What is a covenanted heart?
- It is a heart that knows firmly Lord loves you, He will bless you, He sanctifies you because of His love, and because of that, He will use you to glorify Him in this life.
- This is a heart of a Remnant – and it is the heart of Joseph, Daniel.
- Many of us often feel very weak in life. Is there anyone of you here who can confidently and assuredly proclaim you have no weakness, and all things are well in life
- How will you know? When you interact with certain people, sometimes we are too quick in passing judgment, sometimes we are unwilling to humble down and lose => as a result, the HS inside you constantly rebukes and gives you a consistent message = why do I feel so unhappy? Similarly, do you always hear the HS inside you affirming you, commending you in all things?
- There’s so much things inside me which is so awful = the sin is always before me [eg David] => the more you hear the gospel, the more you feel that you are imperfect => Eugene was telling me, why is it that after I shared gospel with others, they started to share with me their r/s problems, their weaknesses.
We have heard the covenanted messages so many times a week -> but when is the covenanted message really really matters or has something to do with you? It is when you submit to the Word you’re convicted of.
SUBMIT = Follow => Let it enter your spirit and live out in your Living
Of course, we all are willing to submit. But often we cannot submit to God ->
- “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” Ro 7:18”.
- So since God knows that it is not because we do not want to carry it out, it is because of the sinful nature in us waging wars with the Word -> therefore we often stumble and cannot submit to the Word of God.
- Does that mean that having the heart to submit is good enough, since our sinful nature is always hindering us to do so [flesh], then we just leave it as that?
Submission is not about whether we can carry out certain truth of God or not, it is a state of our living – one that is constantly HS filled – 2 components:
1. The truth itself carries power. It is not when we submit to the truth that the truth carries power. It is because knowing the truth itself is power therefore we submit to it, and the power of HS works mightily through the truth you know, strengthening you from the inner beings.
- [eg have you ever wondered why sometimes despite situations seem bad, because of the Word you have listened, you look dimly on the current situations, and there’s hope that God will fulfill even greater thing through you in the “pain” or suffering you are in? This is a manifestation of power of HS – strengthening you from the inside. You cannot explain – things remain the same, but the spiritual atmosphere changes.
2. Paradox: A battle yet a joyful living. Submission is difficult because it is fighting the enemy which does not belong to the flesh but the spirit -> but it also gives us the greatest joy, because each time we submit is a time when we are HS filled and not hearing the accusations and mocking of Satan => we leave Satan with no foothold in our lives because a child who submits to His father put the Lordship of her life in God’s hands [lose to gain]
Therefore, today we need to realize that submission is not difficult. We need to restore a submissive heart everyday, not only willing; but submission brought by the Holy spirit.
- if you do not eat the dark chocolate, you wouldn't know it is indeed bitter sweet
- if you have not tasted the pills, you will not know the feelings of bitter taste.
Similarly, we have known a lot of TRUTH, it causes one to feel the struggle at heart, repent, but seem to lack the joy and richness. Only when you really live through the HS according to The Word of God you will realise that it is sweet, rich, really nourishing us, and then we will taste the sweetness of it.
Today we need to examine the spiritual atmosphere we are in – not only now in church.
- Even in church, our spiritual atmospheres may be different [some of us may be worrying about the assignments for tomorrow, some deadlines we need to rush, some things that are pressing on us at work];
- Some of us are feeling tired and hope that the meeting quickly end so that we can go home and rest because it has been a long day;
- some of us are really happy because she/he knows that it is precisely the enemy we are facing against is Satan, the king of the ruler of the air -> all the more we need to immerse ourselves in the truth so that we will not be conned by Satan;
- some of us are feeling really bitter/upset about things that happened awhile ago and you hope it quickly ends or have never happened [distracted – carry our own desires/ solutions to come to the house of the Lord]
submission is not about great things but being faithful to the slightest thing God leads us into, everyday in our lives
- if God leads us to EYF, we know that this is the time to prepare our hearts to receive the seeds, we pray to be the good soil so that the truth empowers us to face the assignments/ deadlines/ expectations of others
- if God put you in a school, then find our what God is leading you into – eg the people you meet, the resistance of gospel => restore Emmanuel in this area
- the outcomes the current submission brings – will definitely not put you in ashame; God definitely has a perfect plan in His leading now, and later.
So then, how can we really submit to God?
- the reason why God ask us to submit is because He wants us to be HS filled.
1. God wants us to be HS filled
2. How to be HS filled
3. Submission from HS filled
Read Mt 26:36 – Gethsemane
“36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” [willing, but cannot]
40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [why we cannot submit all the time]
42He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” [Look at the Perfect will of God]
43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time [even though people do not understand what you are doing] , saying the same thing.
45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
“25Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who “touched it were healed.”
1. A lot of people have misconceptions of what is HS filled:
1. It is not a special experience [mystical] => you feel high, you feel joyful, you feel loved, your problems solved, the persecution leave, you gets dean’s list repeatedly; you hit the lottery and have a lot of Money; you see dreams and speaks in tongues
- Rather: it is knowing TRUTH [what does the word say]
i. You identity
ii. Your purpose
iii. Blessings/ Inheritance
Feelings/Outcomes Vs Truth [Word]
- -> have the affirmed heart to obey to the end; e.g. know that God asks me to wait, know that God asks me to use my conditions to glorify Him through submission to His plan e.g. miki’s mom
- The word brings us out of ’focusing on miracles’ – examples of Elijah, and Jesus and the miracles he performed in Mt 14:23-26
- Blessed are you if you don’t always have “miracles” or good feelings after prayers => because you have to give thanks => God wants you to have the better and greater blessing, to be able to rest on His unchanging words ALONE
o When we do not have any more good feelings = when you are in desperation, at wits end => no amount of wisdom or wits can get you out of this sense of lousiness
o Let us rely on His word – his unchanging word, not the changing situation.
o People can like us today, can dislike us tomorrow – we can have cupcakes today, can don’t have cupcakes tomorrow. When we face with problems – we often ask where is God?
o This is because we want to find our own Jesus. To us, Jesus is when He takes the illness away, when Jesus takes away the problem so that you don't have to face the aftermath.
2. HS filled is does not only expose sins, but expose us to deeper understanding of the value of the cross
- the Cross tells us => it is not man’s righteousness that gives them salvation -> No man is righteous before God
- it is God’s righteousness
- The cross tells us
o God loves us first = no one can find God except God himself revealing to others => so is our salvation, sanctification
§ Don’t add human conditions/ feelings/ your good deeds => weaken the power of the cross.
§ The love the cross shows us – overwhelming sovereign
o God’s complete grace of forgiveness of sins
§ No condemnation even with sinfu nature -> Satan cannot accuse us
§ Made us conscious of sin -> repent -> able to have confidence before God in all things, ask in His name
§ A non-accused heart but a heart of receiving grace, assurance, anointing, God’s intercession on you, victory before problems
o Our identity [greatly loved]; our belonging [covenant -> therefore we restore the right worldview – this world shall pass, purpose 4G]; inheritance => perfect will of ALL THINGS [be a gospel man]
§ Unchanging truth and love
o God is most concerned about r/s
§ Not about having more of good works
§ But having a father-child r/s with you
§ That is why the Lord’s prayer always focus on the r/s first
This is also the difference between religion and gospel: fear to lose [religion] vs lose to gain [gospel]
- See the value of the cross in all aspects: as a teacher, as a pharmacist, as a student -> living before God [submit to authority, take care of our own sheep, and focus on each experience God is giving us -> each is an opportunity to experience the power of Gospel
- how do you know: the way she talks, deals with others, is this God-driven or self-driven
- Do you realize you are always fear-stricken more than HS-filled? The focus is not whether the problem will be solved today or not, whether it solve or not, God is still there. He guides us with His word, and the HS is inside us,convicting us according to the word of God.
- If something that is bad is going to happen, God will definitely give you enough grace to go through it -> and it will be a testimony. In the problems, we will definitely not be lost, but see His Emmanuel.
3. One if who is HS-filled does not mean she does not have problems -> instead, God said in this world we will have troubles, but he has already overcome the world => transforming our hearts through trials and sufferings
- best example: Jesus Christ - how he prayed at Gethesemane [Mt 26:36-46]
- even JC struggled, this shows that our Lord is indeed a true man, He in His flesh also had to struggle. He had flesh, feelings ą but when He turned to God -> did God remove the cup from Him? No
- But what happened? Angels came and strengthen Him, after He returned, the disciples were still asleep.
- But He still went back to pray -> may your will be fulfill [he understood God’s perfect will in the 2nd prayer] -> he returned and still saw the disciples being tired and asleep -> and He went to pray again, and said the same thing
- This means that -> our Lord had already confirmed the perfect will of God in Him, He knew very well that he had to walk the path of cross [transformation of heart] – so when the people came to arrest Him, He was not alarmed but calm, quietly walked the path of cross because of the joy set before Him:
Š Heb 12 – example of submission in times of persecution – example = JC
o “1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
How to be HS filled?
1. Know the Word = rooted in truth [know is the key]
- HS filled is not mystical, and you still do not know the will of God
- eg -> rather, a person who is HS filled knows the perfect will of God
- constant vs relative
§ use the constant that stand against the relative
§ confirm again and again through our conditions
§ maybe amongst us, there’re certain things which God wants us to submit in, He revealed to us through prayers -> how you know? you receive a convicted heart, but this is not something your flesh could do. but HS did reveal to you
2.. HS filled = connect the truth with our situations through prayers
- Fixed time prayer – face the Lord first thing in the morning
- Choose to Be HS filled first
- In the greatest problems -> you pray earnestly
§ when things start to change? it is when you turn to God in your heart, only restore a heart of submission to God
§ Jesus showed us the most obvious heart of being HS filled = when great problems come, the more he restored a prayerful heart = this is HS filled
o eg opportunity
§ pray until you are willing -> a heart of submission [eg Jesus at Gethsemane]
§ perspective change => knowing His sovereign grace, the trials are to mould you through sanctification => He became the pillar of joy NOT situation -> become more and more joyful regardless of situations
§ pray 24 hours, in all things Ep 6:18
Š when you are exercising, when you are talking, when you are working, when you are scolding -> prayer means consciously aware of the truth of God and let it direct your words [we often fail in this area]
3. Christ living through me [I die] – welcome trials and sufferings = being strengthened from the inner being
- Ro 12:“1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
- The victorious Christ already lives through you
- The trials and sufferings are necessary -> so that you can no longer rely on your power but surrender before God
- When Christ lives -> let you understand man’s problems more -> you become more practical and relevant
- God sanctifies you through trials and sufferings -> noble vessels
o Mt 28:18-20: “18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
o Jn 16:33 “33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
o Lk 10:18-19 “18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. ”
o An outcome of HS filled => a firm and strengthened heart to walk the path of submission [carry our own cross]
o knowing that there’s no other way, therefore you obey to the end
o when you obey to the end, you realise the power of God is infinite and it follows you to the end [my journey in ICU]
o no matter how painful is the process [even the impossible becomes possible] -> you will be more than conquerors
o eg you are grieving for the lost, you are facing a lot of pressure at work, you need to die to yourself and restore a loving heart to others
o obey to the end is indeed the only path -> and it is most powerful and victorious path -> because you are giving all out to Lord, leaving no foothold to Satan
o one who obeys the Lord is untouchable by the Satan, because God will uphold her to the end, fulfill the great works He has started in her
o the evidences of submission - joy, that is irrespective of the situations [Paul, David, Abraham]
*even in relationship, family salvation, in your work/study, in your current life and interpersonal relationship..
*How God convicted Jesus -> Likewise, He will also convict you today. The word is not for anyone but one who prepares to receive as if Lord is speaking unto them today!
*REPEATEDLY CONFIRM IT UNTIL IT INSCRIBE ON YOUR HEART = SPIRITUAL NATURE
3. Evidences of Submission -> Examine your spiritual atmosphere – is it in you?
Fruits of the Spirit
a. When you know God’s desire = your desire
b. When you know you are supported by God => you can sing praises in your situation
c. The Lord is my shepherd -> shall not be in want
d. Be led by Great shepherd in green pastures and quiet water
2.Fruits of Spirit
o If you have found rest, you need to discover if fruits if Spirit continue growing from you
o the checklist comes from - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, 23 NIV)
§ See all things in love
§ Self control - in your words, eating, feelings toward others, daily activities
§ People who will benefit from you - people ard u. They are the mirror images of you.
§ Don't look at the actions, but the spirit within
§ Pass on the spirit, not the actions
§ True peace comes from the truth in God' s words: COG, purpose in life (eternity), motivation of life and doing = love
§ God is love
§ Method of life - seek to listen and follow God
§ Attitude in life - in all things, you are more than conquerors for all who follow God
o Introspect - do you have peace more? Or worries more?
o Don't be shocked and frightened by things - because your motive in life is fleshy, as things happen in opposite ways. This is a signal from God
o Some nagging feelings - God wants to tell you something , don't let it go.
▪ Rectify your motivation and attitude in life -! Listen to God's voice
▪ Seek God and find out where is the source of unsettled feeling - God wants to fine tune your life, you ought to listen to God and relook your life
3. New direction [perspective]
a. You will know what to do next in your situation
b. You need to change your prayer or change the situation
c. David -> when he was extremely upset -> HS filled => he can continue with His life
d. Paul -> focus on the truth
e. He becomes the pillar of our joy NOT the situation -> able to be joyful regardless
f. Find the potential sheep in the situation -> seek to advance the gospel [may lord use the thorn in my life]
4. Consistent Character
a. you will not be hot tempered, always changing
b. rather, HS is a constant personality => it present yourself as a workman approved by God
c. when people see you, they see the light [Christ in you]
d. people know your values of life, your focus of living [church-centred], what makes you happy, what upset you
5. See the need to preach the word of God in season and out of season [DOE opens]
- if you don't live with this purpose, HS cannot govern you. The evil spirit will govern u
- doors of evangelism opened = family, region, world