Spiritual Streak (Part 3)
By sis Sophia Tay
Recognising the situation
Looking at Jesus’ temptations in Matthew chapter 4, it would have been the easy way out at that moment for Jesus to go with His human impulses, but we see that He had the word of God ready at His fingertips to expose the wrong in that temptation. Jesus saw the situation for what it was, that they were temptations to disobey God and do wrong. He also saw exactly what Satan’s agenda was.
David says in Psalms 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Before there can be a turning away from sin, there must first be a foundation of God’s word in the person’s heart. God’s word being presently before our eyes will show us whether or not we are making the right decision.
Recognising our weaknesses
It is also important for us to pay attention to where we have gone wrong before, to know what it is about ourselves that causes us to make those mistakes. The Scripture instructs us in many places to pay attention, because thorns do not spring up overnight:
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. (Luke 8: 7)
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (Luke 21: 34)
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Eph 5: 15-17)
I once heard brethren remark that when we pray, we should not be praying for God to forgive us of sins committed “knowingly and unknowingly”, as though we do not know what sins we have done against God. This remark makes a lot of sense. If we truly pay attention to every minute of how we are living our lives, we will (and should) know where we went wrong. It can become an easy habit to routinely, vaguely seek blanket forgiveness ‘just in case we missed something’, but we can also make it a habit to notice and catch ourselves. From praying for specific incidents where we did wrong and should have done better, we can then gradually progress to prayers that say we lived right with God today.
Proverbs chapter 3 says: “do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you”. (Prov 3: 1-3)
How does this happen? “Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart” (3: 3) and “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil” (3: 7)
We can set aside time for serving God and reflection by consciously putting it into our to-do lists. This will remind us of our priorities and help us cultivate a habit of thinking and acting spiritually. There is great reward in Heaven for those who strive to live according to God’s commandments, not fearing the temptations and difficulties of living the Christian life (Rev 2:10).