I just realized that my last blog entry was more 2 years ago already and I was talking about the full life back then. If you would ask me if I have been living a full life since then, I’d simply say that no, I am not. Aside from losing my father and gaining a niece, the past two years and 5 months of my life was pretty UNEVENTFUL. Yes, there are highs and lows but I can say that there is no significant milestone that I can claim whether in my personal life, career and even ministry. Still, I praise and thank God that He has brought me this far and even sustained me during this long period of isolation.
I decided to write again today to mark the beginning of my renewed FAITH in Christ and my journey towards embracing the will of God and living by faith and not by sight. Renewed faith not because I have come from backsliding or something but more of responding to God’s call for higher level of commitment and deeper relationship with Him.
It’s kind of timely actually because I was reminded today that 10 years ago, I made a public declaration of my faith in Christ through water baptism after a two-day Encounter God Retreat. The water baptism was really symbolic to me back then because I was having second thoughts on doing it initially. Then God made me realize that if I’m saying that I truly want to follow Jesus, then what’s keeping me from leaving my former religion and do the baptism as a symbol of my new found faith?
Anyway, as I was saying, God made me renew my faith in Jesus Christ today by reminding me in our bible study on Romans 3 that first and foremost, my salvation from the power and consequence of sin (death) is by grace through faith in Christ alone. I am saved not because I’m righteous or because I am doing all the religious stuff that a Christian should do but because God is righteous and Jesus Christ paid for the penalty of my sin. I have believed and received this truth by faith ten years ago, but somewhere along the way of my Christian life, I have lost the very essence of my salvation and got caught up with my self-effort to earn God’s favor, often masked in the form of ministry activities. And I have recently reached to the point of my Christian life where everything seems so stale and I honestly don’t know how to move forward.
God spoke to me through this Word in Daniel’s prayer in my quiet time today:
“Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him. “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.”
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Daniel 9:13-19 NIV
For me, it’s a personal invitation from God (which was also confirmed in our bible study text tonight) to go back from where I started ~~ RIGHTEOUSNESS BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22,24 NIV)
And the only way to stay on and finish this race is also by faith in Christ alone. FAITH FROM FIRST TO LAST. The reason why life seems so uneventful for me lately is because I have stopped living by faith, or if there’s faith, I’m satisfied with just enough faith to barely get by. And God is not pleased with that kind of faith. So just like the people of Israel in Daniel’s time, now I am covered with shame and object of scorn of people around me.
So as I said, now I want to ask and seek God again for His will and plan for my life. And if there’s one thing I’m sure and certain about my faith and relationship with Christ, it’s my desire to stay at the center of His will. God reminded me that He is still the good Father who wants the best for me so it’s alright to ask and tell Him my personal desires. I just need to trust and have faith in Him again that whatever His answer is, it’s far better than what I have asked and desired. And when He answered, I must be willing and ready to live by faith and follow where He will lead me.
Please pray for me and pray with me as I ask God to put a new dream in my heart or even resurrect the dreams I have burried long time ago.