Him and an opportunity to talk to Him and seek guidance, protection and wisdom.

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