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04.14.24 "Prescription for Spiritual Yo-Yo Phenomenon" ("영적 요요현상 처방전")


  • "When Jesus was eating with the apostles, He commanded them, 'Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'" Acts 1:4-5 (NIV)


  • Recently, I tried a day-long detox juice cleanse. I drank detox juice every two hours, thinking it would remove toxins from my body and help me lose weight. Afterwards, my wife and I found ourselves enjoying our meals more than before.


  • The "yo-yo effect" refers to regaining weight after dieting, often surpassing the original weight. Why does this happen? Many people want quick results and try extreme diets, but these methods are not sustainable and often lead to weight gain. This is due to high expectations and the desire for rapid achievement. To address this, it's important to adopt sustainable, healthy eating habits and lifestyles.


  • Is there a spiritual equivalent to the yo-yo effect? Yes. After retreats, we often experience a spiritual yo-yo effect. We feel filled with the Holy Spirit during the retreat, but revert to our old ways once we return home. Similarly, during Lent, we might fast to reflect on Jesus' suffering and the cross, but sometimes we end up overeating afterwards, or even boast about completing the fast. In today's media-saturated world, young people might do a media fast to reduce their exposure and draw closer to God. However, after completing the fast, they might binge-watch Netflix.


  • We sometimes feel betrayed by ourselves after making a pure-hearted decision. 'Is this all I am capable of?' We may even resent God and become cynical about trying hard, which can lead us to have a negative view of special church events or avoid participating in special ministries out of fear of the yo-yo effect.


  • However, I don't want to view the spiritual yo-yo effect negatively. How does the Bible prescribe a solution to this?


  • The yo-yo effect comes from trying hard. If we never tried dieting, we wouldn't experience it. Does God think our intention and effort to try hard are wrong? Not at all. Our intentions and efforts aren't wrong. When we experience a spiritual yo-yo, we don't need to be shocked or blame ourselves. We are simply returning to our starting point. It's like returning from a trip; though tiring, at least we tried something better, saw more, and experienced more. Just like in faith, choosing to focus on God and trying hard is not something to regret but to praise.


  • Even Elijah experienced exhaustion after a great spiritual victory. He felt utterly drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and even wished to die. God didn't scold him. Instead, He allowed Elijah to rest and nourished him. We have hope and goals. A single small success gives us the confidence to start again.


  • Why does the spiritual yo-yo occur? When we set a period for spiritual boost and give our best, our capacity for faith also increases. When our expectations and capacity increase, returning to reality afterwards can feel empty.


  • What should fill this enlarged vessel? Let's look at the event of the Holy Spirit's descent in the upper room of Mark's house as recorded in Acts.


  • Jesus told the disciples not to leave Jerusalem and promised that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit soon. This promise was a fulfillment of the prophecy made through the prophet Joel long ago.


  • "'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.'" Joel 2:28 (NIV)


  • What power is given on the day the Holy Spirit descends?


  • "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'" Acts 1:8 (NIV)


  • This incredible event occurred as follows:

  • "They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)." Acts 1:14-15 (NIV)


  • The 120 disciples gathered in Mark's house and waited in prayer. Jesus didn't specify when this would happen, just that they should wait. This is spiritual consistency and persistence. They held onto the promise and prayed continuously, leading to an incredible event.


  • That's it. The place and time of the Holy Spirit's descent marked the beginning of the church in history. Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension were witnessed by his followers, who then spread the gospel from Jerusalem, making God's kingdom a reality in a dark world. This was a tremendous event planned by God, the first revival recorded in the New Testament. The day of the Holy Spirit's baptism, fullness, and miracles had arrived.


  • Consistency is good in relationships, and unexpected events like surprises are most effective when they are unpredictable. I don't give my wife great gifts on her birthday because it's predictable. Experts don't buy gifts when it's obvious; they do it unexpectedly for greater impact. But if a relationship lacks ongoing connection, a surprise might work once or twice but eventually backfire. The same is true for exercise; consistent exercisers find events like the Olympics an opportunity, and even if they don't win a medal, they still grow.


  • Thus, God's kingdom needs consistency and momentum. These two elements must always go together. Movement is a constant process of consistency and momentum. We need regular daily worship in our lives and active participation in special ministries.


  • Continuous relationship with God will inevitably lead to revival, and revival transforms into a powerful everyday life. After the tremendous revival event in the Pentecost upper room, Jesus' disciples returned to their daily lives. Pentecost was the result of waiting and persistence. An event should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. The purpose was momentum for a powerful everyday life. With momentum, expansion and resilience follow. Those who wait in prayer experience wonderful events.


  • Acts chapter 3 introduces the story of Peter and John. One day, they encountered a man begging at the temple gate called Beautiful. The beggar asked for money, but Peter and John gave him something more important. "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk," they said, and the man got up and walked, jumping and praising God.


  • "At three in the afternoon, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer." Acts 3:1 (NIV)


  • Yes, Peter and John went to the temple three times a day to pray. On their way to a scheduled prayer, they encountered this event. After experiencing the special event in Mark's upper room, those who filled their daily lives with steady prayer and relationship with God also experienced miracles in their everyday lives.


  • Now, we have experienced God through the vigils of the "ironmen." Through these focused times, we grew. God acted. He clarified our identities. There were many testimonies during the process. For instance, Seojin immediately experienced comfort, assurance, and responses after attending a vigil upon arriving in Eilat. There are too many to list.


  • So, what should fill our enlarged vessel of faith next? What should we strive for and fill after the vigils of the "ironmen"? Some of us might be unfamiliar with the spiritual yo-yo effect, and some might be exhausted from dedication. What is our next task?


  • "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42 (NIV)


  • First, we must devote ourselves to steady prayer. Second, it's about community and relationships. Believers should unite in the Spirit within the community. This is what we are called to fill.


  • "Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:43-47 (NIV)

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