"We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life...therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Him, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

On the 15th June 2014, I dedicated my life to be baptized as a member of Christ's body. It was a long journey leading up to the baptism day. There was an ongoing battle of hesitation in my head long before I decided to pick up a pen and filled out a blue baptism form. Lessons learnt? Definitely no reasoning, arguing or compromising with God. If you believe in Him, He will take you places, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing you can do to stop Him from fulfilling His promises in your life once you it to the amazing Father. 

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old one has gone, the new one has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:15-21)

Baptism does not guarantee that we will be saved. Baptism is not our sole trademark in entering heaven. One of the criminals crucified by Jesus's side never accepted Christ in their entire lifetime, let alone baptized but Jesus said "I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise." Whilst we are busy interpreting what other people's words are, God is busy with checking into the state of our hearts. It is not his proof of baptism that saved the criminal. It was his faith, the belief in seeing things physically unseen and unrealized, that was open for wisdom and understanding. The man knew Jesus was faultless but was crucified for everyone's sins. Although it did not explicitly say in the Bible, the man was able to see how disgraceful he is compared to Jesus and was awestruck as to why the man was even there. If crucifixion is still a legally approved process, no one would have said what the criminal said simply out of pure awe. The man acknowledged his sins and accepted his just punishment but when he looks to Jesus, he sees someone who took on people's punishments to save them. If it weren't for God to reveal these things due to his subservient heart, then what else could explain it? Secondly, he said "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom." It is unclear whether the man has already heard of Jesus's ministry beforehand but at that time, he faithfully believed that (1) Jesus was not a normal rabbi/teacher who manifests miracles out of air but that (2) Jesus was a King to a rightful throne and (3) Jesus's work on the cross was not a simple sacrifice - it is an act of atonement leading to the saving of many. He did not ask for much. He simply asked Jesus to remember him. He did not challenge Jesus to prove His powers like the other criminal who was crucified at the same time. He stated all these in public due to divine revelations that were given on a subservient faith of zero hesitation and doubt. Same thing goes with following God. The moment we hesitate and doubt Him, the moment we start to fall from grace just as Peter had done when he walked on water. 

I believe God is calling me onto a new season of renewal and fulfillment of His promises in my life. He is transforming me into a stable rock, a cooperative, humble servant for His mighty works, a nourished member of His body for the church. Through my baptism, I made a public declaration of my inner commitment to follow God as His disciple. Highly flawed, but He sees the beauty within me as He is my creator. Riddled with sin, but He lavished me with love and forgiveness, taking on the dirt of my life and redressed me with a new robe of righteousness. Filled with insecurities and worry, but He reassured me and empowered me with wisdom and discernment. Stranded without a shepherd, He anointed me with the Holy Spirit. To some and the me back then, these all seemed so abstract. "I need a physical proof for my eyes to see it God! Everything in the Bible, uh well Biblical and spiritual. Can't you realize and manifest some of your promises before me God?" These questions recurred to me again and again, and trust me, I am still battling them on today. [Just a side note, it is perfectly normal if you ever felt this way] We are created to be more convinced of things when our eyes see it materialistically. It's natural. What defines us as God's disciples is our constant engagement to deepen our knowledge and love within our Father, not caving into unbelief or be torn apart from God due to our desire to see a physical manifestation. I learnt that if we truly paid attention to the good works of Christ in our lives, we will have more than plenty to thank for. Start counting down all of those blessings in your life, even from the smallest ones, such as oxygen, food, water and shelter. If we can still attend church without being severely persecuted, or labelled as political fugitives/criminals, bless His name. If we aren't craving for the slightest trace of rice because we haven't eaten for a week, bless His name. If we still attend university or school and are able to read, write and communicate properly, bless His name. If we are healthy, or are victorious in triumphing over severe illnesses, bless His name. If we can still read the Bible and receive words of wisdom and encouragement, bless His name. Truthfully, God has showered us with so much goodness every single day of our lives. More often than not, it is our ignorance or insensitivity to His grace, mistaking them for things granted and well-deserved that put us in our highly unsatisfied states. When I deeply reflect what God has done in my family recently, I bless His name. No matter how stressful the moments we face, God always strengthens our unity by the end of the day. He dissipated our anger, frustrations or disappointments to some of life's major let-downs through simple moments during "dinner table" conversations. Jeremiah 29:11 is right. It is empowering and amen God, I can testify it in my life!

I am a twenty-year old university student called out to fulfill His great vision in my community. I am a newborn spiritual baby as of last Sunday. I made my public declaration in front of Jesus and many believers and unlocked a prophetic doorway to greatness. But I am still an infant!

"Therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." (1 Peter 2:1-3)

I like the idea of going back to tasting milk as our only food. Yeah Paul. Very harsh indeed. But it's true. I am still growing and yes I will fall often. God has unlocked spiritual gifts within me fitting for His calling but it is my responsibility to use His blessings to grow and mature in Him. Would you like to be treated as an infant forever in your life? We may be physically well-aged, but it's quite funny and even sad to acknowledge ourselves as spiritual infants twenty or thirty years down the track. Well yes, Paul encouraged us to step on a new level NOW and grow. What does this level comprise of? Everyone is standing on different levels of growth, but mine personally is about learning His word even deeper, and striving to be more humble and patient. A humble, faithful servant is what Lord's eyes see and I want to be a pleasant servant before Him, starting from how I live and respect my own life.

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy Him; for God's temple is sacred and you are that temple...Don't let anyone look down on you because of your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity...Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you."

I believe that the word "body" does not simply mean our physical vessels, but also our soul and spirit. Our attitudes, beliefs, morals, perceptions - God commands me to live out a life that is strong against sin and subservient to the Holy Spirit. Through my baptism, God is working on to grow the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the only way I could do that is through a progressing, FORWARD and ACTIVE relationship with the Sovereign Lord. The Holy Spirit is always cleansing our conscience whenever we come and acknowledge His presence. Simple things you can do are starting off your mornings with praise and thanksgiving. I am musical so I want to devote to sing a new song and play a new melody every single day to the Lord. If you are a writer, write a new prose of gratification for Him. Remember God sees the heart and it is perfectly okay if laziness gets the best of you sometimes. Just as long as we repent and strive to get back on track, Holy Spirit readily kicks in again. Remember, God sees the heart. So what about you? Have you sensed God calling on a new season in your life? If you haven't, wait on it but not for too long. I believe Jesus never meant our lives to be idle as a disciple. There are still way too many people we need to bless and share the love of God with and idleness won't do away with it. There have been moments where I am feeling awfully stagnant in my Christian life and in the midst of my idleness, I even forgot of Jesus's great commission. I became content with comfortable and ambient days and started to lose the innate urge to seek Him in my quiet times. Laziness is a terrible choker when you let it be. But when we are active and discerning, it is a clear warning sign for us to take our journey to the next level and progress deeper in our walk with Christ. Just like the famous Proverbs 4:23.

"Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life."

I heavily apologize for the delayed posts these days. Exam week is finishing in five more days and I can't wait to blog to you all more often in the coming week ♥ Stay tuned lovely people. God bless xx



Maira Gall