Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Food for thought

I know I'm pressed for time given that my IR finals are tomorrow, but the Spirit decided that I would not rest until I posted this up. GOLD, really.

Last Friday, the camp committee and I finally had the opportunity to meet up with Pastor Dave from Acts Church, who is to be our speaker for the upcoming CF Camp. We were able to see what he had in mind for the camp, as well as convey some of our own expectations and our own questions. It was then when my CF president brought up her concerns of how to proceed with evangelism and how we could reach out to others, in spite of our own inadequacies.

Pastor Dave pointed out two things. Firstly, he mentioned that we need to have the courage to evangelize. Although it is easier said than done, we need to be courageous - we need to take the first step. As my CF president pointed out, even in the Great Commission, the first word that surfaces is "GO." So God tells us to GO and make disciples in all the nations. We need to have the courage to take that leap of faith, to evangelize. Yet, most of us still wonder, "Well, that's easier said than done, ain't it?"

This brings me to Pastor Dave's second point. Next, we need to be spirit-led. We have to be aware of what the Holy Spirit says to us and allow the Spirit to lead us in everything that we do, especially when evangelizing to others. Every word and act that is brought forth in our lips must come from the Heavenly Father and not with our own wisdom. Often, the Holy Spirit is the part of the Trinity that most of us, even myself, tend to take for granted. Furthermore, when we talk about the Holy Spirit, most people who do not come from charismatic backgrounds have this misconception that the Holy Spirit is parallel to the act of speaking in tongues, or seizure-like occurrences, or some wild and bizarre supernatural sign that frankly, even I am often frightened by at times. Sure, there is mention about the gifts of the Spirit such as the gift of tongues or even the interpretation of tongues, but that isn't what the Holy Spirit is entirely about.

The Bible also talks about the Fruits of the Spirit in the book of Galatians. The attainment of these fruits depict growth or development in our faith, as we reflect the likeness of the Lord in daily conversion and conduct. It is by the fruits that we are granted entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is by the greatest fruit of all, that is LOVE, in which our faith and works mean something. After all, it is said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3;

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."

Love must be the basis of all our actions, our convictions and ultimately, our faith. Frankly, it isn't easy for me, considering that I like my world to revolve around the rightness and wrongness of things. I always want to be right, and I constantly have this terrible desire of wanting to put other believers down with Christian rhetoric or even, dogma. Furthermore, I am easily affected by other believers who appear to possess better biblical knowledge than I do, and who is unafraid to point out my inaccuracies.

Regardless of the intentions of others, it is I who must check my heart. Who do I serve, and who am I trying to please? What are my actions and my speech based upon? Would it be better for me to refrain from mouthing Christian dogma towards others if it were to land them on shaky ground? Apart from these, there are a myriad of other questions I constantly have to ask myself, and I know very well that I do not have the answers for most of them. But I know very well that if I put my faith in God and remain in Him, He will reveal these things to me and I need not worry about what others think.

I've lived far too long attempting to conceal my brokenness to others, in hopes that others in seeing the impeccable life I live will come to know Christ. But no, this is absolutely and inherently wrong, and I deserve to be condemned for ever thinking it would work. From this point onwards, I am determined to remain vulnerable to those around me, although I know I will get hurt at some point or another. I know I will make mistakes, and I know people will deduce that I am a hypocrite when my words contradict my actions. But I am human, and I accept the fact that I am a hypocrite. I will never be perfect, until Kingdom come. And that's exactly why I need God, because only He can do all things. And His power works best in weakness - my weakness, your weakness, everyone's weakness.

So as per the prospect of evangelism, I will let Him do the job. It is not my responsibility to convert anyone into becoming a Christian. I am but a gardening tool for the harvest, either to plant the seed, to water it or to harvest it. Regardless of which, I am well aware what my duties are and will not seek to play God.

Who is my refuge and strength? Who is my Father in Heaven, who loves me for me, in all my brokenness and iniquity?

Nobody else, but JESUS.

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