How to deal with two things that threaten our faith

(Edited on 19 Oct 2014, after 蔡蕙秋老师’s sermon)

This morning, I was led to think about the verses I studied about 2 years ago – 2 Timothy 4:7-8, using Pastor John Piper’s 1980 sermon. In explaining these verses, I remember Ps Piper elaborated that the two enemies of faith are, take note – not people, but our own self-centred, prideful nature, as well as the Devil.

How then do I deal with them? Our self-centred, prideful self often wants to yield to our fleshly desires… That’s how temptations are – fleshly desires. They are things we enjoy for a short moment, but detrimental for us in the long run. Temptations can be grumbling, being easily angry, sexual immorality. On the other hand, the other enemy – Satan prowls around like a hungry lion (1 Peter 5:8), looking for a target to instill lies, to shame us, to make us go on a guilt trip, veering us away from the truth.

So, we must resist temptations and escape from the Devil.  Right, no?

This morning, God reminded me about his instructions from the Bible on how to deal with these two major disruptions of faith – Satan and our fleshly desires.

To Satan, we must fight it, resist it with God’s Word and lots of prayer! That’s how Jesus did it when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for 40 days before he began his ministry, and when he was struggling the night before his crucifixion. James 4:7 says we must “…(r)esist the devil, and he will flee from you”. It’s not us running away from him; we must see Satan run away from us when we use God’s Word and prayers to resist him.

To deal with temptations, according to 2 Tim 2:22, we must flee, run away quickly, siam from them. So if you feel like watching a little bit more of TV (after spending hours on it), you have to pluck the strength and say, “I need to stop!” and walk away. You don’t start praying, “God, please help me to stop watching TV”, when the TV is still in front of you.

So often we do the opposite – we try to resist temptation by trying to fight it face-to-face and pray about it. On the other hand, some people try to run away from Satan by pretending that he doesn’t really exist, but at the end of it, still find his lies bugging them. We become downtrodden because we often fail so miserably to overcome these enemies of faith…. all because we have been using the wrong ways to deal with them.

Of course, sometimes temptations can be used by the Devil as well. For instance, if we are unable to get rid of our TV addiction, Satan may tell us, “you are a worthless person for not being able to get over your addiction”. In such cases, we must combine both ways to deal with this – first, to be conscious of the areas we are easily tempted; second, pray loads and read the Bible so that you can have verses to counter every satanic suggestion as you attempt to flee from temptations.

Thankfully, God has also showed us that we have the armour of God to resist the Devil. Paul’s letter to the Ephesus church shows us what this armour is made up of as we take our stand against Satan:

Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes...Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Eph 6:11-18)

Moreover, we have the seal of God, the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13) to help us along as we meet such challenges in our lives. With the mark of the God of the universe – the great Almighty, the Devil gets afraid when we choose to take up our armour and fight him.

I believe God revealed this to me, and reminded me with these two methods so that I can better discern my own struggles in faith. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide me to deal with these issues of faith wisely.

What skincare/cosmetic products to buy in Korea?

After my trip to Korea just this July, I’ve been wearing a little bit more make-up. I bought some products to try since they were relatively cheaper than many cosmetic brands from the US or those distributed in Singapore.

Mantra to Korea trippers – when in Korea, buy their skincare products!

So I googled and found a list of skincare products people buy when they head there. It was useful to guide me when I was tearing down Myeongdong in a race against time. Don’t judge – I only had 1 to 2 hours left to shop all the cosmetics I wanted to get for myself and others before the shops close! So I needed to get the essentials!

Anyway, here’s a picture of my loot first! It’s everything I’ve bought for friends, colleagues and family.

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Here’s my list of things cosmetics/skincare products you may wish to buy/stock up when in South Korea! Like buying clothes wholesale, the more you buy, the more discounts and exclusive freebie sets you get at these Korean cosmetic shops.
1. Banila Co’s Clean It Zero Make-up remover (the pink box at the extreme right of the picture)
2. Laneige’s Water Sleeping pack. It costs about SGD$25 when you get it from this shop called Aritaum. I also bought one at the airport before I flew back to Singapore. I thought it would be way more expensive but surprisingly, it only costs me about SGD$27 when I paid with my credit card! They give more discounts if you buy 8 of them! Still not too pricey considering the price it’s selling at in Singapore.
3. Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Pore Mask; quite helpful in stripping dead skin cells.
4. Banila Co. Primer; cheaper than Benefit’s (it costs about SGD$24 if I’m not wrong) but has almost the same effect!
5. Tony Moly snail masks; I hear people raving about it so I’ll just add this on my list. On a side note, ever since I discovered My Beauty Diary masks, I’ve decided they are more effective than Korean masks. Hehe…
6. Étude House’s lip tints; cheap and good… They cost about SGD$4 for a handy tub.
7. Skin Food’s Black Sugar mask which is actually more like a scrub.
8. Laneige or Innisfree BB cushion
9. Pink lipsticks! From places like Banila Co., or The Face Shop.

Leave me a comment if you know of any skincare or cosmetic product one must definitely get when in Korea! I’m keen to know (: