Saturday, June 25, 2011


Last night in the cell group meeting I was attending, the main topic of the day was "Remembering your First Love", talking about how we should remember our first encounter with Jesus, because that is a good reminder of why we do what we do for God. A brother in Christ added that that alone was not enough; we should have frequent encounters with Jesus; every week, every day, every hour. Those encounters would boost, energize and fire you up to face any challenge at all just when you feel like everything's crumbling down and you're on the verge of giving up.

Interestingly enough, after I got back home I went online and chatted with a friend of mine for awhile via MSN messenger. She was my former classmate during secondary school. What I could say about her? She was terribly fierce, rough, rude where she blindly swore all the time. She seemed pretty hopeless in the academic field as well; sleeping in class being her usual routine, she would fail one or two subjects for every exam or test. Recently, we met up with a bunch of other classmates, where I learned she had actually turned over a new leaf and had been hardworking; something was definitely up. In the conversation window there was a link to her latest blog and instinctively I clicked on it. I went on to read her recent blog posts and I started to notice through her various entries that she was indeed a different person altogether. I felt even more so when I saw links to Christian music and scripture verses there! With all these I for a moment doubted if I was reading her blog; I thought it might have been someone else's! It was obvious that she was already a committed Christian. Curiosity most surely got the better of me and I asked her when did she become a Christian. With that, she told her story of how she in April this year accepted Christ, how she had come to believe in our awesome God and changed so much for the better, so much so that now she had enough control of herself not to swear whenever she was going to! Not to mention her drastic improvement in her studies was a direct result of her faith in Christ! I was baffled and could not say much to her, in awe of what had happened to her. I truly felt joy in my heart. Just amazing. She had never been the same since. I honestly hope that she'd always be the way she is now for the rest of her life.

Before I went to sleep that night I connected the two happenings; there we were as a cell group talking about first encounters with God, and this friend of mine actually told me her very first encounter with God, which inevitably changed her life. Encounters with God are refreshing, encouraging, even life-changing. The question is, how? Do we have to wait for God to come? Do we have to atone for the sins that we committed before we can encounter Him? Is it that certain events must take place first, or we have to be in a particular circumstance or be holy to be able to encounter God? The answer to my raving in the form of all those questions is, no.
The amazing testimony of my friend who gave her life to Jesus recently; indeed she experienced freedom, blessings and many other good things that God has given. It was through her encounter with God that she is a changed person. But, what enabled that encounter? It was because of her decision and the step of faith that she chose to take. It was because she finally faced the truth and invited God into her life, and subsequently allowed the Holy Spirit to fill her. The moment she received, God's blessings snowballed into her life.

During Jesus' time, He invited many people to follow Him. Did all of them do as they were told? Apparently not. Remember the rich young man in Matthew 19:16? The last words Jesus said to him were, "Then come, follow me." after telling him to sell all of his possessions leaving him penniless, of course. The young man went away sad, according to Matthew's gospel, and there was no mention of him ever again. He chose to return to his own life of wealth. He chose to reject Jesus. And Jesus didn't beg him to come back. Jesus just let him leave, as God has graciously given us the liberty to make our own choices and decisions. On the other hand, when Jesus called James and John to be his disciples, Mark 1:20 says they left their poor father in the boat and followed Jesus! Whatever convictions or reasons they had, they chose to follow Jesus. They eventually became two of the twelve disciples and had literal encounters with Jesus all throughout the lifetime of Jesus.

There is a chinese saying '万事具备,只欠东风' which when translated sounds something like 'Everything is in place and ready, what's left is the east wind'. In ancient times people made preparations in order to set sail, but without the wind large ships could go nowhere. They needed the strong east wind for setting sail to be a reality. It is the same with encountering God. God has already planned everything so perfectly that in every circumstance, it is possible to encounter God.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

~John 3:16 [NIV]
Notice the word 'gave'. The Bible doesn't say 'For God so loved the world that He is going to give His Son.' No. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God had already died on the cross; our sins have already been atoned for. By His blood, we are cleansed of our iniquities and transgressions. It is done. Everything is already prepared. Why, Jesus stands right at the door!
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

~Revelations 3:20 [NIV]
Just as Jesus called the people of His time, He still calls us today. Well, if you want to you can choose to ignore him and leave the door shut. Or, you can open the door, invite Him in and have fellowship with Him as fellowship while eating. Are you willing to open the door? To let the Holy Spirit into your life? To love God and obey His commands? To allow God to use you? Are you willing to have an encounter with God? Because Jesus is already at the door. For those of you who have not accepted Christ, no one is stopping you except you. If you're thinking parents are an obstacle or this is not the right time, think again, because Jesus said 'follow me'; that's it. As Jesus has taken away your sins, all that's left for you is to believe (John 3:16). Just take that step of faith, and you will never regret encountering God. And for Christians, the same applies. Nothing or no one is stopping you from encountering God except you. Since the Word is God, you can encounter God daily by reading His word. You also can fellowship with Him daily through prayer. All you have to do is allow the Holy Spirit to work in you, and, like my friend, you'd never be the same again.

You are that east wind. The choice is yours, really. It all depends on you.

1 comment:

  1. Really enlightening and I really enjoy your writing style.