Posts Tagged ‘struggle’

Bible Meditation

August 21, 2008

Recently I have been led by the Lord  to practice  Bible Meditation and  as a result  have been richly blessed by the process. I discovered that meditating on selected verses in the bible can be another way we can spend quality time with God.  The practice of  Bible Meditation seems to be very seldom talked about amongst Christian circles.  Perhaps the challenge is to find a prelonged period of time where we can set aside to be quiet and focus on a short passage or verse of scripture.  This is especially difficult in the midst of our often hectic lifestyles.  However focusing intensely on specific verses  allows God’s word and it’s meaning to sink more deeply into our hearts and minds. 

This is not to serve as a condemnation for any of us.  Instead I believe that God often calls us to engage in a certain spiritual discipline at different times in our lives or for certain seasons.  He speaks to us and guides each of us on an individual basis. 

Hence I believe that God has led me to bible meditation because this is what I really needed in my life at this time.  As some of you may know I have been working on my music ministry for many years now and through that process I have engaged in many activities both traditional and non traditional to help make my ministry grow.  However recently I realised that I was working so hard in my own strength that I was becoming spiritually mentally and even physically exhausted.  Being so tired much of the time, I was starting to lose faith  that God would eventually provide the breakthrough that I needed to grow this ministry, so that souls would be saved and people would be assisted in their daily life struggles. 

I realised that if I did not have a pure and childlike faith that  God’s supernatural power would accomplish  what I could not do, then all my efforts would be in vain. This is confirmed in Hebrews 11:6 which says       ” And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  .

There have been many things that I have interceded for, regarding the music ministry for years and years.  Hence as I have persevered in the work of the Lord,  at times it has felt like wandering in the wilderness especially having to face God’s silence in regards to some of these issues.   Therefore the first bible verse that I felt led to meditate on was the following :-

Isaiah 49:15-16
” Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born?  Though she may forget,  I will not forget you!  See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;  your walls are ever before me.

In the process of bible meditation,  the words ” I will not forget you!”  really spoke to my heart and even caused me to shed a tear or two.  I pondered over this sentence for a while and felt that it was like God’s gentle loving voice speaking to me.  It is true that through my struggles in working to build this ministry (that God has called me to),  I sometimes felt that God had forgotten about me,  especially since it seemed that much of my efforts seemed to be in vain.

As I spent more time to focus my mind on these few words, it enabled me to take this truth and allow it to sink deep within my heart soul and mind.  I then proceeded to ponder over the first sentence about a mother and her newly born child.  Many of us who are women, when seeing a new born baby so tiny and delicate would be instantly filled with love and adoration for it.  And how much more so with the actual mother of the baby!  I then began to meditate on the word “mother”.  I started to think about what a good mother is like:  full of love,  devotion,  care & concern, always thinking how to bless her child,  protect it,  and do what is best for it.   In my mind I then transferred these traits to our loving Lord.  This is exactly what God is like,  but even 10 times more since he is infinitely loving and holy.  These ponderings then helped me to truly realise God’s heart and nature and the true attitude He has towards me as His child and my situation.

In following God’s will and working to build a ministry of evangelism,  Satan has often used people,  situations or put thoughts in my mind, telling me that what I am doing is futile and in vain and that it will ultimately fail.  Hence I knew that I needed to put on the “shield of faith”  to combat these attacks.  In other words I needed to build up my faith to believe that God has definitely called me and that he will see His plan for His music ministry come into fruition.

Praise the Lord that he led me to a verse to meditate on from :-
John 6:27
Do not work for the food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life,  which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.  Then they asked him ” What must we do to do the works God requires?”  Jesus answered ” The work of God is this: to Believe in the one he has sent?

As I meditated on the words of John 6:27, I felt that I was given a personal word from the Lord that I was indeed doing the right thing and doing God’s will since I was working for the “food that endures to eternal life”.  In other words I was reminded that the purpose of this music ministry is to use the gospel songs that God has given me, to bring the message of salvation to the non christian world and hence help them as they struggle through life. 

To help you to know what to think about during Bible Meditation the following are some questions you could ask yourself about a particular verse or word:-

Bible Meditation Questions
1.  What does it mean in the context of the passage?
2.  What ideas or connotations does it bring up in your mind?
3.  What does it say about God the Father Son and Holy Spirit?
4.  What command is there for us to obey?
5.  What promise does it contain which we can hold onto?
6.  How do these things apply to my own particular situation?
7.  Is God giving me a personal word from this verse?
8.  What did it mean for the people in that Biblical time?

Bible meditation is a bit like doing your own mini bible study in your mind, on a specific verse, for a longer period of time.  It can also involve praying that the specific verses and their correct meaning, be implanted permanently into our hearts and minds to transform and renew us from the inside out.

The next set of verses , contain passages about God’s command for us to have faith or involves an instance when faith was demonstrated in a person’s life, enabling them to receive the blessing or promise from God .  As a result meditating on these verses, helped to cement and build my own faith for my own specific prayer needs and God’s promises.  These verses are :-

Matthew 9:27-30a
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him calling out “Have mercy on us Son of David!”.  When he had gone indoors the blind men came to him and he asked them ” Do you believe I am able to do this?”  “Yes Lord” they replied.  Then he touched their eyes and said “According to your faith will it be done to you” and their sight was restored.  

Matthew 17:20-21
…I tell you the truth,  if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,  “Move from here to there” and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.

Judges 7:17-21
(Paraphrased) Where Gideon defeats the Midianites with only a few hundred men chosen by God.  God instructed Gideon’s men to smash jars of clay in the night to scare the Midianites.  God then caused the enemy to turn upon each other then flee for their lives.  Gideon’s faith in God’s power gave him victory.

Hebrews 11
(Paraphrased) The Hall of Faith –  a list of great men of faith in the  bible who trusted and relied on God to come through in their time of need.

Joshua 6:12-21
(Paraphrased) God instructed the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho 7 times then to blow their trumpets.  God caused the walls of Jericho to fall and crumble down, enabling the Israelites to lay siege on the city and capture it.   Joshua’s faith in God’s power gave them victory.

Romans 4:18-21
(This is probably my my favourite passage of faith involving the example of Abraham).
Against all hope,  Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him,  “So shall your offspring be”.  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead since he as about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God,  but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. “

I am especially encouraged by Abraham since he had to wait about 30 years before God’s promise to him would be fulfilled.  Although he did not get things right all the time (Genesis 12:11-13, 20:2-11),  he still persevered ’till the end in faith,  to eventually see God’s promise of a son fulfilled.

I hope that the sharing of my experiences in Bible Meditation will help to inform or inspire you to also receive the rich blessings in your own life, that God’s word can bring.

God’s Blessing to you

Personal Update
Recently the Lord has led me to attend the “Servants of Jesus” community church in Toongabbie.  It is a charismatic church which focuses on establishing the body of christ to function as a true community.  It has a similar character to YWAM “Youth With a Mission”  which is a missions organisation that I was a part of for 3 years.  At present I have started their 10 week course (each Wednesday night) called “Formations” which teaches and discusses the foundational and biblical principals that the church follows in order to facilitate a healthy functioning community in the body of Christ.  I also visited a home group with the Evangelical Chinese Christian Church.  They had a really cute baby called Audrey who was able to join us last week. This was a real treat.

Regarding the Music Minsitry , recently  the Lord has led me to seek a  Business Marketing Music Manager to assist me.  The reason for this is that  there are many functions that I cannot perform and co-ordinate on my own.  A Music Manager would  enable me to focus on the activities in alignment with my gifting in and hence allow other christians to use their gifts and talents to fulfil the duties of the music ministry.  I have placed an add for such a person in a popular music magazine.  It will run for 4 weeks from 26 August to 23 September.

Here is a list of resources that I am praying for to help fulfil the necessary functions of the music ministry:-

Prayer Points
1.  Highly skilled and godly Music Marketing Manager who has good networking skills to form connections with TV radio and the press
2.  Highly skilled and godly Music Video Designer
3.  Highly skilled & godly Backing Band & Sound Engineer
4.  Highly skilled & godly Computer IT person
5.  Prayer Team
6.  Performing Opportunities
7.  Financial Provision
8.  Person to translate my poems/lyrics from English to Mandarin

If you know of anyone who may be able to assist in any of the above areas, feel free to email me at aarwen@dodo.com.au

I have recently purchased the Movie Soundtrack to Pirates of the Carribean 1.  I am enjoying listening to the orchestral creations since there are some energetic and rousing themes.

Why not drop me a line some time?  It would be great to hear how you are going.

Blessings to You
Bev

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Heaven Our Real Home

April 1, 2008

 I have recently started on a Study Guide called ” Heaven Your Real Home”  by Joni Eareckson Tada.  I was given this book a a few years ago when she came to Australia to speak during the Para Olympics.  In one section of the book it discusses the bible passage about the New Jerusalem from the book of Revelation chapter 21.  It contains  one of the verses I love which describes an aspect of heaven :” And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men,  and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,  for the old order of things has passed away’ “.   Revelation 21: 3-4

I have always thought that it would be a true utopia to have a world with no more sorrow crying or pain.   Although the Bible does not specify in exact detail what heaven will be like from these verses it could strongly suggest the following :-

There would be no more sickness, cancer or terminal illnesses and the suffering that can go with these

There will be no more mourning over the death of loved ones through accidents war, sickness,

or bombs

No more murder, rape,  torture,  bloodshed,  child abuse,  work place bullying or suicides

No more divorce separation abandoned children

No more poverty or racism

No more oppression injustice or discrimination

No more struggle disappointment or depression

No more sorrow pain or tears

No more watching the 6 o’clock news and hearing all the bad news that has happened nationally or internationally

No more worrying about putting on weight and eating too much since we will have new heavenly bodies.

Such a world is worth waiting to see and experience don’t you think?

Here are a few more points I have discovered in my Quiet Time readings about what Heaven will be like .   Jesus followers will have:-

New Bodies :  Philippians 3: 20-21  

New Minds:  1 John 3:2  and

New Hearts:  In other words ,  if we have chosen Jesus on this earth, we will be totally renewed in body mind and spirit.  We will be purified and perfected and  also realise our true identity even more so, just as God intended for  us  in the beginning.

Also in Isaiah 65:17 it states that the site and presence of our Lord Jesus in our new heavenly home will be so glorious and brilliant, that there will be no need to recall the former life with it’s positive or negative elements. 

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered,  nor will they come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create.  Isaiah 65:17.  See also 1 Corinthians 15: 50-58 which describes how through Jesus, his followers, in a flash, will change from being mortal to immortal.

It is good to be thankful for all the blessings God has given to us on this earth ,  including the gift of His Son Jesus to be the Saviour of our souls.  In his love and generosity He also offers us a life of eternal joy with Himself in Heaven, where the best is still yet to come.  This is also a great cause for celebration .

Will you be there to share this with us? ………………. I hope so.  

By Adelle Arwen
Gospel Singer Songwriter & Recording Artist
http://www.strengthinyourstruggles.com/