To honor God in my writings

Archive for February, 2015

Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

“The Christian Life is not difficult, it is impossible.” A statement i often hear from Pastor Peter Tan-Chi. And from the recent leadership conference speaker Pastor Edmund Chan saying “I CAN’T!” We cannot live the Christian life, especially not on our own strength. That is why we need the promised Holy Spirit. We are sealed by the Spirit when we put our faith in Jesus but it is another thing to be filled by the Holy Spirit day by day, moment by moment.

Paul commands us in Galatians 5:16 to walk in the Spirit so that we will not satisfy our sinful desires. A quick prayer of asking God to fill us moment by moment may help and is necessary in the situations of our lives. However, it may not be sufficient in itself. It goes hand in hand with a constant Quiet Time, one of the spiritual disciplines.

Being godly and spiritual cannot be established or attained by a busy, fast-paced, hectic life – running here and there, full of activities and programs, meetings, stress, and overtimes. We need to set aside time everyday to spend time with God, reading His words, praying, listening, worshipping, meditating on Him. This allows us to experience His presence and puts us in a place where He can fill us, mold us, and transform us from the inside out. This changes our perspective, our values, our priorities, and our behavior as stated by Ptr. Peter in his recent message.

Without reading God’s word, how can you know if a voice that you hear is of God or not, if an angel that appears to you is of the light or of the darkness. We believe in a speaking God but it comes to a lot of abuses these days. You can hear people claiming “God told them…” But it contradicts the Bible. Pastor Edmund shared a secret in listening to God in 3 words – “HE HAS SPOKEN!” The Bible is essential. Read it again and again, year after year. You’ll never hear a mature Christian saying i stopped reading the Bible because i already know it even in their later years in life. So knowing God’s will and hearing God’s voice starts here.

You can see my previous blog for more on Intimacy with God.

Mrs Potiphar

Luke 11:34 your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy,your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also will be full of darkness.

In Genesis 39, we can see the story of Joseph and Mrs Potiphar. Verse 7 says that she TOOK NOTICE of Joseph and made advances. She was very persistent (v10). She had her eyes on Joseph, a person whom she is not meant to have any relations with because she was already married. Her eyes sets her desires aflame and wanted to have an affair with a handsome man even if it was illegal.

Let’s take a look at another example in 2 Samuel 11, the affair of David and Bathsheba. Verse 2 says from the roof she SAW a woman bathing… His eyes ignited his heart with a desire for her. He inquired about her and even sent for her. As the story goes, she got pregnant and plans of cover up and murder followed.

In this modern world we live in, we are bombarded with billboards and ads of almost naked women. Women flaunting their sexy body parts with the belief of “if you got it, why not show it.” Pornography is everywhere in the web even in social media like Facebook, video site like YouTube, even search engines like Google, which we thought were safe. You can read my previous article for more on the effects of pornography.

As the verse in Luke says, our eye is the lamp of our body. If we are not careful with what we look at, sin will start growing in our hearts, arousing our desires, and soon we will fall into sin and actions that will lead to death. It is not a sudden occurrence but a slow downward spiral, which you wouldn’t even notice until it is too late. It is also known as the process of hardening of the heart.

Just like Joseph, we need to use evasive action – RUN. We need to run away from these temptations. Jesus said “if your right eye or hand causes you to sin, gouge it out, cut it off.” We need to take sin seriously in order to deal with it because when we play with fire, we will surely get burned.

Aside from physical avoidance, a more efficient approach is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to spend time with God, get strength from His presence and His word. We need to be conscious of God moment by moment.

In the past, I filled myself with pornography. It degraded my view of women, viewing them as objects to consume. Even my family life was affected. I easily burst into rage with my children and was often selfish in my thinking and desires, especially when it comes with my wife. Reading the bible became a ritual, and my spiritual walk with God was dry. My desires of listening to His direction and following Him dwindled. But thank God for His mercy that He doesn’t treat us as our sin deserved, His grace and love ever steadfast and unchanging, His arms always open to welcome me back and waiting for me to repent and turn away from my wickedness. As David said in his Psalms, blessed is he whose sins are not counted against him (Ps 32).
God gives us a fresh start, reminding us not to live in our past sins and mistakes, to move on and look ahead. As the song goes – forgetting what lies behind, setting our hearts on the price, laying down every sin that would seek to hinder us. Let us be faithful to our calling because He is faithful to finish the work that He began in us.
Another passage that God reminded me with is in Romans 6:11-13 “Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies so that you obey its evil desires.
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master…” I had to stop reading my Bible and memorize those 3 verses and commit it to heart. I made several action points on how i can obey those verses and not give parts of my body to wickedness – my hand and my eyes.

As another new year starts, i practice avoiding looking at women that are wearing sexy clothes and I do not intentionally look for women to look at. Instead of using my cellphone to watch pornography, I play worship songs and listen to online messages. Most importantly, i turned my heart from being temporarily satisfied by sexual desires to being filled by the true Living Water, the only one who can satisfy the inner most longings, Jesus Christ. I pray for His Holy Spirit to fill me moment by moment, to totally surrender to Him my life and my all. I pray that you repent of your ways and turn to Him too. May God empower us to live in purity for His glory. God bless you all.

Tune in next time for more on being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Tag Cloud