The time is now. (Esther)

I was born for a time such as this.

Esther 4:14-17 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.


Background: In the book of Esther, Esther was a Jew who lived in the time of Persia. She was brought to the palace when the King was looking for a new queen. Esther won the favor of the king, and became the queen. Haman wanted the Jews to perish, but Mordecai went to persuade Esther to stand up for her people. Esther got her people to pray and fast and stand in one accord together with her. Esther rose up to the time, and made her request to the king and saved the Jews.

Esther is a woman, like all of us here. I pray that whenever I read the story about Esther, I will know that as a woman, I can do great things for God. 

So, here is 3 things I learnt from Esther: 
#1 We need to know our position when we serve. (Esther 2:9,17)

Esther 2:9, And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. 

Esther knew what she needs to do when she was in the palace. She needed to be at the top, to be able to be the queen. Similarly for us, we need to know our position when we serve, and do what we are good at. We must not be envious of who other people is. We are all made uniquely by God. Can you imagine what will happen if Esther was being envious of others?
In Ephesians 4:16 “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Esther knew her position in the palace, and she gave her best when she served. Similarly, we need to know our position, and work together with one another so that God’s glory can come upon us. When we do that, people will begin to see God’s love in us.

In Esther 2:17 “The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

Esther won the favor of the king and people by knowing her position.

2. We need to recognize the season of our people (Esther 4:14-16, Esther 5-6)
Esther 4:14-16 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!””
Like how Esther recognized the season her people were in, and she stood with them. We need to learn to hear our people and have a greater heart to empathize with our people. 
So what do I need to hear?
H – heart: we need to hear the things on their hearts that has been weighing them down.

E – experiences: Everyone goes through different experiences in life, and we need to hear the things that people have gone through in the life.

A – agonized: We always think that we understand the pain in someone’s life, but we never really do. It’s like giving birth. I may have given birth before, but I will never know the kind of pain you have gone through, because we are not them.

R – rejoice: we need to learn to celebrate others.

I am chosen by God today to serve the next generation. Do not despise what we are doing because the children will be the leader of tomorrow. The ceilings we are building today are the floor for the next generation. Help can always arise from another place if we fail to hear the cry of our people, but we need to know that God has personally chosen each of us here today, to make a difference by learning to hear the cries our people.

Lastly,

3. We need to stand in one accord with our leaders. (Esther 4:15)

Esther 4:15-17 “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.”

When Esther ask the people of the Jews to fast and pray, they did. Sometimes, we might not see the purpose of doing what our leaders ask us to do. During those times, can we still stand in one accord with our leaders?

We need to know and believe that our leaders are God’s appointed. At the walls of Jericho, the people might not understand why Joshua march around it 7 times, but they stood with him. It is during those times that we have to ask ourselves are we able to stand in one accord with the dreams and vision that God has placed in our leader. Lets me enlarge my heart today, and trust that God has placed them above me for a reason.

A different season (Philippines)

“Break my heart for what break Yours”.

When you have a vision, the problems that come with it is a package. However, the story will eventually tell of His faithfulness, grace and mercy. The story will show of His redemption plan, that a thousand times I have failed, the Lord is still not done with my life. And in all my pursuit of Him, He has left me in awe once again. And if my God can touch and change a life like mine, and put in remembrance the things I have written in the days as a child, I will gladly spent the rest of my days serving the Lord, knowing that my future is secured in the Savior’s hands. The Lord remembers what I have buried deep in my heart, embarrassed to speak about. However, He brought the vision to pass in a way to glorify Him. Who am I exactly that He will call me worthy, and place eternity in my heart? I don’t even feel worthy to wash the feet of my Lord.

I will take up the cross, no matter what the cost, giving it all to follow His way. And truth been told, it was never an easy journey but it had been a meaningful one. I had my fair share of struggles and fears, even till today. I am definitely not called for the stage ministry. Being on stage, to pray and lead, has not been ‘my cup of tea’ but the only thing that could help me put away this fear, is the very fact that I want to obey the voice of God. If there’s one thing that I desire in life, it is being able to go when He calls. 

And being in the Philippines, among the people who thirst and hunger for more of Him, I had only 4 prayers:
#1 I want to live out my life verse
1 Corinthians 9:22 to the weak, I have become weak. I have become all things to all men so by some means, I could saved some.
To the little ones, let me be like them, to win them, to see them, and hear them. To the older ones, who have served God, honour them, encourage them and most importantly love them. Be all things to all men. I can’t change the world, if I can’t change myself. So like the potter and the clay, I will be the clay, for God to mould me, to the needs of everyone, not so I could be taken advantage of, but because I know everyone is an image of Christ. And that the world could do with more love. I hope I could say this in the end, “I owe you nothing but love”. Freely I have received, freely give. It’s easy to give with money, but something more precious is the time spent. Time is the only thing you can give without taking back. And that’s what make time precious. Choose the things you want to invest in, because whatever you invest in grows. The effort spent loving this people will never be wasted, because love has a ripple effect. The very reason I could love freely was because God loved me freely, and my leader had loved me freely too. Love without boundaries. 
Thank you for allowing me to have the most humble opportunity to love you all in my own ways. I am bad at giving physical touch to people, and bad at really expressing myself in words, have a hard time forcing the extrovert side to come out but I do appreciate and love you all. I know God could have raised someone else, to do this work, but I thank God, He has given me the chance to do so.
#2 I want to be acutely more aware of all that I have taken for granted.
Being in Singapore has already put me at the top of the cliff. Not in the position of saying that I’m better than anyone, because God has made everyone unique. But the top, because I am never in lack of material things. I never need to go hungry, or have a certain thing that I couldn’t have. And sometimes the problem with us human is the fact that we have too much. We are never contented with what we have. And I am guilty as charged. I always think that I could have more clothes, that new phone or maybe that handbag. But many times, I asked myself, do I really need it? The value of something is not in the cost, but the sustainability of it. If I can use the cost of that $50 bag to bless the whole Christmas party for the children, the value are infinitely higher and better. There are too many things that I want, but do not need, and sometimes, in my own fallen nature, selfishness, I failed to see things. And being in that environment, where needs are everywhere, I felt like I have lost a battle. The battle of trying to gain possessions and not souls. I breathe, but did not live. And even more sadly, in Singapore, where internet connection is everywhere, I have failed to connect with souls. When was the last time, I ran around in the field, laughing and dancing around, not getting caught up in my phone? When was the last time, I went out to play Basketball with people I love, and not get caught up with replying texts? What good is it if I gained the world but loses my soul. This are the things that I saw, and it came like an double edged sword, piercing through my heart, for the things I have failed to do. 
So thank you, to the people who taught me to live and not just breathe, to connect with people, and not devices, to be contented in having just enough. 
#3 Use me.
I am only as worthy as what God has called me to do. Only am good enough when I have God inside of me. So I told God, use me. In whatever and wherever place we can go to change lives. I am a dolous for Him, a complete fool for Him. Maybe the balloon trick was all I could do, but if that is all that I could do, then use me to connect with the kids. What good is it if I can do everything, but yet not have Christ. Vanity, all vanity. And in my heart I clearly know that the greatest honour in my life is to be used by God. And that is the cry of my heart. Open my eyes to see the things unseen, open my ears to hear the things unheard. I will be the hands and feet. Someone like me who have nothing, but a willing heart. Many are called, but few are chosen has a new complete meaning to me. God has called many, but the only chosen ones are those who will humble themselves at His feet, laying all they had in the altar before God, and follow Him. The rich young ruler had kept the commandments since the days of his youth, but what kept him away from Jesus was being unable to lay down his possessions for Christ. And I know clearly in my life, if I have Christ, I have everything. If I don’t have Christ, I have nothing. And God has been so good to me, because who am I to be able to minister to people unless God is in me. 
Thank you, to the people who have given me the opportunity to be a vessel for God. I am inadequate and still a work in progress, and most times, I don’t even feel worthy enough to serve, but thank you for being so humble and ready to learn from me, and giving me a chance to minister to you.
#4 A heart of gratitude.
I want to live in that constant state of thanksgiving. I am surrounded by people, constantly, and I know that they do appreciate and love me, somehow. And I thank God for that. However, there is a kind of love that transform people, a faithful love, an appreciating one, one that is filled with warmth and of someone being interested in your life. And I have once felt that 8 years ago, when a very good friend of mine invited me to my first ever Christmas dinner with her family. It’s the first time I felt loved, and later on in 2014, when my spiritual Mother brought me out for lunch, to love and know me. This people are God-given gifts to me. And this love from them has sustained me. I prayed to God for another encounter like this, because a love like this has made me seen God again and again, in physical form. To love is to see the face of God. And God heard me. I have never been so surprised in my life on my birthday, by someone whom I know have loved me. More than that, I don’t even remember the time that someone would make their day free among their busy-ness just to bring me out for lunch and love me. I had the best birthday ever. This kind of love just made me tear, because it is just a reminder of God’s love and favour in my life, a reminder that I am His princess. A love that constantly pray, and forgives me even though there were times I am not being nice.

So thank you Papa Johnny, Mama Jessica, Abi & Moses, for loving me, making sure I was happy, giving me the most important gift on my birthday, which is your time. You put in me a larger heart, a greater capacity to love and understand, and a heart of constant thankfulness, because you have shown me first, what a Godly family is, and it gives me a renewed hope that one day, when I have my own family, it will be possible to live like this. Serving God, joking around, sleeping on the same bed, and most importantly going out to preach to the world together. 
This trip has been an amazing one. Serving God may have hardship, but when I stood with the team in one accord, keeping the joy of the Lord our strength, His love has sustain me, sustain us. God is faithful to the dream of a ten year old little girl who did not know Him. 13 years have passed, and when this vision unfolded right before me, reminding me that God is still the same as He has always been. And like Queen Esther has said, could it be that I was born for a time such as this? At the end of my journey, I want to say that,” I have lived for Jesus”. Faith has make a fool of what make sense, I thought it made sense to count what I am able to give, before giving to others, but faith taught me otherwise. It is okay to give, because all that I need to do His work, is ready for me to claim it. Grace has found my heart when logic end, and in that logical mind of mine, I thought that love comes with condition, but grace has shown me otherwise. His agape love has no conditions. Jesus would have come even if it’s for just one of me. And He sent Himself down for a sinner like me. What heart could hold the weight of His love. Thank You, J. Here I stand, arm high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all for me.