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9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (9) Fruit of Gentleness
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쏝ut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 ...
       
 
  
 

Solidifying of the Heart

Manmin News   No. 121
8618
June 22, 2008


"...Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go..." (Joshua 1:6-9)

When the hearts of many are solidified, their will is united and the purpose and the means to achieve a goal become the same. Even if each of the 10 people worked diligently, the outcome of their work cannot be compared to that which would have been obtained had they worked together as one. How, then, can we solidify our heart?

1. We must fix our eyes from the same angle.

We look at everything by faith and fix our eyes on New Jerusalem.

1) Looking at Everything by Faith

"Looking at everything by faith" can be better understood with the story of the 12 spies from "The Book of Joshua." After spying on the land of Canaan, of the 12 spies Joshua and Caleb looked at everything by faith but, as the other 10 set their sights on the reality, the 12 could not become one.
When the people of Israel crossed the Jordan River and took Jericho, all of them became one and looked at everything by faith. When the priests were told to step into the overflowing Jordan, they did not fear death; instead, they took their steps by setting their sights on God's works, not on the fast and rough currents. When they stepped into the Jordan in one heart, the waters were completely cut off (Joshua 3).
In accomplishing God's works, when a few of the workers look at their work in distrust, they will have a huge impact the morale of the rest. That is why the Israelites kept their silence when they circled around the city of Jericho. Not one of them complained, "If the enemy fires their arrows, we'll all be shot to death. How can we possibly walk around the city in such hostility?" Fixing their eyes only on God, they obeyed in one heart, and the walls of Jericho came crumbling down.
"Looking at everything by faith" does not mean that one merely stares at the skies without grasping the reality or the reasons of this world and not carrying out his own responsibilities. If such was faith, God would not have sent the 12 spies into Canaan. Even in conquering Jericho, Joshua sent spies and had a clear idea of the situations there in advance. In reality, the outlook was bleak and things seemed impossible but as God had commanded them, the Israelites trusted Him and sought to carry out His will. By doing everything man was to do, they created the foundation of faith.
Since the founding of Manmin, we have accomplished all that we have been commanded by looking at everything by faith. When God commanded me something, I never said, "That is difficult" or "It cannot be done." I am well aware of the ways in which this world works and how the evil people act in evil when seeking their own interests. I also know how costly it is to accomplish big projects and how we are not able to finance them on our own. Nevertheless, when God commanded, I obeyed unconditionally.
Just because I believed, however, it does not mean that I could sleep comfortably at night, assuring myself that all would be accomplished. As the apostle Paul confessed, "Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches" (2 Corinthians 11:28), I am always pressed in the heart to reveal God's glory. When I go for days feeling anxious without getting any sleep, I lose energy and face difficulties that leaves me feeling as though the Jordan River into which I stepped by faith would overflow. Without a change of heart, however, I accomplished God's will with unwavering confessions and deeds of faith. God desires of us the kind of faith by which we can stop the currents of the Jordan River and destroy the city of Jericho.

2) Fixing Our Eyes on New Jerusalem

We do God's work not for the glory or commendation in this world. God will surely reward us in this world when we are faithful to Him but even without any earthly rewards, we must carry out our God-given duties in gladness by fixing our eyes on the heavenly rewards we will receive.
When a worker seeks to unite the hearts of members, some people set off with a different kind of mind. "She will go to New Jerusalem so she can be faithful and diligent. My faith will only warrant me the first or the second heavenly kingdom so I do not have to work as hard."
However, God wants all of us to come into whole spirit and enter New Jerusalem, the most beautiful of all heavenly dwelling places (Revelation 21; please refer to Heaven I and II). This is the greatest desire of our Father God and to claim the price of the blood of Our Lord in its truest sense. Until the last moment of the cultivation of mankind upon which He embarked to bring mankind into New Jerusalem, God will never give up on His children.
Not one of you ought to think, 'This is as far as I can go. This should suffice.' God tells us in Hebrews 10:38, "BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM." All of us, not just a few who are ahead in the race to heaven, must fix our eyes on New Jerusalem and solidify our hearts in that hope.
Faith is "the assurance of things hoped for" (Hebrews 11:1). When one fixes his eyes on New Jerusalem and makes every effort to get there, he will discover that the vessel of his heart has been transformed. New Jerusalem will settle in his heart not only in his hope but indeed in his heart.

2. We must harbor good things in our heart.

Even if a group of people worked together for the common goal, they can indeed become one only when each of them harbors good things in his heart. The extent to which the heart of each one involved has become one in goodness will determine how smoothly events and plans planned will unfold and be executed.
In conquering Canaan, Achan was a soldier in Israel's army. Although he was only one out of many, when greed for material possessions consumed Achan, Israel as a whole failed to unite. In the end, Achan faced death and Israel tasted a bitter defeat at Ai (Joshua 7).
Therefore, in doing God's works, everyone must harbor good things in his heart. Whether or not each individual has harbored in his heart good things, greed, a heart to seek God's glory, or a heart to seek his own glory will either unite or divide that group.
In doing God's works, workers say they work for God's kingdom and confess their love for the church and the shepherd. No matter how zealously they carry out their duties, however, God will not recognize their work if they do not harbor good things in their heart. At the foundation of each worker's heart must be the heart to make concessions, forgive, seek peace, serve others, sacrifice oneself, and endure.
When the hearts of the workers could not be easily united, as someone who was putting the project together, did you think to yourself in gratitude and gladness, 'I must pray more and receive greater strength from God'? Or, did you feel uncomfortable and uneasy towards the church or others, thinking, 'How come no one is working harder when this is for the good of the church?' or 'Why aren't they obedient when they ought to be obedient?' Were you disappointed, thinking to yourself, 'Each worker is concentrating on his own areas of work and seeking only his own interests. It is difficult to work by myself without anyone helping me. Next time on, I should just let each of them do his own work.'
An order must be maintained but even when insisting on the order, goodness dictates you to try to understand the other person once more.
Also, examine your attitude when proposing ideas to others. Suppose you proposed a good opinion or idea but other workers or the leader does not accept that idea. At such times, an individual who always pursues goodness will humbly accept the position of the group as a whole even if his opinion were better or even if he would suffer or make sacrifices if the opinion of the others were followed. Such an individual will obey and support the group's position as long as it is not in pursuit of untruth.
The most important aspect in accomplishing God's work is goodness, not who is right and who is wrong, or who bears more fruit. God wants each of us to respect, understand, serve, and forgive one another. When God's children, who will have taken after Him, become one in working together He will be in charge of the fruit. He will allow them to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and cause what is impossible with them to be possible and what is possible with them to be even better.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God's work is done not by the might of man but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, may each of you look at everything by faith and in hope and solidify your heart in goodness in greatly accomplishing God's kingdom, and bear abundant fruit of blessings both in spirit and in flesh, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!


 

 

 
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