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Questions and Answers

 

 

    

Q:  I often forget to rely on the Lord, what should I do?

Figure 3 of this website shows the two different consequences resulting from my free will choosing either to “rely on the Lord” or to “rely on myself”.  However, in my daily living I often forget to walk on the path of the new life, i.e. to rely on the Lord; can you give me some tips on how to remember to “rely on the Lord”?

 

A:  First, we must understand that the growth of the new life is a life-long process.  Second, we should know that our life grows through endless cycles of failures and setbacks (when we rely on ourselves) and having peace and joy in our hearts (when we rely on the Lord).  Therefore, we should expect that during this growth process we are surely to have good days and bad days, as well as peaks (successes) and valleys (failures).  Do not be discouraged because the new life growth is a gradual, step by step process.  This is exactly what it means when the Bible tells us to continually take off our old-self and put on the new-self.

 

We should also recognize that the degree of growth as well as the growth process for everyone is different.  We all have areas that need to be improved on.  The important thing is that we acknowledge and accept the state of our own life growth and not be disparaged.  When the Holy Spirit has not led us to a certain stage of growth, be patient and don’t try to rush it.  Instead, we should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen us with power in our inner being (see Ephesians 3: 16).  We should ask God to continually destroy the strongholds in our hearts and recapture our hearts and minds for Christ, so that our life may grow.

 

As to the concrete steps we can take to become better in “relying on the Lord”, here are some things to know and do.  First we must understand that when we exercise our free will and choose to rely on the Lord, it is actually the result of the Holy Spirit working in us, reminding us to be obedient and not because of our own effort.  Therefore, what we should do is to live a normal Christian life to continually renew our hearts and minds so that we may follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   Through experiencing the many successes and failures during the course of our life, we may gradually move from the stage of “not relying on the Lord but only on myself”, to “relying on myself mostly and only slightly on the Lord”, to “relying on the Lord half of the time and on myself half of the time”, to “relying on the Lord most of the time and only sometimes on myself”, and so on.

 

 

A normal Christian life means:

A.      A.  We must set aside a fixed time to have devotional with the Lord daily.  We believe in Jesus and through our union with Him in death and in resurrection that we receive the new life.  The more we are united with Jesus and the closer our relationship with Him, the more our new life will grow.  As an illustration, now-a-days cell phones are so common that almost everyone has one.  We all know that from time to time the cell phone needs to be plugged in to be recharged.  Likewise, when we have the daily devotional we are united with the Lord – the source of life, thus enabling our life to grow.  In the past when I set my daily schedule, I always gave other ministry related items priority ahead of the time for devotional, because I thought I already knew the Bible well so it was not that important if I missed a day of devotional.  Brothers and sisters, I was so wrong on that!  I took the one thing (devotional) that shouldn’t be missed and treated it as the only thing that could be skipped (see Luke 10: 38-42).  Oh Lord, forgive me, and I thank you for straighten me out on that.

B.      B.  Lead a life filled with regular Bible reading, praying, and praising.

C.      C.   Ask the Lord to give us an obedient heart and take up the cross daily to follow the Lord.

D.      D.   Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to act.  The Holy Spirit in us continually transforms our hearts and minds; depending on the stage of our life growth, he will remind us to stay on the path of “relying on the Lord”.  All we have to do is to obey his guidance, i.e. to rely on the Lord.

 

Brothers and sisters, it is not that we have to “remember” that we should “rely on the Lord” rather we should have the attitude of mind to want to “rely on the Lord”. By living a normal Christian life filled with regular time for devotional, Bible reading, praying, and praising, we gradually transform our hearts and minds, so that the Holy Spirit can work freely in us to remind us to rely on the Lord. When the Holy Spirit is trying to move us, do not suppress or ignore him; instead, we should obey whole-heartedly and act accordingly. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t remind you, there is no need to dwell on that because the Bible says: ”Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” (Romans 14: 22) However, if the Holy Spirit does remind you, then you should be extra careful to follow his guidance to act. (See Philippians 2: 12-13).

 

 

 

 


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