Category Archives: Spirituality

More than just Jesus-Is-My-Boyfriend Songs

It’s sad to see how people have some disregard for such powerful and intimate songs that assists us in viewing Him from a different angle. I lately had sometime to read through a couple of Christian blogs like this one and one of his posts got my attention big time. His post led me to this one 

In a gist, what is being portrayed here is songs that have “Jesus I Love You” or “You’re all I want”, lyrics are being labeled as jesus-is-my-boyfriend songs. I guess what really appalled me the most is how people look at things, I mean to bring songs which are meant for Jesus, our lord and savior, songs which are meant to bring about an intimate relationship down to a humanly-context and compare it to their own human relationships. Isn’t God far more worthy than that?

Here I some points I would like to share with regards to this topic:

  1. You can’t compare the love you have for Jesus the same way you would compare the love you have for your girlfriend/boyfriend. That’s two different love all together. God gave us feelings for specific purposes in life. The love that you have for Jesus is totally different. It’s not some warm-fuzzy feeling, or a feeling which makes your knees weak. Nor does it make your heart beat faster. It’s not a crush! Yet, the relationship you have with Jesus is an intimate one. The love you have with Jesus is one that is filled with thankfulness, gladness, dependence, acceptance. It’s the kind of love a baby boy would feel for his mother. He is not romantically in love with her, but yet he still loves and clings on to her. It’s a very personal and heart-felt one. 

And that’s what these songs are about. They aren’t mean’t in anyway to make Jesus feel like some boyfriend, rather these songs are meant to help us build that intimate relationship with Him. These songs are meant to show and remind us of the many facades of Jesus that He is not only a glorified king and a redeemer, but as a one who is always there for us, and loves us no matter how messed up we are.

Jesus doesn’t think like how mortal man would think. A mortal man would say “why are you wasting such expensive perfume on him?”, whereas Jesus would look at your heart’s desire.

  1. The second point I wanna make is that I’m 100% sure that God doesn’t care about corny cheesy lyrics. I guess we’re just soo used to seeing the outward appearance of things – the quality of the band, the voice of the lead worshipper, the “flow” of the worship till we forget what the true meaning of worship is. I mean when you go to a Praise and Worship session, are you there to judge and roll your eyes whenever any “corny” song is being played by the music ministry or are you focused at worshipping your God?  It’s the heart that matters, not the type of song. Remember the lines of the beautiful song “Heart of worship?”

I’ll bring you more than a song,For a song in itself, is not what you have required,You search much deeper within,To the way things appear,You’re looking into my heart 

Singing “Jesus, I will never let you go” may sound cheesy and boy-bandish to some people, but to God, it’s pleasing in his sight, because He knows you mean it.

  1. Finally a 3rd point I would like to make and this one comes from my own personal experience. Having being actively involved in corporate worship for sometime now as a member first and now as a worship leader, I value these songs. I have seen tears come out of people’s eyes whenever they sing such songs.  One of the reasons I believe this happens is because these songs have touched their hearts, not the same way like how boyband songs do. Boyband songs just create some sort of “rush, mushy” feeling, but I don’t find people having that sorta feeling with God. Instead their tears are a sign of repentance and longing for their beloved God.  With the help of the holy spirit, these songs help people focus and cry out to Him.

So go ahead, sing a love song to God, tell Him how much you adore Him, and how much you need Him. Tell Him how much you love Him and how amazing He is. The Lord delights in genuine, heartfelt praises.  J

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Sex, Lusts and the Holy Spirit!

I probably had one of the most insightful and thought-provoking discussions with my group of friends over the weekend. These friends are actually my work colleagues, whom I had previously spoken about in my earlier entries (Read Pilot Part 2: My New Found World).

The topics I brought up were ones which affect many young Christians today – lust, one-night-stands, cheating on your partner and so on.

It was interesting yet scary to see some of the response I heard. I began by asking my group of friends a question:

What would you do if you’re in a bar, and you’re a litte tipsy and you notice a really beautiful and sexy girl at the corner and you go up and talk to her and because she is friendly and nice (she’s abit tipsy herself), you both hit it off really well and half way through, she asks you to come over to her place, would you go, would you have sex with her?

One of my friends, Adam confidently answered,

Well it depends on the situation. I can’t tell right now whether I’ll do it, even though I know it’s wrong, but you can’t really say what will you do at that moment”

I began to counter his argument

Yeah but you can always try to prevent yourself from going that far, there are steps you can take to avoid that from happening

Another one of my friends, Simon answered:

But dude, it’s easy for you now to firmly say all this, but it could be a whole different thing when you’re in that sorta environment…for a split second there you’ll think there’s no harm in going over to her place, after all she asked for it”

I wanted to answer back, but he continued on:

The same goes with masturbation and pornography. You know it’s not a good thing and yet you still do it, whether you watch just 5 mins of it or 50 minutes, it doesn’t matter…but again at that point in time, you don’t see it “as being wrong”. Your mind is more focused on what’s happening in front of you.

I kept quiet for a moment.

And I began to once again restate my claim:

Yeah I know what you mean, but you can always prevent it from happening, for example not go on looking at an attractive girl that passes by you and start forming lustful thoughts in your mind

Then finally Adam told me off:

Dude you live in an idealistic world, you haven’t been in those tough spots, I have and from experience I am telling you, it’s not as simple as you think. Maybe one day you will learn it. It’s only when you’ve gone through it you’ll be able to fully understand.

I gotta admit I was abit taken back by that statement. “Is God’s law idealistic for today’s world? “ I began to wonder on my drive back to my home. No, it did not rattle my faith in God, but it just made me realize that I’m living in a tough tough world.

And I’m sure that the conversation I narrated just now is just a glimpse what young Christians out there face in their daily conversations with their peers. In one hand, they want to be seen as “fitting” with the current culture, but in the other hand they also want to be part of God’s chosen ones.

I for one had such a hard time trying to balance the two, to till the point that I just literally gave everything up; I gave up my “previous” lifestyle that was filled with filth, lust and everything bad that a young man could possibly do.

Let your will be done Father – Matt 6:10

Clearly what my friends were talking about was perfectly legitimate…in today’s context. In today’s world, sex is just like eating, it’s a human need.

I had once a friend trying to convince me that sex is important and that pre-marital sex is crucial to test sexual compatibility.

And the fact that “it could just happen in the moment” is also understandable. I mean you have the booze, the loud music, the attractive girl who is more than willing, the location, what more could stop you?

My answer is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The holy spirit wasn’t simply given to us just for God’s purposes. The Holy Spirit guides us EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY! Yes it’s true that at such a situation depicted above, your human-flawed-moral conscience might fail you, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit, to guide us when we are not ourselves, why do you think some people tell you to pray when you get angry? Because the spirit of God can take control and put you in the right path.

Similarly, when you begin to lust over that cute hot waitress while sipping your Espresso at Starbucks, the Holy Spirit mode kicks in and nudges you to look away. No there is no time to even recall any scripture verse, the first thing the Spirit will do is to draw away your attention. Then slowly it will administer to you.

I say all this because it has happened to me one to many times. And most of the time, the spirit of God has been able to successfully divert my attention, but yes sometimes I do ignore the prompt of the Spirit of God and knowingly indulge myself. That’s wrong, a big no-no!

lYou wanna know how to overcome this? You wanna know how to take heed the guidance of the holy spirit? The answer can be found here and here

You need to endure it! You need to overcome, to persevere it. And yes it’s gonna hurt so so much, it’s gonna make you unhappy, make you miserable, but endure it, pray, ask God for support, tell God you want to serve him but you’re too weak, remember it’s in our weaknesses we are made strong by God’s amazing grace and power.

No one can serve to masters, and no one says going through the narrow gate is easy. But for what it’s worth, (you’re getting God’s grace, God’s love, you’re drawing closer to Him), I think it’s honestly worth giving it all up and following Him.

As for your friends; take comfort by reading this and this:

Have a blessed day!

Calling Satan’s Bluff Part 2

I don’t have any point form facts to illustrate how you can call Satan’s bluff, but I can speak from my own little experience and faith.

 

Know that Satan Exists

 

I can’t stress this point much more. One of the biggest deceives Satan has ever pulled is convincing the world he never exists. Ironically many people know this phrase, but few realize how deep this meaning is. 

 

Knowing that he exists creates an initial awareness, and this awareness is extremely important in the first step.

 

Know that Satan can’t make you do things

 

Satan can only tempt, he can only suggest, that’s all he can do. Why most people end up doing sinful things is simply because they allow themselves to take an action that has been suggested by satan. Satan tempted Jesus but yet he couldn’t “control” him physically. He couldn’t push him down the cliff etc.

 

If your faith in Christ is strong, you can always shrug this off. That’s why it’s important to ask God’s spirit to dwell in you. The Holy Spirit helps you discern what’s right and wrong…yes I know for a fact all of us know stealing and cheating on your girlfriend is wrong, but at that moment, your human reasoning and judgement somewhat gets jammed and that’s why when temptation arises, we need to switch to Holy Spirit mode.

 

Read the Word

 

Reading truthful scriptures is probably one of the strongest “medicine” to counter the devil. I was just reading Jesus’ encounter with Satan during His 40 days in the desert and I noticed he rebuked satan with scripture. He didn’t tell Satan to go away at the first attempt. He always began his counter-arguments with “it is written”… i.e referring to the Holy Book.

 

You see when you use God’s word against Satan, he becomes mute and leaves you. Yes you may have heard cases where people use God’s word against Satan during trials and temptations, but I honestly think that’s because Satan knows that these Christians are not strong in the faith; that they’re merely quoting scripture for the sake of quoting. There is doubt in their minds and Satan leverages on that. I know this, simply because I’ve done it before. You need to believe wholeheartedly and with strong conviction that the God’s word is the absolute truth.

 

While they are many truths in the bible that addresses this issue, I just want to highlight a scripture verse which I think is important:

 

….and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it…” 1: Cor 10:13

 

There are 3 significant meanings in this one sentence.  First, God is faithful, and because he is faithful he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your temptation limits and third, he has an escape route for you.

 

So if God does not allow us to be tempted beyond our limits, why do we sin then? Well that’s because we fall prey to Satan’s lies.

 

There’s no harm checking out that hot waitress

 

You’re just gonna steal this once, so why fret over it?

 

These are all common suggestions that Satan puts in our heads and we just fall for them flat. If we have enough faith in Him who is the truth, such thoughts would just hit a brick wall 😉 and to top it off, there’s an escape route for you! Mine is always to start singing a praise song, or just read a book to clear it off. Sometimes I also pray. A word of caution when you pray though; do not pray to ask God to deliver you cuz I find it than more often than ever, your mind starts thinking about it again and this time the urge becomes stronger! So just say a general prayer, or just sit quietly with the Lord and just blank your mind. Don’t worry, God knows how to calm a sea ;), he’ll know how to calm your heart without you needing to ask for it.

 

There are more scripture verses on temptation here

 

Choose your friends wisely

 

 

The bible mentions many times that we need the support of the people around us to help us journey through our life in faith. That’s why it’s very very important you choose with who you mingle with.  

 

I’ve learnt this the hard way. It’s not that I did not have any chrisitan friends or anything like that, but I just hung out with people who looked normal, friendly, easy-going and helpful on the outside and later on, as you get more acquainted with them, you start finding out how they think and how they view life, and by then, there will be a chance that you might compromise your beliefs just to “fit in”. I did that during my student days and honestly, I didn’t know what I was thinking.

 

So choose your friends wisely. Be with those who can have a positive impact in your life and those who walk with faith. I can’t stress this enough, but it’s really crucial especially we younger folks to have a circle of friends that believes in God and have faith in Him.

Calling Satan’s Bluff Part 1

Once again this is a 2 part post!

 

Satan is real you know; yup he’s as real as God is. And lets face it, we don’t live in an easy world today. The whole notion of conforming to being “open minded” and liberal has caused many to fall and lose track of their faith and belief in Christ.

 

For the young people, I have to point blank admit, we are having it really tough. We were raised and continue to live in a culture where we think that God is a superficial being. Even during my university days, my best friend who was a strong Christian would tell me how much he struggles in his classics and English class when it comes to discussing issues like faith and God. He tells me how students, while they were raised in a chrisitan background and know about the bible do not believe in the existence of God. And to further fuel it, we have some professors bringing their beliefs that “God does not exist” to the classroom.

 

Scary, I mean all this are literally Satan’s lies. I’m intrigued yet frightened to see how Satan’s schemes have crept into our society for so long. Yes you may not see pentagram graffiti on the sidewalk or a cartoon illustration of the “Goathead” in newspapers.

 

But yet, just look around you, Satan’s works are just about everywhere. From placing high value on materialistic possessions and having “self-centered” goals to porn shops and strip clubs, we are indeed living in a dangerous world.

 

And you know what the worst part is? We don’t even know it. And we’ll never see the danger of it if we’re constantly pressured to have an open mind and be encouraged to “change with the times”. I know this first hand because I was a victim myself. I thought pornography was fine and while I didn’t totally accepted it with open arms, I would often just shrug it off whenever I would hear someone talking about porn.

Ahh…just normal guy talk!

 

But can you see how dangerous that thought is! I didn’t see that for years until now. I thought pre-marital sex was totally acceptable and indulging in “self seeking pleasures” were fine until lately when I began re-examing my faith.

 

Yes satan is as deadlier than you can imagine!

 

However given the way things are, there is still always hope. Despite the fallen world we live in, there is still a God and no He hasn’t left nor given up on us.

In part 2, I’ll talk about simple steps that can be taken to call Satan’s bluff.