By Mei Yee Leong
“Before the Spirit of God can bring peace of mind He has to clear out the rubbish, and before He can do that He has to give us an idea of what rubbish there is.” -Oswald Chambers
Lately, I have been finding myself in a transitioning phase of my life – stepping into a new level of maturity, independence and authority. With this comes letting go of the things that hinder me and taking on the things that will help me grow in my faith, and personal development.
“Do not conform to the patterns of this world.” ~Romans 12:2
I felt the need to do a detox, as I felt God calling me to a higher standard of excellence, and holiness. I wanted to be a better example of what it means to be a Christian. We are called to be Ambassadors for Christ after all, and in doing so we are also called to be set apart. It should be obvious that we are ‘different’ just by the way we live, and the attitude we have toward our jobs, school, and life.
God has asked me to forget the things that do not add to my faith, or have a positive impact on my life. God asks us to live a holy life, to let go of things that are not pleasing to Him and to take on that which is righteous, good and like Christ.
So what exactly has God called me to look at?
Being Well Fed and Well-Rooted
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” ~Joshua 1:8
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give you the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” ~1 Peter 1:5
I felt that I was aware of how to get intimate with God and communicate with Him, but I felt that my knowledge and foundation in the Word was not as good. I wanted to make sure I was fed from the right source so that I would be ready to give answers to anyone who may ask about my faith.
I also know that I rely on Facebook to give me my “daily devotionals” and encouragement, but nothing compares to taking part in in-depth bible study with fellow believers who may add a fresh and different perspective to the discussion too.
Joel Osteen encourages believers to speak light and life over our circumstances:
“Our words have creative power. Whenever we speak something, good or bad we give life to what we are saying. Too many people say negative things about themselves, about their families, and about their futures. They say such things such as, ‘I’ll never be successful. This sickness will get the best of me. Business is so slow I don’t think I will make it. Flu season is coming. I’ll probably catch it.’ They don’t realise they are prophesying their futures. Scripture says, “We will eat the fruit of our words. That means we will get exactly what we’ve been saying.” (Osteen, 2013)
I have been learning to speak life over myself, my family and my situations, in order to have the right mindset of expectancy for God’s goodness, and fruitfulness. I have found it all too easy to look at my life with a negative outlook. It is so easy to carry over negativity from what has happened in my life previously, into other situations. This is easy do if the situations are very similar. For example, a person could experience rejection and loss in a relationship situation, and then carry that forward to a new relationship.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” ~Colossians 3:23-24
With this, I was able to think about my attitude towards work and household chores. Previously I had the mind-set of going to work with a “do it for the sake of it” attitude. God has challenged me to work diligently, and with the very same fervour and vigour I have when I worship Him in church!
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” ~Proverbs 27:17
I felt it was important to make sure I was surrounding myself with a good circle of friends who have the same beliefs and attitudes towards Christianity as I do. And so I looked to join the Christian Union at my university, as well as finding fellowship at a new church.
Right fellowship comes from those that see potential in me, those that can lift me up, encourage me and move me forward. This also means making sure I have friends who I can trust to speak wisdom and truth, and who can correct me when they see me going wrong; those who I ‘do life’ with.
So how can we evaluate our own lives and see what proves to be a positive influence and what does not?
Here is a short check-list with some helpful questions to help you evaluate yourself;
Fellowship and friendship circles - Who are we inviting to speak into our lives and give us guidance and wisdom? What groups are you apart of that can help you spur you on in your faith-walk? (Are there any cell groups, house groups, prayer groups you are/can be a part of?) Are there any friendships which are proving less than helpful?
I have found that others can prove to be a great mirror to our own lives too; we can invite them to look at our lives and call us out on things that are not pleasing to God. We can also look at how others live and take the good, directly applying it to our own lives if we are so convicted to do so.
Personal development – Are there any discipleship courses or more in-depth courses that are offered where you are at? Are there any conferences that you can attend? These are brilliant for coming together with other believers from across the region or even nationwide. For example, Cherish Women’s Conference, Life Church -http://www.lifechurchhome.com/conferences/cherish/)
Getting a mentor, who is further along their spiritual walk than you, is a good idea as they can help pull you forward whilst still keeping you grounded in faith. Wisdom from people, who are further along in life than you, is highly valuable as they have life experience and knowledge that you may not necessarily posess!
Monitor media consumption - What TV, magazines and video games are we letting ourselves be exposed to? What shows are proving to be a positive influence on us? Are there any that are perhaps not good for us to watch? Are there any magazines that are a positive influence on us? (Example - http://setapartgirl.com/)
What we allow ourselves to be influenced by is important as negative seeds can easily be implanted through watching certain television shows, listening to certain music as well as reading certain books too.
Good luck with your own clean-out or detox, if you think you need it! I guess we all need a good spring-clean and re-focus every now and then!
Mei Yee Leong
B.L.O.G. Magazine Contributing Writer
Mei is our resident British writer, who graduated from the University of Chester with a Bachelors of Sciences degree in Multimedia Technologies. Currently studying a postgraduate course in teaching at the University of Cumbria and is now taking some time out in between to figure out the future. Lover of music and all things creative – writing novels and faith-inspired poems in her spare time. Jack-of-all-trades; interested by anything and everything which means she has dabbled in a fair few things but profusely believes in not being defined by a certain career path but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! Contact: www.becomingmorelikechrist.tumblr.com