Archive for March, 2007

Standing Firm on the Finished Work

I just woke up in what could be called best as a cold sweat.

I had recurring nightmares last night after having an evening being consumed by fears and worries. It was so bad that I had to retreat into a quiet room in the house and to simply surrender myself to my Abba.

“Abba, I do not know what to pray. Holy Spirit, as I pray in tongues place the perfect prayer upon my lips. You know what is most needful at this present time.”

So I began praying in the Spirit, yielding myself to my Abba in heaven. The devil started to whisper, “You are weak. You always fancy yourself a strong and tough man. Where is that man now?” Derisive laughter resounded in my ears, mocking me.

I started to wonder. A hapless child running into the arms of his heavenly Father. What is the weakness in that? Is it not the nature of a little child to seek comfort from his parents when he has bruised his knee?

This was when I started to get a little pissed at the devil. I began speaking over the situation, remembering the immortal words of Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.

I recalled what I read in the Bible just days earlier – “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (2 Samuel 22:33) and “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

What for would God ‘arm us with strength’ if we were already strong in ourselves? The only difference is that our human strength is like chaff in the wind when compared to the strength of our Lord. It is when we realise that we are weak in ourselves and turn to Jesus for strength that we begin walking over the raging sea – our very circumstances, allowing grace to become our very sufficiency. Not self-effort, by any means!

Just as Paul had his thorn in the flesh, it seemed the devil was trying very hard at working one into mine; trying his damnedest to rob me of the joy and peace I have in my Abba.

Then I remembered that my battles have been fought and won by Jesus at Calvary; granting me the surpassing victory by His sacrifice. Taking a stand would be on my terms as a son of God. So I took the high ground, the victory-ground where Christ’s blood was shed. As Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War: “If you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.”

The victory has been won, and I merely need to ride into the city to seize it. I went to sleep free from all those fears that plagued me earlier. As I have just discovered over the past few weeks, talking to Abba as I lie in bed is a wonderful way to fall asleep.

Yet the devil seemed as if he wasn’t giving up yet. Last night I had the most vivid and most disturbing dreams I’ve ever had for the longest time (as in years).

The dreams had a recurring theme of loss and abandonment. I dreamt of close relatives passing away. I dreamt I got lost on the streets of Paris and with utterly no sense of direction. I dreamt of a lover leaving me for another man. I dreamt of my family quarrelling and my mother bursting into tears. I dreamt of being press-ganged into a slavery ring. I dreamt of being burdened with severe financial debt. I dreamt of being bound in a room and tortured in an interrogation. Interspersed within these devil “sub-plots” were also very graphic images designed to unsettle me as well.

When this happens, I know it’s not something normal. Like Pastor said before, all these are counter-attacks by the devil; the devil is reacting to something my Abba is preparing for me. And when I get these kind of attacks, I know for sure that there’s something very big coming my way courtesy of my Father.

I was surprised by the way that I reacted when I woke up, fully awake despite having short hours of sleep. Such was the severely disturbing nature of the dream – even when I closed my eyes for a few short minutes, another “sub-plot” would happen in that brief period when I fell asleep. I think my Abba said, “Enough.” It is my off day and I don’t normally get up that early.

I was alone in the house, other than my brother who was asleep. And I started speaking out loud the word that Abba placed in me the night before. Taking a stand again, but on the victory-ground won by Christ. Speaking forth the shed blood that sealed the promise of Sonship forevermore.

Standing firm on the finished work of my Lord Jesus Christ. And every devil is subject to the blood of the Lamb. Knowing that my strength is not my own, but from the Lord.

As Paul continues in 2 Corinthians 12:
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

(written on March 23rd, 2007)

* * * *

I initially wrote this on Multiply, but I was reading it again today and I felt it was again a timely reminder for me. A lot of things are happening right now for my family, and I am beginning to see Abba’s fingerprints over every single situation.

Knowing with that deep, undeniable sense of my right standing with my Abba. The victory won. All principalities and powers bowed down to the dominion of Christ.

He abides in me and I in Him. Nothing will ever change that.

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My Visual DNA

Normally I wouldn’t put up tests on this pristine journal but this test is all kinds of awesome rolled into one.

No annoying questions, too. And I’m not depicted as a carebear. Which is always a good thing.

My results.

Mood: Dreamer
Fun: Conqueror
Habits: Back to Basics
Love: Love Bug

The descriptions of the “types” are pretty interesting.

How’d you do?

Starsong

Dark pools of water
Shimmer with city lights
Huddling lovers
With their walls of music
Dancing gentle
Across the liquid mirror

There we are
Drifting within its coils
Winding velvet
In out and between
With the crafty
Silence of strangers

This is not you
Far more than this
Scarlet-clad belief
Without uncertainty
And you, unafraid
With no armour
There’s you

Only you.

The Long Goodnight

I remember nights like this.

Ghosts rising from cracks in the pavement. The crunch of rain-kissed gravel beneath the heavy tread of booted feet. Coat-tails flapping with mad tempo, every crease and wrinkle reflected in starlight.

And sad music. Lilting melody, wrung from wood and plastic; notes, chords and voices pulled from yearning metal, stretching forth into a vast blanket reaching into midnight’s eternity.

I am seated on my couch as I type this. This is my mountain, where the ends bleed into beginnings. From here I consider the grand turmoil of the world and I realise the incomprehensible vanity of my own flesh and its unceasing futility.

The cyclonic striving of bleak pasts and darker futures. And there is no end in sight.

I am mortal. I am fallible. I am weak. I am the first man.

No pride. No ambition.

But I close my eyes and stop running.

And I breathe.

The rustle of leaves from nameless trees slide, ever quiet, into my clever hiding place. A world spins apart, trailing russet two-thread twine. My lips form a little smile as I inhale the speckled moon, 2AM constellations, the spring twilight and whispered poetry.

Let me in/Let’s go/Let go/Let’s collide

No longer drifting in a sea of stars with no anchor.

For You are the centre of my gravity.

King For A Day

John Eldredge’s life-changing book, Wild At Heart, got me reading my old journal entries and I stumbled across this little poem I wrote about five years ago, when I was in the army.

I didn’t write how I came about to pen something like this, but I have the sneaking suspicion that it was probably because of a dream I had then.

In the past week I have been busy devouring Eldredge’s book – so much of it has put the course of my life into perspective with an astonishing clarity – and letting everything I’m reading sink in, deep into my marrow. It has even spurred me to underline choice parts in the chapters and scribbling notes in the margins; something which I have always loathed to do with my books. Perhaps it is due to constantly seeing posters of crying books defaced with marker pens by faceless, deranged children in the old national libraries when my brother and I would hunt for Asterix and Tintin books in the children’s sections.

King For A Day 

What would it be like
To be king for a day
To rise upon the throne
And seize the golden crown
If only for one day?

To don purple robes to sleep
And watch the moonlight
From high marble towers
Sleeping beside a queen
A bride from a thousand maidens

And then awake
To open your eyes
To see the walls of your room again
To be king
Just for one day.

Fallen Son

Looks like the death of Captain America in #25 of his titular ongoing monthly has broke into the mainstream media. Life! even had a writeup on the event as well.

The New York Times also carried a story of Captain America’s demise.

I’m stunned; I’ve grown to like the character that has been developed so painstakingly by Ed Brubaker over the past two years. Previous Cap comics I’ve read before always reduced him to a campy caricature of the values he represented – a man from a different era and history that always seemed ill-fit in the present.

His previous writers failed where Brubaker succeeded – by moulding Steve Rogers into a man that not only wore the red, white and blue – but inhabited the uniform with the verve and awe-inspiring stature that the flag represented. Captain America became more than a cardboard cut-out superhero in a ridiculous costume; he was the living, breathing embodiment of American patriotism and its values, a figure of hope that remained defiant in the face of the dissolution of society and values that colour the perception of America today.

Rest in peace, sir.

Perhaps it is the Captain America that is the personifaction and cure of its ills will now arise in the shadow of Steve Rogers’ passing.

Multiply

Just a note:

I’ve been using my Multiply page to update odds and ends – be it videos, links or music. Most of the my meanderings of thought are found there as well; I’m deciding to keep this blog well-organised and having the ‘meatier’ stuff posted up here instead.