by Mark Paul Albano Pilar
“He must increase, I must decrease.” A lot of us have heard it and some us have worn the clothing brand “HE>i”. We hear it and we wear it, but can we actually do it? Now what I mean when I’m writing this is, “can we deny ourselves of the worldly things so that God can increase in our lives?” For example: Can we stop scrolling on social media for an hour so that we can pray the rosary? Can we stop buying unnecessary things and use that money to buy a meal for a homeless person? Can we stop the occasion of sin through some of these worldly activities? The truth is a lot of us will have second thoughts right then and there in that exact situation and continue to bask in the pleasures of the world.
If we continue to bask in the pleasures of the world, how can God increase in our lives?
About a month ago, I said “yes” to the Exodus 90 challenge with a fraternity of men. Prior to this challenge, I’ve noticed that I have not been praying the rosary daily, going to adoration weekly, and even not praying in the morning or at night. I’ve felt like I was losing my faith in God and putting more of it in social media, buying unnecessary things, engaging in sinful acts, and just being passive with my faith journey. This was all because I put God on the back burner. Fast forward to present day: because I said “no” to the world and “yes” to God, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my prayer life--God being my top priority--and being more positive in my personal life.
Now you may be thinking that you have to do Exodus 90 or Nineveh 90 (for the women) to have God increase in our lives, or you may be thinking “it’s too hard” or “no thank you”. You don’t have to do a long 90-day challenge; we can all make some sacrifices such as putting down our phone for an hour and go to adoration, eating no meat every Friday, not going on social media for an hour a day, etc. There are many opportunities to deny ourselves so that God can increase in our lives, but we must stop having these second thoughts and put God as a top priority in our lives.
In the Gospel of Luke (9:3), Jesus gives instructions to the Twelve Disciples before they take off on their mission to spread the good news: “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.” This does not just show obedience to Jesus, but it also shows the denying of their worldly things so that they can carry out the mission.
Let us deny the things of the world, take nothing for the journey, and let God increase in our lives so that we may be able to hear him in the silence of our hearts and carry out the plans He has for each one of us.
MARK PAUL PILAR is a member of ROL EPIC Ministry.