13 July 2013 by Natasha Kim CM-
Rev Mike Connell graced City Harvest Kuala Lumpur (CHCKL) recently and made it a memorable night to remember. The last time the avid speaker from New Zealand preached to Senior Pastor Kevin Loo was the time before he even began CHCKL. Mike was one of the preachers that prompted him to start a church and what an amazing church it has become as they marked their 12th anniversary.
The Sunday service started off with their usual praise and worship, followed with a miracle and missions offering. Before the Word was given, Mike shared a few encouraging words before the sermon and prayed for an amazing amount of people at the end of the service. Thousands opened up their hearts to God and allowed themselves to be blessed!
God will not Turn you Away
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus invites everyone who is stressed out and weighed down to come to him, to put every aspect of our lives in His hands and find internal rest.
“He’s talking about coming to a place where you’re confident that God is with you and that He will resolve and work things out with you, a place where fear is diminished, where anxiety is diminished, to a place where you’ve come to rest with God and His faithfulness to you” shared Mike. In the verse, “yoke” means “teaching and lifestyle”. In other words, we must take on His teachings and lifestyle.
Despite advances in technology, burdens do not seem to get lighter; in fact, people feel it even more. In life, Mike noticed that the common problem present among everyone is namely, anxiety (fear about their life or future) and depression (often created by anger or frustration). “Everywhere I go, their lives are conflicted on the inside and they are not able to enjoy their relationship with God as He intended,” said Mike.
Internal peace is a gift that God gives you. Jesus overcame everything for us. He didn’t respond to pressure, yelling, or rejection because He had an inner confidence of knowing that God is in control and that God is going to work everything out. It will be the same with us if we engage with Him; our lives will come to a rest. Hence, having a to-do list or searching Google for solutions will not give us rest. Our inner peace cannot be gained from the world.
Exercise Your Faith
Embrace the teachings of Jesus because His command was always to follow Him. The important key here is to interact with Jesus is to open our heart, place our trust in Him, and ask Him what to do. Every day, let Jesus teach us and allow ourselves to listen to His Voice for God has given us the Holy Spirit.
“Yield to his direction because when you do that, life becomes a lot easier” said Mike.
There are two attitudes that allowed Jesus to win in life, meekness that resulted from managing stress, and humility from agreeing with God’s view in life. These attitudes are crucial in learning to deal with arising anger.
“The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” (Psalm 25:9)
For example, some people cannot control their anger and lash out while driving. Others are instantly and easily affected by their surroundings. Does that sound familiar? The unpleasant issue of anger should be dealt with by harnessing meekness. And meekness can be harnessed from having self-control and not reacting to life. Instead, listen and react to the Holy Spirit. “Humility doesn’t mean poor me. I’m just a humble person. Humility means, I agree with God’s view of life. I am who He says I am, I can do what He says I can do” said Mike.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
In the verse above, God said that He will give grace to those who do what He says. Therefore, do not live with pride and anger and be so focused on yourself that it prevents you from living a life of grace!
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:30 – 32)
“Consider what’s going on in your inner life and overcome the tendency to do things that cause the Holy Spirit to grieve and draw back from you. Learn to manage your inner life and you will find that the spirit of God will stay and the spirit will flow through you all the time” shared Mike.
Bitterness, rage, anger and all the negativity have to do with people and relationships, how we react to people and treat them.
“You grieve the spirit of God when you hurt people because He loves them. Can you imagine standing while someone you love is being mistreated? You will be grieved in your heart” said Mike.
When you have inner conflict, you lack the confidence in God that he will work through you.
“If your heart comes to rest in God, then you can be quite confident His presence will come,” said Mike.
We allow a root to grow in our hearts when we cannot forgive. There are so many angry people in the world that have no power to live the Christian life because a multitude of things trigger their feelings of anger.
“In your anger do not sin”, said Mike.
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
“It’s okay to feel angry. It’s a natural emotion to have when something we expected does not happen. But then the Bible tells us do these things; don’t sin, don’t explode and injure other people because you’re angry, that will grieve the Holy Spirit” he shared.
Moreover, the verse above also tells us to not hold our anger inside.
Release It! The One in you is greater than the one in the World.
Firstly, acknowledge your anger, and then find out what or who you’re angry at. Who do you believe that he or she owes you an apology? Mike shared that we should answer these questions and then grief over them to release the hurt. After the process of grieving, one must forgive and say, “You don’t owe me anymore”. The Christian walk is a struggle for those who cannot forgive from the heart.
“In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” (Matthew 18:34-35)
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
“If there is no peace in your hearts, it means that something is wrong and you need to resolve it,” Mike shared as he came to a close. “Tell God that you want your heart to be free from this, and that you want the spirit of God to fill you. Allow yourself to voice your heart out and to take that first step.”
Dear Viewers in Christ, if you find this article edifying to you, please share with your friends or loved ones by using the social media plugs (Share, Email to this article). The Lord will surely bless you as you bless others. May the Lord’s peace and love be with you. Amen.