Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Consistency: The Kingdom vs the King

Every now and then I'd add the calendar widget to my blog, just to see how "consistent" I've been in posting.

Usually, I do that when I really want to write, but somehow can't -- so I check how many I've written for the week and if I could get away with not writing, or if I can let it go and hope something comes to me a few days later.

Now that I think about it? I couldn't be any further from His heart.

I decided to write this blog, as I've repeated countless times, to try and foster a sense of community for Saints everywhere whom God decides to reach through this blog. With that, I've always held on to the idea that I will KEEP POSTING AS LONG AS HE KEEPS GIVING SOMETHING TO POST ABOUT.

For about a month that went on AWESOMELY. If you check it out, you can find a day or two when I posted about 2 to 4 blog entries! I was on fire last month. I just started typing away the moment I feel the Spirit stir up something in me to write about -- and since it's the Spirit working? My fingers just kept dancing around on the keys and words kept flowing.

Recently, I'm down to about a post a week. It's depressing and discouraging to say the least. What's more? These weekly posts -- by some silly standard I don't really understand but can certainly feel -- just don't seem to be at par with my older ones.

I feel like such a failure. As a writer. As a blogger. And definitely as a Saint.

That last failure category sure struck a cord -- Failure as a Saint.

And like any prodigal would do? I tried fixing the problem myself. I didn't bother seeking God, I was already bothering Him way too much with my school work -- this is something He has entrusted to me, and I want to do what I can to show I can be responsible in what He's given me.


As Saints I failed with the only responsibility we've been entrusted with -- TO LOVE THE LORD MY GOD.

I was minding the kingdom too much, I forgot ITS KING.

There was no way I'd be able to get back to "my rhythm" in writing JUST BY MY OWN EFFORTS. After all, it's HIS blog -- He won't let me go on writing WITHOUT HIM.

I realized, I'm not just experiencing a common case of "writer's block" -- my HEART was blocked.

Lately, I've been under too much work -- a term nearing its end is like having stabbed a snake and have it coil up around you tighter before it lets go of its life. I've placed too much focus on what I have to do, and forgot what I OUGHT TO DO.
I am a Saint, I'm called to be in constant communion with Him -- nothing more, definitely, nothing LESS.

Why can't I write? Because I don't have anything to write about.

Why don't I have anything to write about? Because I have no source of ideas.

Jesus said:

Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15: 4-5)

Apart from Him (Jesus) we can do nothing. I'd personally go further and say, apart from Him, we are NOTHING.

God in His grace has reminded me of this, sure, I have to go through times of drought too -- but no season in life would ever trump His promise:

TheProdigalSaint's been called to come back; and all this time he thought he's been back -- apparently, he's not "home" enough.
God's love is too stubborn to just let us be average -- it won't stop till we're fully basking in it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Your Grace is ENOUGH

Too many days have passed since I last got to write a post -- and I feel awful. Spring is almost here (snowed AGAIN this morning -- YEY) and for university students? That means TERM PAPERS AND FINAL EXAMS are all underway.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads:
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Easier said than done, believe me, I know! BUT. It's not that hard when you see how God actually brings you through it.

I am in university, and have been here for about a year now (well, I had two years back in the Philippines and now it's my first year university in Canada) and I can honestly say?

I HAVE NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT -- "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." (2 Cor. 11:30)

If I were to show you my grades right now, I won't be kidding -- they're STELLAR. But, I can honestly say IT'S ALL A PRODUCT OF GRACE.

Okay, so you might think this as false humility? But let me tell of how the story has been recently.

I'm taking a Political Science course this term, and since I've only been in Canada for about 8 months, I KNOW NOTHING OF CANADIAN POLITICAL STUFF -- yes, even the current events related stuff. I have no idea why I'm in this class, but it's already past the deadline for dropping courses, so I have to live with it.

We have to write a term paper for that class, and as expected, all the topics are specifics on anything Canadian. None of the essay questions made sense to me, except for the one that seemed broad enough -- one on Economic Inequality. So I went with that.

I thought I was all set. But boy, was I ever wrong. Days passed and I still couldn't get my head around the topic. It was too alien to make any sense to me. AND YES. I am such a lazy kid. Research should have solved my problems right? But I had this idea that there's too much to know about and too little time? So I was more tired thinking about it than actually doing it.

Yes, you've guess it -- I MISSED MY DEADLINE.

Well, technically, I did not miss it. I went to my professor on the day of submission and told him I could not submit my paper in-class that day -- after staring at a blank Miscrosoft Word screen till 3am, I decided to give up.

I kept praying, but I wasn't hoping for much; I know it's my fault, these are the consequences of my actions.

The next turn of events blew my mind -- my professor was all kind and accommodating, and he did NOT force me to submit. He gave me until Saturday 5pm to submit my paper (the deadline was Wednesday 10am, in-class). Moreover? There's supposed to be a 5% penalty for EVERY day late, BUT he spared me from that, he gave me a FLAT 5% deduction for being 3 days late! To add? He even helped me with where my paper was going!!!

Forget mountains, my God moves deadlines!

For all my university life, if not my WHOLE life -- academia or otherwise, God has been so gracious to me. I've always told my friends: I'm God's needy baby.

I'm a cry-baby who's so dependent on His father -- way too dependent at times. My stellar grades? Are really all just products of His grace. I do not work as hard as I should be, and I feel the consequences of that; but He's never let me down -- especially when I DO NOT EVEN DESERVE TO BE HELD UP.



Nothing spells SALVATION more than GRACE and LOVE.

God loves us SO much, He gave us love SO UNDESERVED, we can only vaguely call it "grace."
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Cor. 12:9)

If I were to detail here how many times HIS GRACE came through for me in my 19years of existence? Wordpress would overload and I'd have to skip school for the next 38years -- spending two years writing for every year I lived.

God has really been gracious enough for me to even know of this and recognize His handy work.

The idea that God has a plan? And we just have to trust in His faithfulness? Are all too cliche to use to console people -- CLICHE BUT DEFINITELY TRUE.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

I haven't been able to post lately, my time management skills have yet to improve. But, I do find time to check my email, and consequently, my subscriptions. So here's something I really believe would be a great read.

"Saint Patrick: Green Beer Has Nothing To Do With Him"  

is Chief of the Least's latest post, and I really liked it and strongly believed I had to share it.

Turns out, I have been missing out way too much -- I SHOULD be commemorating St. Patrick's Day!

God's grace is painted in an awesome shade of green on this holiday. Green symbolizing growth for Saints everywhere who endure trials and persecution (even from other believers -- Saint Patrick had to deal with his superiors' doubts while being strongly persecuted by some Irish rulers, lawgivers, and commoners) in pursuit of God's call.

(Click on the title to access the post.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You were as I, tempted and tried... human.

This line just kept playing in my head for the WHOLE week (in fact, I think it's been like this for two weeks)!

I don't remember the whole song, just this line. I just keep singing it in my head:

"You were as I tempted and tried. Human."

Tonight, He finally told me why.


theprodigalsaint: "You were as I, tempted and tried -- human."

God: Oh, so you're still singing that?

theprodigalsaint: I can't get it out of my head!

God: Do you know why?

theprodigalsaint: Well, it's definitely a reminder that there's no excuse for my sins -- even You, in the form of Jesus, were tempted but remained sinless.

God: Well, I was still God during My time on earth.

theprodigalsaint: True, but You were also completely man.

God: True. Hey, what song are you gonna present for Easter again?

theprodigalsaint: Huh? Oh, "No Greater Love"

God: You have a solo part right? I made sure you were given that part, what part was it.

theprodigalsaint: It's -- :')

[No Greater Love is a Cantata by John Piper about the life of Jesus. I was given the part of Jesus being tempted in the desert. It was a duet using the tempter's words and Jesus's responses -- I was singing Jesus's responses. ♥]


Jesus was fully human and fully God; He too was tempted and tried -- EVEN BY SATAN HIMSELF!
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matt. 4:1)


theprodigalsaint: Now I get it! But isn't that what I said? You kept putting this line, not even the whole song, in my head to remind me that I am supposed to follow in Your footsteps -- not fall into sin.

God: Mm-hmm. But that's not all. What else did you sing about?

theprodigalsaint: Well, I was singing the things You -- :')


Jesus, when He was being tempted by Satan, defended Himself -- with God's word.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matt. 4:4)

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matt. 4:7)

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matt. 4: 10)

He held on to God's word. He knew what He was to do -- obey God ONLY and FULLY.


theprodigalsaint: Well, Lord, it's not that easy. Sure, I want to hold on to Your words too. I also have enough knowledge of Your words to be able to defend against the sins Satan commonly tempts me with. But...

God: But it's not that easy because 'I just can't understand how there are things that you humans crave for so much that it's become a physical pain?" or that 'I don't understand that there are things that you humans are prone too? Your emotions, your flesh's desires, your socially constructed constraints, etc?'

theprodigalsaint: Yes, Lord! Yes! Exactly!

God: Son, why don't you read the passage again.


Jesus had to deal with Satan like most of us. He, was COMPLETELY human after all.
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Matt. 4:2-3)


God: Did you see it?

theprodigalsaint: Yes.

God: So...?

theprodigalsaint: When You were tempted, you were tempted with something categorically similar to everything I'm tempted with ... I mean, the circumstances are the same.

God: Mm-hmm, go on?

theprodigalsaint: When I am tempted, it's SO easy to fall when I'm tired and/or stressed. Emotionally unstable because of physical weariness. It's hard to focus, to think first before I act, let alone to ponder upon Your word before falling into Satan's trap.

God: And at that time?

theprodigalsaint: Jesus was hungry and tired -- He was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights! And He was tempted with food.

God: But?

theprodigalsaint: But what?

God: You were thinking of a "but," what is it?

theprodigalsaint: Well, He was FASTING after all, so that means He was spiritually recharged at that time. He was in communion with You! He was praying and all. He definitely was spiritually ready, and probably even mentally, to take Satan head on!

God: Sure, He was filled by the Spirit at that time. And yes, He was in communion with Me at that time. So what does that tell you?

theprodigalsaint: ... that if I were to spend my days seeking and communing with You CONSTANTLY, I will be able to draw on Your strength too, like how Jesus was spiritually ready to battle Satan, even when He was physically drained.

God: And?

theprodigalsaint: And that no amount of physical craving or limitation would be able to weaken a Saint empowered by the Spirit -- Your Spirit.

God: So now are you convinced that I really understand how you feel? How temptations appeal to your certain 'perceived' needs? Jesus was extremely hungry at that time, but He didn't give in. He was SO tired, stones to bread would've been an easy way out of things.

theprodigalsaint: He knew that there are greater things than just this fleshly body we're bound in. He knew He had a higher purpose to fulfill: to bring You glory and to overcome sin and death. Turning stones to bread would not accomplish anything, in terms of His mission. That action won't glorify You. Besides, if He were to do that, He's be obeying and pleasing Satan -- He knew what You want. He had the power in Him, but He knew you won't allow Him too, why? Because there's no purpose to it.

God: Sounds familiar?

theprodigalsaint: There are a LOT of things I know You can give me, I know I can do, and I know I can get -- But I have to always trust in Your plan and focus on being goal oriented.

God: Goal oriented?

theprodigalsaint: Focused on one goal, and one goal alone, doing only things that please You.

God: I think I've already told you that sometime ago, right?

theprodigalsaint: Yup. It went something like: There really is no such thing as right and wrong -- only what pleases and displeases God -- You.

God: There's something else...

theprodigalsaint: hmm?

God: Son, I want you to be like Me. More and more like Me -- like Jesus. He held on to My word, never let go. I kept playing that line in your head to remind you that YOU ARE CAPABLE of doing what I did when I was on earth -- be FOCUSED! Son, I don't want you to just remember My words in times of temptation -- I want you to be able to focus on My word in EVERYTHING. You need Me, you know that. And I want to help you too, and this is My way of telling you how. Stick close to Me, walk with Me -- ALWAYS. Always means ALWAYS, right?

theprodigalsaint: I haven't been giving much thought to what You want for everything, have I?

God: Mm-hmm,

theprodigalsaint: And that lead to a very slow but constant drift away from You. Slowly, yet definitely surely, I was making decisions on my own, focusing on things I want. Not that I was focusing on huge decisions, but just things like how to spend my afternoon, where to eat for lunch, what to eat for dinner, how to talk with my friends, how to deal with classmates, how to act on the bus, how to... etcetcetc. The more I got used to mundane things and mundane decisions made everyday -- the more callous I became to You. When the time came that I needed to cling to You and let go of what I want and focus on what You want, I was already too used to listening to myself.

God: So what do you plan to do now?

theprodigalsaint: Pray, ask, and focus -- I mean, just ask.

God: Ask?

theprodigalsaint: Ask for Your help and Your empowerment -- that I may be focused. I cannot do all these on my own, I am too weak. BUT! There is power in You. :)

God: *chuckles* I love you, son.

theprodigalsaint: and I couldn't be happier >:D< Love you too!


P.S. Here's the song, thanks to Google, I finally found out what song it was!

Lead Me to the Cross -- Hillsongs

Saturday, March 3, 2012


If there's one thing I can never stress enough, it's that being a Christian is being in a relationship with Christ.

God wants that.

When God called Abraham to be the father of HIS chosen people, He did not call him to PRACTICE A RELIGION -- He called him to DEVOTION to Him.

When Jesus came, He did NOT establish A CHURCH (in the religion sense of the word); He came and taught, DIED for the people He created -- AND ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD to establish relationships with the people He came to save.


The Bible clearly says:
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

You NEVER go into any relationship with anyone YOU DO NOT KNOW. A relationship with Christ ENTAILS A KNOWLEDGE and ACCEPTANCE of who He IS, and what He's DONE for us.

Another aspect of a relationship can be found in Matthew 7:21:
"Not everyone who says to Me (Jesus), 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven."

Relationships demand OBEDIENCE. When we accept Christ for who He is -- we essentially accept Him as our LORD and SAVIOR. It IS pretty straight forward, "Why are you calling me Lord when you're not obeying me?"

And of course, there's the all important idea from 1 John 4:19
"We love because he first loved us."

A relationship HAS to be founded on LOVE. The whole idea of Christianity is basically having GOD LOVE US SO MUCH.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Christianity is not primarily a whole list of dos and don'ts that can get you saved, that's what RELIGION is for. Christ coming to earth was essentially BECAUSE HE LOVED US TO MUCH and WANTED TO SAVE US. We do not become Christians to adhere to its teachings and laws to be saved -- we become Christians to RECEIVE His LOVE and GRACE, to ENTER INTO A RELATIONSHIP with HIM.

We saints do not subscribe to a religion, we FOLLOW a GOD who LOVES US. Blindly following a religion and its teachings is totally different from KNOWING, LOVING, and FOLLOWING Someone -- someone who came over to this measly earth He himself created, died in the hands of those He came to save, and provided His salvation as a free gift JUST BECAUSE HE LOVES US SO MUCH.
Q: Does it mean, then, that as long as I have a relationship with Him, I am a saint already? I don't need to follow a certain way of living?

-- Well sure, but remember, being in a relationship CHANGES people. If you truly are COMMITTED to someone, IT WILL SHOW.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You make all things work together for MY good.

I was casually browsing some comic videos on YouTube, and this appeared on the Suggested Videos panel

In the middle of the video, until the end, they kept repeating:

It's a coverage of a concert, so there were a LOT of repeats -- which, I could just hear God telling me: "You hear that son?"

Just as I was listening to it, I was reading my friend's blog: Believing the Unbelievable, with a post titled God's Plans vs. Mine. I won't be copying her whole post here, and I won't be giving much comments either. I believe her words are more than enough encouragement on how much God loves us to have anything LESS THAN PERFECT planned for us.
"Many are the plans in a man's heart; but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."-(Proverbs 19:21)

My plans are no match compared to God's plans for me. I'm actually excited for what God has in store for me for this season of my life. He's really a God full of surprises! He just surprised me yesterday that because of what happened,I might have to start my own clothing line already!AMAZING AND INDESCRIBABLE GOD.His right time is always perfect!Praying for it to happen if it is His will!In Jesus Name!:D All I can say is that we should not go before God, because we are nothing without Him in front of us.Don't let God follow us, we should be the ones following Him.OUR PLANS ARE NOTHING WITHOUT GOD IN OUR HEARTS.

I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. [8] The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever---do not abandon the works of your hands.-(Psalm 138:2,8)
These words helped me a lot last night!:">

-- Louie Yao

So many things are still swirling around my head right now, some are even trying to cloud over my heart -- BUT I refuse to stand down and let them overcome me. I don't need to worry about tomorrow, my future, what it holds, and how I'm gonna get there -- ALL I SHOULD BE WORRYING ABOUT IS HOW I CAN OBEY HIS EVERY COMMAND. He promised to bring us through, and He promised to be working in us until the day He comes back.
"God just reminded me that HE WILL NEVER EVER ABANDON ME!:) -- Louie Yao"

"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt. 6:27;34)

Obedience is a constant choice we have to deal with EVERYDAY; we have enough trouble struggling to obey God FULLY today to even start worrying about Tomorrow. God holds my tomorrow; He has new commands for me to follow tomorrow -- I just have to take the commands a day at a time, and obey them fully through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'll trust Your Heart

Was reading something off Tumblr, and these words jumped at me:
Life is not easy at times and we find ourselves having a difficult time with just running through the motions but that’s okay.

This morning, well afternoon actually, I woke up with a heavy heart. I don't really understand why, but I knew I was feeling something wrong -- either emotionally or spiritually -- something was just WRONG.

I tried praying, I tried seeking Him, but that downtrodden feeling of being overwhelmed by an inexplicable sadness and discontent still lingered. I did a very short and quite rushed devotion. He gave me John 16:33, the verse was familiar, so I just browsed through it and went on with my day.

Went to choir practice after, Mandarin Choir practice, still feeling heavy and unattached. We were practicing a cantata for Easter -- No Greater Love, in Mandarin of course. Then we practiced some songs to be sung for the next few Sundays, and since Lent is already underway, the songs were mostly about the Cross. I sang mindlessly. My Chinese has become rusty, so I was having a hard time following the lyrics; I focused on the notes, but the way people around me sang just keeps throwing me off. I was distracted to say the least. I saw EVERYTHING that could make me go crazy and act up -- all the while missing His love signals.

Got home, had dinner, and defaulted to surfing -- that's when I read a friend's Tumblr post.

I realized, I wasn't sad, I wasn't depressed -- I was tired. Tired of the mundane, or at least of the "regular." It was a constant up and down, a never ending cycle of being in peace and bliss and crashing into sin, disappointment and despair. I don't think I'm moving forward -- I think I'm just going through the motions.

So when I was reading my friend's post, I just had to show her this video:

It was my go-to song when trying to encourage people who just can't seem to find purpose in their Christian walk. So obviously, I had to listen to it again. That's when He made me realize that I am just really tired.

The world is not where we're supposed to be -- we're SAINTS -- citizens of Heaven, consequently, aliens on earth. It's tiring to live somewhere you're not at home in, it's tiring to be waiting on when you can return home, and it's definitely tiring to be battling all the time and not always winning.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

I took a second look at the verse He gave me this morning, and I noticed the words I skipped over -- Peace, Overcome the world.

I realized, all this hoopla of being discouraged and all was just my humanity acting up on the fact that I am still IN WAITING. Nothing much has changed since I posted about Waiting; I still am dealing with waiting. It was crazy of me to just write about it and forget about the things I wrote -- things He told me to help me deal with waiting.

I am tired. Yes. I am starting to be discouraged. Definitely. I have no idea where I'm going, and what progress (if any) I'm making. Sure.


All these should NEVER be enough reason for me to stop SEEKING and drawing CLOSER to Him.

Just moments ago, I received a reply from a church mate. I emailed him last night to share with him my post on waiting, after hearing his sharing on how he's dealing with God and waiting on Him. His reply reads:
Thanks Ivan! Encouraging post, it helps to know someone else is going through the same thing.

Yea just have to be patient. See you at church!

Yes, PATIENCE. Funny how the most fundamental and basic lesson in waiting is the lesson I forgot! Maybe I deliberately did that, I've always been afraid of the word -- PATIENCE.

God is love, and His love is unfailing. Through His love, we are saved -- and by His love, we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS. Sure, the world gets me down, I get tired, I feel crazy, BUT, I have to exercise PATIENCE. It's all part of His plan -- a plan focused on LOVE FOR ME.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

"So when you don't understand, when you don't see His plan, when you can't trace His hand, TRUST HIS HEART."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Faith - Above and Beyond Reason

For the past few weeks, my devotions have been taking me on a journey through the Old Testament. (I just finished GENESIS! YEY.) Thing is, I realized, there were SO many things I never knew about Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Abraham, Isaac, etc.

See, when Sunday school teachers teach you (you in your Elementary days) about the lives of these people, they DO not include the ff.:

1. Lot and his daughters (Gen. 19: 30-36)
Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

2. God actually saying that Jacob would be greater than Esau before Jacob deceived him and his father. (Gen. 25:23)
The LORD said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”

3. Commotion between Rachel and Leah, Jacob's wives. (Gen. 29:31-30:24)

*how they were bickering about who was loved more, how they plotted to be the "most loved," pleaded with God for children after children, etc.

4. Judah's first born son dying because of his wickedness. (Gen. 38:7)
 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death.

5. Onan's, Judah's second son, wickedness and his punishment. (Gen. 38:9-10)
But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death also.

6. Judah and her daughter-in-law. (Gen. 38:13-27)

*him sleeping with her, her pretending to be a prostitute, him not following their customs, etc.

These are just some of the things I had to read through TWICE to check if I was reading the right thing. (There were even somethings with Jacob and his dealings with his uncle Laban, Abraham and his wives, Noah and his life after the flood, Laban and his tricks -- and basically anything and everything that has to do with human deception and imperfections.) If I were to put down all of them, you won't even care to read through them -- it's going to be way too long.

Of course, the first thing I did when I encountered these was to PRAY. I was lost. I didn't understand why these would even be recorded, why these were even significant, let alone allowed (in the loose sense of the word.) So I kept asking, and this was what I got:
Son, I am the Alpha and the Omega -- I am not bound by anything, especially not by the actions and humanity of My creation. My will has been set way before any of these people even knew who I am. My understanding of things, you will never grasp. Son, all these I've placed in My Bible to show you how MY WILL WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL. 

I have great plans for My creations, for people, for you. But of course, you don't always obey Me. You have your own wills, and I respect that. However, do not for a second even think that your decisions, and your plans, will ever be able to mess up My grand design. Son, everything is still in My control -- everything would work out for My glory.

I don't expect you to be able to comprehend adding all these together -- My will, My perfect plan and Sovereignty, your actions, your desires, your sins, the consequences of your sins, the over-all effect of My design, and your individual lives -- and have them work together in harmony, a harmony that only I can orchestrate.

I did not call you to try and understand Me. I called you to be My saint, to have FAITH in Me.

The world has tons and tons of definition of what FAITH is, for me, it's but one thing: trusting in what I do not understand. As Hebrews 11:1 puts it,
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Sure, I don't understand, but one thing I know: He IS IN CONTROL. His sovereignty CANNOT be affected by our humanity.