• 24. God Who Keeps My Life Within His Will

  • God Who Keeps My Life Within His Will 
    David was appointed a king before God, but before that, Satan wanted David to believe that this would never happen and worked through Saul to try and kill him. At that time, David was far from becoming a king; instead he was banished from Israel and lived in exile in the land of the Philistines. On top of this, he suffered from the pain in his heart as his wife Michal was given into marriage to another man. Had it not been for God who held David's heart, all he would have seen was the situation that surrounded him. Looking at his circumstances, he could have easily fallen into despair, thinking, "How can someone like me become king?" and eventually give up on himself, perhaps resulting in a life of misery and corruption. 

    Satan creates circumstances that oppose God's plan for those persons who God is raising to stand before Him. He causes them to fall into despair and hopelessness. He continuously works so that they get lost in their thoughts, discouraged and easily fall in disappointment, rather than going forward in faith. 

    A similar story occurred with Joseph. In God's eyes, Joseph was a leader who would preside over all, and save not only Israel, but also all of Egypt. However, Satan worked through the people around Joseph to make him fall into despair and disbelieve God's promise. He worked in Josephs' brothers, resulting in hatred towards him, and finally they sold him as a slave to Egypt. While serving at the house of Potiphar, the Egyptian, he continued to experience many hardships. Being falsely accused by Potiphar¡®s wife, Joseph ended up in jail and couldn't help but fall into despair; yet God was always together with Joseph. Through God, Joseph's heart did not change and he continued in grace. Eventually Joseph became a ruler and he knew it was by the grace of God and he was able to treat his brothers with generosity and love. 

    I am nothing compared to David or Joseph, but just as David and Joseph lived inside God's will, in the same way God poured out the grace of salvation upon a filthy and useless person like me. God has taught me without a doubt, that my life is inside His will, which has lead me to His providence. 

    When I first went to Ahpgok village, or Jangpali, Satan tried very hard to make me fall into despair so that I would give up, quit the works of the gospel and leave. He tried endlessly to make me face hunger, fear, threats from gangsters, falling into sin, and through many other methods; yet I did not give in. It wasn't because my heart was cleaner, nor that I was smarter, nor that I was more determined and devoted than the others. After many years, each time I think about it, I realized I could not avoid falling into despair, but I saw God's hand leading and protecting me, and that made me so grateful. 

    While I was alone one day in Jangpali, a sister came to visit me. She was trembling with fear as she started talking. A while ago following the service, she was returning home late in the night, and the brother who was escorting her home decided to go towards an orchard that was on a hill across a stream. Then suddenly, he tried to embrace her and she ran away. Although she ran away, she was still in shock and couldn't sleep at night, but trembled and couldn't even eat. 

    Upon hearing this I thought, "Ah, that brother has been acting a bit awkward the last couple of days."It was the first time in her life that this sister had ever experienced anything like this. Although she escaped, the experience traumatized her and she was constantly fearful, because she had long lived an innocent and naive life in the country. It was the first time that I was being faced with a situation where I didn't know what to say, but God had given me the courage and allowed me to speak with the sister. "Sister, why are you making such a fuss over something like that? He probably didn't act out of sexual immorality, but because he cared for you, as a younger sister." I quietly admonished the sister and allowed her to once again find peace in her heart. I was surprised to see myself respond to the sister in such a manner. Having fellowship with her and allowing her once again to find peace and continue in the Lord just as before. God gave me the heart, that it was truly Him that was working and not I. 

    Many came to me for spiritual counsel. I found out that counselling for spiritual life was the same as counselling for life itself, but I was young then. I was scared, and I didn't know what to say to others. However, each time our loving Lord was with me, giving me His grace, leading me and allowing me to counsel others. He allowed me this blessing and with it, a time when my heart was lead strongly towards the Lord. 

    Afterwards, I quietly called the brother, opened the words before him and reproved him about how he treated that sister. For the first time in his life, the brother couldn't overcome his carnal thoughts of wanting to hold the sister's hand; how could he do such a thing, and now he was scared that I would find out. I quietly rebuked him and allowed him to turn his heart, then we prayed and I comforted his heart. From that moment on, not once did he ever make such a mistake in regards to the opposite sex neither was he ever caught off guard in that respect. Now he was able to live with a clean and bright conscience. Since we were both young men, I am sure there were many times that we could have done things like that, but God truly loved that brother, and through that incident, God freed him from the opposite sex. I was very thankful when I saw that brother leading a bright life with a clean conscience. 

    After then, I didn't talk about that event to anybody. And, the brother followed me with the same heart as mine seeing that I led his wrong deed with words and didn't mention about his mistake to anybody. 

    If There Was One Thing That Would Never Change 
    I spent a little over a year in the little village of Jangpali. During that time I had nothing, knew nothing, and there was nothing for me to put my heart into; there was nothing. If there was one thing my heart could focus at, then that was Jesus; the only one I could depend on and look to. If there was one thing for me to think of and do, it was only the work of the Lord. When I first arrived at the Jangpali church, I was very poor. Although I was in need, while staying at Jangpali God did a lot of work in me. As the time came for me to depart from Jangpali, I could see that many brothers and sisters were filled with faith, I couldn't help but say that, "this isn't my deed, but truly the works of the living Jesus. 

    "Since then, as I often think of Jangpali, I was inexpressibly thankful for being void of any special characteristics or possessions but rather, having Jesus Christ alone and gaining the love and grace of God.

    Now my situation is better, and I don't experience lack of food. I have changed into a Pastor who lives in a good house, eating good food, driving a nice car, and preaching the Word before many born again brothers and sisters and people. Many times I wish to return to the past, Jangpali. Moreover, I became touched when I think of Jesus who had worked in my heart then. That same Jesus still lives within me, leading me. I thank Him and glorify His name. 

    During those years there were many people who came, and many who left me. There were also many that criticized and judged me. Even though Lord knows my fault and weakness that are worse than others', He loves me. Moreover, He doesn't think of me as being separated but one part of Lord. Due He regards me as His body, He always protects and loves me. I am grateful endlessly for His love. 

    David had fallen into the situations that let him disappointed many times. Also he spent long time at the prison. If we had been the situation like David, We would have fallen into despair and hardships many times over and again, but God was with David and Joseph and allowed them to pass through the tunnels of hardship. In my past, I too had menial hardships and pains, I didn't possess any ability to overcome, surpass and break away from these problems and work for the gospel. Yet, the loving hand of the Lord was always by my side, and the more difficult and testing the road allowed me to leave more beautiful and precious footprints behind. The more painful and hopeless the path, the works that the Lord performed in me was brighter, so much that I was able to praise Him more and more. 

    Just as God had worked in Abraham, David and Joseph, in the same way, He had worked in me. Many years ago while in Jangpali or Ahpgok village, and even now, He hasn't changed and continues to exist in my life leading me on, as always. Furthermore, thinking of the Lord who is firmly holding my hand and leading me, until I cross the river of death and enter that glorious world, can't help but to praise and thank the Lord. 

    Although Jangpali was such a hard place and difficult for me since I knew nothing, in retrospect I realize it was a great training place for my heart in gaining gratitude, faith, and testimonies of how the Lord had worked. Those were the times, where each evening we gathered sharing testimonies, praying, having fellowship, and having Sunday morning service. During the day many of us also gathered and rode our bikes to the jail and preached the gospel, and during market days we went out and shouted the gospel. There were many times I had the impulse of wanting to return along with the brothers and sisters of old. 

    The surroundings have changed, and the people back then are now old and all adults. But if there is one thing that hasn't changed, it is the love of God towards this worthless person. He has stayed with me for many years, loving me. My heart has changed, and there were many times I made mistakes and fallen into despair, yet God's love towards me hasn't changed, and embraces me even today. I thank and glorify the Lord.

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