He reigns over, I rule under

We were wired for dominion, coded to rule and subdue. We are called to be masters of life, great weavers of the tapestry that forms destiny. Simply put, we are fashioned to rule not as paupers who stumbled upon a throne but as kings rightfully crowned to reign.It is in our place to commandeer life towards the direction we think it should take.

I am a firm believer of steering the ship of my destiny, of taking charge of where I want to be and how I need it to be. At the back of my mind rings my father’s rhetoric said over and over, time and again, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”. So I grew up knowing when I stand for something, I will not relent. I made it exciting for myself and said, I can always get WHAT I WANT, WHEN I WANT it and HOW I WANT it.

A few bends and turns along the journey, I have gained a higher truth. Is it true that we were designed to be in charge? Yes, but this is delegated authority. It means we rule because we are ruled. We take up position because we are under position. We order because we are under order. Plainly speaking, we were not made to be autonomous. I have observed how in an almost default manner we always want to seize control especially of our own personal lives. We have preferences and opinions and sometimes we insist on having things go our way.

The reality is, when it comes to life there is one who stands as owner. He is the possessor of heaven and earth, the source of the breath within me. He made me to rule but He reigns over me and that which I oversee. It beats logic then to think I will always have my way. I am not my own.

Experience has taught me that the order is this; It is not about always getting WHAT I WANT, but about doing it with Him. It is not about getting there WHEN I WANT to but about trusting His timing. It is not about HOW I WANT it done but about moving at His pace.

I am a ruler under authority. He reigns over my life, I administrate on His behalf. I will not build my kingdom alone, just to watch it fall away. There is no me without Him.

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There are grander things

Be still my soul…there are grander things. Don’t get caught up in the pettiness. This is the monologue am having with myself. Today, it’s the words in the song that gets me. Jenn Johnson nails it. This one ministers to me deeply, especially today. I’ll leave it at her words.

The rising crescendo of the chords at the beginning and towards the end is captivating! Minutes 2.30-2.40 and 3.31 to 4.34, are my favorite.

I get caught up in all these petty things

Losing sight of what matters to you.

But then you come and take me by the hand

You say, ‘come up here with me’

 

And then my feet came off the ground

You lifted me above the clouds

As I look down the whole world seems so small

Past the stars through space and time

and I forget what’s left behind

as I’m surrounded by these grander things

up here in perfect harmony

You’re orchestrating galaxies

They’re lighting up as far as I can see

The majesty, the mystery

 

Your gravity pulls me close to you

and I can breathe again

Here with you, there’s nothing more to say

and it’s clear what matters to you,

 

Sovereign high above it all

sovereign, you are

and I can rest ’cause it’s all in your hands

sovereign you are

Surrender

THE PAIN

There’s pain in surrender to God, to truth. It normally feels like I am being stripped of my sense of entitlement, my rights to think, to say, to do as I want. But who said what I want is always what I need? I have discovered the more I say NO to me and YES to Him, I find rest for my soul. I grow up in Him. Maturity.

THE PLEASURE

Surrender is like a free fall from the sky, without a parachute. The pull of gravity triggers uncertainty and enough dose of adrenaline rush. It leaves you feeling you have no control. The pull is stronger than anything else. I have seen that surrendering to God may feel the same way-like I am losing control because He doesn’t always give the answers but promises that it shall be well. I want the answers in black and white, I want to know the end but He says ‘be still and know that I am God’. And when I quieten my soul within me, I experience peace. It becomes a pleasure to let go and let God, trusting His arms to hold me up. The free fall is worth it.

THE POWER

There’s freedom in surrender. This is the power of giving in to the call, the demand, the standard of father God. Freedom from fear; that of the unknown, of failure and of death. When the buck stops with Him and not me, I cease trying to ‘contain’ things. I let Him order my steps and for sure though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. I am free. The good shepherd is in charge. In Him all things hold together.

“I see you on the hills God, I want to be there too. Help me say yes to you.”

Lauren Holmes-Victorious in Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6TY5970Kfc

Indulge the words

I love words, I really do. I consider them to be my building material, my legal tender facilitating life’s transactions. I am not surprised then that I fell in love from a tender age with books, music and creative spoken word.

Numbers don’t move me, in fact they have a way of fazing me. Ask why back in the day there would be assertive As in my language test papers and confounding Cs in mathematics? You see, number seven is just that, seven. It cannot be thirteen nor can it be four. But the word lovely cannot be just lovely. It is also spot-on, amazing, just right, perfect and the list can go on and on.

Yet besides this intrigue for the command of attention, the creativity, the wit, the humor, deep emotions and the charge that words convey and birth, I connect to them because they open our eyes to see. Truth is seen, so are lies, fibs, tales and fables. It takes the eyes to know which is which. Wisdom is seen but so is foolishness, vain-ness, shallowness and superficiality. The eyes must speak! Which is which? Love is seen so is hate, dislike, rejection and disdain. The eyes must show us.

We have to see, whether with the eyes on our face or with those in our heart. When we see, we feel, we think, we act. Words pull the trigger on the gun that fires our sight. They open us up to the process of living.

Stories are life, music is life, poetry is life and today I share an eye-opening piece of spoken word from a stumbled upon author and poet now turned a favorite. Indulge! It is thriven and thro, it is on fleek, it is ace!

The greatest love, lover, love story

I think everyday we drift in and out of the scenes of life’s greatest love story, and we know not. We are part of the cast, no, actually we are co-starring but we know not. The lead man, the main guy, the starring is ever playing His part yet we know him not. His part in the story is to pursue and pour out his love to the co-star who holds a special place in his heart.

This love is majestic, fiercely delicate, so gentle yet it roars, so pure yet is jealous. It’s a tough kind of love, one that beckons ‘come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden’ yet quickly demands ‘take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden light’. It’s a proactive kind of love ‘He chooses to shed this love abroad his subject’s heart’.

I think He is the greatest lover that has ever been, that is and will ever be. He loves unconditionally, steadfastly, ravishingly, wholly and unreservedly. He loves before his subjects could even find it to love him.

Many waters cannot quench this love, nor can floods drown it. Nothing can keep this lover away; if you ascend into heaven, he is there. If you make your bed in hell, behold he is there. If you take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there his hand shall lead you and his right hand shall hold you. He is unavoidable, inescapable, immutable.

So I awaken to the reality of this love, no one can resist it. It’s called AGAPE. Inside of me is a beam that resounds at the voice of this love and I can’t help but call out back after him. I choose to know this love; experience it, to know this lover; indulge Him, to know this great love story; be part of it. He is love and I am loved. I don’t need to earn it or prove my worth for it. Daily, through my inconsistencies, shortsightedness, limitations, He still pursues me.

Kalley Heiligenthal sings it…“Your love is devoted, like a ring of solid gold, like a vow that is tested, like a covenant of old. Your love is enduring through the winter rain and beyond the horizon with mercy for today”

And the beam in my heart resounds…”Abba, I long for that beauty that comes from letting you take over and me fading out. Let me be savagely hungry for you so much that if anything stands in between me and you, it must come under my feet. Your love makes me”

 

Shepherd of my soul

It’s two a.m, fourteen minutes to be precise. Am seated at the desk, insomniac. Well, I’ve spent the better part of the day in sleep, half-awake, half in pain; my joints screaming, my muscles sore and my stomach in knots. Yet I am here, after downing two small glasses of water to wash off the unpleasant taste of three intimidating blue pills that I had to split in half and swallow six times. I look into the box containing more pills, pick out the leaflet inside and read it curiously. In about an hour, maximum blood concentration will be attained. I will be fully combating the microbes right? My background in medicine does little to help. I need to feel better, I must feel better. I will feel better.

Right in the midst of all these, my heart sounds a song-am just grateful, sincerely so, to God. I mean, He is and has always been the constant one. No pain, no illness, no calamity can change who He is. I love Him, I call Him Abba. He is my father, He has shed His love abroad in my heart and I can’t help but love Him back albeit in the smallest of ways. From my days of infancy to such days of great awareness of destiny, He has been there; being, showing, leading, caring, uplifting, inspiring. And indeed, I am who I am today by His grace.

Often, we get caught up  in what life brings our way and fail to enjoy the thrill of seeing Him by our side through every wave of pain, disappointment and suffering whether the wave is spiritual, emotional or physical. He is always there. His banner over us is love. He does not deny Himself, He never fails and He never lies. Our circumstances notwithstanding, He changes not. He is God.

Lost in the cover of His leading hand, consumed in the fullness of His embrace, soaked in the consuming passion of His presence-that is where I want to be found. He is the shepherd of my soul. Amanda Cook says it well and stamps the reality going on in my heart with her song…

“In the process, in the waiting, you’re making melodies over me.

And your presence is the promise for I am a pilgrim on a journey.

You make my footsteps and my path secure, so walking on water is just the beginning.

Cause my faith to arise, stand at attention, for you are calling me to greater things.

You will lift my head above the mighty waves,

You are able to keep me from stumbling,

And in my weakness, you are the strength that comes from within,

Good shepherd of my soul. Take my hand and lead me on.”

Loving the discomfiture

I am learning to love discomfiture; the kind conceived when truth is spoken. The one if embraced, births change for the better. This discomfiture often comes disguised as inconvenience and dressed in words that bite at our comfort and complacency.

Ever been in a conversation and the words spoken disturb your waters? You begin to feel uneasy just holding on to that thought, or insisting on that way of doing things or resisting that demand to upgrade?

For a long time when something was addressed in me, my first impulse was to swiftly erect walls of defense. Almost immediately discomfort would set in as I realized what was being said was true and as it became plain to me that I needed to change. This third response is where the catch is; it can either make you for the better or break you for the worse. Many times I have resisted discomfort rather than embrace it and unfortunately refused the call to change.

Now, I choose wisdom; I train myself to allow the discomfiture inspired by truth to bridle me out of mediocrity. I choose to buy the truth and sell it not. Well, buying truth can be a costly, painful, prickly affair but it always yields profit; the profit of a better me.

So my heart is stirred up this morning, at the wake of another discomfiture brought my way by truth. But I love it. I will not resist nor rationalize against truth; I will take a long gaze into my inside, face the mediocrity I find and handle it. There is no shortcut. Cheap is ultimately expensive. Running away from the discomfiture is cheap. I will gladly count the cost and pay up.

And listening to Hillsong’s “Like Incense” my heart lights up in agreement:

“Your statutes are my heritage forever

My heart is set on keeping your decrees

Please still my anxious urge towards rebellion

Let love keep my will upon its knees.

All your ways are lovely and faithful

The road is narrow but your burden light

Because you gladly lean to lead the humble,

I shall gladly kneel to lose my pride.”