Midweek Fellowship – June 15, 2016
Dcn. Art De Borja
I will be sharing tonight past incidents in my life, experiences which today is called “throwback.” It would tell of God's greatness and faithfulness in one's life; and every day as we journey with Him, His presence unfolds before us.
When I was around sixteen years old, I rode a Boeing 707, which is a small aircraft. The plane stopped in one country to pick up several passengers, which were mostly immigrant families on their way to Australia. As we were approaching another country, a migratory bird got stuck in one of the engines of the jet, and everything was chaos before us. We can hear the struggling sound of the jet engine and everybody was quiet. I was praying at that time, and the Captain was trying to pacify everyone. The ambiance was eerie because we could hear the incessant crying of a baby, sensing the danger that we were in. The sun was setting and imagine how much chaos there will be if the plane would dive into the sea. The plane was losing altitude and the airline crew was trying their best to contain the matter. For sure, everybody was in prayer.
By God's surpassing grace, the Captain was able to land the aircraft by the tip of the runway. When the plane landed, there was total silence; no one was talking. There were several minutes of uncertainty for us. I was raised a Roman Catholic and I was trained that in times of danger, you call on all the saints and pray to them.
This was an incident that would always remind me of the Lord, and yet, there was a blessing in that because we stayed in the country for about a day, and the airline decided to transfer us to another plane. One amazing thing is that we never felt the fear to fly again. Another blessing was that the after an hour at we were airborne, the airport was attacked by the Israeli Air Force.
These incidents would remind us that when we face tough times, God never forsakes us and He never leave us alone.
Another incident was when I was driving late night and my three passengers were all asleep. When I was coursing in the dark in McKinley Road in Forbes Park, the car lost its brakes. To reach my destination, passing through the major thoroughfares, through side streets and a railroad, I could not imagine surviving this ordeal. I was so thankful to God. I may not be born-again at that time, but God showed me how He really cares for His people.
In my 27 years of ministry work, times would be tough, and yet, God would keep reminding me that He is always there for you, for us, especially during critical times.
During the siege of our Church, I was one of those who were behind the barbed wires. One Sunday, we were like having a concert praising and worshipping the Lord. In the natural, we had the anxieties for it was a tempting moment for the enemies to attack, but we knew that we were surrounded by legions of angels. No soul was on sight because the Church members were in a Mass that was being held at Fort Bonifacio. When we were administered communion, it was as big relief for all of us and the presence of people who watched over us comforted us.
We go through a life that is like a roller coaster ride. We have our own testimonies. It is an exciting journey with God. It is not something that the world can surpass or could offer. Most of the time, it is like the icing on the cake, on surface level that we experience in the world, but God is teaching us something.
When my mother died, I had to come home from Middle East. After the burial, a cousin of mine told me that God placed me in a dream and she was instructed to bring me to Christian Life Fellowship. I felt funny inside because at that time, God was already stirring me up and preparing me for ministry work which I had not realized. I was thinking of Malay Balay, Bukidnon, and I wanted to be in the monastery. Actually, it was not Malay Balay, but another M, Magallanes.
When I came from the airport, we passed by Magallanes Theater where Christian Life Fellowship is and I did not realize that God was already giving me a hint that for the rest of my life, I will be working in His kingdom.
In all these things, we get a better understanding of how God wants us to live our lives. Our young generation is so blessed because they are being fed with the Word. With all that is happening around us, it is really the signs of the times as shared in the Bible. We should be serious with God. It is not something that whenever we have a need, we take refuge in Him and He is Someone who can strengthen us. It is more of feeling the beauty of God's relationship with us and God allowing us to see through the richness of this experience with Him. He deals with us in a diverse manner because we are all diverse in personality, character, and situations, and yet, God is always there for us. He is ever faithful, never failing us.
Day to day, may we always have a looking forward to God that is deep inside our hearts because He keeps revealing new things to us. God wants the best for us. God wants the best for the Cathedral of the King.
When Fr. Gary taught us about how to experience the deeper sense of anointing, it really struck me. Anointing is about being consecrated and sacred. Regardless of age, God is serious with each one of us, with our lives, with what is happening in us. We are the ones not serious and we easily get distracted with the many things in our lives; and yet, God is serious with us and He has empowered us.
Bishop Ariel mentioned that we need an outlet for the power and energy that is within us. This is very true. We are walking miracles. God would perform miracles through us and vice versa. When we are in tight situations, God would make other people to get us out of a situation. Wherever we go, God would always take care of us. This is the richness of the experience of how God is and what God is all about.
Through our lives, each of us is being nurtured by God even during younger years. As we get older, God will show more of His love and faithfulness. Every time we are being fed with the Word from the pulpit, we need to see that we need to get serious with God. Galatians 6 says that we need to walk by the Spirit and we will not carry out the desires of the flesh. It is always a spiritual battle every second, every hour. If we walk by the Spirit and we walk in the Spirit, there is more assurance that we will be kept out of trouble.
This is so powerful: walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. At times, it is hard to do this because tempting situations are present around us, and yet, we get down to the basic foundation of what our faith is all about. Remember, we were marked by the Cross, and we belong to God. We do not belong to ourselves; we do not own ourselves.
I remember what Pope Benedict said: youth is for the heroic deeds for God's kingdom, not for pleasure. Life cannot be fun-seeking at all times for there should always be a noble purpose in it.