To God be all glory and praise! Each time I cross into a new year, I get all sentimental. No, not because of year-end parties and auld lang syne’s. The date of 1 January is very significant for me because it was on that very date in 2004 that I stepped into fulltime ministry. As such, 31 Dec 08 marked the end of five years of walking and serving the Lord in this capacity. And 1 Jan 09 heralded the sixth year of this privilege and honour to be a part of what God is doing in these final days before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Looking back, 2008 has been more than eventful. It has been an enriching last two months in 2008 speaking and ministering at Covenant Vision Christian Church, Faith Methodist Church Healing Service, FGA Filipino Fellowship, Yishun Methodist Mission, International Exchange Conference ’08, YMCA/YWCA World Week of Prayer Conference, St Luke’s Hospital, Changi Christian Fellowship, Christalite Methodist Chapel Camp and Grace Methodist Church Youth Camp.
Each ministry opportunity challenged me in different ways. Regardless the size or age of the congregation, I saw how the Lord moved so powerfully to touch people and to draw them closer to Himself. I stand in awe when time and again, I realise it is not about who I am or how well I preach. More often than not, I arrive at a meeting physically tired from my packed schedule. Each time I find myself crying out, “Father, I am so very tired and I don’t know how I am going to do this. You’ve got to help me.”
Well, nothing happens and soon, I hear my name over the sound system as I am introduced. The people clap and I rise to my feet to receive the microphone. I open my mouth and suddenly, the anointing hits and God takes over! The word is delivered, the people respond and God is glorified!!! When it’s all over, excited as I am to have seen another move of God, my tiredness takes over again and I promptly crash out on my bed.
This repeated experience keeps me in constant wonder of how faithful our God is. As He has called me, He will also enable and empower me! It is also very humbling and it keeps me in proper perspective. Whilst I am encouraged to be invited to speak at church services, retreats, seminars and church camps, I must never allow pride to affect me and the ministry in anyway. These moments of having “butterflies in my stomach” are great reminders for me to always acknowledge God and to rely on His strength and not my own. I thank God for teaching me in such wonderful and gentle ways.
Looking ahead, 2009 will present new challenges. God-willing, our family will gain one more member in March, bringing the tally to a big NINE! This means another round of adjustments for everyone in the Lim Tribe. We have been re-arranging layouts to maximise the space we have to accommodate our growing family. We have also outgrown our car and are now considering alternatives. Before baby arrives in March, life goes on and our birthday celebrations have begun. Aaron celebrated his 7th birthday on 6 Jan with an outing to the fish farm and a treat to his favourite pizza at Spageddies. Ruth will be next in line as she turns 4 on 26 Feb.
Ministry will be interesting this year given a varied portfolio. Covenant Vision Christian Church is picking up momentum and we are seeing numbers increase. As a pastor of this new community, I will definitely see more action as we build into these lives. I am also the Dean of Covenant Vision School of Ministry watching over the 80+ students enrolled in the Certificate and Diploma programmes. The school year has just commenced and it will be one filled with excitement and expectation as we walk with each of these students.
With so much happening already, I am careful to consider invitations to minister and will be a little more selective as to which to accept. I am thankful to God for providing me with the exposure and experience across churches as it has enriched my walk and ministry. I believe He will keep the doors open for me in this regard even as I seek to honour Him by having the right balance in my family life and ministry.
Permit me to address the uncertainty in 2009. Against a dismal economic backdrop, I pondered our family’s increasing needs and was led to Gen 26. In the time of famine, God told Isaac not to look to Egypt but to stay in the land. Isaac obeyed, sowed in the land and reaped a bountiful harvest – in a time of famine! My dear friends, don’t look to the world for answers. They are totally lost. Stop trusting in the financial system or what the world promises. Stand only on the Word of God and His faithfulness for He will never fail you. Invest in God and His Kingdom and you will reap a bountiful harvest – yes, even in times of famine! Dig deep and tap the Source of Life in Jesus Christ. Others may be thirsty but you will be overflowing with rivers of living water.
As one who has lived by faith since 1 Jan 04, I am totally convinced that God will still meet my every need. For sure, I will continue to “sow in the land” because God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or imagine. I will also press in to go even deeper in my relationship with Him. The shaking will continue and get even more intense. The only safe place is in His presence, in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your unwavering support throughout 2008. Thank you for praying for us and for being a channel of God’s blessings and provision. My prayer for you in 2009 is that you experience the Lord in new ways and in fresh dimensions and that you encounter Him in every aspect of your life and ministry as you seek Him with all your heart!