Power to Become a Child of God

I asked our housekeeper how her “emergency” meeting with her estranged husband went. Earlier, she asked for a half-day leave to tackle the problem her husband was creating: he wanted to sell the house she and her kids were living in and split the money. Although it was his wife who acquired the lot and financed the building of the house, he wants to claim his conjugal rights. Our housekeeper was distraught. Years ago, they separated because he kept a mistress.

I told her we would bring her husband to our Church to receive the Lord Jesus Christ.

sonship

She stopped mopping, looked at me and said, “Oh no, ma’am. Nothing more can be done to him. Nothing can change him.” She continued her work like her slim hope was hinged on the mop rod.

“No man, however sinful he is, can stand against the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to save and change a life,” I answered.

I then proceeded to tell her about the testimony of a brother in Christ I  wrote on my Minister of Mercy blog. He was a drug addict of the worst kind. He would leave his family and disappear for days to immerse himself in his vices. As if drugs weren’t enough, he also drowned himself with alcohol at the same time. When he went home, he would “play” with his children, lining them up against the wall while he threw darts at them. By the mercies of God, He always protected the little ones.

One night, he came home high on drugs. The devil was at his throat, whispering to him to kill his sleeping, emaciated, very pregnant wife to remove all obstacles to his depraved life. And so, he took a knife and poised to stab his wife.

I stopped to ask our housekeeper, “Do you think your husband is more wicked than this man?” She shook her head but said nothing. I continued my story, how the Lord Jesus brought salvation to that man’s whole household. I told her that, years ago, I invited him to our home to record his testimony for my blog and have his photo taken. (To read the whole testimony, click here).

It is almost impossible to absorb, especially for a doubtful housekeeper who saw God as small as her hope, how a man who used to be so evil is now toting a Bible and sharing the Gospel and his testimony wherever he goes. But such is the amazing grace of God.

Apostle John wrote:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

God does not simply make us His children when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but He also gives us power to be so, so that our sonship is not in name only, but is established through the manifestation of that power.

The true children of God, therefore, have power to live righteous, holy lives through the Holy Spirit that now lives in them. They cannot be born of God and still be slaves to sin, neither should they see themselves as lower and smaller than the position of a true son or daughter of God.

One night before my birthday last October 2, while I waited for sleep to come, I thought of the prayers I had fervently prayed weeks before my birthday that had remained unanswered up to that time. Among other things, I prayed that I would be able to bathe and wash my hair well more often and be able to groom myself and dress up for my birthday. But as I lay in bed that night with my hair which had become so oily due to infrequent washing and face that hadn’t been scrubbed clean to look radiant, I had a visit with self-pity.

The internal conversation started like this:

“You shouldn’t aspire to tidy up yourself and dress up to celebrate your birthday. Surely, you don’t have the nerve to pose before a camera and have your photo taken! Just hide in the shadows where no one can see you.” Maybe the pity party intensified that I just wanted to wallow in it, maybe I wanted to put myself down, even lower than what my illness had placed me, that I didn’t realize it was already the devil talking.

The voice said finally, “You are a cockroach! Thats what you are! So go hide!” (Friends, know that the devil is cruel).

The temptation to immerse myself deeper into the destructive sulking was there. A small part of me wanted to say “You’re right, I’m a cockroach!” to let God know how hurt I was that He didn’t grant my simple requests. But to do that would make me dumber than I already was at that moment.

Instead, I suddenly pulled out myself out of the senseless sulking and exclaimed inwardly in exasperation, “Oh, my goodness! Where did that come from? I am NOT a cockroach! Stop this right now, Rina. The devil is taking advantage of it.”

Sometimes, we are more of a sensual Christian than a spiritual one. We succumb to our feelings thinking that we can derive satisfaction from them. But we should have learned by now that doing such would profit us nothing. Among the devil’s many tricks, he wants us to see ourselves as the lowliest, the offscourings of the earth, so that in doing so, we bring God down with us and we sin in the process.

We were not only created in the image of God, we are being transformed in the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ. To see ourselves otherwise is to spurn God’s work in us.

But sometimes, it’s not only the devil who tries to bring us down. Even the people closest to us could affect us the same way. And when you’re unwell and suffering, that would be hard to overcome. Recently, I had one of those painful encounters with a family member. I was left feeling so discouraged I didn’t want to eat! When you’re hurt, it is not that easy to get back on your feet, dust off yourself, and move on. Yes, but your mind should rule over your emotions!

Wisdom must rule.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).

Wisdom is a product of a sound mind, the wisdom from above as described by Saint James:

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

If I didn’t eat, who would suffer the more? Who was I punishing with my refusing to eat? It’s just a simple application of wisdom!

I took a huge, deep, cleansing breath, then told myself, “You’re hurt. It’s hard to swallow it. In the midst of the pain and frustration, it is even confusing. But you are a child of God. You have been given power to be so. So, act like one. You can overcome because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).” I picked up the spoon and fork and ate with peace and satisfaction, even smiling to myself for the triumph.

On my birthday, I was able to tidy up, subdue my unruly hair, and put on my new peach blouse. I dared to take a birthday selfie and was shocked to see that the face I thought would show the ravages of illness instead showed the glory of my faithful Father. Hallelujah!

(Photo credit: @zuzu365 via @heart_imprint on Instagram).

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Comments

  1. Lorraine says:

    God Bless you Rina, Living in the fullness of Joy, (not always so easy) even with health challenges, resting and waiting on God. .as you travel this road of illness and the ups and downs along the way. Jesus knows all about it!
    Wow your birthday, looks like it might be Oct 3, the same as mine? I was born in 1966.
    I enjoy reading your blog, as I said before I have a friend that struggles with some of the same breathing issues you also do, presently she is doing well again, but a lot of her life has been not well . .
    Have a Blessed day, Lorraine from PA

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you for your loving message. Lorraine. It sure warmed my heart :). My birthdate is Oct. 2, 1967. You’re ahead 1 year and 1 day :). I continue to expect healing to come any day soon. Love and blessings to you!

  2. Melody says:

    You have a beautiful spirit and I pray it continues to radiate. Your trust in Jesus and his power to save and to tell others about Him is so evident. I pray your housekeeper’s estranged husband will find Jesus and have a change of heart. That your housekeeper will too know of him and his precious love and power to change anything.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you for your love, prayers, and words of encouragement, Melody. It’s our fervent prayer that we will be salt and light to the world through all seasons.

  3. Lovely story and you are a gifted writer…you worded it so well. And the message beneath it is so true. Thanks for sharing the Hope we share in Jesus!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Oh, how I love praise and thank the Lord for His gift, Gail! It’s a wonderful comfort amid all the hard trials. Blessings!

  4. Hazel Moon says:

    Our thoughts do carry us away at times to the party of pity. Yes, God is able to save your housekeepers husband. May God protect her from the harm he desires to do to her financially. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at Tell me a Story. http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

    • RinaPeru says:

      Dear Hazel, the latest update is: our housekeeper’s husband has given up on his selfish plans and went back to the province. And our housekeeper, she’ll be coming to Church tomorrow, by God’s amazing grace!

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