WILLS POINT, TX – Metropolitan KP Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA World), which has been the model for numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church—makes the statement that regardless of our circumstances we are free to make progress in our Christian walk.
I was stunned and amazed to no end when I received a 19-page letter a man wrote me with all kinds of allegations. He not only blamed me for all the mess he had made of his life, but he also pronounced severe judgment and terrible curses on me from God and the devil.
Never in my life had I received anything so full of poisonous hatred. The most incredible thing was that I had never met the man in my life. I had no clue of the situation to which he referred.
Because he had the audacity to make me responsible for all his tragedies and setbacks, I sat down to write him a fitting defense to his wild accusations. But just as I finished, I asked myself, “What am I doing?” I tore up my letter and threw it away.
Then I took a piece of paper and wrote him a one-sentence reply: “My dear brother, no one on earth can destroy you, not even God; only you can destroy yourself.”
You see, the man’s real problem was that he never searched his own heart for the root cause of his crisis. Instead, he believed that if I straightened up, his problem would go away, and he would be happy and successful in his endeavors.
Waiting for Others to Change Is a Trap
This man is certainly not alone in thinking he can blame people around him for his lack of success, peace, comfort, happiness or spirituality. That’s why a husband looks for his wife to change and a wife wants her husband to shape up.
Wanting to feel good and grow spiritually by changing everybody else becomes a vicious cycle. We are convinced that our progress depends on their compliance. We seldom stop and honestly look at ourselves. It is true that others can be a source of trials, disappointment and challenge, but we cannot blame them for our own lack of spiritual vitality. That’s a matter of our heart and not of outward circumstances.
In fact, throughout Christian history, those believers who went through immense trials, horrendous persecution and martyrdom were the very ones who carried the Christian faith forward. They gained their spiritual strength and endurance in the midst of adversity, and their faith was refined as gold through fire. In order to grow spiritually and become faithful until death, they did not depend on people around them to change. Even in chains, they were free to make progress in pursuing God.
The truth is that no one person can hinder our spiritual growth or destroy us if we walk with the Lord and put our faith in Him. He will be our shield and defender just as He promised.
Ultimately, I am the only one who can destroy me. By my own choice to reject Jesus as my Savior, I can spend eternity without Him. As a follower of Christ, if I violate God’s principles, I will bring destruction upon my marriage, my home, my work and myself. And if I don’t walk by faith according to the Scripture, I can prevent God from fulfilling His promises toward me.
The Choice Is Ours
How can we detect the real hindrance to our spiritual growth and remove it? The Apostle Paul advised the Corinthian Christians to examine and judge themselves (see 1 Corinthians 11:31–32). It starts with us being willing to be honest with ourselves. Instead of blaming others, we should search our own hearts when we find that we are not making progress in our Christian walk.
But it shouldn’t end there because “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind . . .” (Jeremiah 17:9–10). Our hearts can appear innocent to us so that we don’t suspect our troubles could be self-inflicted.
We must involve the Lord on this quest. We must be willing to be honest with ourselves and then invite God: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24). Only He can tell us the truth and help us see ourselves as we are. That’s why each of us needs to follow David’s example— coming in humility to the Lord and asking Him to perform the examination.
God was always faithful to point out a sin or a wrong attitude in David’s heart that compromised his relationship with God and hindered his spiritual progress. David responded by humbling himself, repenting and accepting God’s correction. It is the grace of God when He opens our eyes and shows us our true condition. And if we respond as David did, the hindrance that held us back will be gone, and we will be set free to make progress on our spiritual journey.
Lord, search our hearts and try us.
Read this article regarding the round table video discussion with KP Yohannan, Francis Chan and Hank Hannegraaff, cautioning the church from pointing fingers at one another.
Keep encouraged and get your regular dose of challenge through other articles on Patheos by KP Yohannan Metropolitan, or on his blog at kpyohannan.org.
You can learn more about K.P. Yohannan Metropolitan by clicking here.
KP Yohannan, founder and director GFA World (Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, has written more than 250 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia is a Christian-based charity serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979, often in places where no one else is serving. Gospel for Asia workers serve on the field as the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to people’s needs so they can understand the love of God for them for the first time. Gospel for Asia helps provide funds for dozens of projects, such as caring for poor children, slum dwellers and widows and orphans; providing clean water by funding wells; supporting medical missions; and meeting the needs of those in leprosy colonies.
Find out more about Gospel for Asia in the video “A Year in Review with K.P. Yohannan.”
Learn more about KP Yohannan, Founder of GFA World, and Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church: Facebook | Radio | Twitter | Amazon | Sermon Index | Goodreads | OnePlace | About | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | Book | Wikipedia | Francis Chan | Lawsuit Response |
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