A Hard-Won Triumph of My Faith

Creative Commons License Last month, July 12, 2020, marked the second-year anniversary of Swordsman of the Word. When I made my first post in this blog two years ago, I was full of hope and expectation about the blessings the future might bring. Well, I never thought that the next two years would turn out to be such a struggle getting this ministry off the ground, and that they would bring me — in addition to the blessings — much pain, hardships, and regrets. And that is because, in the final analysis, Swordsman of the Word had seemed to others to be much too radical and much too ambitious to be attempted by someone like me. A nobody. Gifted, maybe. But still, a nobody.

What I’ve been reminded of recently, however, is that this ministry is ultimately only between me and God. I’m the one whose faith in him is being tested. And I’m the one who is accountable. I’m the one who is standing before him in judgment and giving account of the things I’ve done in regard to it. (As I have declared in Running this Blogging Race Once Again, the only authority I recognize now for this ministry is the Bible, God’s Word.) Therefore, as long as I’m in line with the things God has said, and as long as I have his approval for this work, what others think of Swordsman of the Word doesn’t really matter. People’s opinions (and people’s obstructions) don’t affect its legitimacy, nor will they overcome its power and continuity.

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Running this Blogging Race Once Again

Creative Commons License There have been many challenges and difficulties in getting this ministry off the ground — lack of resources, lack of support, lack of humility, and lack of faith. To those of you who have followed my progress, you know the things I went through. And you probably thought — after many months of silence from me — that I’d finally given up. I won’t blame you if you did.

But the truth is that I just didn’t want to proceed without God’s explicit approval, and so I’ve waited on him. Despite all the energy, time, and tears I’ve already spent on this blog, I’ve still waited on God — for him to prove to me that he really wants me to spend a significant part of my life blogging for him.

And so God has. Answered me. Proven it to me. And so here I am. Running this blogging race once again.

My thanks and gratitude go to Dale, my brother in Christ, whom God has used to bring me back on this racetrack. This one is for you, bro.

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It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (3)

Creative Commons License It’s all about knowing God.

And knowing God means living your life according to his Word: his commandments, his values, and his ways.

And perhaps there is nothing more radical (and more scorn-garnering) than working to succeed in God’s Kingdom, but not in this world:

To hope and work for things unseen, yet believed in.

To find joy and fulfillment in a work well-accomplished — rather than a work well-applauded.

To adhere to ancient principles of good conduct in the midst of today’s ultramodern and spiritually-bankrupt culture.

And to aspire to greatness, not by seeking positions of influence and power, but by becoming the lowest — serving God by serving all.

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Pexels.com | Unsplash.com | Openclipart.org

Note: This post is part of the series My Testimony.

The above might have made you confused, my friend. After all, if you look around you, there are many Christian leaders who have sought success and power just like anyone would — and except maybe for their add-ons of so-called “Biblical principles,” the methods they have used to achieve these things do not differ much from the rest.

Well, I don’t have yet the authority and knowledge to call them out, if they are really in error, but let me show you something, my friend. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and the one we are supposed to follow, exemplified the type of leadership that he wants for his disciples, and that is servant leadership.

Jesus summoned [his disciples], and said to them, “You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant. Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all. For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:42-45 WEB

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It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (1)

Creative Commons License It’s all about knowing God.

And so it truly begins now — my work for this ministry, Swordsman of the Word. The vision is laid down, the setup is all done for now, and my present course is defined and planned.

But the fact that this post is very late, even though I’m supposed to be working “full-time,” and the fact also that I haven’t yet written anything new for my Patreon page… are only proofs of my struggle against my circumstances, which limit my ability and freedom to serve God. Moreover, they also show how difficult it really is trying to understand (and to write about) how he, God, has been working in my life all these years.

And by the daring title of this post, It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame, I have assigned to myself a difficult task indeed.

IMAGE
Pexels.com | Unsplash.com | Openclipart.org

Note: This post is part of the series My Testimony.

How would you go about it yourself, I’m asking you, my friend. If you’ve never had a lot of money, and if you’ve never been popular, how would you go about convincing people that the greatest possession they can ever have in this life are not these things, but their relationship with God?

And if you are reminded every day of the high costs of having that relationship, say, being persecuted because of your beliefs, how would you go about convincing people that the greatest accomplishment they can ever achieve, and the greatest investment of time and energy that they can ever make, is to know God deeply?

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The Price I Pay for Victory

Creative Commons License I’ve just finished making my to-do lists using a new method: markdown and HTML. Dividing my many tasks into different categories and subcategories — my tasks for the various aspects of my life and work — I then write my lists in plain text files using a simple markdown editor. These text files are individually converted to HTML pages, to be viewed in a web browser. To make my browsing efficient, I’ve added a basic system of page linking, just like in a website.

The result? Not only are my lists much easier to update now, and to adapt to changes compared to, say, using a task-management software, but my own minimal design also gives me a good overview and summary of my tasks, making prioritizing much easier. The states of my life and work, and my direction have all become clearer, and thus lifting much of the pressure I’ve been feeling lately.

Now, if only life itself is as easy to manage and to understand as our lists of things to do….

Because oftentimes, as we deal with our problems and struggles every day, we can become so focused on what is in front of us, that we forget to consider the bigger picture. We can forget how the pieces of our lives might fit together in the overall scheme of things. This doesn’t sound good, right? After all, we want to make the best of our lives, and so we don’t want to waste our limited time doing things that don’t really matter.

But I’m saying to you now, my friend, that as long as we also don’t forget to thank God continually for all the things he has done for us, and as long as we take an occasional break and try to keep everything in perspective, there is nothing wrong with this: To be focused on our present concerns, and to forget the rest.

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A Crucial Need to Overcome

Creative Commons License Writing is therapeutic, they say, and I’ve certainly found that to be true in my own life. Unquestionably, writing in my journals and blogs have had positive effects on my mental and emotional health over the years. For a deep and introvert person, it was a kind of self-expression that I greatly needed — a releasing of my pent-up thoughts and emotions. It was freedom to a certain extent.

But as I grew in my faith, and as my nature is changed by the Holy Spirit, writing has become much more than a kind of therapy for me, much more than a form of self-expression, and much more than just a way I use to serve God. For writing has also become a very effective process that I use to deal with my many personal issues, particularly spiritual and emotional issues.

Because I find that writing about these matters, especially in the presence of the Holy Spirit, changes my soul. In leaps and bounds.

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