When Your Past Sins Hunt You

I’ve been consistently dreaming of my past sins for more than a week. I tried to ignore it but it bothered me until I finally saw myself again leading to a situation/scenario very close to it.

Lust, what goes with this sin? Adultery, immorality, fornication, maliciousness. These are sins that I find very hard to admit, especially because I think it’s very embarrassing, you sin against your own body when you commit it, but these were my sins and I cannot and shall not conceal them.

I’ve learned, through the help of my sisters in Christ, to get to the root of why these sins would mentally affect me again. If I’m truly a new creation in Christ, why would I still be bothered by it? They’re just dreams, but just like what my mentor told me, dreams are things I cannot control; most of the time it reveals things I may be longing for. I was able to point out that those lustful dreams would resurface because of my desire for affection, to be with someone, to be married, to have a “God’s Best” as we call it in church. I recently watched a love story movie, and that triggered emotions in me too. Now, I’m more aware of the things I shall be careful of watching for I tend to over romanticise fictitious matters. I realised that purity isn’t merely keeping yourself sexually inactive, purity is a pursuit of the mind & the heart too. Purity in protecting my emotions from wandering at ideas and thoughts that may ruin my sanity. I also had to admit (to my long distance accountability partners, Carla/Cherish and Dia/Divine) that I’d long to be affirmed, to be loved, to be wanted. Sin begets sin. My lustful dreams caused by my dissatisfaction in Christ led me to days of rambled thoughts and anxiety. I felt as if there were so many issues in my life that I have yet to deal with, that I have to fix, & I felt paralysed at solving them all at the same time, that it eventually frustrated & confused me even more.

On the week of my struggle, a verse from Psalm 51 kept iterating in my head: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation & grant me a willing spirit to sustain me”. I believe God would also speak to me through James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” What could be more direct than that?

After I read it, someone from the past all of a sudden sent me an invite to have coffee with him. I met that man at the peak of my lostness & I’d sin with him. I’m glad that the Holy Spirit in me is just too wise to recognize baits. I replied with: “sure ☺️” it was then that I also realised that I’m always just a tiny tilt closer to going back to my old self. But God won’t let that happen. I immediately became accountable to my friends in the faith, I told them to stop me from doing things I’m sure I would regret. I asked for prayers.

Before my flight to Paris, I was alone in my room, crying, confessing my sins to God, being sorry for all I’ve done in the past and during that week. I’d listen to sermons that gave me a fresh understanding of my identity in Jesus: that I am His coheir, that I am His bride, that I am His bondservant. I think part of my joy’s restoration is to get to this part all over again, Psalm 51 also says it is not in sacrifices that the Lord is delighted, but His sacrifices are a broken spirit, He will not despise a broken and contrite heart. Oh yes, I will never outgrow my need for the Gospel. I had nothing to offer, only my tears, my brokenness, my fear of losing my salvation (which by grace, will never happen), and my knees bent down and my hands up high, telling Him: “I’m sorry, forgive me, I’m tired, I surrender.”

My prayer before my flight to Paris was to spend time with Jesus as I get there. My initial plan after my afternoon tour was to go to a wine place at night and drink after a quick rest in the hotel. You see how contradicting my plans are with my prayer? But He cleverly didn’t wake me up, I set my alarm at 9pm and I didn’t hear it at all, I woke up at 12 midnight instead, where everything was closed, it was already dangerous to go out, my flying partner was asleep, I couldn’t even order for food — because what I needed that very moment was spiritual food. God has irresistible ways of getting my attention. He wins, always. I had a three hour quiet time with Him. He spoke to me through Exodus, which talks about the Israelites complaining to Moses and wanting to go back to Egypt. “Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness,” (Exodus 14:12 ESV). Many times in my life I’d be like that, unconsciously desiring to return to my Egypt out of impatience, because of the inconsistency of my trust and reverence to the Lord, & ultimately because of my lack of understanding on who He is that pollutes my confidence on His plans for my life. I wouldn’t look to Jesus, I was so focused at my sins that I’d forget the vastness of my God’s love for me.

You know what brought me to total peace after it all? Moses’ response to the Israelites: “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”” Exodus 14:13-14

I will never ever forget that morning in Paris, God confirmed to me that it is finished. The sin of lust is done in my life, for Christ has delivered me from it. My longing for a husband, well, Christ is my future husband as I marry Him in heaven one day. My anxiety in serving people out of pride and insecurity, wiped away, for I am His bondservant. “For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.” 1Corinthians 7:22 It can’t get any clearer than this. I am free in Jesus Christ. I am not going back to my Egypt.

I think, just like the Apostle Paul, I will always have my thorn in the flesh, sin/s that may hunt me, that may attempt to resurface. Thank God my salvation isn’t based on my emotions, neither the things I do for Him (cause I fail Him most of the time), nor any knowledge I’ve acquired, (for I am foolish & forgetful). I thank Him because even if I’m faithless, He remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. That’s what makes my God supreme, that while I am still a sinner, while I need to face the consequences because of what I did in the past, He died for me. While I’m still struggling, He already worked things out for me. He won’t ever give me any challenge I cannot carry, and even if there seems to be no way out, He will provide a way out.

Please continue to pray for me. I want to know & love Him more. I want to revere and worship Him better. May Jesus be glorified in my life. May I finish the race strong.

•••

Romans 5

Peace with God Through Faith

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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When Enemies Become Roomies

At the beginning of our Training, Frey and I didn’t have a good first impression of each other. I tried assessing the situation, getting my heart checked and asking God why, we’re both Christians and yet we don’t seem to get along well. I immediately judged her and thought that her level of belief in Christ was shallow. How dare I assume that, kapal ko diba? Our first month gave me such a hard time, seeing her in class everyday felt heavy. Sobrang awkward kami sa isa’t isa. Our conversations were empty, and filled with insecurities and pride. Our faces both look unapproachable to some, “mataray-looking” as they say, and maybe that was the reason why we didn’t click right away; we saw a bit of ourselves in each other. I actually felt with Frey what many people would usually tell me on their first encounter with me— ang taray ng aura, hindi ko keri. So there, nag backfire sakin yung feeling na yun.

I’d always believe that first impressions do not last, because I grew up always being mistaken as a bad girl for how I look. But you know what I realized lately? They’re actually right, I am bad, and even worse than what they thought of. I really am bad apart from Christ. I wouldn’t have the effort to smile at people, to remember names & to intentionally build friendship. I’d be picky with my friends, build walls & limitations within my own circle. I would be prideful, though deep down inside I wanted to get to know people, I wouldn’t talk to them because I wanted them to be the first to approach me. Ang OA diba?Sobrang prideful. Ang dami kong possible friendship in the past na pinalagpas dahil sa pride ko. So again, I am absolutely bad when Christ doesn’t rule & reign in me. But HEY HEY HEY it doesn’t have to be that way anymore, right? Having been a new creation in Christ, I must mirror His holiness. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 — Wouldn’t this be a solid rebuke to us Christians? I don’t know about you, but this one heavily slapped me. I got so used to putting the blame on others and judging them without being aware of my own attitude. I wouldn’t consider having a character check because I’d innately & selfishly think I that know better. Remember what Christ says in Matthew 7:5? “Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Ouch! Repent! But of course, GRACE ABOUNDS. Praise God for searching my heart and knowing my anxious thoughts, for seeing offensive ways in me and always leading me in the everlasting way.

The tension between Frey and I subsided when I prayed for God to change my heart, (while I didn’t know she was actually praying for herself too), when I confessed the situation to my dgroup in the Philippines & asked them to pray for me. One of my devotions also compelled me to take action, it says that the way for people to know that we are Christ’s disciples is when we love each other; *gasps* basic knowledge in Christianity that I always forget; I cannot say that I’m the Lord’s if I do not love, for God is love Himself. Eventually, God opened an opportunity for us to get to know each other better. It began during our service training, when we didn’t have a choice but to share a meal because we both love seafood, and the stock was limited. Haha! I know, medyo-PG. Who would have thought na food lang pala ang mag-rreconcile samin. But what really brought us two closer is that towards the end of our training, we didn’t have a choice but to be each other’s room mate. Irresistible grace nanaman. I had two room mates before her (Ajla and Dawn, I love and miss them!) and when my 2nd room mate Dawn graduated and moved to Riyadh, I had no choice but to move in the same room with Frey. God moves in funny and mysterious ways talaga! That time, I told Him, “I don’t know what exactly You are up to, but I’m excited & I trust You, so bring it on.”

It’s been 2 weeks being in the same room with my former enemy. I won’t go into details on how it has been, but I feel sooo blessed having Frey as my room mate now. We cry and laugh together, we pray together every night before we sleep. We both acknowledge that we are saved by Grace. We both apologised and asked for each other’s forgiveness. We now call each other sisters in Christ and we believe we’ve got eternity to make chikahan about His goodness. Grabe, madalas kaming napupuyat cause we’re both talkative and we love to share lots and lots of testimonies. Indeed, all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. God is so intentional in making us live in harmony with one another so that we may glorify Him in Christ with a united spirit. (Romans 8:28; 15:5-6) How amazing!

Two more days before we move to Riyadh. We’re both aware that it won’t be easy, there’s more to discover in our newly blooming friendship, not just between us but also among our batch mates, and the thousands of colleagues we are yet to encounter. We’ve got a lot of adjustments to do, we may disappoint each other in the future but we know that the battle isn’t in the flesh but in the spirit, and as long as we have Christ in our center, we’re cool. Christ is our Peacemaker! Yay! ☺️

I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Do Not Underestimate Grace: TRUE LIFE 2016

Do not underestimate what the Lord can do? I did, shame on me. This is the ultimate lesson the Lord taught me the past 3days. Before the True Life Retreat, I was very hesitant to come. You know the ego of a ‘leader’? I had that feeling. I’d ask God, “do I really have to go through this and be a ‘participant’? Should I not be volunteering instead? I’ve done something similar with it before. What else is new to learn?”  What made it even more horrible is that I didn’t really promote it to the ladies I’m leading when my dgroup leader asked me to. In my head was this false belief and compartmentalization of the process of accepting Christ. I’d tell myself that I won’t put much effort on inviting my girls to this one because I’m originally not from CCF and their growth must be with my original church, which is Victory. I knooow. It’s stupid, lame, controlling, unfaithful to the church of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 1:10 Paul says: I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. Boom! Professional Sinner alert. I repented. 

The humbling didn’t end there. Nakakahiya talaga but I have to expose my sins. First time in my life (and hopefully the last too), I was standing doing praise and worship on the 1st day and the 1st session of the retreat, I almost fell from a still position because… I was falling asleep. Now I call myself a leader? I started worrying cause I began to recognize that I wasn’t acting okay, there was something wrong but I didn’t know exactly what to pray for. And then I took a nap, when I woke it felt different already. My heart changed on the 2nd session onwards. I had a teachable heart. The testimonies of the speakers would hit me hard, the scriptures I’ve read before felt so new to my ears and peirced my heart as the pastors utter it. I felt like an intense sinner all over again who needed saving. Seriously, I had to repent bigtime for my ugly heart. I cried it out to Him. He humbled my heart again.

Despite my disgusting pride, here’s what He did. My words are not enough to express it. Let the photos speak for itself. 


Hallelujah. He is King. I pray that He breaks my heart and everything filthy in it, that He breaks it for what breaks His. I thank Him for the overflow of wisdom, joy, laughter, tears He poured out to me (once again) on a higher level. Learning doesn’t end, humbling doesn’t end, for my idea of His love for humanity can never fully grasp how much He does. I thank Him for my friends, my brothers and sisters that were part of the retreat in 3 solid days of pruning and strengthening. I am in awe. Jesus, thank You. You give us more grace to stand against such evil desires, You opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble, James 4:6 

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways! 💜:)