Monthly Archives: August 2012
There are some events in our Christian walk that occur at a point in time while some others happen as a process. However, we tend to confuse the two of them because it is not easy to differentiate the two and is difficult to explain them. Those things that should occur at a point we delay. But those things that need a longer time to accomplish we hope that they can take place at a point. There are two important issues here. Firstly, decisions should happen at a point though they themselves need processes to derive at. Examples are our repentance and our responses to God. Through different processes, God leads us to repentance and respond to Him and we make a decision at a point in time. After we derive at a decision or a response at a point in time, it would then trigger a process again. This is the process of santification – a process by which God purifies and refines us through a period of time. Secondly, the process of sanctification helps us to fulfill our decision but not to reverse the decision. Simply put, sanctification takes time. Most of us do not change overnight although we have decided or responded to turn from our old self, unless there is a direct intervention from God. We would still fall into temptations in that process, but we should not be discouraged and think it is better to go back to our old life instead. What is important in the sanctification process is that we should be sinning less and getting more sensitive to sins. We should not return to our old life just because we have not been able to fully kick away our bad habits. Sanctification seldom happens at a point but it is usually a process to help us fulfill our decisions or responses to God. Let us not delay our decisions to respond and be patient during the sanctification process.
The object of our faith is an important question because it deals with “on what” and “on whom” we are building our faith upon. Before we believe in Jesus, we used to build our faith on other religions, career, wealth, success, family or even on ourselves. But after we accept Jesus, it is a process to dethrone these objects we have been building our faith on. Sometimes we can be going to church without changing our allegiance. What’s more, in church, we can end up building our faith on the church’s name, programs, pastors and leaders, and our friends too. Our allegiance must be to God and God alone. Our faith must be built on God and God alone. It cannot be built on things or people. Remember when everything collapses, God will never change.
People today want to have more say and more rights. We see people fighting over a seat in the bus or on the train. We see people rejecting an elderly project to be built. There are many more. While it is good that people are voicing their opinions, we must never forget the difference between rights and privileges. Many believers want to seek for their rights without appreciating the privileges. The Word of God tells us that we are saved by grace and not by works. There is nothing we can really boast about. In other words, we actually have no rights in the kingdom of God. We are only His servants or slaves. It is the privilege of the servant to serve the King of kings. It is not a right. The only right we have is bestowed by God. That is the right to become His children. It is needful to know our place in the kingdom of God lest we put ourselves too high up. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Rights cannot be demanded just as grace cannot be demanded. Appreciate grace before we lose it.
People want freedom. They fight for freedom too. But many do so without knowing the true meaning of it. To some, freedom means the right to do whatever they want and like. They think that freedom should not have any boundaries. But they do not know that by seeking freedom they are losing freedom. Pseudo freedom is about gratifications of our flesh. When we pursue it, we become enslaved by our flesh. We end up having problem controlling ourselves. We are what the Bible calls enslavement to our sins. True freedom is not the right to do whatever we want or like. It is being “enslaved” to righteousness. True freedom does have a boundary. But it is not an external discipline about do’s and don’t’s. If so, it would only be behavioral and superficial which is not sustainable in the long run. Sad to say, many people run on this mode, that’s why their lives are not changed and following Christ become a chore to them. True freedom is about redefining the boundary in our conscience through the impact of the Word and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God convicts us within not just what is sinful, but also what is righteous, thus redefining the boundary within us. It is an awakening call for our marred conscience. When the boundary is redefined, we would act upon what is right naturally without the need to enforce a discipline on ourselves. How many of us need to be reminded that it is wrong to steal or murder? Hardly, because our conscience has already been rightly defined for us those sins. The more the boundary is being redefined, the more freedom we would experience. We become free in Christ and therefore no longer subject to the law of Christ because the law is already written in our hearts! Don’t fight for pseudo freedom that leads to turmoil. Pursue true freedom in Christ and we will have peace within.
Many people look for “perfect ones” among them. But to their dismay, they end up seeing more imperfections of man. They become more disappointed and disheartened. Some even get hurt or become bitter. They did not realize that it is not possible to find any perfect people in an imperfect world. Only the One above is perfect. Only He does not disappoint us. So the question is whether we are still looking for solutions from people or we are looking to God for help. It is therefore necessary that we manage our expectations of people because the more we expect, the more we will be disappointed. It would be interesting to note that the people closest to us are usually the people that hurt us the most. Not because they are more imperfect, but because our expectations of them are higher. It is also surprising to see that the flaws that put us off in others may also be inherent in ourselves. Simply because those flaws are what we hate to see in ourselves too. The Bible tells us that only God is perfect. Therefore we can only look up not look down. The perfection of God must then motivate us to be holy and righteous in our lives. The word of God must be a mirror for us to look at our own imperfections first so that we can pursue godliness. As for the imperfections around us, rather than pointing our fingers at them, it may be better for us to walk alongside them. It is always easier to motivate someone to change by letting him know that we are not better or superior than them but willing to stand by him and do the battle together. It is about iron sharpening iron rather than needle sharpening iron. We must come in our humility and fraility to overcome imperfections. When we are weak, then we can become strong. So before we point finger at the imperfect ones today, look up to the Perfect One and look into ourselves and cry out “Woe to me, for I am a man of unclean lips.”