Enter in.


Pastor Andrew delivered a crazy sermon this morning about the temple, our approach of coming to God, and what stops us from entering in to the Holiest of Holies. He talked about how most times he stops at the laver. He cannot bear how much he falls short from who God is and turns around to leave, never entering in to where He is. Gosh, that’s me. So many times I fail. I get puffed up. I put my trust in men. I don’t practice self-control. I can’t look past my situation. I forget to pray. I don’t have faith. I LACK AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO NOT LACK. I’m supposed to be a Christian. Why do I feel so worthless?

It is not the holiness of God, not the all-powerful quality of God, nor His supremacy that saves us. It is His great Father heart of love shown through Jesus Christ. The old system was good but we have a new and living Way, and through Him, we shall not stop at the laver any more. We can go all the way. We can enter in. Jesus, I give up. I can’t get in. I can’t get to God without you. Please Jesus. Take my life yet again. Make me Yours forever. Amen. 

To be honest.

I’m trying to be somebody. Some might call me a go-getter, goal-setter.. others, pathetic. It’s sort of an embarrassing thing to admit because no one wants to be known as a try hard. Like why try if it doesn’t matter in the end anyway? None of this matters. Nihilism. And you’re right. Nothing does.. unless an divine, sublime being eternally extending this-ways and that-a-ways filled with unadulterated, pure and therefore dangerously potent love and commitment to the world breathed life, design, purpose into it, caused it to move, live, and have its being. Then everything matters. You matter. I matter.

So why do I still feel the shame of trying? I’m afraid that as much as I give to the world, the world will not come through. There’s my problem. Looking for love in all the wrong places yet again, Kaylin. Could you be any more like a child? The world is suffocating from evil, pain, and suffering. And I want it to give my love back to me? Death has swallowed it up like an unforgiving thief and glutton.

Then there’s Jesus. The Beauty surpassing all creation, all the universe, the Alpha and Omega. He gave to the world regardless if it came through. His love unreciprocated, but His love is without needs: He only fulfills them. How He gave to us and yet had no need! Amazing love! So we matter. We must really matter.

I cannot try anymore. Not the way that I used to anyway. I used to try, in hope that I succeed with approval from man. But it’s nothing like Jesus. See, all of it, every fiber of being, my thoughts, actions, choices, today, tomorrow.. are entangled in Him. It crosses the lines of eternity. And everything matters.. now, and to the end.

Highways of Zion.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

Passing through the valley of Baca [weeping], they make it a spring. The early rain also covers it with blessing

PS LXXXIV

I’m not a crier. I don’t need to make a scene. It’s not about me. I’m a strong person. Stop bringing attention to yourself. There are people dying or hunger on the streets. Don’t even go there. Your pain isn’t nearly an ounce of the pain the world feels. Don’t feel. You don’t need to feel. You just need to think. Think on God’s love. Think on Jesus dying for you. He didn’t die for you to cry! You’re free, right? You’re a Christian, right? You’re a daughter of God. Why are you crying for?

The voice of my accuser. I’ve learned to recognize it. I never knew how important it was to be in tune with it: from the beginning, it was always about learning how to hear God’s voice. Not Satan’s. You’re quite spiritualizing the matter. But the father of Lies is behind every lie, despite what vessel he uses (others, yourself). How long I’ve lived this way? My whole life. Until this year. Until I realized that emotionally healthy is intertwined with being spiritually healthy (thanks to the findings of a NYC pastor, Pete Scazzero, as well as Bethel’s pastor, Danny Silk). Until I realized I’ve been lying to myself and therefore not really getting to know myself, the self that God created special, unique, with purpose and with limits so that I could recognize His limitless, undefined, ever-increasing, ever-going being. It’s right at the end of myself that I know Him and also know myself. But you must be willing to go through the valley. You cannot skip it. I’ve tried so hard to skip it. I wanted to only be on the mountains. I wanted to learn from others’ mistakes so that I wouldn’t have to experience failure, hardship, pain. I realized these things that affect me are not to my death but fullness of life: ” In whose heart are the highways to Zion!”

Jesus, I am willing to let my heart weep before you when life gets hard, my sin is burdensome, and the facades of this world are revealed. With all gravity, I’m thankful that you will be there in the midst of it all. Joy always comes. Your rain always comes. I trust you God. Amen. 

Sons of the day.

“For you are all sons of light and sons of the day.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

What is the light and what is the day representative of? In context of vs 1-11, it’s the Lord’s day. So when He says “sons of the day”, I believe Paul’s referring to the Lord’s day, when Jesus Christ comes back for us. It fills my heart with longing. I know that when He comes, the darkening power of sin will be forever crushed. I won’t have to struggle with it anymore. Only Christ will be the true power dominating all hearts that have accepted Him. And I can be close to Him and unashamed because He wiped away all my sins. But in this passage, it says that we can live as sons of the day today. We don’t have to wait. We might fall asleep or become drunk with wine (distracted by worldly cares) but that is why He said to be sober. To be awake. To live. He looks at us and says you have all authority over sin now. I give it to you. Jesus said this at the end of Matthew 28. He wants us to live in His light now. Like He’s coming, because friends, He is! Our God is coming to us, like the sun coming closer to the earth, or a beam of light shining on us. Christ, our morning star. You can be assured that He is coming. So let that fill your heart with hope and strength to be sons of the day and sons of the light.

Real life.

Colossians 3:1-4 Therefore if you have been raised with Christ to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above the heavenly things, not on things that are on the earth which have only temporal value. For you died to this world, and your new, real life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

  1. Keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is
  2. Your new, real life is hidden with Christ

Remember those times when your heart and your soul and your body was so near to Christ? Not that He ever left you but you made an agreement with your heart, soul, and body, that you wanted Him and nothing else. “With my whole heart I have sought you,” the famous psalmist said. Not everyday do we live in that agreement. Not everyday do we seek Him. Oh but how our heart does seek. Because your heart knows it needs depend on for life or else it dies. But our heart is untrained. It only knows sin as a way to live. We are programmed for death. That is what happened at the garden of Eden. Not only are we separated from God bu we can’t get back to Him because our minds so obscured by the filth and grime of the fall that we can’t tell left from right. How do you expect blind men to find their way back? It’s only through Christ. He sought us. He pursued after us who wandered away. In the New Testament, we see a lot of broken people coming to Jesus. Did you know Jesus went after people as well? Like the woman at the well, Zaccheus, the disciples, the possessed man, Saul! Jesus went after them, and He still goes after people today.. He is seeking you. He trains our heart, and He shows us how to live. He brought us close to Him through His own blood so we don’t have to fear Him ever leaving our side. 

I love this quote by CS LEWIS and I hope and pray that it just melts your heart in love for Jesus Christ:

“An ‘impersonal God’-well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads-better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap-best of all. But God himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, King, husband-that is quite another matter.”

Live alive.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), GOD MADE YOUR ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins, having cancelled  out the certificate of debt consisting of legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and uthorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal prodession], having triumphed over them through the cross. (Col.2:13-15)

God did it. Not us. I have to remember that. My mind knows but my heart is unsure. Sin does that. It not only trips you up when you make a mistake but it has you revisit that mistake over and over again. Hell in the present. And there’s no way out. The principle, “a dog returns to its own vomit”, stands at my heart. How does God have the power to forgive and keep forgiving me of all my sin? Not that I want to be continually sinning to continual receive His forgiveness, but I’m kind of over this whole sin thing. Like when is this vicious cycle gonna end?! It slows me down from running this race. I wish I could make better decisions and more consistently choose Christ.

Here’s the game changer: Christ chose me. He ran the race for me. He forgave me eternally before I asked. He cleaned up the vomit. He overcame Hell. All of this inner talk… it has already been finished. That’s old news. Live in the new. See the mind is a powerful thing. We can keep reliving the past as much as we want. And we can stay there if we so choose. But the reality of today is that God made us alive in Christ. And whenever He does things, it’s not just for one moment in time, but for all of the moments. Whatever He does lasts forever and ever and ever. Heart, trust God. Lean in to Your Savior and be filled with His everlasting love. Live alive. 

Leverage.

I’m reading Esther now, and Mordecai said some really strange things to her:

13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]?” (Esther 4:13-14 AMP)

Esther, you have no choice but to save us. I am not the one pressuring you; Death is. However, even if you don’t save us, a Savior will come eventually. But for right now, for your life and ours, let’s bank on the fact that the king likes you. Try to save us anyway. See, Mordecai based his advice on the law of leverage. I think it’s very important for us to understand what leverage is because I believe that’s how salvation comes: not through us, but through our Leverage. What is it?

Leverage (via Merriam-Webster)

  • influence or power used to achieve a desired result

  • the increase in force gained by using a lever

    leverA-50

 

This is an example of a class 1 lever. The board of the see-saw is the lever. If there was a heftier boy sitting opposite from him, the first boy would move upwards. In order to gain leverage, the first boy would need to either a) gain weight greater than the other boy or b) sit further from the fulcrum. The fulcrum cannot move.  However, even if the boy sat further, it doesn’t ensure that he will gain leverage over the other. The other may be heavy enough to maintain the leverage.

The fulcrum is the law of God. It is how He created and structured the world. We disrupted His order, and therefore, on the balance of His holiness, we were outweighed by our sin (Daniel 5:27). He cannot change His law (move the fulcrum) so we were at a great loss before Him. We could die for our sin, but guess what? We could never gain the favor of God. Our sins are too heavy.

However, Jesus came in to the picture and tipped the scale dramatically. God had favor toward Him, like the king’s favor towards Esther, because God is the Father, and Jesus is the Son. This love was before the world was created. Jesus Christ outweighed our sin  (John 8:54). Exponential force!

My heart is thrilled! My heart is bubbling with joy and freedom! My God made a way for me to live in this world and the next, and it’s not going to change ever. I give you my life, God. I have nothing to be afraid of in coming to You. Thank you for our Leverage: Jesus Christ!