Archive for January, 2010

Here is a little something something I wrote after reading a chapter from Wild at Heart:

I am in a battle for the heart: a battle for my own heart to be set ablaze with love.  I am also in a battle for the hearts of my generation to be set from all the chains that weigh them down.  That their hearts would truly find themselves in God.  Lastly, I am in a battle for the Lord’s heart.  The longing of his heart is to show compassion on his people, that Israel would be saved, for his plan for the world to come to fruition, and for to be fully destroyed.

I am truly in a real battle.  Not with bullets or swords, but with the power of prayer, love, and the word of God.  This is for the sake of real people’s hearts and the fate of the world.  I am in a battle for the heart.

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Many times when I hear the word “pathetic” it has very negative connotations.  I hear weak, abused, and I picture a small scrawny kid who just got beat up by the bullies.  But perhaps a renewed look at the word pathetic will give us insight into the God that we serve.

The word pathetic comes from the Greek word “pathos” which means suffering or feelings.  And much throughout the bible we see God displaying intense feelings of sorrow, compassion, joy, and anger.  I think of the scripture in Gen. 6 when God was full of regret or grief when he saw the people that he created hurting one another and being bent on evil.  What struck me was that God opened up his heart in order to feel pain when he saw the world.  He did not shut off his heart, but allowed his feelings to be evoked.

And he does the same with us today.   Romans 8:22 describes the current state of creation as being in deep sufferings and groanings.  A few verses later, God is seen in the Spirit joining the world with wordless groanings.  He does not wag his finger and say, “I told you so.  You should have listened to me and not sinned,” but he compassionately identifies with our weakness and groans.  This is the “pathos” of God when he relates with us.  He suffers pain and opens his heart to feelings.  I also want to be open to my own pain and the pains of the world so that I would partner with God’s heart.  Just as his heart is moved with the sufferings of the world, I also want to be moved till I also am pathetic.

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About 3 1/2 months until I walk up those steps at the FSM auditorium and receive my graduation certificate.  Throughout my years as an FSM student it was been one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life.  Although IHOPU, is not accredited it has been one of the academically rigorous schools I have been a part of.

Ministering at the IHOPU Awakening

I graduated Occidental College with a B.A. in Sociology and at first FSM seemed a pale comparison academically.  However, as time progressed the academic challenge grew to the point where now I am writing a 75 page Greek exegetical paper on the Gospel of John for my Senior Thesis.

However, the academia is not the only thing that has been challenging.  Living the lifestyle of prayer and fasting has also been trying.  In giving myself to about 24 hrs every week for 3 1/2 years, I have grown deeper in the Lord.  My confidence in God’s love for me has become more established.  Furthermore, my heart is alive and free.  I do not feel the same that I used before FSM.  Also I have grown a lot in ministering to others and learning to be a Christian relationally.  Therefore, as I graduate soon this will be one of the greatest accomplishments of my life so far.  It has been a difficult yet rewarding journey.

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Tears streamed down his face as he prayed, “Thank you God for being so gracious in giving us this Awakening.”  These were the words that Allen Hood, the assistant director of IHOP, spoke before hundreds of people in today’s Awakening service.  He shared how this Awakening was an answer to prayer concerning wanting more of God in America.  The burden for revival, which was stirred up last summer, was followed by a release of God’s joy and love over his people.  Allen explained that this Awakening was God’s kindness in bringing emotional, physical, and spiritual freedom.  Since the meetings began in Nov. 11, 2009, there have been over 900 salvations and baptisms.  There have also been numerous testimonies of scoliosis, cancer, and other ailments being healed.

One of the fruits of this move of God which touches me deeply is the increased love for one another in our community.  Personally, I have grown so much closer to my friends and appreciate them so much more since the Awakening began.  The sign of God’s presence is not only outward manifestations, but the fruit of deeper love for one another.  This has led me to reach out to others more and deal with relational conflict more as well.  Usually I avoid conflict at all costs, but I have really stepped out in love.  For that I am so grateful for what God has done in our midst.  He is a truly kind and loving Father, who is out for our good.

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I just decided to read Wild at Heart for the fourth time.  One would expect that after reading it so many times it would be boring or repetitious.  But every reading something new comes up.  The first chapter of John Eldredge’s book lays out three core longings in the masculine soul: the battle to fight, the adventure to live, and the beauty to rescue.  The one that was getting stirred in my heart was the adventure to live. When I read the book I began to think of the times as a boy where I loved to hike and explore our backyard.  It was my domain where I could just be free.  Searching for some “ancient artifacts” or going on a safari were some of the imaginings of a boy’s heart.

As I’ve grown older I realize that those longings for adventure are still very present.  I still want to explore and chart into the unknown.  Though my daily routine is great, I have lost a sense of adventure in my life.  Therefore, I decided that I needed to regularly go out into the “wild.”  I needed to be out in nature where I can get muddied or fend for my survival.  I need to know that “I have what it takes” in the world out there.  Through this process I really feel like God is fathering me in a very special way.  I see his hand in my life as he is encouraging me to live the adventure.  Though it may be scary I know that it is worth it.

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The Exodus is probably the most formative event in Israel’s history apart from the coming of Jesus.  It was the first demonstration of God’s power for this nation.  Israel was under oppression by Egypt for over 400 years as it was prophesied to Abraham (Gen. 15:13).  The weight of this slavery caused the people of God to cry out for deliverance.  The emotions of God towards his people’s affliction is seen in Exodus 3:24-25.  It says,”God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Issac and with Jacob.  So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.”

God not only heard the cries of his people, but he remembered his covenant to Abraham.  God did not forget the promises he made to him and his descendants.  And in view of those promises, God remembered and acted to fulfill his end of the “deal.”  Furthermore, God saw his people and was concerned or had compassion on them.  God’s heart was toward his people that he did not turn a blind eye to their affliction, but engaged with their sufferings and felt them himself.  He sympathized with their struggles and thus acted on their behalf by delivering them out of Egypt.  God’s love for his people led him to not just stay still, but set them free out of Egypt.

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Time truly flies by quickly.  I would never have guessed that I would be entering my last semester at IHOPU now.  These past couple of years have been challenging, but deepening in my life in God.  This semester will look much different from my previous semesters as my primary focus academically will be to write a 50-75 page thesis on the Gospel of John.  I do not have any lecture-centered classes for the next three months, so most of my energies will be spent in studying this amazing gospel.  I look forward to wrestling with God in the scripture and growing in my love for him.

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