Being in my hometown for a few weeks have once again sparked love in my heart, and rekindled beautiful things in my spirit. Even for the short window of time that I got to spend with my family, friends and creative comrades, I have drunk of stories that can both bless and challenge; heard of journeys that have already made history in Heaven and have made memories with my hometown greats. I have again soaked myself in the affectionate embrace of the community that gave birth to me, and which has contributed entirely to how I was prepared, molded, and set-up by the Lord to where I am now and who I have become. Undeniably, I have walked alongside amazing (“Amazing” is definitely an understatement) people that have made an impact in my life in different ways and expressions.
My meetings with people that I have spent time with while I was home, I believe, were divinely orchestrated by Abba. He knows what I needed to hear for this season– and not necessarily what I wanted to hear. It seemed as if my time in Iloilo were altogether refreshing and righteously provoking, reminding me that I am where He needs me to be in this hour. Truth is, I have received more than I ever gave away. And this I have experienced in tangible ways. This has always been the case– that I actually receive more than I have ever given away. Only that, I don’t always see it in this light. What a humbling time it was just listening in, learning and gleaning from these awesome ones.
I declare life over you, City of Love, despite some negative stigmas society has been throwing at you lately. You are definitely at your prime and you remain beautiful.
My heart yearns all the more for incense to constantly rise from hearts there that are fully devoted to the Son of Man. I still believe to this day that my city is living up to its name– The City of Love.
With regards to the things that I needed to hear, the Lord actually reminded me again of my call as a forerunner; being a voice in this hour, preparing the way for His return.
Interestingly, I caught up with a good friend there, and he started telling me about how he is strongly convicted to bear witness for Him– this, being his heart vision. And how the life of John the Baptist has significantly marked him. I was suddenly reminded of the revelations that He dropped on my spirit when I was in Penang for the Burn Internship early this year. And of course, what had made an impact to me mostly centered on John the Baptist’s life and calling. Jesus affirmed him as being the greatest man ever born of a woman despite him not doing any miracles, or having that “stadium” platform, for that matter. He was a voice in the wilderness; what he preached caused hearts to burn and turn back to the Father.
He never danced to the beat of the world. He went against the flow. He fulfilled his calling by going low and by decreasing when it was time for the Son of Man to begin His ministry. He pointed the Bride to the Bridegroom. He was satisfied and fulfilled just hearing His Bridegroom’s voice. He fulfilled his calling because Jesus fulfilled His own calling.
I was again struck by this revelation and it did something to my heart the second time around. Gripped I was that I made a resolve in my heart to simply embrace where He is leading me now, and to offer my extravagant obedience. My spirit yearns to be constantly willing– having no regard for cost. I know it’s easier said than done but He promises that His grace is more than enough. It will always be a process, and sometimes I get bombarded with thoughts that distract me from my One Thing; worries that cause my heart to shake, questions that make me think of possibilities not aligned to His will. Yet in all these, He remains faithful to me. He whispers words of love to me tenderly and assures me that everything will be okay. He is saying that He is a God who finishes what He has begun. His leadership is perfect and He is committed to me more than I will ever be to Him.
One reality that also hit me when I went home was that not everyone fully understands what I do; even moreso, why I do what I do. There are kindred hearts that have actually affirmed me of my assignment for this season, and hearing them say that they believe in what I do really blesses my heart so much. It’s a huge shot of encouragement and inspiration altogether. However, the former is an undeniable reality that I have to face– not everyone fully understands. And upon much contemplation, (And coffee, yes, definitely, a lot of coffee fixes) I realized that maybe those that verbalize their adverse opinions about the path I took may one day understand, or maybe not ever. But there will be a Day, wherein wisdom will be justified. And on that Day, everyone will behold Him and every existing question will be cancelled. Upon looking at His face, every eye will see, and every heart will understand why He is worthy. On that Day, He will be most glorified. That Day will surely come. I live for that Day; for the Day of His appearing.
Listening to the journeys of my good friends back home has caused me to look at my own life and has pushed me to recalibrate my priorities. They have gained my respect because I see in them the tenacity to run after what His heart beats for. The world may not know them, but surely they have made history in Heaven, and in the heart of the Son of Man. People, we will be shocked who will be in the frontlines on the Day of His appearing. It will be those that we do not even know; those that are nameless and faceless but have journeyed on and have faithfully obeyed Him no matter what. It will be those that keep choosing Him despite the many options the world may throw at them. It could be an 82-year old missionary faithfully serving the poorest of the poor in Africa, or a student in Northern Iraq who has found joy and peace in ministering to His heart in the midst of the tumultuous war raging on. We will be truly shocked on that Day.
My desire is to remain in the hiddenness, as I daily pursue His heart. He remains my very Great Reward.
For now, I want my heart to be fully aligned to the current assignment. In seeing the vision He has given me slowly unfold, I am daily being steadied by His love and His Word. He keeps telling me that my obedience is significant, and I believe that with all that I am.
Coming home to you, Iloilo, refreshed me and made me appreciate everything about my background, my family, how I was raised, the people that have journeyed with me throughout my life; the communities I have been a part of, my creative comrades, my life friends, everything just came together, pieces slowly coming together.
Til’ we meet again, City of Love.
“The crowds are seducing, but it’s in the wilderness where the bush burns.” – Samuel Whitefield
“”I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. ” | Daniel 7:13-14 ESV