21 Nov 2013 by Natasha Kim CM-
“Life is a journey… Where are you headed?” asked Sister Loo Ann who recently preached at New Life, Puchong.
In life, all of us are like travelers looking to make that great trip with someone. However, while we are making that journey and moving forward, there is an increasing amount of baggage we carry along with us, i.e. responsibilities, sicknesses, habits, hurts, insecurities, and more.
To illustrate this, Loo Ann asked someone to go around the church to collect bags of everyone in the room. As the person took the bags, the baggage he carried became increasingly heavy and almost too much to bear. Likewise, no one can go through this life carrying that many baggages for long; we are not care-free like how we came into this world carrying nothing anymore. Let God carry your baggage for you so that you can move easier.
From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. (Psalm 71:6)
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. (Psalm 139:13)
“We did not come about from just genes from our mother and father. It was God who knitted you and he cause you to have life. You are chosen… you are not by accident. God designed you, God chose you and He has got plans for you” she shared. Our life’s journey can become quite difficult when things happen to us especially unexpected ones that have a huge impact. This is when we start to question God, asking Him, “Do you really have plans for me?”
How do you know what those plans are? Here are THREE THINGS that we really need in this journey of life:
We would not know what is in someone's mind if we do not know the person; this is the same with God. We need to know Him —His passion and His heart— before we can begin to have faith in Him.
“Develop the mind of Christ so that you can grasp my heart," said Loo Ann recalling the words that the Lord spoke to her when she was awakened one night. “God’s plan was for Jesus to redeem us from this fallen world so that we are taken out of the bitterness of life into a new life of joy,” she shared. When we develop the mind of Christ, we will know the Father and this can only be obtained through the Word of God.
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:19)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Many times people get stuck in their life, as if they are living it in repeat. This is because there is a block in the mind. The mind has to be renewed and the way we think has to change before things can begin to change in our lives.
“We have to change the way we think to the way God thinks and the way we do things to the way God does things,” she said. It is important to go to God and tell Him what you want. Of course He is the Creator who knows all things, but often times God wants His people to voice out, to talk to Him, to develop a relationship with Him.
Loo Ann then gave an example from the Bible in Mark 10:46-52, where the blind Bartimaeus went up to Jesus and Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” There was no doubt He already knew what he wanted by looking at him. But He wanted Bartimaeus to tell Him that he wanted to be blind no more.
“Faith never knows where it is being led but it loves and knows the one who is leading” – Jim Elliot
Loo Ann quoted the Malaysian Airlines tagline that read 'Journeys are made by who we travel with.' “We do not get to choose our family. You do not have the choice because God chose you and put you there. Sometimes, God puts you in a family that is more difficult because there’s more work to be done in you. The more plans He has for us, the more He has to do,” she shared. If you know this and you would allow God to make you better, your journey will be easier. However, if you do not allow Him to make you better, you would probably go around in circles.
The important thing to remember is that although you cannot choose your physical family, you do have a choice when it comes to choosing your spiritual family. Then again, there are those who believe that they do not need a spiritual family, that they can achieve everything at home by watching live online sermons every Sunday.
“God wants us to come into a church and be with other believers because we are a work in progress. Do not be afraid to open up and allow them into your life,” she shared. If you ever experience hurts that come from the ones closest to you, do not fret and bring your worries to God, speak to Him and tell Him that you are hurt and that you need Him to heal you. “Don’t give up hope because your hope is in God and God can help you,” said Loo Ann.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16)
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God (Psalm 22:9- 10)
“We need favor to be blessed and to be a blessing. God wants you to have a good journey, and to have a good journey, you need to be blessed,” she said. When you walk with people, you have already made a difference in their lives though you may not see it. What you do in this life matters. If you want to be blessed and to not have to struggle, tell Him that you want to be blessed. It is important to tell God what you want!
“God will bring you there when He knows you are ready, your only job is to prepare the vessel. If you ask for something and you are not ready, receiving it will become a curse instead of a blessing,” shared Loo Ann. Remember that God wants to bless you, keep Him close and walk with Him, not ahead of Him.
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. (John 1:16)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
References for pictures