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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why Lives Fall Apart

We have several young couples in our church. Births and baby dedications are regular occurrences. Marriage and life problems are pretty regular too.
Is there a root problem? Yes. Do most people want to attack their problems at the toot level? Absolutely not! Most people somehow believe that the counseling session alone will solve their problems. They want to continue doing what they have been doing without any adjustments. They want other people to be fixed so that they can get back to life as usual. But that never works.

The root problem for most people is found in their spiritual foundation. It is either very thin and weak or it doesn't really exist. They are either working on building that foundation or they are working on destroying it.

Let me give you some examples. A couple comes to church and gets involved. Their entire spiritual foundation is dependent upon church alone. They do not talk about spiritual things nor do they individually do spiritual things outside the church. Much of their week is around others who either have no spiritual foundation or are acting like they do. This couple is apt to join in nearly any activity with their friends. They will get drunk, take drugs, have sex outside the marriage, indulge in pornography, etc. They do these things because they have no foundation of truth. Therefore, the lies offered by these activities entice them into engaging in them without any thought of consequences. They have genuine remorse for what they have done afterwards because they see how their actions have harmed their relationship with each other but without a foundation of truth, they are very likely to repeat their sins until the relationship is totally destroyed.

People who continue throughout their lives without a strong foundation raise children without one. The children take the sins of their parents further. Thus, the succeeding generations will fall for anything. It is very must like Paul's remark in Romans, "and gave them over." They make the evil holy and the holy evil.

A strong foundation cannot be built by going to church alone. Knowing Jesus as Savior is essential but a strong foundation must also mean that the believer is obedient to the Lord. A strong foundation is not merely hearing the word. It is doing the word of Christ. That requires commitment to a sacrifice of resources. Time, money and personal activities will be set aside to follow the Lord. Most of these are committed to the Lord outside of the church.

What if I told you that I knew the way to fix a life that is falling apart? What if I told you that I guarantee your life would be meaningful, full of joy and fulfilling? What if I told you that you and your spouse could have the best relationship possible if you would do what I asked? Would you do it?

What would I tell you to do? Commit yourself fully to the Lord Jesus Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any unconfessed sins and repent of them. Put away all doubtful activities. If you don't know if it is pleasing to the Lord, quit doing it. Have a daily time with God. Set aside time where you will read the Bible each day and pray. Do whatever the Lord prompts you to do immediately. Get involved with a group of people who are doing the same things as you are doing. Work at being friends with them. Let them be your social group. Go to church with the attitude of what you will take home with you. Each message should urge you to do something. Do that right away. Carefully and lovingly tell other that you are a Christian. Be prepared to define that for others. Become the servant of your spouse. Do what he or she needs without resentment. Engage with each other on an exclusive level intellectually, emotionally and sexually.

Are people ready to do what I have asked?

Sadly, most people say no. They just want to come to church. They hope that coming to church will be enough. It isn't.

Then, one day the rains come and the winds blow and their house crumbles because it has such a weak foundation. And they say, "What went wrong? I came to church."

Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”


Anthony Chia said...

Frankly speaking, most of the time, it boils down to a willingness to do the things asked of, by the manufacturer's handbook - the Bible, but people aren't wanting to make the decision to do that.

At the other time, some are so overpowered by spiritual forces (demonized or demon-possessed) that it is extremely difficult for them to exert their volition. For these, their loved ones must somehow able to bring them to where deliverance can take place. Bible is with an account of a father who brought his demonized boy to Jesus, and Jesus set the boy free. The boy was brought to the disciples first, but the disciples could not free the boy. In that account, had the father not brought the boy forward, the boy could not be set free. Often enough, such demonization or possession are denied by the person himself or herself, and the surrounding people could not forcibly bring the person to the place of deliverance. I mean, we could hardly force even a loved one to go to church, not to mention to subject him/her to ministry. This category is NOT that broad-based in that although many could be mildly demonized, most are still capable of exercising their volition against the forces of evil, and so, the onus is still very much on themselves to fight the evil influence, by exertion of their volition to live in the light. Generally, for such, we do not classify them as ones who require exorcism-kind of deliverance, and they are placed together with the majority category of ones who can be victorious in living in the light, if they choose to follow NOT the desires of the flesh.

On the majority, those who could but do NOT choose to live right, the question is why they would NOT choose the things they are supposed to choose. I am here all the time, talking about believers, NOT non-believers. Even for the minority category of the preceding para., I am also talking about believers. My experience in deliverance work is that believers can be demonized or even possessed. I cannot agree with people saying that the fact that a person is demonized or possessed proves that the person is NOT a believer after all. So, why do believers not choose to live right?

Ps Prentis said that people did not live right because their foundation is NOT strong. What is meant by "foundation is not strong"? 3 possibilities: one, the foundation is not of the right stuff, like, the foundation pillars of wood, is not as strong as those of concrete; two, the foundation is going to be of the right stuff, but it is NOT completed yet; and three, the foundation is being built, the stuff to be used are NOT cast in stone yet!

The thing is that for the believer, the foundation stuff is only one, and is already cast in stone, so to speak, people just should not be adulterating, and as to the foundation is complete or not, my own view on how to look at this, is to that we should view the foundation is being laid or built, and the work would take us a long, long time, a life-time even.

I know a common saying or perspective is that Jesus is the foundation, and so, when we have accepted Jesus, we have our foundation built. However, I do NOT think God meant it that way, that the moment you accepted Jesus, the foundation is completed. The proper way to view this is: Jesus is the Word, and so, Jesus is the foundation, is meaning the Word is the foundation, and being so, the foundation is NOT completely built until the foundational truths from the Word are built into the foundation of our life.


Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

To me, I am a believer of well over 20 years, but I am still building my foundation. Is it possible, that way, that the entire foundation is NOT completed, we still construct upon the foundation? Well, if the foundation over the car porch area is done, the porch can be built and be functional and serve the purpose it is meant to serve, even though the whole house is NOT up and fully functional. If absolutely needed, make-shift structure can be put up on incomplete foundation, for a seasonal function, and then, taken down, and the foundation be strengthened further; all of these, metaphorically speaking.

So, if people are NOT choosing to live right, because their foundation is NOT strong, we next ask, why are they NOT working on their foundation? One is that they think their foundation is already completed; they have NOT the perspective that I am having, that the foundation is being built over time, as we build it with the foundational truths of the Word. Two, is that they do know, but they are still NOT choosing to build to complete the foundation, and straightaway put up the permanent structures or house over the incomplete foundation. House building is just metaphor; for our life, there are different foundation portions being built and different structures or compartments being built over the various portions of foundation, happening, both of it, foundations and structures building, over our life. So, firstly, we need to teach people it is NOT the foundation is long completed, but we have to make serious effort to build up all the foundation portions, and in as good a time as possible.

For those who know, why are they choosing NOT to build the foundation pieces? One answer is that in short, they are like two of the 3 little pigs who built the house against the wolf. 2 of them underestimated the testing to come, and had to face the disastrous outcome.

But why the 2 could underestimate? Because they allowed "other motivations" to cloud their judgment. What are these "other motivations"? They are the desires of the flesh or the fallen flesh. The desires of the flesh tries to deceive us into thinking that what they are offering or suggesting are the better things for us to do or have.

For example, the desires of the flesh will suggest "make as much money as you can, while you can". If you give in to it, you will end up, concentrating most of your time on money-making, employing any means even, at the expense of everything else, including your own life's foundation. For example, 2 of the 3 little pigs may say, "Aiyah, why build brick-house; would take so much time and effort-le. No-lah, hay or wood will do-lah; can finish quick, and we can go on to do all the fun things of life!" And then, they see their life falling apart, when the testing comes.

Now, what is worse, is that Matt 7:24-27 (in the blog entry) and other such texts, are referring to more than just our current mortal lives. Our lives will be "subjected to testing" when we meet our Maker.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions.