[Philippians 4: 8-9]
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
This is the eleventh session on the deficiencies of the body.
A deficiency of the body refers to the state where you lack the basic mental or physical ability, or the state where you have significantly different emotions than other people because you have not gone through the processes that you should have gone through in the steps of seeing, feeling, and acting.
You can go into spirit and whole spirit only when you realize these one by one and cast them off.
There are some things you can understand very well when you listen to the messages about them, but you still are not really able to put them into practice in your everyday lives.
It’s either because you do not realize they are deficiencies that you have or because you don’t really want to put into practice what you’ve decide to do.
In such cases you lack willpower, endurance, self-control, and concentration. I am going to talk about these things today.
Let us continue to look into the deficiencies of the body.
[Main] Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, to go into spirit you have to make up the shortcomings in your willpower, endurance, self-control, and concentration.
Such things as putting things off until tomorrow you should do today, failing to concentrate on something important, and not doing what you decided to do are obstacles that hinder you from going into spirit.
For example, suppose there is a person who frequently fails in his/her diet.
What is the reason that they cannot lose weight even though they feel the need and decide to lose weight?
In many cases they violate their own determination to eat less for they cannot overcome the temptation of the food they like.
They say, “I will first eat this food I like,” or “I will eat a little bit of it today, and tomorrow I will begin my diet again.”
Or, they begin their diet with firm determination, but soon their determination is weakened.
They give up their diet thinking, “Do I really have to lose weight? It’s better to live in comfort.”
Or, they give many kinds of excuses.
They console themselves thinking, “I don’t eat a lot, but I basically have a physical constitution that I easily gain weight.”
Or, they postpone dieting saying, “It’s not that I cannot lose weight. I can do it any time I want, so I don’t really have to do it right now.”
But people who fail in everyday matters like these have similar patterns in their Christian lives.
For example, let’s say such a person decides to go to church after work every day and pray for an hour.
But towards the end of the day, he feels very tired, and he wants to lie down for a little while at home.
He hurries home and lies down. He feels so comfortable in the warm blankets.
His eyes are closing, and he cannot get back up.
What happens then?
It’s the same as when he fails in his diet.
He says, “I can go today if I want to, but today I don’t feel very well and I know I need to rest to be in peak physical condition. I don’t really have to start doing it today. I’ll just begin to pray starting tomorrow.”
He just keeps on putting it off until tomorrow, and then again and again.
As this goes on for a while, later on he just rests at home all the time without even making excuses.
Some people listen to the word of God and decide to change their bad habits, but with the passage of time they change their minds.
For example, a person who is frequently late to worship services or other meetings has decided to change his heart after listening to messages on tardiness.
After hearing the message, he has pangs of conscience, and he also thinks about how other people must think of him. So, for several weeks he is punctual.
But after a couple of months pass, his guilty conscience weakens, and he goes back to his old habits.
He comes late because of something, and he comes late again because of something else. In this way he reverts back to his former state.
Let me give you another example.
Suppose a person who often gossips decides to speak only the truth.
Some time later, she saw some fault of, say, Deaconess Kim, and she is dying to spread it to others.
But she kept her mouth shut thinking of her determination not to talk about such things.
But somebody next to her comes to her and says, “Deaconess Kim has got some problems.”
Right at that moment, her determination vanishes into thin air.
She gossips about Deaconess Kim pretending that she is worried about her saying, “Is that right? I didn’t really want to say this, but I saw the same thing going on. I am concerned for her because she has to change.”
If she cannot keep her heart this way, when can she cultivate holiness?
Brothers and sisters, even before I accepted the Lord, I tried to keep my determination in whatever I decided.
As I explained before, when I was studying, I would drink a lot of water before going to bed in order to get up early in the morning.
At such a young age, and especially in the cold early morning of winter, it was very difficult to get out of bed.
So, I would drink a lot of water before going to bed so that I would wake up to go to the bathroom.
Also, from the time I was very young, if I did not keep what I decided to do, I’d punish myself.
I trained myself to keep my heart even if it meant punishing myself.
Because I tried not to make any deficiency in me, it was easy for me to lead a life as a Christian after I accepted the Lord.
I just obeyed all the words of God commanding us to do, not do, keep, or cast away certain things.
If God commanded me to do something, for more than 30 years now I never changed my attitude about obeying it.
Brothers and sisters,
Even in this world people say positive thinking, self-control, determination, and concentration are important factors for a successful life.
Let me tell you about some well-known test results.
Four-year-old children were grouped, and they gave each a bag of sweet cakes.
They could eat them immediately if they wanted to, but if they could hold them for 15 minutes, they would be given another bag.
Some children ate them right away while others waited for 15 minutes.
To suppress their appetites until the end, some of them covered their eyes while others sang songs or played games to divert their interest.
Anyway, those who were patient for 15 minutes were able to get another bag of cakes to eat.
What is more important are the results after 15 years.
Those children who were not patient for 15 minutes struggled in stressful situations as young adults. They also often had trouble paying attention. It was also found they were not able to maintain friendships.
But those children who had been patient for the15 minutes adapted themselves well in matters in school and family, and they were popular among their peers.
The child who were able to wait fifteen minutes had S.A.T. scores that averaged two hundred and ten points higher than that of the children who could not wait for even such very short period of time.
When they grew up, the disciplined children did much better in everything because they had the power to be patient and delay gratification.
So, you students in particular should remember this story and correct any deficiencies.
You will be able to accomplish sanctification more quickly as well as get better grades in your studies.
Of course, it is necessary for the grown adults, too.
I will mention this again later, but you need to continually try if you want to make up for your deficiencies.
If you make up your mind to study three hours a day, you have to try to keep that determination.
You must sit at your desk for three hours no matter what.
At first, you might not be able to focus and you feel it is difficult, but you have to practice to keep your concentration and focus.
If you decide to pray for one hour a day, you have to set the time and pray no matter what other things you might have to do.
You must not postpone it saying you are busy or tired.
You must not change your mind midway saying, “I can’t focus today, so I will just pray for half an hour.”
You have to train yourself to do whatever you decided to do, so that you can rectify any deficiencies you might have.
When I was a student, I punished myself if I did not keep the promise I made with myself.
I trained myself to keep my decisions and to be patient, and thus it was not difficult for me to cast away sins in my life as a Christian.
I tried to achieve whatever goal I made without giving up midway.
The unchanging and truthful heart is very important to enter into spirit.
You can keep your heart in the Lord only when you have the strength to control yourself, to control your personal desires and to be patient.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, so far I gave you some specific examples of deficiencies of the body.
Some of you might think you have just a few deficiencies for you are filled with the truth to some extent.
Then, some of you might think like, “Deficiencies of the body are about so many things including our heart, thinking, our words, and behaviors. Most of them apply to me, and I don’t know what to do to change myself.”
Now, how can we solve these problems of deficiencies of the body?
In fact, there are many kinds of deficiencies of the body that are not easy to find and change, for you cannot easily realize them in yourself, even if you listen to many messages.
But nothing will be difficult with the help of the Holy Spirit.
I urge you to pray earnestly asking for the help of the Holy Spirit.
First, you have to pray with all your heart to find out what your deficiencies are. Pray to discover the things that you have not been able to identify, the things that you have not kept in mind, and the things that you are not practicing.
As you pray that way, you will be able to see yourself as if you were looking into a mirror by the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will remind you of those things, as if He were explaining to you each of the scenes of your memory, so you would realize you have certain deficiencies due to certain kinds of processes.
While you are praying, you should try to practice what you have to do.
Philippians 4:9 says, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
As said, you can start practicing what you learn, receive, and hear in the truth.
If you find something small, you should not neglect it thinking, “I cannot go into spirit just by changing this little thing.”
You should not give up after unsuccessfully trying to change yourself either.
You have to keep on doing the right thing until the end without giving any excuses.
I gave you this illustration once, but let us say a person who was not able to put things away neatly, now tries to change.
He tries to categorize different things and put each item that he used in the right place.
It’s a simple set of rules to follow, but for a person who has never done so, it will require a lot of effort.
Sometimes, he has to go out in a hurry, or he feels like just putting things anywhere because he is tired.
If this sounds like your situation, I hope you will continue to do it to keep things in order, but also to cultivate an unchanging heart, to fill up your deficiencies, and to go into spirit.
Having such little habits in your body, you can change many aspects of your life.
Ephesians 5:26-27 explains about the reason why the Lord gave His body to save us.
It says, “…so that He might sanctify her[church], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
I have now explained about the deficiencies of the body in many sessions.
I hope you beloved members will become holy, blameless, and spotless as children of God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will give glory to God each moment of your life not just by casting off sins and evil, but also by giving out the aroma of Christ all the time and everywhere.