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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tale of Two People

There are two people who live within me. One knows what the Lord has said and believes. The other doubts and worries. One humbles himself and obeys the Lord. The other does things he knows he shouldn't do. One is at peace. The other is ful of anxieties.

I naturally walk as one of these people. The other requires the Lord to walk with me.

I know that God is the Almighty. There is nothing that is beyond His abilities. There is nothing that is beyond His concern. His love for me is everlasting and He loves no one more than He loves me. I know that He will give me direction for today. I know that I exist in His grace for today and must depend on His grace for tomorrow when tomorrow arrives. I know obedience to Him honors Him and is best for me. I know that I have been created for His glory and He desires to have fellowship with me. I know that He has plans for good things in my life. I know that He is sovereign. He is aware and involved in everything that happens. I know He has forgiven me of all my wrongdoings. I know His mercy is fantastic. I know I can trust Him.

Yet, today, if I fail to pay attention to what I know, I can act as if none of these things are true. I can worry that my life will be meaningless. I can believe I am a failure. I will see myself as a fool who believes in Someone who does not care for me. I can blame myself. I can lose my trust. I can be full of worries, anxieties and fears.

Will I be the person who knows God or will I act like one who doesn't? This is the question I have before myself every day.

Yesterday, I rode my bicycle to the church building. I was almost hit by three cars. Twice it was my fault because I was trying to get past people before the lights. The third time it was because the person was completely distracted. He was talking on a cell phone, looking left and turning right at a stop sign. I was crossing the intersection on the sidewalk. I hit my brakes hard because he never looked.

I believe this man knows how to drive and is probably a safe driver most of the time. The problem was in his distraction. I thought of this as an example of the two people who live within me. I am a different person when I pay attention. I am different when I take time in the morning to remember who I am and who God is. I am different when I pay attention to what I know of God and how He acts. I am different when I am paying attention.

Who will I be today? That depends on whether I am paying attention.

Psalm 42:11 (ESV) 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful reflection for the reading of the Ps 42:11.

Indeed, Christians need to learn to come to the place of self-reflection. Allow me to borrow the words of the Apostle Paul -

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Cor 13:5)

The purpose of such examination is NOT to condemn ourselves, but it is to be for the following benefits of reminding us:

1. Of our salvation, of who we are;
2. Of how much God loves us;
3. Of our decision to follow Jesus;
4. Of our following Jesus means loving God;
5. and loving our neighbors
6. Of our loving God means obeying His commands;
7. Of Actions are needed to back our saying we love God;
8. Of God is looking at our heart;
9. Of our need for God's grace;
10. Of our need to lock onto His righteousness and justice; even as we can look to His love and faithfulness (Ps 89:14);
11. Of our experiences with God, positive ones and negative ones, too;
12. Of 1 John 1:9, that we are to ask for His forgiveness;
13. Of our need to be humble before Him;

And then, God ministers to us:

1. Where rest is lacking, He gives rest;
2. Where refreshing is needed; He refreshes;
3. Where it is difficult to sustain; He sustains;
4. Where forgiveness is needed; He forgives;
5. Where healing is needed; he heals;
6. Where peace is missing, He gives the peace of His Spirit;
7. Where joy is missing; He grants the joy of the Spirit;
8. Where meaninglessness has set in; He takes that away.
9. Where hope has dimmed; he renews it in us.

And we come to be able to:

1. Praise Him for another day;
2. Live for another day;
3. Work for another day;
4. Love for another day; and
5. Look forward to another day.

Above all, it reminds us that Christ Jesus has won the victory, and if God is for us, who can be against us; and our part is to persevere in His ways; we leave the rest to Him.

At the end of it, I tell myself (and you should be able to say the same to yourself) this:

1. My hope is secured. What hope? Hope of salvation. To make it there, to Heaven.
2. My faith is still intact.
3. Love is still in me.

When hope, faith and love remains or is intact, you and I can and should rejoice for today, and look forward to another day.

There are several voices in us: there is the us, then there is the voice of the sinful nature or carnal flesh or that which I prefer to called the voice of Iniquity; and finally there is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Who must you listen to? The voice of Iniquity will distract you from the ways of Spirit/God; and the voice of the Holy Spirit will remind you of the ways of God, if you are warm to Him. You and I know, we have to stick to the ways of God, and so, we know who we should be warm to, and listen to. The Spirit is Life, listen to Him and you will live. The Apostle Paul fully recognized this “tug-of-war” in every believer. Our salvation did NOT remove that voice of Iniquity; we have to tell it to shut up! Using the terminology of the title of Ps Prentis’ article - Listen to one “people” and NOT to other.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions