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Deny Yourself

 

 

"Do not follow your heart,
Follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit."

In a world full of selfishness and pride, denying ourselves and choosing to follow God is very difficult, but not impossible. I remembered what our guest speaker in our church mentioned last Sunday, the speaker said that people nowadays only love themselves. I found the statement correct. Most of the time, we tend to follow our hearts and focus on what we think is right for us. However, as I thought about this concept deeper, it is not impossible to forget our desires and listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Four months ago, I made a heart-breaking decision. I have a guy friend whom I deem very close to my heart. I invited him to church three years ago and since then, we've been attending Sunday services and Christian events together. Our closeness evolved to something very special, but we knew that we're both not prepared to enter a relationship. Therefore, we decided to remain friends.
I was convinced I was doing the right thing. No commitments, but my friend and I remained as close as we were, and our actions did not match what we labeled our relationship. I thought, “God should be on my side and He should be pleased with us because we’re not in an intimate relationship.”

I felt God approved our set-up until I attended a service where the message was about wrong relationships one Sunday. At first, I thought I would not be affected by the preaching, because I kept telling myself that I'm not in a relationship, so I should be fine. However, as the preaching went on, I started to feel uncomfortable.

Suddenly, things about my friend and I started to bombard my mind. I continued to tell myself “You're just friends," but something so powerful and supernatural made me feel more uncomfortable. It exposed the sins that I rationalised continuously, and it tore my heart into pieces. That was the time I realised it was the Holy Spirit. I cried so hard as I humbled myself and accepted His will, I got convicted at that very moment. I stopped depending on myself and surrendered to what God wants me to do.
Before the service ended, it became clear to me that all this time, I was not acting in the will of God. Yes, I was not in a “relationship” with my friend, but we were acting like lovers.  We confused the people around us, and we did not guard our hearts accordingly. The Holy Spirit asked me to make things right, and so I did. I told my friend about my conviction and we agreed to start over, beginning with our hearts.

It was a hard decision to make. We distanced ourselves from each other, minimised our conversations and stopped seeing each other as much like we used to. Indeed, the transition was never smooth. There were times I wanted to give up and go back to our complicated relationship. I wanted to follow my heart again, but God is ever faithful to help and guide me back to the right direction. All I must do is choose to listen and obey Him over my heart.
 
Jeremiah 17:9
Do not follow your heart. Follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
 
John 14:26
But the helper, the Holy Spirit will teach you all things, and remind you all the things that I said to you. 

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