Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Not Lukewarm in Encouragement

- Lester Liao

Let me tell you about my friend, Hao Li.  He is the greatest encouragement to me of all my fellow medical students.  Why?  Because I have seen the Spirit of God in his life; life-giving and soul-transforming grace at its finest.  And it is just about the most invigorating and wonderful a thing that can be seen.

Hao was not a Christian when he entered medical school.  If you asked him, though, he would have said he was a Christian.  He now vehemently denies he ever truly knew Christ upon entering.  In fact, he identifies himself even as an impediment to the Gospel in his earlier days.  When I first presented the student club CMDS and took it as an opportunity to briefly share the Gospel with my class, Hao spoke to me afterwards and stated that I should not talk about matters like sin in a public forum.  In my mind I thought, “Whatever, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”  Only a few months later God rebuked and humbled me for this attitude.

God was at work in Hao’s heart.  Despite what he would call a lukewarm heart to God, Hao would come to our regular CMDS meetings and we would discuss at length the Christian life.  One evening we watched a sermon by Francis Chan called “Lukewarm and Loving It” and discussed amongst ourselves what genuine faith entailed.  I do not recall Hao saying too much that evening.  Little did I know then that he went home that night, got on his knees and begged God to forgive him for his lukewarm heart and to really be Lord of his life. 

The change in Hao’s life has been stark.  He now speaks about Christ with a boldness reminiscent of the rejoicing apostles leaving the Sanhedrin after a flogging (Acts 5:40-41) and challenges me to consider my own lukewarmness.  Between lectures, he engages in all manner of spiritual dialogue with classmates.  His dedication to his church has drastically changed and he has a true passion to eradicate the plague of lukewarm faith.  He is hungry to soak up the Word with a rare humility and willingness.  He questions every facet of his life in terms of whether it is built on the solid rock of Christ and His Word.  Now he is even involved in leading our local CMDS chapter. 

Hao is such an encouragement to me I often cannot express it very clearly.  Often times when I see him or after our conversations, I will just pray and thank God without words.  What a brother the Lord has raised up and what a comrade he has been on this spiritual battlefield!

I share this story firstly because I want to encourage others with Hao’s encouragement to me.  I also share this because there are others like Hao, who have yet to experience such transformation by God.  He has appointed His people to go out and spread His Word to bring many in medicine to Himself.  What if we all began to pray regularly for one or two of our colleagues and asked God for boldness to speak to them about Christ?  What if we committed this truly to the Lord?  We have friends out there that may not have a single other person in the world earnestly praying for them.  Consider Augustine’s words about his mother. 

You sent down your help from above and rescued my soul from the depths of this darkness because my mother, your faithful servant, wept to you for me, shedding more tears for my spiritual death than other mothers shed for the bodily death of a son. (Augustine, Confessions III.11.)

May those we love around us say a similar thing of us one day.