Seigneur, Tu n’as jamais tort

Il y a deux jours que frère PD m’a envoyé un texto étrange, en chinois et avec mon surnom bête, demandant de me parler. J’ai anticipé quelque chose à propos du sujet qu’on a discuté en décembre 2016, mais j’ai anticipé quelque chose de positive parce qu’il n’y a pas de besoin de m’informer d’une mauvaise nouvelle…

J’ai agréé à parler à 19h00 hier, quand la réunion à maison a lieu. Le moment où j’ai entendu son voix, j’ai compris que c’était de mauvaise nouvelle. Il parlait lentement, comme pour m’entendre pleurer. En ce moment-là, j’ai senti de divers sentiments : 1) ce n’est pas une grosse affaire à moi ; 2) ça me fait triste de toute façon ; 3) frère P est trop gentil ; 4) je le mérite pour avoir eu des espérances ; 5) que c’était ridicule de penser autrement !

Ouais, de très divers sentiments. Mais quel «cherishing» que mon père spirituel voulait me consoler. Mon gain surpasse ma perte.

«C’est pas grave», je lui ai dit, «je l’ai anticipé».

Et puis, lui et sœur C et moi, nous avons prié ensemble. Merci, Seigneur. Nous t’aimons, et nous voulons t’aimer plus. Aies la première place en toutes choses. Merci pour ces saints qui m’aiment comme leur propre fille.

Merci que tu sais ce que tu fais. Tu n’as jamais tort. Même dans ma déception, je te revendique vers ton ennemi : mon Dieu a toujours raison. Il fait toutes choses bien. Son cœur est toujours bon envers moi. Sa volonté est bonne, agréable, et parfaite.

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All the members

Two weeks ago, I sent sister L a text. That was the first of anything I ever sent to the couple since brother D’s condition no longer allowed them to attend meetings. I had been praying for them week after week on Tuesday nights for probably over a year… without really being touched to any significant degree. “I don’t know what to say in a situation like this” was my excuse. …… Oh, forgive me Lord!

That was the week brother R shared that the couple needed a word from the Lord, and so did each one of us. A word to command Him with. A word to hold Him to.

I think He finally gave me that word tonight. It came through some cryptic fellowship as to why brother M.C. chose visiting Vancouver on the Lord’s Day over holding a conference for all the Lower Mainland churches. D.K. put it well: “Under normal circumstances, a church [in such a situation] would be suffering.” That pierced my heart. Suffering? I feel no suffering. Sure, Vancouver has been facing some issues, but overall things seem ok. Do we need special encouraging?

The word that came was, “whether one member suffers, all the members suffer” (1 Cor. 12:26). The tears just streamed. Where was my feeling for these suffering members? Where was my concern for them? Oh, how I’ve been shut in with what concerns me!

As the prayers continued, I finally realised what we really mean when we say “The church needs our brother.” How can a body, having lost the function of a member as important as a hand, not cry outAll the members respond — to the pain, the lack, the suffering. And how can the Head not hear such a corporate cry? He knows the suffering; He has seen it (Exo. 3:7). I was reminded that the archangel Michael met resistance for 21 days before Daniel’s prayers could be answered (Dan. 10:13). How much more we need to pray! This is why the enemy uses wearing-out tactics. May the church loose on earth what has been loosed in heaven.

Of Him who shows mercy

February 11th will forever be noted on my calendar as my dad’s new birthday.

The verse that came to me was Romans 9:16 — “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”

In the past 10 years, I’ve undergone various phases of suffering, praying, indifference, fighting, wishing, hating,… Before 2010, I willed him to get saved so I could get baptized. After 2010, I willed him to get saved so I could go to the FTT. During the FTT, I ran with my team, my house, my prayer companions, my trainer to hasten his salvation so I could stay a second year.

His baptism was of none of that. It was of God who shows mercy.

How can I say that so assuredly? Because I had no expectation, no hope, no thought of it. It was a gospel meeting (and his first, now that I think about it), yes, but he had declined baptism so many times before that it just ceased to be on my radar. Plus I was busy praying for my coworker to be open to salvation.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts…” – Isaiah 55:8

Now I finally know what this first part of this oft-recited verse means.

I guess I still don’t have the full utterance for the enormity of what had happened. In immediate terms, it proved the Spirit’s ability to convict and move man’s heart; it testified to the universe that “the Lord hath won; at length he yielded”; it put God’s enemy to open shame. In the larger view of things, it answered the prayers of so many burdened for my family over the years; it manifested some of the Lord’s hidden operation throughout the GTCA; it added some nuance to the “why” of my not being able to finish the FTT; it was the impossible (to me and my mom) made possible.

What else is there to say?

But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us,
To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20

I didn’t even think of it, let alone ask. This superabundantly above way is God’s way. And I worship and exalt Him.

Along similar lines, my takeaways from the overflow meeting:

“For the country girl to become the Shulammite was Solomon’s doing.”Lee, Crystallization-Study of the Song of Songs, Message 12

Of Him, not of me. His doing, not mine. Isn’t that so much better, so much safer? I have a new appreciation of the classic banner song:

As we become the same as Christ,
In life, nature, expression, and function;
We are qualified to work with Him for His Body.

As we trust in the Lord helplessly,
Depend on Him as our love and strength
And listen to His speaking
Our hope is to be raptured through the redemption of our body.

(tune here)

And, finally, what br RL shared:

“…we do not know what to do; but our eyes are upon You.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12

Lord, my eyes are upon You.

The cleft of the rock

Suppose I am staying with two brothers. To live together is wonderful, but sometimes it is also horrible. They have their personality and natural make-up, and I have mine. We are all different. Suppose my personality offends this brother’s personality. What shall  he do? He must say, “O Lord Jesus, keep me in the cleft of the rock; keep me at the cross.” By this the Lord will be bale to work something into him. In all our different situations, we must stay in the cleft of the rock. “O Lord Jesus, I am crucified with You.” To be crucified with Christ on the cross is to stay in the cleft of the rock.

Life & Building in the Song of Songs, page 53

This portion became all too real to me yesterday. Long story short, I got pretty upset at C because: first, she neglected for 2 weeks to do what we had all agreed to do; then, she calls home and reports that we have no obligation to take care of the landlord in our position as student-tenants; third, she never even seriously prayed about this, in the whole 3 weeks that she had; fourth,……

I could probably list a couple more things, but that’s obviously not the point here. The point is, I got upset enough that I couldn’t entirely maintain my civility and basically ended up walking out of the room on C and R. Of course I regretted it even as I was doing it, but it was already too late. It took me probably 2 hours to fall asleep afterward…

Through this, my realization was basically this: I need to be crossed out. The I that lost composure and the I that usually manages to keep composed.The I that got upset over how petty C and her family are and the I that believes it’s only right to pay a little more. The I that failed to care for the oneness above everything else and the I that often contrives “oneness” by human diplomacy.

After an apology on my part this morning, all four of us prayed together after dinner. I probably would normally have said something after praying, but I just had the sense from the Lord: you let Me take care of this. So amen, Lord, I just let this go. I let it out of my hands. You take over. Whatever the outcome, You know how to keep the oneness. Carry out more of Your dispensing, transforming, burning, saturating in all of us through this experience. Burn away everything that’s not You — until there’s electrum and four living creatures.

Age-turners & frailty

On July 17 of 2015, the jealous God (Exodus 20:5, 2 Corinthians 11:2) declared, “These young people are Mine”. He claimed His right (1 Corinthians 6:20) over hundreds of college students from North America and all parts of the world through their open, public consecration (1 Timothy 6:12).

This past week, I’ve had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the National College Training. We were ~1300 students gathered at the U of Illinois Urbana-Champagne campus;

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we gathered daily in the Foellinger Auditorium for 4 sessions of intense divine infusion;

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and we received a direct call from God to turn this age.

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These are the somewhat outward things, of course. The inner transactions with God of those touched by His speaking were the true profit. I won’t say too much — you can see for yourself with the updates at ageturners.com. (Try to find me in the photos from days 3, 5, and 6). This week, the Lord began to answer the prayers of His Body, and Satan suffered loss.

Satan, of course, is not happy with this.

Along with ~40 others, I started on a blending (“churching”) trip in the vicinity of Chicago. We hadn’t even made it to the highway… when the unthinkable happened. We heard a hideous screech behind us and quickly pulled over, and I thought, “there must be an accident”. Before I could comprehend that the smoking car we saw in the rear-view mirror had been following us — i.e. it was in our caravan — I heard sobbing as I hadn’t heard in a long time. We ran over and wrapped our arms around our sobbing, shaking sisters. I looked at the car, didn’t see the point of impact on the other side, and took probably a minute to realize that the pillow-like things in the windows were airbags.

Oh Lord Jesus.

About 2 hours later, when the four sisters were confirmed to be largely safe and sound, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the mercy the Lord extended to us. For preventing what could have been much more serious injury. For that being the only vehicle with just 4 occupants. For separating our caravan into two packs of 3 and 4 vehicles so as to not throw the entire trip off course. For the ready accommodations at the ILUC campus for the 9 of us who headed back. For gracing the families of the four sisters with forgiving spirits. For the mutual comfort afforded by being fellow members of the Body. Most of all, for turning the sisters immediately to prayer — in beseeching that the enemy would gain no ground in their being, in exposing Satan as the source of this pernicious attack, in praising Jesus as the One still on the throne, even in renewing the consecrations they had made the day before.

I can do nothing except worship Him.