Stewardship vs Materialism

 

When I was packing my things for my big move here in Canada, it was only then I realized how much clothes I haven’t worn anymore, some I did not even remember I had. And even when I was giving away so much already, I still had so much left to give away.

Funny, when I arrived here, I realized I left so much that I only have like three t-shirts I can wear for summer. But yeah, I survived! Coming here with only two pieces of luggage was a challenge. But it is slowly teaching me to be content with what I have.

When you go to malls here or outlet stores, mark downs and promotions are just crazy. You will really be tempted to check out each store and see if there’s something you can buy at a very low price. And this is really a challenge for me. I love to shop during these periods – when items on clearance are buy 1, take 1; or, some items have triple discounts. Big sales!! Just crazy! Who would not love to shop?!

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gotcha!! years ago when I was so happy doing retail activity 🙂

One of the things that I really keep praying to God is that I would not go back to that “old me” wherein I feel like I owe myself a treat that I would just buy anything because I deserve it and it’s really a good sale. I want to be a much, much, much better steward this time. There are a lot of temptations here but I really pray that God would always remind me of what is important to Him.

One thing I got reminded in yesterday’s Sunday message was that the most effective way of overcoming materialism is through tithing. Tithing is not about giving to the Lord. What we have belongs to God. We are just stewards of everything that we have right now. Tithing is bringing to God what belongs to Him – the best of our crop.

As for me, tithing reminds me that what I have is not for me to just spend and enjoy but for me to make sure it is put to good use also.  There is nothing wrong with spending on things that we like or enjoy as long as we are not consumed by those things. That is when materialism comes into our life.

I’m excited on how God will continue to change me to become a better steward of the resources He has given and will give to me. Indeed, to be able to give is a privilege because it is only through God’s provision that we are able to do so.

As of today, I only have two pieces of luggage with me. And I intend to keep it that way. I’m really challenging myself on this and I hope that I would really be able to overcome being a “big sale” enthusiast! Also, I hope I would learn to let go of things when I have to. It was hard for me to give away my stuff before I left but that had helped me somehow not to hold on to things tightly.

Challenge is on!

“Because Your Love is better than life…” Psalm 63:3

 

Waiting Over

 

Yes, I’m back! I’m an employee again. 🙂

It’s been an amazing journey with the Lord as I entrusted to Him the work that He has prepared for me. I really prayed that I would be able to find a job within the first month that I arrived here in Vancouver. However, I never wanted to settle for just any job. I just had to trust that God would honor my desire to work for a role that I really wanted.

It had been in the third week of June and I still didn’t have possible job offers. All I got were initial interviews and emails. Then, no more follow ups. Until the right time came. I re-connected with a former colleague here in Canada and just mentioned that I was looking for a job. After that conversation, everything happened so fast. He spoke to his manager that I was looking for a BA role which they needed in their team because someone just left. I submitted my resume and went for an interview the next day. Then the week after, I got the job offer. The best part, they gave me a senior role and a pay which was more than I asked for.

However, these things were not really a surprise to me. I always knew that God would always do something amazing. He always does. Even if some people would tell me that a month is too short to find a job, I just trusted that God would provide within the month. As I reflected on this journey, I realized that my faith was much deeper during this time as I waited on God’s provision.  At some point in my life, I became very disobedient and I know that I have missed out a lot of blessings because of that. I’m just grateful that God is so gracious and loving that He gave me so many chances to become better. God showed to me the result of my obedience and that is His best plan for me.  I became more expectant in faith than I was before.  This journey was more of seeing how much I’ve grown in faith as I continue to experience God’s best.

Such faith excites me each day as to what could God possibly do. Experiencing God through obedience may always not be an easy path to take. However, taking a path that is outside of God’s plan for us will be more difficult in the long run. God’s way is always, always, always worth to take.

I’m looking forward to another journey of something that I’ve really been praying for. Waiting is over, another waiting starts.

To God be all the glory!

 

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Never settle for LESS

 

I have failed for so many times, turning to the wrong choices and making impulsive decisions.  I would say to myself I won’t do it again, but still,  there are times that I would fail again. The wrong decisions I made were sometimes caused by being impatient, lack of prayers, and failure to seek God’s will.  These were the times that I only settled for less. I missed out on God’s best for me.

But then, there were times also that I learned to wait and trust on God and I really experienced the fullness of God’s blessing.

One good example was when I graduated from college and entered the job hunting journey. I’ve shared this story to different people already but I don’t mind sharing it again. 🙂

After graduation, I immediately moved to Cebu to apply for my first job. It was a very tough journey. I cried in buckets because of frustration and desperation. My classmates made it to interviews when I submitted also my application to the same companies. With this, I applied to companies which are not related to my field and the job is not the job I wanted. I was trying to settle for what’s easy that time, thinking that it’s just a first job anyway and I didn’t have any experience. So, I can’t be really choosy. However, God did something to wake me up from that lie.  In one of those companies, I was going through the application process and in the last phase of the process, I got lost in what I needed to do. While sitting at the front of the computer, I told myself, “This is not the job that I want to do.” From then on, I told God that I will not settle for just anything. I will only settle for what He has for me.

I reached to the point of surrender that I just let God took control moving forward. I laid out to God what I desired for my job – the position, the salary, the location. And indeed God never failed me. He is always faithful. He gave me the best job. It was the job I really wanted and the salary was what I prayed for.  However, His thoughts and ways are never the same as mine. I asked a job in Cebu but God moved me to Manila.  And where I am now, it’s because of the opportunities and experiences brought by that first job I had.

I never saw the big picture. I never saw the doors that would open. But God has plans. He makes things happen for a reason. He ALWAYS KNOWS what is BEST.

This is just one of my stories showing how truly worthy it is to wait on God’s best.

And now, as I am on my job hunting journey again for my second job, I realized that God’s best doesn’t have to happen in a surprising or spectacular way all the time. It just need to be in God’s perfect timing.

If you are in a point of your life right now that you are desperate and would just want to settle for just anything that will come, I hope that you would consider letting God bring to you to His best plan for you.

That’s what God desires for you. You just have to seek Him that you may know His will for you. God knows what you are going through and He cares for you. It’s up to you if you will let God. And I hope that you’ll do.

Never settle for anything less. Choose God and He will give you what’s best.

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 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

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I did it, not you.

 

Joshua 24:12-14 “You did not do it with your own sword and bow. So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant. Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.”

When I read those verses in Joshua 24, I was like, “Whew!” It was a loving slap to my face. I got reminded. I can hear God telling me, “Everything you have, you did not do it with your own abilities. I gave it all to you. And so, why keep on worrying?”

When God gave the land to the Israelites, it wasn’t a barren, empty land. As stated, it was fertile and very much growing in plants. God did not let them do the toil.

I got reminded of who God is as a giver. Indeed, He doesn’t bless us like we feel it’s not enough. He always satisfies us and even more. In our own language, it is not “bitin“.  That’s just who God is. He gives what He knows is best for us. Never lacks.

As I continue to look for a job, God reminded me that where I am now, it wasn’t because of what I did but because of what He did. And when I just trust Him and allow Him to do things His way and not mine, He will provide for the job that He knows is best for me.

It’s a struggle not to get ahead of God when fear and worry start to crawl in. That’s why God has to keep on reminding me that He got this. HE GOT THIS!

What I only need to do, “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness”.

 

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I got everything I need, I don’t need God…

As I ride the sky train or walk in the mall, I see a lot of lost souls.  And it really breaks my heart.

I keep asking God, “How can I tell them about Jesus?”

In this era of materialism, most of us define a life of meaning and success based on what we have – wealth, career, fame.  And if someone has all of those, then really, why would that person need God?  If everything is going very well, then, what is God for?

It’s a point missed. BIG time.

If God allowed me to be born in this lifetime to survive, be successful and accomplished, do whatever I want, but then die eventually , if death will just make everything in vain, then what is really the point of living?

We missed the point. Truth is, until we truly know who God is and His great plan for all of us, we will realize that our life here on earth is not just about living a “good” life. No matter how great our life here is, if our mindset is only focused on what is temporary, we will never realize how much we truly need God in our life.

Nothing wrong with having a prosperous life. But everything becomes meaningless when we only live for this life time. It’s like watching a movie that has no ending. All you can say is, “That’s it?”

I don’t want to live that kind of life. I want to be excited for the life after this lifetime. I want to look forward to that “eternal life” that God said in the Bible. Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, He gave His Only Son, that whoever believes in His Son will not perish but will have eternal life.”

Life becomes purposeful when you accept the truth that this is not just it. There’s more. And we can only experience that through the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son.

If you haven’t experienced God in your life, I pray that you will be able to open your heart to Him. I pray that you will not miss out what lies ahead. I pray that you will live an abundant life in the presence of God.

If you want to know more about God, let me know and I would love to talk about it with you.

God bless!

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