We all know that not all who preach the gospel do so to serve the Lord. They don’t do it because they care for the lost but to enrich themselves or boost their ego. Such individuals existed during Paul’s time. Nothing is new under the sun.
“It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry…” (Phil. 1:15 NLT)
“Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely…”(Phil. 1:17 NLT)
There’s nothing like teaching your child learning how to ride a bike. It is one of memorable moments of child hood. Being a father I feel proud of seeing my daughter finally learn how to ride a bike. I thought she’ll never learn it due to her lack of interest. Her bike has been sitting in the storage for a while. With a little push and encouragement she finally did it. The hardest part is the first step, learning to balance. When you master that everything falls into place.
I know it’s not easy riding on two wheels. It scares us. The fear envelops us. We don’t want to get hurt . Who wants to be? But it is necessary to take that first step. You have to pass through it. My daughter struggled to balance as she keep her other foot down to ride. Sometimes she would crash and hurt herself. I felt the pain too. I want to hold her but I know if I do that she’ll never be able to learn. So many times she told me that she couldn’t do it, “Too scary,” she said. She wanted me to hold her bike for her. I replied, “You have to learn to balance it yourself, do not give up, you have to conquer your fears and doubts. You can do it.” But how? You just have to do it over and over again until you get better. Then that day finally came, she done it.
It reminds me when I was learning to drive a manual transmission, the first gear is always the hardest ,same thing with motorcycles. The faster you go, the easier it’ll be, but only if you are willing to take that first step. I never rode a motorcycle before. It freak me out even more when I have to ride through a series of cones both straight and zig zag. I was trying to go slow for fear of falling. In motorcycles, the faster you go, the bike will balance itself. All the people in my class kept yelling, “Go faster, go faster.” I was too afraid and then it dawned on me I better listen to them since they have more experience than I am. Oh boy, I just can’t describe the feeling. The wind hitting your face. The smell getting trap in your nose. All the elements hitting your body. The adrenaline pumping through your blood. It was fun and I used fear as a reason to not to crash and always have a situational awareness.
Like in life, there’s a lot of challenges that we go through. In order to overcome them changes has to be implemented. It could be going to college. Getting out of bad relationships. A change in career. Or God choosing you to serve Him. Day in, night out you tell yourself you’ll do it next time. As seasons pass nothing change. The fact is aside from you having doubt and fear, the most troubling is you don’t want to step out of you comfort zone. You’re use to it and you like to be comfortable. Little did you know that if you only take that first step, things will get better. In the end, a plethora of opportunities awaits you. Then you ask, “What If I fail?” So what, learn from it and be better. Now, go and take the first step or you’re going to end up in regret.
When I was younger sometimes I found myself hating my parents due to the fact that they were so strict. I held this belief that somehow they’re there to get me and make things miserable for me. I realize now all the rules and punishment was for my own benefit. Wouldn’t be any different with our Heavenly Father. I actually thought they never love me. Now, being a parent I understand why. I realize that they truly love me. And I’m very grateful for that.
Nobody wants to go through trials but it is a necessity for growth and change. We get fixated on the hardship that we’re going through. We start doubting and ask God why. Then the devil will start spewing lies. Telling you that you are never good enough and God doesn’t care about you. Whatever you do you’ll always be a reject and a failure. Go back to the words of God. Because it is the truth and that’s how you defeat all the lies the devil has planted in your mind. Do not let your past and failure defines you. It is not who you are. You are a child of God. There’s nothing you could add or take to gain favor with God. You are under grace and God loves you just the way you are. You have to keep believing in Him and let Him lead, surrendering every area in your life. When I say you’re under grace I hope you don’t go on sinning willfully.
I’ve been through a lot of trials myself. The recent, my wife and I breaking up. I never thought in my life I would get divorce. It is painful and heartbreaking. It’s been the reason why I haven’t written lately for the past few months. Through this, it made me closer to God than ever before. It made me realize all the lies the devil has put on my mind. My faith and understanding with God has never been deeper before. I know the enemy had hope that it’ll be my demise and fall from faith. I admit that for two weeks I was defeated but by God’s grace I was able to get back stronger than ever before in the entire history of my Christian life. Then I look back all the good things that this trial produce. Like faith, obedience, perseverance, patience and peace. I know it’s sound crazy but I thank God for it.
You’ll never know peace until you experience it in the midst of chaos and confusion. Peace is not the absence of trials or problems. Peace is when you know that deep inside God’s got you and He is always in control. Remember Joseph and Job. There circumstances were bleak and hopeless and yet He can always make a 180 degree turn. In the end everything will fall into place, it’s all for the Glory of God.