Monday, August 17, 2015

Finding a Place for the Lord

Lord, I am not David. It is difficult to suffer hardships. David sang about his experience and said, "Lord remember David and all the hardships he endured..." Hardships for what? To find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob. Why was Jacob's name invoked? Jacob suffered hardships in his many years of wanderings but God was with him and dwelt with him. Why is hardship necessary before God can secure a place for himself? This is divine-human drama of coresponsibility. Nothing comes easy. No glory without sufferings. David had to suffer hardships in order to found a place for the most high God. It did not come easy as for the best part of 10 years he was persecuted by Saul and the next 7.5 years David had to struggle against the house of Saul to gain supremacy over the house of Israel. Only when the kingdoms of the South and North were firmly in David's hands he could bring back the ark of the covenant. Even then for many years he had to contend with outside enemies to secure and extend the border of Israel. It took David the span of his reign and when he was ready to build God's house, God told him that his intentions were noble but it was not to be as David had too much blood in his hands.
Lord, why should I suffer hardships? After earthquake it had gotten doubly hard to serve the Lord. Almost every week, we had been hit by water stoppage. Only now I have a water tank in my house and it is not working properly. In the midst of double hardship it has been double work. I was so engrossed in sermon last week, even during listening to sermons and lectures in the Pastors' conference, my mind was rarely out of Ranau, thinking of my congregation and what I was going to preach over two services on Sunday. I could not give sleep to my eyes on Friday night and tossed about until 4am and got up to drive back to Ranau. My elder who came to the office to fix the water tank was suprised to see me at my office at 8am on Saturday. Yesterday I had expended all my energy. It was intense and I felt the Shekinah glory in my soul and bowed in worship. Perhaps it was the crowds that moved me and borne by the wings of the Spirit I preached two sermons of 45 mins and 35 mins respectively. At the end of the first service, I shared a joke I learned from the Indonesian preacher at the Conference. He talked about lifting of hands in worship, yadah and how when God dispensed his blessings and sent his angels and the angels looked around at the congregation and those who raised their hands received the blessings first. It is true. Raising of hands is a beautiful act of worship. It speaks of our surrender to God, our yielding to him, our need of him when we open our palms in anticipation of God's answers to our cries and prayers. Lord remember me and my hardships I endured for your sake. I have built your dwelling place, you church by Your Spirit and your Word

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