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By Rene Lizada

Papa's table

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A MIGHTY emperor once visited a great teacher. When the emperor entered the monastery he was impressed because he saw hundreds of students.

Upon meeting the teacher, the emperor said, “I am impressed. How many followers do you have?” The esteemed teacher replied, “Followers I have hundreds, disciples about one or two.”

Question is: are you a follower or a disciple?


Most of us are in the level of Know About and not Know Really and there is a big difference between the two. People know about rules but still people break rules. Because if you really know about rules, you would not even think of breaking them. Take faith as a deeper example.

We know about faith. If we are asked what it is we can define it, give examples of it.

We can write papers about it, talk about it but unless we live, faith is a useless thing. People who know about faith never take the plunge.

People who know faith, do. And that is where the difficulty lies. It is a very a scary thing, faith is. It is a mind boggling thing, faith is. Knowing about faith and knowing it truly makes the biggest difference of all.

But I have learned that faith must have a beginning. We all need to start somewhere and the best way to find out if you are doing the right thing is to feel your way through. If you feel terrified, scared, numb and liberated. That is the best way to explain it. When you are taking the dive everything in you, especially your ego will make you feel uncomfortable, shoot arrows of doubt, throw tons of fear and unless you overcome those, you will forever stand on the edge.

You want to jump, you want to break free but you are too afraid but the only way to liberate yourself is to jump. Someone once said that everything you want is on the other side of fear.

Fear paralyzes. When we want to change, when we want to do something better, fear grips like a vise and holds us close and tight and unless we do something we shall never break free. The closer you are the faith, the fear gets more intense. Those are two things that are dominant in our lives.

To a certain degree we act the way we do because we either act in faith or act with fear. We can have a life of fear or live a life with faith. It boils down to that. It ultimately is our choice to make. Most of us have live in fear and fear takes hold slowly but surely and that is why when you want to change, fear seems strong because it does not want to lose its control over you. Your ego is the master of fear and it knows how to control you, if you let it. But there is faith, but beware.

The moment you decide to be free, you will feel very uncomfortable. Things will turn worse before they get better but we hang on and slowly and surely the tide will turn. Through each moment, through each minute.

Slowly with faith, we can change but it will not be easy. It is not impossible but it will be difficult but all things worthy are always difficult.

Fear may seem strong but faith is always stronger.

Everywhere in the Bible you read stories of faith but before ordinary achieve faith they have to undergo tests and even more tests. For us to have genuine faith, our faith has to be tested. Untested faith is not faith at all. We all need to be tested. Abraham was, Job, Peter and yes even Christ. Faith is the prize of obedience and obedience is the price of faith. It is not easy, it never is and that is why it takes Jesus to help us. The devil does not want you to have faith, it wants you to be fearful. He will lie, manipulate and scare you.

But as the Bible says, if you want to be freed, if you want to be healed and liberated do three things. Take your position, whatever that may be. If you are suffering from an addiction or you are constantly scared, take your position. Say I shall be free then stand your ground and then you will see the salvation of the Lord. When you stand your ground you will notice that the attacks become stronger but hold on, God will never abandon you.

Have faith and see the salvation before your eyes. But to do this we must believe and know which brings us back to the question, are you a disciple or a follower?

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 27, 2014.


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