February 12, 1988
“9:07 a.m.,” she thought as she carefully write on the space provided.
“Is she going to be alright?” The husband asked with a cracked voice.
By this time, the doctor had finished writing and so she answered him with a firm tone saying, “According to what we’ve seen, I’m quite confident that she has meningitis. It’s necessary to keep her here for a while for safety. Would that be okay for you Mister…. uhmmm..”
“Choy. Just call me Choy.”
“Alright Mr. Choy, I’ll just finish all the necessary papers and you’re good to go. You’re very lucky to have them both alive.”
I am a leader. I started singing at the age of three. I began conducting when I reached twelve. I entered the professional world at the age of thirteen. I’m always best when it comes to my academics. I was once best in music. I am always chosen as one of the or the only soloist in various choirs and chorales. I’m also very active in Church. I have taught in Sunday school from kindergarten to high school levels and began handling the youth group when I reached the age of seventeen. I became the conductor of the children’s choir, then the youth choir, and eventually the adult choirs in many churches. I soared high. Very very high. People love me because I am great. I do what I want to do because I am simply the best in everything I do. I’ve got the best of both worlds. I know. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am a liar. I have stolen, killed, and destroyed others through the power of my pride. I am rotten and wicked inside. I am sexually immoral, filthy, guilty, and abased. In fact, I’ve got nothing to boast. I am just a worm. Worthless and pointless. I am no one but a sinner saved by Grace. I once was lost…very very lost. But thank God, now I am found.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection,
and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible
I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
—Philippians 3:8-11 (ESV)
I’ve been praying to God on what His leading is for the church, the nations, and for myself. He had used quite a number of people to encourage me and praise me with some godly comments but it was hard for me to hear it because for the last few weeks, and even until yesterday, I had a real time of repentance before the Lord. I was listening to a man of God and as he speaks, the Lord led me to the book of Philippians. As I listen to His servant, I’ve thought, “Wow, he really loves the Lord.” Then I remembered Paul, the faithful apostle who wrote the verses above. These verses hit me because it was just a time for the Lord and I to have this perfect conversation where I told Him that I’ve been totally sidetracked—I’ve been distracted. I’ve been thinking about what my future ministry will be, how’s it gonna look like, and all the stuff like that. I’m feeling all this pressure and I know I’ve got to land somewhere. So I’ve been thinking,”What am I going to do? What am going to do? What am I going to do?” And I really have neglected that I love Him—that personal relationship with Jesus—then I read Philippians three, “I count everything as loss.” Suddenly I’ve realized that nothing really matters. It does not matter that you’ve got a ministry here and one over there, and another over the other; it’s not that it’s wrong to have such things but look, here I am focusing in so many other things or finding pleasure in things outside of God, and then I read these words of Paul and I went, “Uh… What happened to me?”
Isn’t it weird to know how quickly, as in a few weeks of not just being deep in the Word and deep with the Word, then you begin to feel your life was other things, and suddenly you begin to crave this other things other than Christ? It’s almost annoying because you think, “Gosh Lord, if I’ve been walking with You this long, can I just have a break for just a few weeks and still be close to You?” Well it’s not. It’s amazing though, how quickly that relationship with Him can get more and more distant and so I felt that I’ve got to confess this to you as I have confessed that to the Lord yesterday and really just begged Him to restore that relationship; then I would have that self-control and the willingness to wake-up early, the willingness to dig into His Word, because I know He’s better than all those other things—and I know that this has been a time where I haven’t loved Him with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind, and all of my strength.
So I think that’s been bugging me for the last two weeks especially when someone comes to me and says, “Here’s the woman who really loves Jesus,” and then I just can’t say anything. Now here I am and to be honest with you, the last two weeks, I haven’t loved Jesus…not so much. I know you know the times when you just start loving other things that are not necessarily evil things, but it’s not just Christ. What’s funny is that you don’t consider those other things rubbish but you think it’s kinda cool and so you compromise.
There’s my garbage before you. Now let me ask you: What are the things you love right now? You don’t want anybody to know you were hiding it and probably when you read my question, the answer was right there for a lot of you; you didn’t have to think much because you know what you’ve been hiding.
In Revelation three verse one, Jesus said to the Church of Sardis: “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive but you’re dead.” Here is Jesus the Son of God who says, “Listen, you’ve got this reputation. You let someone introduce you as this man who’s so in love with Jesus. Okay, you’ve got this reputation but I know the truth about you.” It’s amazing He says to this Church, “Everyone thinks that you guys in Sardis are so alive, you’re so on fire, you’re so in love with Me; but the truth is I look at you. I’m God, remember? I AM the One who has the seven spirits and the seven stars. I hold the churches in My hands—I can see everyone in you, I can see everything about you, I’ve searched you and I know you—and I know the truth that you’re not alive, you’re dead.”
That passage always hits me because as a person who communicates, I can say anything I want. It’s not that hard to lie. You know what, I grew up in Europe and I’ve spent half of my life lying, stealing (see I just lied to you. I didn’t grow up in Europe, I grew up in the Philippines), get my point? It’s not hard and we can all do it. We can pretend to be someone we’re not and what we end up doing is we build this reputation for ourselves. We communicate to people who we want them to think we are rather than who we really are, and that’s what’s going on with Sardis.
If right now I could go into the Throne Room of God and speak face to face with the Holy God, then ask Him about you, what would He say about you? I want you to think about that. I’m not judging anyone here, I’m just thinking: if what others say about you is pretty different about what God would say about you, chances are you’ve been far more concerned about your reputation than your character; and you want people to think that you’re a certain type of person rather than being honest before the Lord.
Please believe me when I say this: I’m one of the last people on earth who will judge you. I just felt that I needed to share this because I remember times, I remember periods of my life specifically, when I was so deceptive. I would come into Church and would sing these songs and wouldn’t have a real peace—like I would sing it and it was fairly there, but because my sin was with me—like king David when he said, “I felt like my bones were wasting inside of me” in Psalm fifty-one; everything’s aching inside and you’re miserable because the Holy Spirit is in you. And so you don’t really enjoy because you’re in your sin plus you don’t feel the totality of God’s goodness in your life. You come to Church and you try to worship and you enjoy it but not totally because your sin is there with you; then you know that you haven’t repented and you know there’s something fake about you, and you’re not loving the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. So when you are in sin, you’re not totally fulfilled; when you’re in worship, you’re not totally fulfilled because your sin is with you and it’s like you’re in a tug-of-war between the two.
But then again, just like the man after God’s own heart, David says, “Oh and I finally just confess it, I finally just let go of it. Okay here it is, here’s the truth about me,” and then all the life came back. But I remember those days when someone comes to me and says, “Hey K.F. I need to talk to you about something.” Then my heart would just start pounding while at the back of my mind I would think, “God no… no. Did she find out?” Then later she goes, “I’m wondering what you’d do this Thursday night,” and I’m like, “Whew!” Well, you know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there.
The truth is, there are secrets in our lives and no one wants to have their garbage to be put up in the screen. But it’s weird since we love this reputation made up by ourselves because we like people to like us even though God says, “Hey I look at you and even when people see you alive and they like you, I know the truth that you are dead.” Then I read that passage in Philippians where Paul says, “I count everything as loss. I just want to know Christ. Everything else is garbage right now. It’s all rubbish. I don’t care how famous I am, I don’t care how much I did, I accomplished, all my righteousness—because it’s all rubbish. I just want to know Christ.”
Is that true of you? Is it really Christ that you love right now? Is it Him that you desire?Not the idea or concept of God but He Himself. Are you in love with Him?
You’ve just read the garbage of mine which I did let go. How about yours?