A series of events over the past few months have led me to question my Christian walk.

In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me”.

Follow Him was not all He said. He said deny yourself, take up the cross. It’s a call to totally submit to a new master. I realized that I was not totally surrendered.

My prayers have often been, “God, change me but be gentle”. At a point last month, I was dissatisfied with the status quo in my discipleship and I asked for the first time in sincerity, “God, change me, no matter what it takes”.

And He’s started the process. And it ain’t pretty. The first thing He did was let a few events, even innocuous events (or non-events as the case may be), highlight the actual condition of my heart. At the seat of the problem was pride that stemmed from being self-reliant, as opposed to being reliant on God and lack of faith and surrender. Of seeking the approval of man vs. God. Of having the form but not the substance.

The call is clear. Focus on the inside – the substance and not the form; character, not recognition.

So I’ve had to take a few days to process all of this. A book that helped give me perspective and posture to understand what God is doing was Cultivating Your Inner Life by Reverend Edmund Chan. It helps that I’ve been with the church for a while and while the book is good in and of itself, it helps with the wider context given I am numbered among the congregation.

It’s an upheaval. It’s not fun but it’s necessary. I’m looking forward to it.