How are you? I’m well.
Do you know which season you are in? I think it’s important for us to understand the seasons of God that He ordained for each one of us.
I’d like to share part of a Pastor John Fenn’s book, “Pursing the Seasons of God.” I read and heard him saying he missed the seasons of God and in one case, he almost lost his wife and his first son, Chris. And he also shared his pizza delivery company a few decades back in the book:
The Pizza Season
One time I started a pizza delivery company, which provided some income for us while I helped a church I was active in, and I could be flexible with my hours as well. The plan was to become full-time with the church as pastor within a few months. I began the pizza delivery store in November of one year and God blessed the thing. Our first week we had $4,000 in cash sales and we got up to about $15,000 in cash sales very quickly—and pizza is a high profit business.
In April the following year, just six months later, I was praying and I heard the Father say this, “You’ve learned what I wanted you to learn. Now I want you to sell it.” In the Father’s mind the reason he had me start the business was to learn something; in my mind it was to make money. The Father holds the seasons in his own mind, in his own plans, in his own wisdom. As a Christian I gave up my right to set my own seasons. My thoughts were about growth and expansion! The business was only six months old. Think about how much money I could make for the Lord, which would fund all kinds of good projects. “You’ve learned what I wanted you to learn. Now I want you to sell it.” He is interested in the learning process, and to him, jobs, careers, houses and living locations are interchangeable and subject to his higher purposes. That runs contrary to the un-renewed mind. I waited a year before I sold the business and the sale barely covered the debts; I walked away with next to nothing. He told me to sell it in April and I disobeyed. By July sales had started to decline. A competitor made further inroads into sales. If I had sold it at the time I was told to I would have had enough money to at least put in the bank and help support us in ministry after the debts had been paid off. I missed heaven’s season because I wanted to run my life according to my seasons. Eventually it cost a house to foreclosure, and a car to repossession. If only I had done what the Lord said and realized the six months was a season, even though it didn’t make sense in my brain. Jesus is saying in this passage, “My time is not yet. Your time is always.” I was acting like an unbeliever, because I was not aware that there are seasons, lessons, and specifically set times that the Father has in mind for you and I, which he holds within his own knowledge. The beauty and purpose isn’t revealed until the maturity of the season. One thing that we can do in the season is ask the Father, “What is your purpose for the season that I’m in?” We know it’s going to be for training according to Ecclesiastes 3. How do you handle the season? Do you overcome the frustration? Do you deal with the anger? Do you deal with the constraints placed upon you? How do you handle the frustration of knowing that your destiny lies somewhere else and this is just temporary? How do you conduct yourself with tact and diplomacy when the employer is hoping you’re going to be there for fifty years and yet you have in your spirit that you’re going to be in a foreign field someday? Or that you’re going to be helping in church some way? It’s how you deal with it that the Father observes and examines.
I also have a few cases that I missed the seasons of God, just like Pastor John. We all made a mistake, didn’t we? In 2017 when I worked for a multinational pharmaceutical company in Singapore, I asked the Father whether it’s in His will for me to leave the corporate world for good, and to do farming. And amazingly, I received His answer and I left the company in peace. It was really a right time, as my mom’s dementia was already developed and I couldn’t leave her alone at home in Korea anymore. I had to manage her commercial property in Seoul of which she already transferred the title to me long ago. So, it was the time for me to take over the management of the property and let her rest from all the burdens. When it comes to farming, though, I realized His time had not come yet, only after I built a new house in a suburb of Seoul to do farming, and lived there for 3 months or so. We often make a mistake that when we receive the green light from the Lord or receive His promise, we tend to believe it would happen right away. Or we don’t even ask Him when, how, where and so on, even though we ask Him yes or no. And just like Pastor John shared his own experience, we may listen to Him, but disobey His voice. For me, I was and even now am very certain that it’s in His will to do farming, but I was not aware nor did ask Him when. So, to make a long story short, here I am back to the busy Seoul, my hometown, since 2018, only 3 months after living in the suburb. Despite my mistake, our Father is so merciful and gracious that He provided me with good rent income from my house in the suburb, till I sold it earlier this year. And I still believe when it’s His season, I will start farming, no matter whether it’s simply in my future house or in a large field. For the location, I asked the Father and asked Him confirmation. Out of His sense of humor, He answered me in unexpected ways. When the time comes and it comes to pass, I might be able to share it with you. I don’t know how He will unfold it, to make that happen, but I know He is almighty and His wisdom is unsearchable. And looking back on the past 5 years, I realize He made that season for me to be confined yet to enjoy rest, grow and be equipped for the future. I’m not saying I have a character like Moses or Joseph, after they were confined in pasture or in jail, but I have peace, knowing that I’m in His perfect will.
Friend, each one of us has different seasons He has ordained. I pray that you and I know and pursue His seasons, not ours, trusting His faithfulness. May we obey His voice and enjoy His very best plan for us!
Have a bliss!
PS)After I wrote down the draft of this blog, I received November Newsletter from Pastor John Fenn's ministry. Interestingly enough, he wrote on Times and Seasons and he wrote on the 5 month time frame (Nov. 2022 ~ Mar. 2023) that the Lord talked to him. I share the link here of the prophetic words and I hope this blesses you.
To everything there is a season,
How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day, today?
Earlier this month, I moved to a new place. It is located in a building just next to my previous place. In September, the manager in the previous accommodation wanted to higher the rent by more than 20%, which is non-sense to me despite inflation. Before the talk to the manager, I actually kept thinking until when I should live in that place, and when and where I would move, if I should. But I didn’t want to initiate the idea of moving, until the Holy Spirit gave me the heart to move. Then, after the conversation with the manager, I thought this would be the sign for me to move, as his offer didn’t make any sense to me and the negotiated rent price he offered was still high. So, I sought the Lord for His wisdom, guidance and favor. I googled available rent in the next building, although I knew it is a bigger size apartment than my place so that the rent is higher. Interestingly though, I found out a newly posted rent with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms at a good price. It was posted just the previous day. I called the real estate agent. And she said the offer is really good for the size and everything. And she said, the landlord is an old couple in their 70’s and 80’s, and they are very nice, which is actually important. I would agree with her, as I used to have good landlords and understood how important it is. But for this new place, for some reasons, I was not able to view it before making a decision. I could have searched for other places in other location, but I had no peace on that. I simply had peace on making a contract for the apartment in the next building. At least I knew it faces east with a nice view, opposite to the main street, so quiet, and it has a good amount of sunlight during the day, just like my previous place. I had a few things to consider before making a decision. I didn’t want to change the environment dramatically for mom’s dementia so that I wanted to have the similar view to the previous place’s.
So, everything was decided within 3~4 hours, since the manager in the previous place requested +20% of rent increase. It was so fast. The very next day, the landlord couples and I met in the real estate agent’s office, to make a contract. Indeed they are so nice and kind. They asked me whether it’s really ok to make a contract without viewing the apartment. A couple of friends of mine were also impressed as I did without viewing it. But I had peace, feeling that the Lord prepared for the place as well as the good landlord for me. This new place was posted just one day before I got to know it’s time to move. The Lord already knew that the rent in the previous place would be increased and He also knew my heart desire that I would love to have more space, though I was thankful and satisfied with the one bedroom & one bathroom apartment. Now, at a lower rent, I got 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
Then, a week before the moving date, I had vertigo and nausea, and I couldn’t hear at my right ear. The symptoms were exactly the same as those earlier this year, before the Lunar New Year holidays. I thought to myself, “Would it be from stress, before moving? Or would it be some kind of spiritual attack?” I didn’t want to over-spiritualize everything, yet I was reminded that the previous symptoms before the Lunar New Year holidays were spiritual ones. Then, I thought of Sister Margaret’s class on the book of Ephesians that I would attend later in that morning. As I missed the class the previous weeks, I wasn’t aware where I was in the class. And I thought, “If today’s class is on chapter 6, ‘putting on the whole armor of God,’ I would know it’s a spiritual attack.” Then, before the class, I texted my friend in Singapore, to ask her to pray for me, sharing my symptoms. I said to her, “It might be from stress before moving to a new place.” Interestingly enough, she said that she also had vertigo over the last couple of days, and it was gone. And she went on to say there are demonic spirits of Halloween released all over the earth, accompanied by the spirit of witchcraft and so on. And she wrote the Scripture, “Put on the whole armor of God.” I felt it interesting to read that Scripture in her text. Soon enough, when Sister Margaret’s class started, I was amazed to see it start exactly with Ephesians 6:10, “The Whole Armor of God.” Not only that, but Sister Margaret shared her recent testimony. A couple of days before the class, she seemed to be sick and later she realized it was demonic attack so that she rebuked it in Jesus’ name and was healed. So, I felt my symptoms would be also demonic attack, though there had been stress before moving. Just on the first day when I had vertigo, the first thought that came into mind was “How can I pack and move my stuffs on my own?” The fear gripped me, when I had vertigo. As the new place is very near and I move from furnished to furnished apartment, I didn’t hire a moving vendor, but decided to move luggages and carts back and forth on my own. And I realized that fear is not from God, but from devil. So, I kept believing that Christ is in me and I abide in Him. Nothing can separate me from the love of the Father and I will be healed. I also went to an ear doctor, to see whether my vertigo was related to otolithiasis, as a couple of friends of mine had it and I learned it can be cured by changing posture only. After a couple of tests, the doctor said the vertigo is not from otolithiasis, but he diagnosed me with Meniere’s disease and prescribed a lot of medicines. The disease was new to me and I searched some information on it. But, I didn’t go to pharmacy to get medicine. I still believed it was spiritual attack so that the medicine may cause side effects, bringing more fear and challenging my moving, but God would heal me without taking the medicine. I was reminded of the Scripture from Hebrew 11:11 that Pastor John Fenn mentioned, “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” I also chose to judge our Father faithful, just like Sarah, and I had a peace, knowing I would be healed, though the vertigo and the loss of hearing (feeling blocked in my ear) were really hard to endure at some points. And I asked a few more people including my pastor in Singapore and his wife to pray for healing.
Later, on my moving date, I finally viewed the new place together with my landlord couples and the real estate agent. There were some hiccups. There was a leak in one of the toilets and my cleaning vendor didn’t show up, saying at the last minute that he had some unexpected issues. Despite all these, I was grateful, as the management team came to my place and fixed the leak quickly and I found them very kind and nice. And the new place was very clean, actually cleaner than my previous place :) so that I didn’t have to hire the cleaning vendor. Thanks to no-show, I was able to save quite amount of money and start to move one day earlier than planned, having enough time for moving, being less stressed out especially when I still had the vertigo and the loss of hearing. I was grateful to the Father for His kindness, as He knew I wanted to have more time for moving. In addition, I was able to buy some other stuffs that I really wanted to buy with the money I saved from no-show. And my landlord lady gave me a bundle of beautiful flowers. I never received such a nice gift as a welcome gift from any landlord before, nor did I give such a gift to my tenants in the past. It tells how beautiful her heart is. I was thankful to her and to the Father, as flowers always make me glad. Not only my landlord, but every person I met in the new place was so kind and helpful to me. I felt His favor chase after me, wherever I go and whomever I meet. And beforefore moving, I slept very lightly and only for a few hours, yet He strengthened me and gave me joy. I felt it supernatural for me to finish moving, though I was still dizzy and felt blocked in my ear. And my mom and I love this new place more than the previous place. Though there are some wear and tear in the bathrooms and on some of dining chairs, I would care less and I’m used to living in an old house. And I like the clean floor in every room, and try to make a room clean and tidy everyday, which I neglected in my previous place. And more importantly, I do feel peaceful in this new place. Even when I moved my luggages and so on to this new place during the moving, I felt lifted and peaceful. And I said to Him, “Father, this is Your new sanctuary. And Your angels are all around here.”
And after moving, I still had minor dizziness and still couldn’t hear at my right ear, but now I am completely healed. Praise the Lord! It was not an instant healing, but it took about 2 weeks. And it did require the whole armor of God. I praise our Father for His faithfulness. (And I’m not saying we shouldn’t listen to doctors. :))
Friend, I wanted to share what a good Father we have, and each one of us has stories on His goodness and faithfulness throughout our lives. When we hold on to it and remind ourselves how faithful He has been, we will never fear nor stumble. It's my prayer that you and I take some moments before Thanksgiving to think how good He is and to thank Him for everything He has done for us.
Have a bliss!
When the wicked came against me
When I took the class, “Hearing the Voice of God” in Singapore in 2016, Sister Margaret taught the word in Greek, Logos and Rhema. And I got to understand Logos is the Words in the Bible and Rhema is the Words like His audible and/or still small voice, vision, prophecy and so on. Rhema also includes the Scriptures in the Bible that are highlighted to us in a special way. And Rhema does not contradict to Logos. Since I learned the word in the New Testament is originally in Greek either Logos or Rhema, I sometimes searched the blueletterbible online, to see the original text.
Today, I would like to share some stories on Rhema. Sister Margaret encourages her students to follow what the Holy Spirit says. She shared one of her stories from a long time ago. She was in a shop and asked the owner to wrap up the thing she bought. While the owner went somewhere to wrap it up, she saw kind of a shrine on the wall of the store, which is an idol. And in the corner of the store, there was the owner’s dog sitting. Then, without hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, she rebuked the shrine, the idol in Jesus’ name. After the owner came back and gave her the wrapped gift she bought, she turned back toward the door, to leave the store. Then, the dog which she thought was on a leash suddenly attacked her and bit her. She knew it was the backlash from the devil. And she learned that she should have not rebuked the idol without hearing the Holy Spirit. Similarly, she also encouraged her students to share gospel with a certain person, when led by the Holy Spirit.
Pastor John Fenn also shared his story that he helped a lady in a mall, when she asked him. I don’t recall all exactly, but I think he sensed she was under the influence of demonic spirit like depression or something. So, he asked the Lord whether He wants him to cast out the evil spirit. And He said to him (I paraphrase it), “No, it’s enough today to be kind to her and help her on what she asked.” So, Pastor John didn’t say anything to cast out the demonic spirit, but continued to run his errands in the mall.
A pastor in Europe in my monthly zoom meeting shared his testimony from this year. One day he ordered a material to fix something in his restroom. But the vendor shipped a wrong stuff. And he got to know from the vendor that it would take a year to receive a right one. The vendor made an apology and it offered a free service to set up the material. So, in a year, a man from the vendor came to set up the material in his restroom. While the man was setting it up, the pastor asked the Lord whether He wants him to share the gospel with him. Then, he didn’t feel led to share it so that he simply asked him how his family is doing and so on. Then, the man talked about his son, worrying. His son had insomnia for long and did everything he could, in order to sleep. But nothing helped. So, the pastor said to him, “If he did everything he could, would you want him to try what I would suggest?” Of course, the father would want to do, if only it could help his son. The pastor said to him, “Tell him to pray in Jesus’ name for sleep.” A few days later, the man came to the pastor, bringing his son and shared the wonderful testimony. After his son prayed for sleep in Jesus’ name, he did fall asleep first time in a long while! And the father was marveled and wanted his son to know more about Jesus. Praise the Lord! If the pastor tried to share the gospel with the father in his first meeting, he might not have opened his heart. God knew what problem he had and let the pastor talk about his family rather than jump into sharing the gospel.
In all these testimonies, we learn that it is always important for us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and listen to His Rhema Words. Sharing gospel and casting out demons are all good and they are the commandment from the Lord, i.e. the written Words, Logos. Yet we can’t do that on our own. There is a right timing, a right way, and a right person to do that. Even Jesus said,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:10)”
“I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. (John 8:28)”
We know a lame man healed in Acts chapter 3.
“And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. (Acts 3:2~3)”
Jesus could have healed him when He went in and out of the temple, but it was the Father’s will to use Peter in healing him at a later point in time.
Friend, we have a heart for the sick, the poor, the captive, unbelievers and so on. But, we can do nothing, apart from the Father’s will. We must ask Him and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I like Pastor John Fenn’s saying “Faith is not independent of the Word or of the Lord (the Holy Spirit).” We can’t simply say out of our own will, “In the name of Jesus, do this and do that.” Friend, do you want to hear Rhema clearly? I heard some pastors say, “If you want to hear Rhema, you must know Logos.” I agree with that. If we love Logos, the Word of God, we know what His Ways are and we become sensitive to hearing Rhema. It’s my prayer that you and I love the Word of God, and we hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and obey it.
Have a bliss!
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words (Rhema) that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)
Do you want to be precious in the sight of God? I love the word, “precious.” Each one of us has something we hold precious, whether it’s tangible or intangible.
A few months ago, I was reading a chapter from 1 Peter. I’m pretty sure that I read 1 Peter at least once a year, but it was my first time that the verse below was highlighted to me, as Rhema words.
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)”
It is the words to wives, but I believe a gentle and quiet spirit of both men and women is very precious in the sight of God. I took the Words to my heart and literally highlighted the verses with my pen. Then, a few days later, when I took a class of Sister Margaret Seaward, she said, “Do you know a gentle and quiet spirit is precious to the Lord?” And I felt the Lord repeating the Words from 1 Peter to me.
Sister Margaret used to share a story of her mother, Letta, and she said her mother was very gentle, while she herself had anger problem and the Lord dealt with it. I believe not only her, but many of us, has the Lord been patiently dealing with, to mold us in His likeness. Earlier this year, a book, “Margaret in Singapore” was published. Connie Seaward Ong, her youngest daughter wrote the book, as a sequel to “Letta in China.” The book, “Letta in China” is one of my favorites and I have a special feeling for it as well as Margaret in Singapore. The two generations were sent to the countries far away from their home, America, and interestingly, the Lord sent me to these two countries where I received His abundant blessings. Indeed, the memories of His blessings in these two countries are so precious to me.
In Margaret in Singapore, I especially like the story of Letta and I would like to share part of it:
“One morning as Marge rushed around the kitchen getting breakfast ready for the children, Letta sat there watching her. Marge was in her normal “go, go, go” mode. She never gave herself a chance to rest and was usually very hard on herself. On this particular morning, Letta turned to Marge and said, “Marge, the Holy Spirit doesn’t drive us, He leads us. You need to really pray and ask the Lord whether this is of the Lord or if this is of the devil and your flesh; because the Holy Spirit will not drive you. He leads you gently and He doesn’t drive you.” Marge stopped and put down the cup that was in her hand. It all sounded so simple and yet it was so profound. She knew immediately that what her mother had to say was right. She loved the way her mother knew exactly what was wrong in a situation and knew how to speak into the situation with tact and love.”
Friend, does this speak to you? I still remember what the late pastor of my Seoul church said, “The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman. He never comes into you, unless you want to receive Him and invite Him.” And he went on to say that unlike the Holy Spirit, the devil just barges in. And he used to encourage the congregation to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have a gentle and meek countenance as a result. One day, a colleague who also went to my Seoul church had a wedding ceremony in my church and that pastor officiated the wedding. Then, another colleague who was an unbeliever and was invited to the wedding, said to me, “Your pastor looks like an angel.” I never realized that, perhaps as I often saw him. But, certainly, he had the likeness of our Father and our Lord, Jesus so that this unbelieving colleague noticed his countenance is not of this world, but of Heaven.
We see how gentle Jesus is. He warned and rebuked the lukewarm church, the church of Laodiceans, yet He said,
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)”
He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. He wouldn’t push the door and barge in. He gently stands and knocks at the door.
Our Lord, Jesus is the express image of our Father (Hebrews 1:1~3a). And we know how pleased our Father was with His Son. Easier said than done to remain gentle and quiet in our daily life, especially when someone pushes our buttons or when we hear bad news. Yet we take the yoke of Jesus on us and learn from Him.
It’s my prayer that you and I adorn the hidden person of the heart with the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit and we become precious in our Father’s sight.
Have a bliss!
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28~30)