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
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
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
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 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
Instead, he looked to God for
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.