I only have a few hours to compose, edit and publish this post. I’ll be leaving for Cuneta Astrodome. Today is the third and last day of Ignite, the 3-day Campus Conference of LifeBox. Visit the site here for more info: http://ignite.ph/.
To say it was exhilarating is an understatement. I have received many take home points already. I wanted to blog about every point because each of them hit home run to my heart. But as of now, the one that made it to the top of my list is this:
We all have the tendency to grow cold.
-Pastor Daniel Trinidad
It was a cold hard truth slapped to my face. It was a truth that I don’t just know know it. I have lived it. It happened to me.
I met Jesus in my Christian high school. I remember praying the prayer of salvation, acknowledging my sins before Him and accepting Him as my Lord and personal Savior. But my relationship to Him remained to be merely that of an acquiantance. I didn’t read my Bible nor pray to Him that often. At that time also, I was in a relationship with a guy from school.
I knew that it didn’t honor God but I brushed it off, believing I wouldn’t survive without this person. And thinking that I could get away with the little sins we’d been committing. But little things led to bigger ones and sin, when full-grown, gives birth to death.
I became pregnant. It was the most remorseful day of my life. I wanted to die because I failed. I failed my family, my friends who were looking up to me and most especially, I failed God. But it was also the day that I decided to allow God to use my life for His purposes. If He thinks that He would be able to use me as a teenage unwed mother, so be it. I went through the pregnancy and welcomed the baby with so much joy.
Even so, I continued to be a compromising Christian. It was only until my sophomore year in college that I finally decided to give my whole life to Jesus. When I say whole, I mean, every area of my life. My academics, my finances, my lifestyle and yes, even my relationships. Letting go of that one with my child’s father wasn’t easy. The most practical thing to do was to stay in the relationship no matter how much dishonoring it was to God. At least, that’s how the world sees it. But having a child doesn’t make sex outside marriage less of a sin. It is still sin no matter what. And so, even though The Boyfriend then couldn’t comprehend and accept the reason that I was getting out of the relationship, I did it.
There were so much persecution within the next few months and years but looking back, it was also the time that God worked mightily in and through my life. He used me to serve my batch mates as one of the heads of the arts committee. I bagged an award during graduation day. Among 426 nursing students, I got the 3rd highest score in the in-house pre-board examination. I’ve finished personal discipleship, been attending a small group, was baptized, had Training for Victory, attended many camps and conferences (Campus Harvest 2008 and EN2010), discipled someone and today, I am leading my own small group. I ministered to my family and now my parents have surrendered their lives to Jesus and are now actively serving the church.
Did it mean that the fire in me has never grown cold?
I still became angry many times. Became lazy with my academics and apathetic in sharing Jesus to others. Told lies here and there. Manipulated someone emotionally to get what I wanted and called it being assertive. Engaged in four emotional affairs. Yes, not one but four.
How did this happen?
As Pastor Daniel was speaking, I felt God revealing this heartbreaking truth to my heart:
I have been doing it on my own, by my flesh and not by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
All those good things I have done, I did for God’s glory. But did I really? Deep inside, it was not totally God’s grace that moved me into doing that. It was fear. Fear that I would fail, get my heart broken and suffer the consequences again.
If I go on like that, I knew in my heart that I will fail again. Sooner or later.
So what I do now?
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
The one that struck me the most are these words: fan into flame the gift of God.
The fire that is within us is from God and it is not up to us to keep it burning. Rather, it is the fire of God that keeps us burning. I shall depend on to Him to renew the passion in me every single day and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that God will keep me ignited to do the things He has called me to. That I would never dare to do anything again without Him.
If you are reading this and you haven’t experienced the amazing power that the Holy Spirit gives to everyone, it’s never too late. Ask God to ignite within you this flame through Jesus Christ. Cos He promised:
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!