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Monday, February 12, 2018

DISCERNING THE ENEMY'S TACTICS

Some time ago Heng and I were talking about marriages. Heng said when a woman cannot find a man whom she loves, she will not marry anyone just for the sake of marriage. But for a guy, it is different. Their physical need for a wife is greater than their need to connect. So to them, it is ok not being able to connect with the wife. Their emotional need wasn't as strong as the women. And maybe that was why Pastor shared during yesterday's service that a divorce affects the women much more emotionally than the guys.

He has seen through the years how after a divorce from an abusive relationship, the woman would come down with a sickness, most probably breast cancer. It was really very interesting that he made this observation. About how women are especially susceptible to accusations and condemnation compared to the men. So a woman in an abusive relationship would suffer more than a hen-pecked guy.

Somehow guys are less affected by divorces or abusive relationships. I really wonder why. Maybe women are more relational by nature and feel more easily condemned. We are more sensitive to comments and care more about others' opinions than the guys. Perhaps due to the fact that it was Eve who was tempted by the serpent at first and after she gave the fruit to Adam, women somehow blamed themselves for bringing sin into the world.

I too, have seen how the ladies around me suffer because they feel accused and condemned by their abusive hubbies. I felt that their self-worth was adversely affected. And they constantly had to do something to prove their worth, like to redeem themselves or to seek approval. And they could never really get over those abusive remarks made by their hubbies. It would be like a scar in their emotional lives and they would secretly resent their hubbies for treating them this way.

I saw how unfair it was for their husbands to make them feel guilty for something they had done or not done. Hence they are constantly under law, under demand, treading on thin ice. If they didn't perform well, then they would be subjected to their husbands' tirades. I often feel angry and indignant over this. What made the guys think they are superior to the ladies? Just because they are born males? It wasn't even something they earned. It was just God's grace on them.

In fact, I had been the brunt of such an abusive relationship before, hence I knew how it felt like. Accusations, guilt and condemnation. Emotional blackmail. Fear. It was horrible. I felt so helpless, so weak, so stuck. I wanted to get out of that prison but I didn't have the courage to. It was God who mercifully brought me out of it. My ex boyfriend thought he could control me with his emotional wiles but he forgot who was my backing. My God is so jealous of me, He will never allow me to live a subjugated life like that.

For women in a relationship like this, there can never be unconditional love for their husbands. They will secretly resent him though on the surface they may seem submissive. Their love is ruled by fear. Fear of punishment when they don't obey their husbands. Accusations will turn into guilt then condemnation. So accusations can kill. It's really that serious. Slowly, little by little over the years. It can make a woman so depressed and suicidal at times. It can bring on sickness and diseases, eventually death. 

I believe that the reason Pastor has been preaching about the ploys of the enemy is because God wants to set His people free. Free from such accusations and guilt. Wrong believing. Satan is har-Satan or the accuser of the brethren. He is our adversary or opponent in a law suit. He still thinks he is the custodian of righteousness so he will go around accusing man, finding fault with us when we sin.

His sole purpose of accusing us is to kill. He has no power to finish us off so he has to use our power. If we agree with his accusations, we are lending him our power to destroy our lives. But Christ has already redeemed us from our sins at the cross. So each time the enemy condemns us, we confess this 'I am the righteousness of God in Christ'. Christ is my sin, I am His righteousness. The enemy cannot do anything about us. He has to leave us.

That is why the teaching on grace is so important. Satan understands law and righteousness but not grace. He cannot understand God's love for mankind. The reason he is getting at us is so that he can get at God. He is still trying to devour those believers who are not established in Christ's righteousness. He is accusing them day and night with the purpose of murdering their souls.

We have to learn to say that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, each time the enemy tries to put some charge on us, make us feel guilty. Even in the area of food, we can have so much wrong believing. Romans 14:22-23 says 'Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, for whatever is not from faith is sin.'

Pastor clarified from the Hebrew meaning of the word 'condemned' that it isn't God who condemns us but ourselves. Don't agree with the devil. Don't do his job too! Condemnation will eventually lead to sickness and death. So whatever you do or not do, don't feel guilty. Let the Spirit of our Lord lead us in all things. Whatever we do, do it in faith. The blessing will come to us.


Pastor also said that in a court of law, if the one being prosecuted don't admit to his guilt and eventually he is cleared of the charge, then the burden of the guilt will return to the one prosecuting or the adversary. He has in turn become a murderer by accusing the innocent with the intention to put him to death with that charge. So when we confess that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, we refuse to take the guilt as Jesus has paid for our sins so we are cleared of the charge. Why should we be punished again when Jesus had already been punished for our sins?

Friday, November 17, 2017

THANK GOD JOSHUA GOT TOP FOUR IN CLASS!

I really thank God for Joshua's good results and that he got top four in class again! He did much better in this year end exam than last year. Overall I felt that his results for primary 5 (P5) was better than primary 4 (P4)considering he had an additional subject (Higher Chinese) and the standard was up another level in P5. When most students would experience a big drop in results, Joshua improved instead. This was like how God blessed Isaac and he reaped a hundredfold in the time of famine.

I still recalled last year a mum who told me that in moving from P4 to P5, their grades would slide quite badly because it became increasingly difficult. I rejected that in Jesus' name. But still I encountered a tough situation during mid year when I found there wasn't enough time for Joshua to do all the exam practice papers. We were like struggling to do as much as we could. Not only that, the teachers had been telling the kids that the subjects were more difficult now, as if to scare them. The students were also echoing what the teachers said. Joshua was so affected that his confidence took a hit.

God turned it around when He proved to Joshua that it really wasn't as tough as others made it out to be. During mid year exams, even though his grades weren't as good, it wasn't as bad as what others were saying. Thank God his math results maintained while for the other subjects he just got a few marks lesser than in P4 mid year exams. The drop wasn't as big as others made it out to be. The best part was the subject he feared the most, Higher Chinese, he was able to obtain a distinction. Really God's grace!


I thank God for showing Joshua that nothing is too hard for God. And we are children of the Most High God, so we are not subject to the world's system. We don't have to conform to the patterns of this world. We are more than conquerors in Christ. More than just the results, I thank God that Joshua has learnt to rely on God more in this exam. He has learnt to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit in seeking for advice. It didn't matter that sometimes he missed it and got the answer wrong. It was a process of learning to discern His voice. It would only get better. I did what I could to prepare Joshua for the exams but I knew the rest was up to God. Only God can help Joshua during his exams. Thank God for being so real to Joshua!



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

INTERSTELLAR PART IV

I was very encouraged by excerpts from this book 'God in Every Season' by Elizabeth Enlow. It was just launched on 11 Nov 2017. This is her book synopsis. The cycles or seasons of life that we go through aren't simply an organisational system put into place by a distant God to help us earthlings keep track of time. The seasons you personally go through, and the one you're currently in, are the very backdrop on the stage of the greatest love story of all...yours. The various seasons of your soul are your assurance that not only is your journey with God real, but your story isn't over yet.

God Himself escorts you through the changing seasons, makes sure you don't get stuck, and gets the last word on everything that concerns you, because He cares about you. Seasons are an expression of His intimate intentionality to keep you moving forward, progressing, and growing in the knowledge of Him and His true heart for you, beyond the unpredictable challenges and victories that arise.

Well this reminded me of the movie Interstellar which I watched again recently. It also talked about the concept of time. Imagine a world of five dimensions, where time and space are dimensions instead of limitations. It isn't impossible, just that we are so accustomed to our world of time and space constraints that we find it hard to imagine. This is something alien to us. But this will be the kind of world we live in when we go to heaven.

God is not limited by time and space. He can go to and fro in different points in time. Just like how Cooper saw Murphy in her room at various times. He was in the fifth dimension trying to reach out to Murphy. TARS said that the fifth dimension beings were real but they could not reach the earthlings. They were not able to pin down to a certain time and place. Actually this wasn't surprising because if you could live forever, why would dates be so important to you?

We are taught to number our days because our time on earth is limited. If you could live forever, would you bother to keep track of your age? You would lose count at some point. In a sense God put the times and seasons in place to better communicate with us. It is a message of His love for us that He is not finished with us. He is still waiting to move us forward.

Now back to the story of Cooper. He realised that gravity was one thing that could transcend time and space. As in even when time and space are no longer constraints or when this earth is no more, gravity still exists. Like how gravitational pull plays a big part in black holes. In my earlier posts, I likened gravity to the word of God. Isaiah 40:8 says 'The grass withers and the flowers fall,but the word of God endures forever.'

To me, love also transcends time and space. Beyond all the complex scientific jargon of this movie, at the core of it was a message of love. The love of a father and the connection between them. It was this love that enabled Murphy to solve the equation and overcame the problem of gravity and saved the earthlings. No one could believe her when she told them it was her dad who provided her with the quantum data, which was the key to solving the equation.

The other interesting concept was about time dilation. On earth we see time as finite. The time taken for a certain process like an object falling to the ground was almost the same in any part of the world. That was because the gravitational pull on earth was the same, maybe with a little variation that is negligible. However when one is in space the gravitational pull varies significantly. That is why time can be bent, hence time dilation. The closer one is to the centre of the gravitational pull, the slower time passes.

I saw a parallel in the spiritual sense. The closer one is to God, the slower the person ages. This is because God is not limited by time so He can redeem the years the locusts had eaten. Not only that, He renews our youth like the eagles. Hence time is not finite when it is time spent with God. We also see this concept at work when an astronaut orbits space after a few years, his peers would have aged more than him. This is the concept of time dilation at work.

When Cooper and Murphy were in space, time became a limited resource just like fuel. Even though they didn't grow older from the time dilation, there was a time lapse of decades each time they met with a delay. It was a big opportunity cost for them. People on earth were dying by the minute. There might not be a world to save if they were too late. Hence the race against time. I also saw a parallel in this. We the people of God might not age as much but the people around us like our parents are. Hence we are also hard pressed for time to get them saved.


Besides Jesus is returning soon hence the acceleration we are seeing in these last days. God is not even waiting for the youths to grow up to get them on fire for Him. Pastor was saying last Sunday that he never saw so many youths coming to God in his lifetime. It was like a revival of the youths. The gospel revolution is already happening all over the world at a much faster pace than before. We are living in accelerated times. This is not the time for us to be distracted from our mission but to be more focused. To set our eyes on Jesus.