I just want to share to you about my most fearful experience. There is nothing in this world that I am so afraid of, except deliberately sinning. I am not perfect, I stumble in many ways, I still make a lot of mistakes, even after I was born again, there are a lot of sinful behaviour in me that need to be cut off. I am trying my best to present myself as a living sacrifices, holy and blameless.
When I was born again, God opened my eyes so I can see how dirty I am and it is a painful experience being disciplined by God. I need to make a lot of sacrifices and commitments that I was not able to do before. Because my Spirit has now been quickened through His resurrection power, I am able to defeat my flesh. For the Spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). And because I am pursuiting godly life, holiness, people around me can't stand the heat. One by one they reject me. I wonder if you want to do that too. But in fact, the more you want to be like Jesus, the more the world doesn't like you, but the more you are like the world, the more you become God's enemy for He said, "Do not love the world and anything in the world".
2 Timothy 3:12
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
I found that inside me, there are 2 laws waging war against each other: in my inner being I delight in God's law, but another law also work in my body, law of my mind. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. I agree that law is good, but I can't do it. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
By God's grace, now I can go more and more into perfection and holiness, though it is still far away from being Christ-like, but I always ask Him to kill "Alvin" inside me, my ego, my pride, my self, let the people see me not as "Alvin", but as Jesus inside me. Not as carnal man, but as spiritual man. I learned and learned to be like Jesus daily. I want Jesus to fill my cup fully, and He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).
In many cases, especially when my relationship with God is disturbed through problems and troubles. I was defeated by satan, but still, the Holy Spirit inside me acts like a hook from heaven that captive me, no matter how I tried to go with my own, in the end, I always find out that I did terrible mistakes, that I need to find my way back to God, to get everything right with Him. God allows me to go on my own way, He knows me best. Learning by doing is my best method of understanding. So, He allow me to learn by myself like He allowed Peter to walk on water, but He keeps staying in alert to help me when I am in trouble, like He helped Peter when He got drown because of the worry and fear.
For the first time, I easily got tempted and fell away, but the more I learn o be dependent on His grace, I become more and more aware, my sense of danger become sharper. I know if my faith is weak, my heart is in despair, I will hide myself from the people, I will not write or share any message to others and I will lock my room and pray until I get right with God for I have experienced that if I keep acting that everything is fine, I will just hurt people around me, or teach false teaching, doctrine of men. "Alvin" in me will become active again, my lust, my sinful behaviour will start to arouse and I begin to put God on my box. And you know what will happen?
I will fall like lightning from the height I should be. I will be a stumbling block, I will easily tempered, I lack of self-control, etc. This is how God teach me, little by little He open my eyes of understanding, and by doing so, my closeness with Him is getting closer and closer. And the closer I am with God, the more I become aware of His Presence, and the more I see His glorious, majestic Power. The more I tremble before Him. I can feel His abundant love, but I can feel also His mighty holy Presence.
With godly fear, I am afraid of Him. I don't want to joke with Him. It is dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. But at the same time, I can feel His compassion toward me. He is like Father to me. When I go astray, He will rebuke and discipline me, but it is for my good. He is just and also full of love. Perfect Deity.
As the shepherd will break the leg of any sheep that go astray and after that He will put it on His back until it become recovered and healed, He will do that to me too. You know what will happen with that sheep afterward? He will never go astray anymore, he will listen to his Shepherd's voice, he will love his Shepherd more because the relationship start to develop closer and closer. For He takes care of his sheep daily and the Shepherd can hear the beat of the sheep' heart. When the sheep is under threat of wolves, He stand in front of his sheep and ready to lay down His life. The sheep knows his Shepherd's mind, and the Shepherd knows His sheep's need.
Everytime I think about this, I always ask Him, "Who am I that You really care of me? Who am I that you chose to die for me?" I just can't find any answer beside, "No matter who you are, I, your God, your Father, will always love you."
Because I have experienced being close with Him, the moment I gone astray, the moment I deliberately sins --> I become short-sighted, my senses of God went off, I am lost, God hide Himself, I can't find Him. I try to read my Bible but nothing touch my heart, I try to pray but I can't speak at all, I try to listen to His Word, but He didn't speak to me, just totally blank-out until I ask His forgiveness. But it didn't stop until that, He still very difficult to be reached, and based on my personal experience, He will show Himself again after I make commitment not to sin that kind of sins any longer.
I understand exaltly the feeling of a woman who possessed by 7 evil spirits, once she met Jesus and Jesus casted the demons out of her and made her whole. She followed Jesus everywhere He went, even she followed Him to the Golgota and cried. She saw her Saviour died on the cross and suddenly she felt hopeless, fear, agony, despair. She was afraid that she will come back to her past life, possessed again by evil spirits. She cried and cried and early in the morning of the third day, she visited Jesus' tomb. And for her surprise, she didn't Jesus there. She was panic and wept, as if her world totally gone, her hope diluted.
She thought that the Romans had taken her Lord away. Even when Jesus presented Himself to her, she couldn't recognize Him. She totally lost in sadness. "Woman," Jesus said "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" She thought that he was just a gardener and answered, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him." Jesus said to her, "Mary" and she turned toward Him and cried out "Rabboni! Master!" Suddenly joy, hope arise again. She found her peace again in Jesus Christ.
This young woman has been saved and made whole by God, God forgive her sins and cleanse her. Then suddenly she found that she can't interact with Him again for she thought that her Saviour was died. My friends, everytime I commit sins, I always put myself on her shoe. My hope, my light, my joy suddenly gone. I wept and cried, ask His forgiveness and make commitments, ask His help for I can't do it alone, I am weak, I always need His grace. Increase my faith, Lord Jesus. And suddenly He appears again to me, I found my life, my hope, my peace, my joy again. I can't live without Jesus. I can't bear to deliberately sinning before God for I know that God will hide Himself from me. In His holy Presence, even though He loves me, but He hates my sins, He is light, in Him there is no darkness at all.
I did masturbation, watched porn even after I already become child of God until one day He totally hid Himself, and Holy Spirit condemned me, I can't find peace, I can't settle down, everything I did went wrong until I asked His forgiveness and His grace to help me out of this disease, and He healed me. I can now overcome my sinful life. Praise the Lord. It really needs His grace and my personal commitment to be like Jesus. He said, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say to you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able (Luke 13:24). For it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy (1 Peter 1:16).
Living Christian life is simple but also difficult or even impossible if you struggle alone. Doing God's commandment is not burdensome. His grace is sufficient. As long as you want to be taught by Him, as long as you allow God to discipline you, as long as you see yourself as sinner saved by grace, not because of your might, your works, but simply because God loves you. And if you now realize how great His love to you even until He chose to give His life for you. Can you still not be able to love Him, to love your neighbour, your enemies? If they sins against you, remember that you also sinned before God and He forgives you always.
Don't be like the King's servant who his debt of 10000 talents (millions of dollar) was canceled, but when that person went out and found his fellow servant who owed him 100 denarii (a few dollar), he began to choke him and demand payment from him. So, my friends, if your death penalty has been forgiven by God, why it is difficult for you to forgive your own fellows? Love your God and love your neighbour as you love yourself.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
God bless you