Three Kinds of Prophet: Which One Are You?

 

12.01.13Prophets.jpg - Photo (c) by pederk / Getty Images
Photo (c) by pederk / Getty Images

The Lord showed me three kinds of prophets we have today in terms of how one handles a word of the Lord. All three have a prophetic gift and receive words from God that are meant to be released as a rebuke, correction, encouragement, or what-you-have. But what makes them different is not God’s word but how they handle it. Some of us prophets sometimes jump from one to the other.

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What Can’t You Go Without?

Image credit: WorldNetworkofPrayer.com

Warning: This is a post for me and my Christian brothers and sisters. You may or may not understand parts of it if you have not yet surrendered your life to Christ.

Can you go a day without coffee? Can you go a day without tea? I know there was a time when I can’t. When not drinking a cup of tea seriously messed up my internal balance and I had to drink at least a cup or else I experienced the following:

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Why Positivity and Good Vibes Fail

I would like to propose that there is something more powerful than positive thoughts, positive words, and all kinds of positivity you could ever infuse in your routine.

By the way, (if we have not been introduced yet,) my name is Riza and I’m a freelance writer. I write all kinds of marketing content for my clients, and since online marketing plays a big role nowadays in a business’ marketing mix, a big chunk of my work includes writing online content.

Like… motivational blogs. I love this kind of writing. But they are also extremely challenging to do for secular businesses that do not exactly teach what I believe is, “more powerful than positivity.”

Most motivational blogs today encourages you to “believe in yourself,” “to replace bad habits with good ones,” and “to dream big.” These things are all good and all recommendable. Sure, do all these, if you can. However, the problem with trying to do these out of thin air, out of sheer will, and even through inspiration coming from one’s family, is that we will all come to a certain point in our lives when no amount of these “strategies to keep on going” will suffice. Our strength is not infinite. Neither is our source of inspiration and motivation. Our loved ones are not perfect. They will fail us at some point. Our determination is flawed. It has its limits. If we anchor our faith on “positivism” and a “source” somewhere out there, then we have anchored our lives on thin air. Don’t wonder why if some point you feel like you’re slipping away from the shore.

Our faith needs an anchor that is sure. Not some lingering cloud of good vibes floating above us. Our lives must be anchored onto something that we know is stronger than ourselves. Something real. Not imagined. Something powerful. Not pumped up. Something alive. Not something that gives way when we let go. Because we all will come to a point when we will want to let go.

That said, I would like to propose that there is something more powerful than positive thoughts, positive words, and all kinds of positivity we could ever infuse in our lives. And that is God and His words (as we read in the Bible).

~ Months ago, I wrote on a piece of note a verse from the Bible which I started praying for my family. It was a verse about restoration. I said to God, this is in your Word so you should fulfill it. I expect you to fulfill it. I prayed with tears. The atmosphere at home changed. I took a new set of verses and did the same. Something happens every time. You see the problem with positivity is you have to pull strength from yourself. With faith in God and his word, you pull strength from a person’s love for you.

scripture declarations

~ Months ago, I started meeting a friend who had been diagnosed with a mental /psychological disorder. We studied the word of God together. God’s word about healing. About her identity. About the purpose of lives, which is to glorify God. She is excited to meet up every weekend. She says the meetings are healing her.

Many mornings, I would wake up disoriented. As if I have forgotten why on earth I’m here. I open my eyes, see the notes stuck on my cabinet doors, and remember that a living God has created me for a purpose and a future that is good. Jeremiah 29:11. I don’t know how people are able to survive on “good vibes” alone coming from some cosmos they do not know intimately. During the lowest point in my life, I survived because the love of God held me together. If you and I will choose to have a relationship with Jesus, that ONE THING missing will finally find it’s place in our hearts, and for the first time we’ll know that something right is falling into place. Instead of falling apart.

Do you believe in God? What does faith mean to you? Have you ever felt like there is a god who wants to teach you how to pull your life together? 🙂

GOD'S WORD

How I Was Set Free from 6 Lies I Struggled With as a Child

(I know that “6” is not a “nice” number but let’s just stick to it.)

When we were born, we were full of hunger and excitement to breathe in and partake of an unlimited adventure upon popping out of a safe, comfortable, but dark world inside mom’s womb. All of a sudden out of water and darkness in our mommy’s tummy, we burst out into a world of sun, colors, shapes, textures, faces—shocked, smiling, or amazed, and 1001 flavors of ice cream. We come out believing that as long as our stomachs are well fed, we can do anything. We were superheroes in our play places, conquering giant pillows and traversing mountains of toys.

Then came fear, because our parents had to protect us from bugs. Then came pressure, because our teachers had to protect our future. Then came rejection, because people had to protect themselves from us. We grow out of childhood innocence into a complicated, self-automated protective default we sometimes called wisdom, or so we think it is.

Growing up is not all that bad though. But despite the good things we learn, we also learn some bad things, things we find ourselves trying to unlearn the rest of our lives. Then again, it doesn’t have to take that long.

Today is my birthday and I want to say “Thank you God for freedom from lies.” Here are the ones I’ve said goodbye to. And believe I will uproot more lies as I go further in my walk. To 33 years and beyond!

1. The vampire is out to get me.

I don’t remember who first introduced me to the “vampires.” Sesame Street’s Count Dracula does not seem harmful but for some reason I grew up dreading nightmares and encountering vampires in my dreams. (They were not yet the romantic protagonists we have now. They were villains during my time and I believe they still are.) I used to pray each and every night before I go to bed specifically asking God to not let any bad dream come in, especially vampire thoughts. I would sleep with lights switched on and made sure my palms were facing downward because of the scary TV episode I watched where something really bad happened to the hands of the characters and their palms were faced upward when that happened. Every prayer worked even though most of them were neurotic prayers.

I prayed neurotic prayers for a long time. But then, a shift came when I asked God to take away the spirit of fear in my life. Soon, I could stay brave in the middle of a bad dream. I can walk alone in the dark. I sleep with the lights switched off now.

2. I am ugly especially if I put headband on.

negative self image?

“Self Image”

When I was around 7 years old, I tried a headband on in front of the mirror and thought it made me look worse instead of better, not like the way it made other girls pretty. Then, I realized whatever I did with my hair, I still look ugly. Then, I realized it’s because I’m ugly and there isn’t much that can be done!!!

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher went around the room to complement each student with one adjective each. I was expecting she’d say I was pretty but she said it to some other girl instead. She said I was “intelligent.” I didn’t know what “intelligent” meant so I was disappointed.

when I was in 3rd grade - around 10 years old. i still wore the headband after all!

“When I Was 9”

When I was in seventh grade, I was nominated to represent our class in our school’s beauty contest because all the pretty girls had represented their previous class already years before. I felt some hope that even though I’m just the nth choice, I still made it to the options list. But it was not what others thought that changed the way I see myself. You see, no matter what people say, I saw the same ugly face in the mirror. But this changed when God began to heal my self rejection problem. One day, it was as if I no longer saw the “ugly face” and saw something different… it’s the same face but this time the girl looks pretty. I realized it was my vision that had to change, not the face, but my belief.

3. I can’t sing beautifully. I sing out of tune and that’s how it will remain.

I grew up with people saying I can’t sing, that out of six cousins, I was one of the two who should recite poems instead. And so, during summer workshop, I joined a reading workshop instead of music or acting or those things I liked. I got so bored reading.

Then one time while I was in a worship-prayer gathering, I felt God burn a passionate desire in my heart to write songs. I thought myself, “I’M SCREWED.”

Rick Warren’s book “Purpose Driven Life” became very popular around that time. The book said something like (and I might be harshly paraphrasing this due to the extreme effect it had on me when I read it), “…forget about pursuing something that is in your “heart” only but you have no “hands” to do.” It said that it has to be both “hands” and “heart” and not just one of those two. “Hands” represented capability, talent, ability, skill… I hated that paragraph and I didn’t finish the book because of that chapter. I told God, “If this dream is from you, you better make it clear and make it work because I don’t know how it’s gonna happen and I’m gonna die of frustration if I burn with this desire without pursuing it.”

Now, I can sing. I have written a few songs. And if I were Rick Warren’s editor, I’d ask him to revise that part of the book. There is something more powerful than “skill” and it is “love.” Music, for me is an expression of my love for God and nothing can keep me from giving him the songs he deserves. Even lack of skill or talent can be overcome for the sake of love.

let's jump to freedom.“Let’s Jump to Freedom”

Aside from these three, there are a handful of other things…

4. Like that belief that theater and communication arts is only for extroverts. I am an introvert and I took a scary risk when I joined a drama class in college. Until now, it is still my most enjoyed class throughout college, next to Great Books which talked about classics like Dante’s Inferno.

5. Then there’s the lie that I can’t get into Computer Science because I’m not techie or geeky. I realized later than ANYTHING, absolutely anything can be learned if you want to.

6. And there’s the lie that God cannot fill the void in my heart and match the intensity of emotion I feel — something that comes out as an obsession with thought of falling in love. Hah! He did. And looking back, it LOOKED really impossible that time but what can I say, miracles happen.

Right now, a big challenge that is in front of me is starting a ____. (It’s still a big secret.) Oh yes, let me tell you about the conventional beliefs we are trying to break right now by taking this leap of faith. But that will be for another blog post.

Today, I want to thank God for freedom. The freedom to be 33 and thankful.

When It is Time

loved-best-by-God

It is both good for desire to be kept waiting and for it to be fulfilled. Waiting causes fire to burn brighter and fill deeper. It enlarges longing and exposes the soul’s capacity to dream, and keep dreaming. It tests the spirit and purifies the soul. Fulfillment is God’s ultimate plan and it will satisfy and fill, saturate and soak up, until you drip with laughter and love. He will not fail to satisfy even longings undiscovered by your heart.

When to bring the waiting to an end, God knows perfectly the time. I will never trade these years of pain and joy in waiting, of longing and finding intimacy, of swift encounters with Jesus, I will not trade it for anything. But I will gladly leave it to embrace him when God finally sends him here.

When God says, “It is time,” I believe it is. And I love Him for showing me that His Time is beautiful. Even now, I know I am entangled in His Wisdom. At times I yield, at times I wrestle. But every time, I am more loved. In waiting and in fulfillment, I am loved best by God.

Altogether

God’s love is best understood in our brokenness. His love does not change depending on how good or bad we’ve been. He loves us at our best, and at our worst. He loves our every part. He loves us to bits. Literally. He is in love with every detail of who we are. Here’s a love poem from Father God to us, His children.

Let me love you
The broken you
Not just the worshipping you
Or the ministering you
The strong you
That stands on a pedestal
Let me love you
The just you you

Let me love you
And all the pieces
The pieces strong and wild
That you are fearful men would fear
The pieces meek and fragile
That you hold cautiously with trembling
The pieces you have tucked underneath
The pieces you find hard to bear
The pieces you wished were never there
The pieces that screwed everything up
That tore everything apart
Let me love you
And all your pieces

Let me love you
Even the broken you

I put the pieces together
And I love every part
Torn, whole, sewn together,
Or breaking away
You are held together
And loved altogether
Even when you think you’re falling apart

Let me love you
Most of all, the broken you
By me, you are pieced together
And I love your every part

Photo credit: pinterest.com/stevemaraboli
Photo credit: pinterest.com/stevemaraboli

Love Wars

This reminds me of a spy movie. It’s the part wherein you, the normal civilian, suddenly becomes in possession of a sought after article. Just yesterday, you can come out of your front door anytime of the day. Now, you have to use the back door to escape the enemy lurking outside your house. Overnight you’ve turned from status quo into most wanted. You don’t know when it is that someone might fire a bullet targeted towards you. Before you could leave any building, you make sure you’re covered and safe.

What did you do to make you deserve so much attention? Or perhaps the right question would be: what are you capable of doing that made these people want to take you down?

I love peace. I don’t like fighting. Although I’m competitive, I’m peace loving. But I would not avoid a fight if shying away also meant compromising my principles. I will fight until all my strength is gone.

“Why am I here?” I’ve been asking God almost the whole day, “What in the world is going on?!” For perhaps the hundredth time now, I thought of resigning. I’ve been having these “episodes of contemplating resignation” since I entered my company almost a year ago. And no, I don’t hate my job nor am I having trouble getting along with my officemates. In fact, I feel so blessed and privileged to be in such a position of influence. But there are a few things that are making it so difficult to stay sane and sober in it.

First, I feel that 48 hours a week of work is draining the life out of me. I miss staring at the sky without time limit. I miss strumming my guitar until I run out of melodies. I miss poetry that wakes me up in the middle of the night to write it.

Second is, I always get sick nowadays since I started working! Sometimes I feel that not even much sleep can offset the emotional and mental tiredness that goes with this position. And I really think that I need to stay healthy and ALIVE if I were to fulfill my purpose in life, right?

And the hardest question for me today was: Do I really need to resign in order to get my “life” back? Or is there some other way?

I really just started with a dream and an open door. After four years of waiting, this was the door that God opened, my current job. Today, I felt like I am being vomited out of the company. The late work hours, the workaholic culture, the tolerance towards religiosity, the intimidation, the burden of intercession, the challenge of casting a new vision, the grueling task of coming against a culture… Many times, it feels like I will get swallowed alive and carried away by a tsunamis of tradition. And then at times, I’m swimming against the tide, I’m warring and making progress, trying my words against the mountain. And other times, just like the past few days, searching for a way out, hoping I could find a portion of the sea where there’s less religiosity to clash swords against.

Many times, I get disoriented. Is this still my battle or is it time to “pull out”?

But one thing I realized. The enemy sure is after me. I decreed that mountains will move and atmospheres will shift. I have determined to make it my non-negotioable to live under open heaven. Either the heavens shift or I go some place else where God is calling me. I cannot accept a scarcity of the presence of God. I would die. And perhaps, this is why the devil hated me.

Perhaps, I dreamed what meant the destruction of age old strongholds. I am fragile. I prefer a quiet life, but for sure, not a life without the overflow of the love of God. And so I woke up and all of a sudden, just because I love God and His presence more than anything, I must go to war. No not for a day. But who knows how long? Do they really tell you when a war would end?

So the culture here seems to be trying to take me down, that’s one way of looking at it. But what if, I’m the one who’s taking them down — with all the things that hinder love? Shaking it up!  Besides, what ‘s so scary about a quiet girl? Or maybe it’s because they know I won’t ever give up until them all exposed.

So what are you fighting for? Are you just like me? I admit I get scared at times. And at times, I just wanna go on vacation for a two whole weeks. But until God says war is over, this we must make sure: Your enemy is the one scared of you and not the other way around. Remember, why would he try to take you down if you’re not downright threatening his territory?