The process of “completion of repentance” began in November. But before we go further, I want to explain what this process I’ve been talking about is. Christian repentance, in my point of view, will not be complete if the object of the repentance hasn’t completed all of his / her spiritual needs which are reading Bible and praying every day along going to church every week. The first two I had done since my repentance in 2nd November 2011, but the last one was not done until 23rd December 2012.
I had trouble doing it, because religion was a hard topic in my family. My parents married in Catholic manner and I was a Catholic. However, I didn’t attend to the church every week because my family didn’t, undergo the First Communion and many things a Catholic should have done.
The process of repentance began when I entered IPEKA junior high school. I progressed, eventually reaching mentality adolescence at a very young age and I began to practice Christianity in my life. The repentance was finalized when I was grade 10 in 2nd November 2012 by my religion study teacher Mr. Ali, who is also an acquaintance from my father’s childhood. I accepted Christianity and I began practicing the first two spiritual needs.
In the middle of 2012, my father started to read Bible every day like me, much to my consent. When he discovered GKY PIK, which is very near to my house, he decided to relocate to the church. And so my journey as a full Christian began. But, let us focus on the process before I tell the story in the church.
For me, this process was a joyful yet hard one. I was kind of back to my old self before I re-learnt the basics of Christianity, through new people I met and experiences and thoughts I went through. Of course, this entire hard endeavor succeeded because of Lord Jesus Christ.
God crossed my path with Yoga and Aulia, with whom I share my interests and love in literature and philosophy; Phoebe and Michael of grade 10, with whom I share a great friendship bond; my senior alumni Andrew, who was a great debater and mentor; Ms. Yessica, Azaria and Nathania. I also met another special girl to whom I have affection now. The encounter with them reminded me to learn to accept myself as I am and to accept life as what God wants.
To make this essay shorter, you could check these previous three posts that pretty much summed up what I experienced in the first two weeks of November, http://wp.me/p2xKsV-2v, http://wp.me/p2xKsV-33, http://wp.me/p2xKsV-2L.
The last two weeks of November was exhausting. I had to give everything I had to finish all the daily tests and assignments. I shared my own life and love story with Yoga and Aulia and Phoebe and Michael. With them, I experienced the bonds I lost when I entered senior high school. They accepted as who I am no matter how eccentric and freakish I am. I also began writing a Christian based romance from the experiences I learnt and continued writing my Christian based fantasy.
Yoga, who has similar repentance story as mine, gave me his prediction of my future as he is gifted with the Spirit gift of prophecy. I, who suspect that my Spirit gift is to speak with wisdom and knowledge based on my everyday life, eventually realized that the prophecy told me of my fate. I waited for it to be revealed because Yoga told me that it would be told as a “poisonous truth”.
December was the most evolutionary month of my life, so far. It began with final exams week of the first semester, which I passed joyfully. After the tiring tests, I reunited with my old best friends Andree, Eda and Fiona. Although I just met them for a short time, I enjoyed the moment God gave me with them. We tried to meet again, but until now we couldn’t because of each other’s business.
In the end of the final exams week, I found out that my fate, as I’ve written in the introduction, is to be an apologetic, theologian, author and servant of God. I am very honoured that God chooses me to do such a noble task for Him. I, who has defected from Him and committed sins many times, am chosen to be one of His servants despite of my very young age and mistakes. I received this with a very humble heart, knowing that He made me decent to do the ministry.
This revelation was followed by my official attendance in youth commission of GKY PIK in 23rd December 2012. To be honest, that was a moment I’ve been expecting so badly because I know that my ministry started there. The first service I entered was a Christmas service and I really relished it. I am finally a member of Lord Jesus’s personal ministry itself.
I missed the next service prior my vacation to Bangkok. This vacation was the beginning of my – hopefully the last – defect to Lord Jesus. During those 10 days, I didn’t read the Bible nor write my thoughts about Christianity, thus my commitment to Him was relinquished in the context where I hardly felt His presence in my life. This, however, was countered by my expenses on C. S. Lewis’s books in Bangkok: “The Four Loves”, “Selected Books” including “The Abolition of Man” and “The Pilgrim’s Regress”, “Surprised by Joy” and “Mere Christianity”. These theological books helped me vanquish my past-self who tried to resurface due to my weakening devotion to God.
So I went home, not reading the books, and the past-self took control of me. For about 3 days, I couldn’t control myself. I began to fall. But, thanks to youth commission’s service in 6th January 2013, Lord Jesus helped me regaining control of myself. I was reminded that faith without knowledge is dead. During the service, my devotion to Lord Jesus was restored and this time I won’t defect from Him anymore. I asked for His forgiveness and the divine peace from Holy Spirit filled me. I promised to Lord Jesus and myself that I will focus on doing my role as His servant and starting my ministry.
He is a very kind Lord, for He has given me a very good start in the ministry. In that service, the committee of youth commission – great senior high school and college students – announced the small groups for the member of the commission, divided to junior high school students and senior high school students with college students. The small group, which is consisted of about 10 people of senior high school students and above, is the best way for me because I can openly talk about Christianity and share my thoughts. With all things I’ve got, I am sure I can contribute many for this group, commission and many other people. I am very enthusiastic for our first meeting this Friday.
From all things I have written, I think the title is very fit. This recount – though I didn’t expect it to be a recount – pretty much clarifies the idea of “why we are clearly not our past”. Apostle Paul has explained this idea in Romans 12:1-2 titled “A Living Sacrifice” and 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 titled “The Ministry of Reconciliation”. The acceptance and repentance in Christ has transformed us to be different from the world so that we “… will able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) and “… regard no one from a worldly point of view.” (2 Corinthians 5:16). In the rest of 2 Corinthians 5:11-12’s passage, Paul gave his reasoning of this transformation in Christ.
The problem is, throughout my life, I have met a lot of people who are hypocrites to this idea – including myself. What is the meaning of having repented in Jesus while you still live like your past-self? Didn’t He offer Himself to be our replacement, to pay the sins we have committed? Why do we then, in our own knowledge about the death of Christ Himself and His resurrection, act as our past-self? Why do we become mere “Christians”? Here, “mere” is a very dangerous word. Not only that it says about Christianity is only our status; it also says that Lord Jesus Christ’s influences in us, which are supposed to impact us to our very roots, don’t affect anything in our life.
What is the point of being hypocrites and lying to the Lord Himself? This, I regret, is one of the reason Mahatma Gandhi denied Christianity. He saw a lot of Christian hypocrites back in his time that made him said, “I like your Christ, but not you Christians.” He often asked “Why do Christians go about saying ‘Lord, Lord’ but not do the will of Jesus?” “Why don’t they obey the Sermon on the Mount, reject war, practice nonviolence and love their enemies? Isn’t that what Jesus wants, more than the false adulation of ‘Lord, Lord’?”
Is our faith weak? Can’t we follow the order of Christ? In 2012 I have faced moments where I defected from God, and to be honest, my past-self is very tempting because he has no relations with Lord. The sins seem to be very glimmering to us that we lose to its clutch. Doesn’t this contradict Hosea’s statement “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”? We are still dead if we choose to live without Lord Jesus. I feel very close to the death itself every time my past-self returns.
But of course, Lord Jesus Himself repeatedly and tirelessly reminded of my way, my devotion and my life. And sure enough, the last one – the very early one of the year – is my last warning. I have entered ministry, I have joined youth commission, and I am literally a child of Light. I cannot risk myself to surrender to my old self anymore. I have to surrender myself to Lord Jesus if I am to succeed in my life and my ministry. I know I will, because now I have all His gifts and He Himself is there to guide and help me through the hardships.
There are new lessons to learn (I am actually writing it!), new competitions to compete, new goals to achieve, new friends to accompany and my new-self to be in this new year. I have my ministry, friends and most importantly Jesus Christ. Even though I failed a lot last year, I succeeded too. I found Lord’s grace abound within me. In fact, I don’t feel I failed at all because I have found things more precious than any glory the world offer. I shall not fail this year now that I know and accept everything of this, because I am not my past.
Now, that I have finally reviewed my life for this recent year, I want to ask a question: have you? If you have, may Lord Jesus blesses you and if you have not, there is no “too late” for an introspection to the direction of goodness. May you be blessed by this article, and may you have a great year in Lord Jesus Christ!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of Lord is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Part 1 of 2: http://wp.me/p2xKsV-4E