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 (Manna 43: Holy Spirit)
Spiritual Sensitivity
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SPIRITUAL SENSITIVITY

IN TUNE WITH GOD’S FEELINGS

One of the best things about summer vacations for college students is that we are able to take time off to attend theological seminars with our fellow brothers and sisters in church. I always learn so much and those days spent at church really draw me closer to God, so that during the school year, I am able to stay rooted in my faith.

I remember one particular testimony shared by a brother during last year’s seminar that really touched me. He told us how he prayed to God about talking to a particular sister.

This really surprised me because I had never in my life asked God’s permission for something so trivial. Such sensitivity towards God’s feeling! What struck me was his closeness with God that he would inquire of the Lord in small and big issues of life.

It was this testimony that prompted me to find out for myself what spiritual sensitivity is all about, and how to acquire something so valuable in my life.

Spiritual sensitivity is the ability to perceive and respond, by the movement of the Holy Spirit, to God’s will, His love, and our own wrongdoings. A spiritually sensitive person is often very in tune with God’s heart.

One thing about being young is that we have a tendency to speak our minds or find our own opinions noteworthy. If we are attentive to God, we will naturally think about what God wants us to say instead.

If we don’t pursue after spiritual sensitivity, then our hearts will gradually harden and be without feeling to God’s commandments, even His love, and God’s spirit will no longer be able to move us.

When we are able to feel His heart full of love for us, we would be constantly motivated to love and serve Him zealously in return. If we are able to feel His heartache for our mistakes, we would not repeat our sins against Him.

Even the smallest mistake would prick us, and we would strive to purify ourselves to be holy in the eyes of God.

The further along we get in life, the more questions we will have about what God’s will for our future might be—questions about our academic decisions, our career, our marriage, and our family.

Appreciating how much He loves us, we will naturally consider what He wants us to do, where He wants us to go, what He wants us to be. The deeper we understand God’s heart, the clearer those questions will find their answer in Him.  

So how can we be spiritually sensitive in our youth?

DAVID’S SENSITIVITY

David was a man who had this special sensitivity towards God. Many times before or during a battle, he would ask God what to do.

When the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over Israel, they wanted to seek him and most likely take his life. Faced with this threat, David did not gather all his wise men together for advice or to strategize their defense.

Instead, he looked to God for advice:

            David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.” (2 Sam 5:19)

Faithfully, David asked God an important question and he was spiritually sensitive enough to hear God’s answer. Not only did God listen and answer him, David also listened and followed God’s instructions.

When we ask someone for advice, what we are really telling them is that their thoughts are worth a great deal to us. Every time David asked God for His will, it showed how much he valued God’s thoughts and feelings. It is no wonder that David was called a man after God’s heart.

Keeping Pure

How was David able to remain so sensitive towards God all those years? With his own words, he writes of his constant desire to be found clean before God.

            Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Ps 51:7, 10)

Our God-given conscience tells us what is right or wrong, good or evil, and through the Holy Spirit, we are constantly reminded to examine our thoughts, speech, and actions.

Nevertheless, it is not so easy to keep pure, especially in the college years. Temptations and sins pile up quickly, like bricks laid on top of each other until a wall of separation divides us from recognizing the Spirit’s counsel.

Meditating on God’s Word

David was always meditating upon the words of God (Ps ). He didn’t do this out of habit or because he has to; he paid great attention to God’s teachings because he loved God very much.

When we love someone they are constantly on our minds. Just the same, if we love God, He will constantly be on our minds. Jesus once told us that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also (Mt 6:21).

If we keep the words of the Bible and read them everyday, then God will be in our thoughts and our heart. For me, I’ve learned to set aside time just to meditate on God’s words.

There are a few things that I do to remind myself of God. I read the Bible at the end of my day so that I can fall asleep thinking about God, dream about God, and wake up thinking about Him.

I also have Christian decorations in my room to surround myself with things that remind me of God. I listen to hymns to inspire me, and I attend fellowships to listen to others share their life lessons from God.

Spiritual Insensitivity

Being spiritually sensitive means that we are always on the alert and we are aware of Satan’s trap to ensnare us.

It is usually when we fall into spiritual ennui that we begin to lax in our efforts to draw nearer to God. The problem is, Satan usually recognizes these crucial weak moments in our lives much faster than we can recognize it for ourselves.

Otherwise, he wouldn’t be called the prowling lion ready in waiting. So we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet 5:8).

It was in this exact moment of spiritual carelessness that Satan caught David in his weakness for Bathsheba. In fact, David was so weak that he did not even recognize his own sin until it was pointed out to him (2 Sam 12:7-12).

Usually, people don’t normally recognize that they are taking the wrong turn. By the time we realize that we have, that’s because we’re already knee-deep in spiritual trouble.

To make sure we are able to avoid things that dampen our spiritual sensitivity, we have to be careful not to be lazy and fall into spiritual ennui, where worship and spiritual cultivation becomes merely a habit.

Without being alert, our good habits can turn into a mechanical routine. We should stay alert by keeping a few questions in mind:

·         When and why did I start reading the Bible and praying daily?

·         What experience from God moved me to do so?

·         Do I still feel that same burning feeling in my heart when I read the Bible?

·         Am I understanding and practicing the spiritual teachings I learn?

·         What am I really praying for?

·         Do I still feel God’s joy, peace, and love, like the first time I experienced it so deeply?

·         Is the power of the Holy Spirit working mightily through me?

So what happens when your conscience feels clear, and in meditation you can’t find anything else to repent for, since you’ve avoided all that you could to stay spiritually sensitive?

Recently, I’ve been wondering the same thing. The answer came to me while I was reading Paul’s letter to the CorinthianChurch. He said, “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me” (1 Cor 4:4).

It’s true that it is God that judges us for our sins, even those that are deeply hidden in our hearts. Since only He knows us better than we know ourselves, we need to go to Him in humility to reveal to us sins that we have forgotten and those we did not know.

We need to pray.

WE NEED TO PRAY

I still remember my deepest and most intimate prayers with God. Those are the moments that build up my relationship with Him. And the deeper I walked into the chamber of my heart, the easier I’m able to find God there.

It is in prayer that God reveals to us the things that we have to correct and change about ourselves; where He reminds us of things we have forgotten and things we want to forget.

I’m able to hear His voice clearly when I pray to Him in Spirit. He is Spirit and as His followers, we have to worship Him in Spirit (Jn 4:24). This tells us that we cannot have true spiritual sensitivity—a true relationship with God—without prayer.

When we get closer and closer to the Light, He will shine upon us and expose us to our own mistakes. Once He has removed our sins, then there will no longer be a barrier between God and us, and we can once again enjoy this spiritual closeness with Him.

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Publisher: True Jesus Church
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