And Some Of Those Shall Fall

Hi everyone,

how was your Holy Week? I was already sick when I did the deliverance night on Thursday, and it got worse the day after. I have been recovering since. A family member told me on Saturday what an honor it was that I was suffering physically like Jesus on Good Friday and believe it or not, it comforted me deeply to hear that. I received it with my heart and things did shift on Resurrection Sunday! I was feeling so much better when I woke up and I told the person immediately – we both smiled. How about you? Maybe things did not shift for you on Sunday. I get that, God does not play according to our expectations. God had a set time for me and He did it out of grace. My testimony does not apply to everyone. You have not failed to believe or done something wrong because you did not get the change on Easter. Do not hang your faith on certain dates but know what God is speaking to you personally. God loves you and has a sovereign plan for you!

I am sharing my testimony though, because sometimes you just need a reminder that there is a good reason behind the suffering you are enduring. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that God made me sick. No, God is good and there is no evil in Him. He does, however, allow suffering. Followers of Jesus must face various trials and tribulations all throughout their lives to receive the imperishable crown (1. Corinthians 9:24-25). By partnering with Jesus, always looking unto Him as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we enter the rest that our Father has for us through Jesus Christ. We enter this rest by faith; and when I do not have the strength to figure out why something is happening, I rest all the more in the finished work of Christ. He makes everything work together for my good because I love Him! I trust Him enough to remain in Him through faithful obedience: I cry out to Him in faith, “please receive this sinner, Father, into Your presence! Help me draw near to you when I am weak and my flesh is failing. Holy Spirit, come, and do what only You can do! I believe, help my unbelief!”

For me, the most horrible feeling I ever had in my life was that of permanent disconnection with God. I cannot even imagine how painful it must have been for Jesus to feel that on the cross. He endured it for us when He cried out loud, “eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani (my God, my God, why have You forsaken me)”. I remember that day, kneeling down to pray and feeling the terrible coldness. I got scared and started trembling all over my body, I cried like a baby and told God to please not abandon me – to please forgive me for making Him harden my heart by continuously grieving the Holy Spirit with idolatry and unbelief. I felt like I was literally dying! Oh, may the Holy Spirit remind me whenever He must of this fearful moment when the holy fear of God gripped my soul and led me to repentance. Hell (the absence of God) is far worse than any physical suffering I can ever go through here on earth!

Why am I sharing this with you? Because for the most part, I felt like a total failure this past week. I was in an intense spiritual battle of the mind, and my body was still weak. I knew all I had to know, that He was teaching my hands to war (Psalm 18:34). I knew I was going through the valley of humility in this season because I had prayed for more brokenness. Ah yes, you pray those prayers, right? Either out of sincerity or pride or most likely both, only God knows. Yet He loves those prayers! He leads you faithfully through it, helping you to face the truth about yourself that you are utterly lost if not for Jesus. Your mind is so corrupted and prone to sin and the enemy would totally have his grip over us if it were not for the blood of Jesus. Satan tries to keep you there: in shame and fear; he lies to you to identify with those sinful thoughts, he accuses you of being a failure, that God would not want you anymore. How could he possibly want you with all that you are? Child of God, how do you fight against this judging tongue? What do you say? Repeat after me:

Get behind me, devil! The blood of Jesus covers me and you must flee from me because it is written. I resist you and declare that I have died and now it is Christ who lives in me! I wear the new man, which has been renewed by the Spirit of God! I have the righteousness of Christ and I am blameless and spotless in His eyes. I live by it and I am a beloved child of God. God promises to me that I will never be in shame and disgrace anymore because of Jesus. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray! Amen!

God always led me in triumph through this kind of battle for years and years and yet, there seems to be a depth to knowing God that I cannot reach without going through it again, in a deeper way. There is a depth to this prayer that you can only know when you have had that intimate experience with God, and His Word has sunk into your heart. I can pray this prayer with faith for you, especially as I have the gift of faith, but I pray that you will get deeper with knowing God yourself, my friend! There are some times when we have to fall to rise up again. It is God’s way of refining us. I titled this post “And Some Of Those Shall Fall” and I got it from Daniel 11. Let me finish with this Scripture:

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. (vv. 32-35)

Daniel was prophesying about Antiochus Epiphanes here who would bring about a great tribulation among the Israelites of such a measure that many would fall away from faith. Believe me, this Word is alive and active and still applies to us a 100%! The whole point here is that God arranged this. For what reason, would you ask. Notice the corruption and apostasy among THE PEOPLE OF GOD foretold in this chapter (remember the same foretold in the book of Revelation?). It says, however, that the people who KNOW God shall be strong and carry out great exploits. The people of God who UNDERSTAND shall instruct many. Yet, the persecution will continue and only become harder. Many of them will be killed, imprisoned and plundered. There will be only “a little” help (because God knows we need that). But by then, even some of those of understanding, who know God, shall fall. Again, God appointed this. Why? For refinement and purification. For them to be made white.

My friend, we must strive to know God and understand His will, the Word (read 1. Peter 1 and Colossians 1). It makes such a difference when you truly know Him through the Spirit – when His Word is engraved deep into your heart because you have encountered God as it is written about Him; it is all about relationship! And if you don’t have that, don’t give up! For even those who know and understand, even some of those must fall to grasp the gospel in a deeper way. If you have put your trust in God by believing in Jesus, God will finish the work which He has started in you. Only remember to remain in Him by doing what He has commanded us: to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to love one another, we are to act according to His will for us in Jesus Christ: to rejoice always, to give thanks in all circumstances and to pray without ceasing. Do this and you will remain under the wings of God in Jesus Christ.

So yes, let us strive to love when we are hurting and in pain, knowing that our suffering leads us closer to Christ. Let us never relent in pursuing righteousness and fearing God because it heals us and gives us a better knowledge of who Jesus is. Let us love and forgive like never before because such testimony helps us overcome the enemy! Oh Jesus, thank You for Your blood. Thank You, Father, for giving us so graciously of all the spiritual blessings we have through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is a seal upon us until the day we get home. We trust You will get us there and rest in Your love today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Be encouraged and equipped for battle!

K.Y.E.O.J. – VI. the narrow gate

Welcome to part 6! We are approaching the end of Lent and I have one last post coming up next week to wrap up this series. Hallelujah! Thank God for Jesus! We shall be left with nothing more than Jesus, that is my prayer in Jesus’ name.

Today we want to sit with Luke 13:23-27:

Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 

When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 

then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 

But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 

I oftentimes sense pride in people who say “only a few will be saved”. The way they say it implies that they are a part of the “few” and that the people they are secretly thinking of as they say it, are not. Most probably, they are looking around for approval while saying it, too. It can sound so very righteous, right?

I love the way Jesus answers: “strive to enter through the narrow gate.” He is telling the man that he himself must strive to be saved. The narrow gate is Jesus, he must believe in Jesus and Jesus only. Belonging to a group does not give you salvation. Doing all the good works does not give you salvation – that would be trying to enter through a different gate but Jesus. No, you need to believe in Christ yourself and you need a real, personal relationship with Him. The fruits of that relationship will show.

“Strive even to an agony; or as they did for the garland in the Olympic games, to which the word agonizomai, here used, seemeth to allude.” (Trapp) … It is necessary to strive to enter because there are many obstacles in the way. The world is an obstacle. The devil is an obstacle. Probably the worst obstacle is our own flesh.”

Enduring Word commentary on Luke 13

In the essence, it is a fight of faith. Look at other bible verses which use the word “agonizomai (strive)”:

  • “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” (1. Co 9:25)
  • “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Col 1:29)
  • “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Col 4:12)
  • Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1. Ti 6:12)
  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2. Ti 4:7)

Is it not an honor to strive for such a price? We do it with the power, love, and self-discipline of the Holy Spirit! Only with the help of the Holy Spirit will we be able to do it! Seek it, ask for it, and fight well the good fight of faith until only the name of Jesus remains in your heart! Until only Jesus sits on the throne of your heart! Do it again and again, go deeper and deeper with Him – know Him with the faith that you are known by Him. Let us strive to enter through the narrow gate until we finish the race.

Oh Jesus, thank you for believing in someone like me. Equip us for good works and train us! I choose to fight fiercely for my faith even today; to know you deeper, to have you as my only One in my heart. Your name be lifted high, Jesus. In Your name I pray for everyone who reads this. Amen.

K.Y.E.O.J. – III. the joy of relationship

Hello everyone, this is part 3 of “Keep Your Eyes On Jesus”! I have been keeping the following two parables in my heart for about a week now because I was waiting for Him to go deeper with me. They are surely worth wasting your life for! What do I mean by that? Let us read the parables first:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like
treasure hidden in a field,
which a man found and hid;
and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has
and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like
a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who,
when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had
and bought it.”
(Matthew 13:44-46)

Do you recognize the pattern of “find – sell all – buy” in both parables? This just tells me the parables belong together.

I think the parables have two sides. We could think of them from our perspective, that we give up everything for our King and have immeasurable joy by it. Only those who have payed a specific cost before to follow Christ understand the joy of surrendering again and more to Him. It doesn’t feel costly at all, more like a heavenly reward! How could anything we give up here on earth compare to the joy of knowing the Lord deeply and spending eternity with Him; building kingdom together with Him, and being used by Him? Those who know, know! If you don’t but want to, tell God about your desire and trust Him that He will take you there! Take concrete steps and re-surrender again and again if you need to. I will be praying for you.

Moreover, God knows what our hearts beat for individually because He created us. Everyone has different interests and occupations. We have different things that we desire to do which truly satisfy us, and the kingdom of heaven has a place for every member of the body of Christ! It holds all that give us a sense of total fulfillment, as diverse as we may be. I think of Bezalel, Aholiab and all the artists in Exodus 31:1-6 who were filled with God’s Spirit to build the tabernacle and the ark according to God’s descriptions. How fulfilling it must have been for them to get all creative and professional for Him! Don’t you want that, too?

The second perspective is even greater, more beautiful – let me share another perspective from Enduring Word:

“The treasure so wonderful that Jesus would give all to purchase is the individual believer. This powerfully shows how Jesus gave everything to redeem the whole world to preserve a treasure in it, and the treasure is His people. … / … It seems crazy for a merchant to sell all that he had for one pearl, but for this merchant it was well worth it. That shows how much he valued this pearl of great price, and how much Jesus values His people.”

Most commentators view the man and the merchant in the parables as Jesus, and the treasure and the pearl of great price as us, His people. I have to chuckle when I read this, because we are always loved by God first! Do you believe that you were worth suffering and dying for for the Son of God? Do you believe that you are that one pearl so costly, that God would give up everything to just keep you? To just have you? What difference does this make for you? I believe that the more you believe in this message, the more you will give Him your everything, too! Why? Because you know He loves you and you love Him, too! It is not so much about counting the costs, but it is about relationship. It is about what He has done first, which motivates me to do everything for His glory. It starts with the identity that I am His one treasure worth giving it all up for.

So I rejoice.

I worship.

I praise.

I give thanks.

I partner with Him to make our dream come true. Your dream, Jesus, of us loving Abba and one another. So I keep my eyes on you in order to remember Your dream.

Even today. I keep my eyes on You.


The Mirroring

This morning I see a wide, open space. Everything is of the same color: white, light pink and purple – the colors of sunrise. It is surreal, as if I was standing in the clouds. My feet touch a white floor but even the floor is slightly covered by mist. 

I sense no limit here, I am free here; I love the colors. I start to dance.

‘What is this place?’

My memory turns to the pages two days ago when I was sitting in a café with Him. I asked Him what He was doing.

“I am speaking your language,” He said.

Funny God, what did He mean by that? Did I have my own language?

“You’re funny, too” He said. “I love the way you talk – the gestures you make, the smile on your face. … the emotions you touch, the thoughts you have.”

Weird God. I feel largely inadequate when it comes to my thoughts, how can He say that? He tells me I have His thoughts. I turn my head because I feel embarrassed but He smiles at me, and I smile back at Him.

“So, what exactly are you speaking?”, I continued.


I burst out laughing. “What does that mean?”, I asked.

“That I accept you.”

“That’s an interesting concept, God.” It reminded me of something I had read in the past. “That’s like when parents mirror their children’s emotions to make them feel loved and accepted.”


He said He does that all the time. “My child,” He said, “My precious, precious daughter! My darling, the apple of my eye! How I love you!”

I turn the pages back to this morning. ‘What is this place?’ Now I know. It is my heart. It is quiet and at peace. These colors are my favorite colors. I love this sense of freedom, the intimacy of just me and Him.

My perspective then widens: I am in Him and He is in me. ‘Cause as the scene grows thin, I see myself dancing there, on the palms of His hands, Him pulling His hands closer to His heart as if He wants to treasure this memory of me. And I cry because I know it’s Him. This is the One I love!