Tailor-Made: God’s Unique Design

A few years back, the Lord gave me a vision. In the vision, I saw how Asians were brought to America to receive some of the revelation of God that would be more difficult to receive due to the spiritual atmosphere in Asia. Then the Lord would bring them back to Asia to break up the follow ground to help the land receive the seeds of the Word of God (Hosea 10:12).

armor by awrose
(image curtesy of awrose)

In light of this and other prophetic words I’ve received concerning my calling to Asia, I created a mold in my mind of how I need to be trained and who I need to become. Others gave me lists of the requirements of a minister in Asia as well: seminary degree, be able to work harder than a typical American.

But little by little, the Lord was breaking up this mold. Removing it from my hands and giving me something different, His hand to hold. Doors closed to trainings I thought I needed to be a part of. My own weaknesses surfaced more and more until I began to question when I would ever be ready. I felt that I was sequestered to intense inner healing for the rest of my life. Even worse, I began to believe that I’ve failed and therefore unqualified for what the Lord has on His heart for me.

Yet yesterday He spoke to me again and throughout our move to Taiwan that what is most important in life is holding His hands and looking into His eyes. He is faithful to prepare us for what He has called us to do here on earth for He is a good Father and the only One who is omniscient. We cannot foresee what will take place even tomorrow, but He knows already and is faithfully weaving our lives into a beautiful tapestry.

He has created a specific armor and weapons tailor-made for us. Sometimes other will offer us their “Saul-sized” armor and it’ll be tempting not to turn it down. But remember, He does not give us more than what we can bear ((1 Cor. 10:13) but at times our definition of what we can bear often differs from His).

Our lives will look different from others just as facial features, personalities differ so greatly from one person to the next. So Lord, help us not compare, but wear the tailor-made armor and take up our own unique weapon You’ve forged for us in love.

Still

The biggest challenge moving here is how new everything is. Everything seems to have a different tint to it here, something dissimilar from the shades and shapes I’m used to. Uncertainty frequents my heart. Sometimes I’m not quite sure of the Chinese words coming out of my mouth, whether they truly express my heart or is it just a phrase I picked up somewhere. There are many question marks despite the fact that I speak pretty fluent Mandarin Chinese.

Yet what I need most, is not a book on Taiwanese culture, nor Chinese lessons or a native to answer all my questions. The deepest question that is being prodded by all these uncertainties is the question of, “is God still stable enough for me to stand upon now in my instability? Is He too being shaken?”

As I sang along to these lyrics last night, God gently, once again answered this question that’s holding my heart in limbo:

“When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God”

As I sang those words, I saw myself standing on a cliff with the waves crashing over me. Yet despite the power of the waves that rushed over me, I saw myself standing upon the Rock, this Rock that is higher than I.

Yes, I miss my friends, the familiarity of knowing exactly where to go to find what, my spiritual mom who always seem to know the right words to calm the anxious and fearful thoughts that rise up within me…….but the same God is my firm foundation that never changes. In that, I can find refuge and rest in midst of the confounding context I find myself in.

Thank You for always being here for me.

God Loves the Real Me: not who I’m trying to be

“You’re on your way to the promised land. Just know this is where we’re going.” 

This past week, I was so weary and worn yet having difficulty sleeping at night. I’d lay there thinking and thinking and thinking. My mind was like a hamster running even when the lights have all turned off. I desperately wanted some sleep. 

Then fear started to creep in. Fear of failing again in ministry. I couldn’t shake it. 

The hours have been a bit more trying and I was afraid I was going to fail again. Somehow in the midst of all the prophetic promises, moving, new coworkers and leaders, I began to tell myself to pull up my bootstraps. I began to tell myself that I just need to push myself a little harder. Work more. So I did and I started to look down more often rather than up into Abba’s eyes. 

It wore on me. The measuring stick I had in my hand of what it means to not fail, to be better than just good enough. I wanted to succeed this time! For ONCE!

But that morning, I found myself confused, needing to talk to the Lord but not knowing how. Needing His arms around me, the same comfort I felt when I sank into our old sofa back home but not being able to. 

I turned to Dustin in the prayer room and told him I was tired, weary, worn….feeling like I can’t do the schedule at APHA and everything else it entails. Feeling like I’m going to fail again. After awhile of talking back and forth, he told me what the Lord put on his heart, God wants to love the real me. Who I really am. 

The tears came flooding in. Invading all the space I was trying to cover with my works. The tower of Babel I was laying brick by brick without God on my side. The painful, weary, trying places of my heart I was working on bettering. I was back on the blindingly bright stage and God in the audience, who I couldn’t see. 

Then He opened my eyes. I saw dirty children running to God joyfully, knowing in their hearts that He will clean them up. Confident they don’t need to clean themselves up first before running to Him. As they drew closer to the Lord, they grew more and more clean, wearing white clothes rather than the dirty ones they were wearing at first. 

Then I saw a child in the dark, outside of God’s presence, trying to scrub himself clean before entering. In the process, he was hurting himself because he was scrubbing his own skin too hard. It broke my heart. 

The Lord then came with His angels and they began dressing my wounds. Caring for each one with patience and gentleness and covering me instead of exposing me. He said to me, “real leadership covers.” 

Suddenly, the song Healer came through the webstream that was playing in the prayer room. 

You hold my every moment

You calm my raging seas

You walk with me through fire

And heal all my disease

I trust in You

I trust in You

I believe You’re my Healer

I believe You are all I need

I believe You’re my Portion

I believe You’re more than enough for me

Jesus You’re all I need

Nothing is impossible for You

Nothing is impossible for You

Nothing is impossible for You

You hold my world in Your hands

God held me with these promises these words that are true. I found His arms reminding me yet again, so faithfully and so gently, that He is my Healer, not me. He doesn’t expect me to fulfill all the prophetic promises over my life on my own. I can’t get anywhere by trying harder and pushing myself to do better. 

He reminded me of the passage He highlighted to me the day before,

“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” -Exodus 14:11,13-14 

It’s His invitation for me to stand still and witness the salvation of the Lord, the Lord fight for me, destroy the Egyptians while giving me peace during the whole process. 

Yes Lord, You are my Healer! You are my conquering Lion. He will break every chain, take all my hurt and pain. Thank You Abba! 

I pray for you to encounter His gentleness, patience and power again today and everyday! He is your Healer as well.