This article was written, edited and completed in the span of 4 days.
God is so good to allow time for me to go to Manila to see my fiancé, Paola. I'm on my way to see her, and I'm thankful that we're past that one area in Pangasinan where some major roadwork was going on.
Yes, I'm on a bus. And the conductor looks like Joseph Prince. He looked like him so much that I just had to tweet (and consequently mention in a blog) about it. I almost tweeted the hashtag he was promoting, that I was #believing4 a discount. I held back on that idea, thinking that I would just do a #butseriously follow-up tweet, declaring what I was really believing for.
I thought I would finish and post that second tweet. But it turns out that I had to check myself on what I was #believing4.
Today is October 16, a day to read Proverbs 16. I haven't gone through it yet, but I do remember my father saying Proverbs 16:9 - 'Commit thy works to The Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.'
I cherish that recording, and I thank God that Dad was led to making it. I'm not ashamed to say that there's a very high possibility of me shedding a tear or two when I hear it, especially if I imagine him telling it to me, just as a dying King David was telling his own son Solomon, 'be strong, and show thyself a man...'
On a side note, I'd like to say that I've finally seen the significance of this digital notepad over the black notebook I carry and prefer writing on - it's easier to record thoughts here if you're on a bus.
Yes, I'm on a bus. It was a good idea to bring a book... And not just any book, but a book I won in this year's PCBS Pastors' Appreciation Day raffle; it's a book written by Clarence E. Macartney, entitled 'The Wisest Fool'. You can guess that some part of that book was about Solomon. Mr. Macartney had his own interesting insights. He wrote about a key difference between how David and Solomon approached life, based on their final words.
King David's life was certainly one filled with its own ups and downs. His was a life of full of victories - over bears and lions, over giants and armies. His was a life of much conquest in all levels, that many ministers believe that his life was a preview of the life Christ came to give us - a life abundant; a life with God, connected through (and with) His Son, by His grace.
Macartney referred to Solomon as 'the touchstone of human splendor and glory'. He had a spectacular start - not only did he receive wisdom and understanding, but power, riches, and fame! This brother had it all... But unlike David's sin with Bath-Sheba, which was 'passion and impulse of the moment', Solomon's was 'the slow crumbling and disintegration of a great character'.
Macartney pointed out that as David lay dying, he told Solomon, 'I go the way of all the earth.' David's words expressed that he understood that all men, strong and weak, rich and poor, loved and hated - all men die. David could have told Solomon right then and there that there was nothing to life, that 'after all you've done, after all you've achieved, this is what it all comes to.' But I absolutely love how Macartney observed that instead David's final advise to Solomon was that 'life is a noble and honorable experience. Therefore be strong and show thyself a man!'
In the book of Ecclesiastes, we see a humbling account of Solomon's experiences - that there is 'nothing new under the sun', that 'there is a time for everything'. Solomon eventually found out on his own that all is, as his final words go, 'vanity of vanities'...
I see a parallel between the life of Solomon and that of Adam, in this: Adam had the whole of creation before him, presented in the splendour of the Garden of Eden, to have dominion and to take charge over. On the other hand, Solomon was blessed financially, physically, and intellectually; He had favour with God, much so that God Himself appeared to him, and told him, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’ (2 Chronicles 1:7, NKJV) – So he had favour, and understanding, and riches, and power, and fame! They were blessed to the hilt!
…Yet both of them fell as soon as their confidence in God waned. You can see how there were dire consequences - to a kingdom, and to the whole of mankind.
Macartney also pointed out that though both David and Solomon had different outlooks as their lives ended, they had one thing in common to say, through all they've been through: that trusting, believing, (and consequently obeying) God was, in Solomon's words, 'man's all'... Man's ultimate.
There is truth in what my father quoted, what I call 'his verse': that to commit to The Lord is what every man needs in order for his life to mean anything. And praise The Lord! For Jesus Christ came in the fullness of time, when we needed Him the most, to do what needed to be done... For the veil to be torn, for ALL to come as they are to enjoy life, true life, real life, life abundant and overflowing in all blessings, physical and spiritual - a life with God, in and through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit!
This is why I hesitated in posting a follow-up #Believing4 tweet. I could easily believe for a Nikon D610, a 24-70mm and 70-200mm f2.8 lenses, an SB-700, a Leica Type 420 with a 50mm f0.95 Noctilux lens, a Fujifilm X100S, matching Singh-Ray filters, a rugged Manfrotto Tripod for landscapes, a Galaxy Tab, a Crumpler 6-Million Dollar Home Gear Bag and/or a Billingham Hadley Small Camera Bag, a Custom-built Desktop PC with the fastest processor, a high-capacity hard disk, a top-quality video card and a 19” LCD Monitor…
I could easily believe for income to pay off my family’s debts, income for our family to take a vacation to Israel, income for my wedding and honeymoon. I could believe for the physical health to climb the highest mountains, to sing the best songs… skill to play the guitar and the piano, skill to lead worship. I could believe for my family and friends to be healed, and saved… I could believe for happenstance, experience, and wisdom to mentor the youth and understanding to take and use the knowledge of those who have gone ahead. I could believe for my life to go on centuries after my body withers, through a powerful legacy established and completed over years of prosperity and wisdom.
I could believe to be like Solomon – blessed to the fullest in wealth, health, and spirit; Full of wisdom, that I would have complete favor with God and man.
I could believe for the best.
But right now… I choose to pray, as Mephibosheth spoke to David upon his return from exile:
“…Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has returned home in safety and peace.”
He speaks as if everything he has already been blessed with is nothing compared to knowing that his Lord, his King, is home and is with him. And that’s what I want for myself.
I could believe for the best. I could strive for all that I have mentioned, and more. I could have everything my heart desired, but even if I had the best intentions for what I wanted, in the end, I will, without a shadow of a doubt, find myself weighed, measured, and found wanting.
No, there is one thing that I want before anything else, and that is Jesus Christ. For I am convinced that in Christ, all my efforts, endeavours, and failures will mean something. I am convinced that in Christ, I am victorious, and I am able to overcome. I am convinced that the only life worth living is a life in Christ, my Saviour.
Let Christ be my all, because everything else, down to my very being, is nothing without Him. Let Christ speak through me, smile through me, love through me. Let Christ write through me, let Christ shoot pictures through me, let Christ conquer and overcome through me. Let Christ live in me, through me, by me, besides me, for men to know Him, and for the total glory of His Name!
What am I believing for? I am #Believing4 Jesus Christ, above all else.
Let my thoughts be established. And let everything else follow.
To God be all the glory and all the praise forever and ever. Amen.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26