Monthly Archives: July 2012
In our walk with God, there are four aspects that we need to be trained – what I would call the 4Hs of Christian Living here. First H stands for “Head” — to know God personally. This is not just a head knowledge but an understanding and revelation about God. Second H stands for “Heart” — to be devoted to God and be humble before Him. This is about cultivating a right attitude and perspective in God. Third H stands for “Hands” — to serve Him with our lives whether we are talented or not, gifted or not. Though it will be good if we can make full use of our talents and gifts, but God need not necessarily use us in this manner. There are times when He chooses to use us in areas where we are weak in order for us not to boast about ourselves or indulge in our own egos. Fourth H stands for “Holy Spirit” — to depend on the presence and power of the Spirit of God. It is about living in His holy presence and thereby living our Christian life and serving God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
In our Christian walk, there would come a time when we find it hard to follow God. This is the time when we know that God means business. He is not just a God who provides everything we need for us but demands a surrendered life from us. We find it hard to obey because we start to count how much we have lost for the sake of following Christ. We see how much we have given up in order to follow Him. We wonder why it is still not enough for Him. Why can’t God just allow us to keep somethings for ourselves? The more we count, the more difficult it is. If we want to live out a life surrendered to God, we must stop counting what we lose and start counting what we gain in Christ. The apostle Paul even went a step further; he also counted what he gained from the world a loss compared to what he gained in Christ. Do we know that what we gain from the world may actually be a hindrance for us to know Christ? It is better to lose them and gain something more precious that we cannot lose.
Many a times when we serve God we can end up feeling dry. We feel that we have sacrificed so much for God but yet the work does not grow or others do not appreciate it. We think that we output so much yet our input from God and others are so little. We feel as though that the kingdom of God and others are indebted to us just that we do not voice it out. We do not see how much we actually learn from God and how God feeds us every day. Honestly speaking, God does not require our service or sacrifice; He can accomplish His work much better and faster on His own without us. But He entrusts His work to us so that we would learn and be shaped by Him. He is actually giving us all the input we need through serving Him so that at the end of the day, we would conform to His image and acquire the heart of God. So don’t always see or boast about how much we have output, thank God for all the input we have received from Him. Let us be more humble and see the true essence of serving God.
We all know that prayers change things. How we hope that this is always true. Things would have been so much easier. But more often than not, prayers is essentially to change us. Ultimately, prayers are God’s instrument for us to build a trusting relationship in God. It is actually a time for us to be aligned with God rather than getting God to do what we want. When we miss out this truth, we can be praying every day but not growing spiritually. Next time when we pray, let us ask ourselves whether we are praying in the will of God or just preying on the things of God.
Our natural tendency is to equate aging to maturing. We assume that as we grow old, we would mature. But in real fact, we can only say that as we grow old, we should mature. However, not every one who grows old, matures. This is all the more true for spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is a deliberate choice which requires discipline and training. It requires deep reflection as we feed upon the Word of God. We should strive to grow our spirituality so that it matches our spiritual age. Many of us, though spiritually old, are still feeding on milk. We thought that we can grow naturally, but we cannot. But the good news is this, just as there are people who mature faster than what their age should be, our spiritual maturity can also outgrow our spiritual age! So as we age gracefully, let us mature spiritually.
Everyone wants blessings from God. There is nothing wrong with it. But the problem lies in our understanding of the word. To some, blessings from God means a life of abundance; it should be trouble-free and smooth sailing. However, blessings from God need not necessarily mean this. We can be poor and our lives can be difficult but still be blessed by God. Blessedness is a state when we become the child of God. It is about living in the presence of God more than the presence of material goods or being free from all troubles. It is a spiritual inheritance of God more than a physical one although it can be accompanied by material goods. Next time when we ask blessings from God, it is good to ask what we are really asking God for. Do not just ask for material blessings, ask God for a spiritual one too.
Many times when we go through some difficulties and troubles in life, we like to ask whether God is testing us or the devil is tempting us. But why are we asking this question? We are actually interested to know who we can blame. But knowing who to blame does not solve our problems actually because the bible tells us it is the evil desire within us that is playing a trick on us. What is more important for us is to find out how we can overcome the trials or the temptations so that we can be built up by God. In every trial, there might be temptations and in every temptation, there might be trials. There is no way for us to know which comes first. Even if we know it, it would not help us to overcome it. Find out instead what God is doing through His trials or the temptations which He allows, and know how to overcome them with the power of God so that we can be built up and transformed into the likeness of our God.