Soldiers Don’t Get To Pick Their Battlefields

I chose to write this post on the Archippus Awakening website as the subject matter relates closely to all who identify as Archippuses, as soldiers of the Lord’s army. That said, this is also a good reminder for one and all as we consider our willingness to serve as the Lord assigns, whatever and wherever. Blessings!

Archippus Awakening

Who would have imagined that the Elected Presidency would become such a hot topic in Singapore? To date, not everyone is convinced if it is necessary to have a reserved election that the next President would be one from the Malay community. Whilst that is still being debated, the discussion has moved to who is a Malay?

And with Mdm Halimah Yacob’s decision to run for the Presidency, a side story emerged – that of Mr Tan Chuan-Jin’s appointment to be the next Speaker of Parliament – surprising many and prompting speculations that the full minister (ex, as of 10 September 2017) has been demoted.

As the House convened today (11 September 2017), Mr Tan was elected as its 10th Speaker. Amidst all the views, comments and criticisms, it is the response of Mr Tan that has not only caught my attention, but also earned my respect.

Please read…

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You Are Invited To Archippus Awakening’s Awakening Event: AWE2016

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Kingdom Worldview Seminar 19 & 20 Feb 2016

If you have been following this blog for a while, you would be aware of my present assignment in Archippus Awakening. What you may not be as aware of is that I have been proclaiming this message for the past two years, and by the Lord’s grace, doors have been opened for me to share this with many churches. Whether camps, retreats or seminars, I have come to regard these as Awakening Events (AWE); or simply, platforms for me to awaken Archippuses that these may know and fulfil their God-given kingdom assignments.

Last year, Archippus Awakening organised our very own Awakening Event, AWE2015, and we were very encouraged when 66 Archippuses signed up, representing 32 local churches. This year, AWE2016 will take place over the weekend of 15-17 April at Swiss-Belhotel Batam. [More info at Facebook Events Page]

AWE2015: 28-30 Aug 2015 [Click image for more photos of AWE2015]
In “The Need For Our Own Awakening Event“, I share seven observations from AWE2015 about Familiarity, Authenticity, Exposure, Unity, Focus, Encouragement and Re-commission. Have a read and if these points resonate with you, I’d encourage you to prayerfully consider joining us at AWE2016.

Your desire to be on assignment for the Lord should provide enough reason for you to be at AWE2016. But if you’d like to know the focus of AWE2016, then read my email invitation to all Archippuses on our subscriber list entitled, “What next? How does one discern and identify one’s assignment?

AWE2016
Click image for more information

Registrations for AWE2016 are now open and you can register online at https://goo.gl/Kv8TMG. By 18 March 2016 please. Feel free to check with me at archippusawakening@gmail.com if you require more information or clarification. Help share and invite others to AWE2016 too. Thanks for partnering me in the awakening of the saints that more may know and fulfil their God-given kingdom assignments!

Finally, keep us in prayer as we plan towards this Awakening Event, that AWE2016 will truly be an assembly  of Archippuses: Awakened. Aligned. Assigned. Amen!

SCOTUS & Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: When God is Reduced to a Penalty Shoot Out

5-4. By now, the entire world should know what this scoreline means.

Yes, the impression of a penalty shoot out was what I had when news of SCOTUS’ decision on the legalising of same-sex marriage flooded the social media. It sure looked like nine players having their chances at goal from the penalty spot. One by one, they took their shots and it was tied at 4-all. Finally, the last shot was taken and the deadlock was broken. 5-4! And same-sex marriage is now a legal right across all fifty states of the United States of America. By the system, it is described as a landmark decision by majority vote. In my opinion, one vote can hardly be regarded as majority; not when it concerns an issue as critical as marriage. Honestly, it is as if God was outvoted by these judges and His original design and intent for marriage was reduced to a penalty shoot out.

As I scrolled the news on my smartphone that night (26 June, Singapore time), I felt my stomach churn. It wasn’t exactly the kind of news you’d want to be reading after a long tiring day before going to sleep. The next morning, even more articles appeared, both for and against. I posted a few comments on my personal and ministry page, as well as shared a couple of these articles. This morning, I thought it’d be good to put down some observations and thoughts. These are done in a personal capacity as I wrestle and process what is happening around us in these times. I hope this helps you in your own processing too.

1. Christians are not united on this topic. This may be shocking to some but that’s the reality. And I am not just referring to the flurry of formal counter responses on the internet. To my surprise, some of my Facebook friends have used the online app to “celebrate pride” through their profile pictures. In other words, these Christians are supportive of same-sex marriages and are not shy to declare their position openly. You would think that believers of Jesus Christ would be standing together on this critical matter. Well, no. There is a need to have both wisdom and discernment that we may know how to respond, not just to the world out there, but also within the so-called Christian community.

2. Truth has been absolutely relativised. In the midst of post-modern culture and mindsets, the battle for Truth rages on. I cannot understand how Christians who claim to hold to God’s Word on the one hand can celebrate pride on the other hand! But let’s not be naive at all. The battle for Truth is really a battle of worldviews. Today, Scripture is being read, interpreted and processed with secular and humanistic worldviews. No wonder major denominations have changed their position about marriage and LGBTs. Make no mistake – God’s Word has not changed. However, Scripture has been adjusted to cater to culture when all along, it should be culture that is to be shaped by Scripture. Interestingly, the Church is to be the pillar and ground of the Truth (1 Tim 3:15) but sadly, I fear we are not doing too well in this aspect.

3. Some things cannot be prayed away. This is not a statement of little faith. On the contrary, this is a declaration of faith in the Word of God. We are told that lawlessness will increase in the last days and that is what we see happening all around us. This is prophetic fulfilment as in the days of Israel and Judah. The Old Testament prophets declared impending invasions from the enemies. At the same time, they prayed and pleaded with God, not desiring to see their own prophecies come to pass. They appealed to the mercy and grace of God, as well as His covenant love for His people. Yet, in God’s sovereignty and foreknowledge, He allowed Israel and Judah to be devastated and deported regardless of how hard or long the righteous prayed. In the same way, there are some things that just cannot be prayed away. These must take place for these have been prophesied and we are seeing the Word of God come to pass.

4. We must keep praying. I know this sounds as if I am contradicting the previous point but I assure you that I am not being fickle. Without doubt, we are called to pray, and pray we must. This is a battle that is spiritual and it is entirely beyond what we can do in the natural. We pray because we acknowledge our great need for the Great Judge to act in His way and in His time. We pray because we still believe that He is in control over the situation, however dire or hopeless it looks to us. We pray not only for ourselves but also for our children and our children’s children. Whatever the outcome, may we be found faithful as ones who stood in the gap, who offered the incense of prayer that rises to His throne.

5. Don’t miss the backdrop. In case you haven’t noticed, it is no longer business as usual. The most powerful nation on earth has set the tone and it’s not a pretty one at all. If you think this is largely a Western problem, I urge you to consider again. In this day and age, the threat is much closer than you think. It has been rightly pointed out that the LGBT Agenda is only a front to something that is more sinister. John Piper, in the article “So-Called Same-Sex Marriage“, reveals the “new calamity” of “normalisation and institutionalisation”. And this just might become a global phenomenon, and much sooner than you think.

6. This is not the time to be found in slumber. The alarm is sounding and it is getting louder. The signs are all around us if our eyes would be open to see and perceive. For sure, it cannot be church as usual. The question is, “Is the Church awake?” Or are many in the Body of Christ still found to be in slumber? And I am not talking about attendance in a building on any given weekend. The fact that Christians are generally unaware and apathetic is cause for concern. The Church in America is crying out for a Third Awakening and I am standing in agreement with them. But why only in USA? Let’s believe for an awakening in Singapore and throughout Asia too!

7.  There’s still work to be done. Whilst a major disappointment, the SCOTUS ruling is only one little setback in God’s greater scheme of things. The Church must not be distracted by this decoy and miss her mission. Even more so, the believer must not be derailed from his or her kingdom assignment (Archippus Awakening). There is work to be done and God is calling all hands to be on deck. In the face of great challenge and ridicule, Noah knew his assignment and kept on building the ark. Similarly, we must stay focussed to know and fulfil our assignments regardless of how difficult it may be.

For now, the scoreline remains 5-4. LGBT advocates and their supporters the world over are celebrating this victory. Needless to say, I am not in the least thrilled. In Singapore football jargon, I am almost tempted to shout “Referee kayu!!!” (useless referee). After all, how can such a predicament be allowed to happen? How can God’s institution of marriage be redefined through a penalty shoot out?

Even so, I am promptly reminded – the judges of SCOTUS may have ruled in favour of same-sex marriage but it is our God who has the final say as the Ultimate Judge. Indeed, God is still in control and the game is still in play. The Divine Referee waves ‘play on’ and that is what we must do, for it ain’t over until He says it is over … and Scripture reveals a very different scoreline.

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew: Lessons for Archippus

Some personal thoughts and take-aways…

Archippus Awakening

11057381_10153197494784173_1362591127980973212_nThis week, at 3:18am, on 23 March 2015, Singapore lost a great leader intheir founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. For the past few days, tons of tributes and accolades have been posted and shared, and appropriatelyso. In the words of PM Lee Hsien Loong, “we won’t see another man like him.” Clearly, there will never be another Lee Kuan Yew.

Of the many lessons that we can learn from Mr Lee, the following stood out for me, as an Archippus.

1. He knew his assignment. From the early years, the case for action for a better Singapore gripped his heart and that, for him, became an assignment of a lifetime. It became a focus and a passion, a flame that raged on for years to come.

2. He gavehis life. This quotation is well-known by now: “I have no regrets. I have spent my life, so much of…

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Our Adequacy Is Found Entirely In Him

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Have you ever felt inadequate?

We know that as Christians, we should be the most confident people on planet earth (and some say, in the heavens too). And yet, there are times when we experience doubt. We look to men and women of faith for encouragement only to feel worse. These, we feel, are to admired and revered, but only from afar. Finally, we end up comforting ourselves by rationalising that we can’t be ones God will use. Yes, the speaker was inspirational, the anointing was strong, my heart was moved. But nah, it must have been for someone else.

Allow me to share a reflection with you:

It has been a very exciting journey for me since being led out of the institutional framework of church. That said, there have also been many moments of anxiety and doubt where I find myself questioning and rationalising. After all, who am I, really, to be awakening the Body of Christ through the ministry of Archippus Awakening?! I’m a nobody!

Although the Lord spoke very clearly that the days of spiritual celebrities are coming to an end, and that He will begin to raise His army from the ground up, I couldn’t help but still look to the big names for the necessary breaks. Perhaps, I thought, if I would be noticed by some prominent leader, it would open the right doors with the right connections and provide the right platforms for me to launch Archippus Awakening. Well, I did get to know some ‘key’ people over the past year, but nothing happened.

Interestingly, what has taken place is more the opposite. The ones excited about the message of Archippus Awakening are brothers and sisters from smaller congregations, the lesser known communities in the Body. Through these, I get introduced to others, and the message gets passed along, quietly but steadily. For example, I will be speaking at three church camps of average size this June; and all have requested for Archippus Awakening to be declared! The past two ‘overseas’ trips to Philippines have seen Archippus Awakening being shared in Kidapawan City and the town of Tanauan, both small and unknown. Talk is underway for an Awakening Event in Cameron Highlands to awaken the young adults of Malaysia.

Sounds really good, doesn’t it? And it is very exciting that KINGDOM101 has been launched and the expository journey will begin on 18 March and every Wednesday thereafter. Wow! … and then … that ol’ familiar feeling of inadequacy hits me again! Waves of doubt come over me, taunting me, “Who are you as compared to those who have done so much? What’s so different about your message? What if you can’t sustain it over the next months? Who are you that anyone should even consider coming on 18 Mar, much less the next weeks or months?”

This morning, I flipped my Bible and it opened to Galatians. My heart leapt when I read Gal 2:6:

“But from those who seemed to be something – whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favouritism to no man – for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.”

Our feelings of inadequacy are very normal. And if we’d allow the enemy a foothold, he would be most glad to help you sink further and deeper. The reminder from this verse is clear and simple. Our eyes are not to be on man, but on God. For sure, there is lots to learn from the experience of those who have achieved more. There is also great value in what they have to offer. That said, it is God that we must rely on and He can use anyone to accomplish His purposes.

The grace of God is definitely about His favour upon His people; but it is not about personal favouritism where one is preferred over the other. That is the way of the world but not the way of the Kingdom. What the Lord looks for are hearts yielded in submission to Him. He uses the weak to show Himself strong. He uses what appears foolish that He might confound those who think they are wise. In the end, He deserves and receives all the glory (1 Cor 1:31; Jer 9:24).

This was such a word of affirmation to me this morning and I pray that as you read this post, you will be likewise encouraged. Whilst we praise God for the more prominent servants of the Lord, let us not be dwarfed or intimidated by them. We have the same Holy Spirit and we rest in the same position and identity in Christ. He who worked effectively in these will also work effectively in and through us (Gal 2:8).

If the Lord has tasked you with an assignment, then be faithful to obey, relying on Him and Him alone. Not everyone is called to be a Moses, a David or a Paul. Just be who you are and remember that your adequacy is found entirely in Him.

Ministry Trip to Kidapawan City: Alone and Yet Not Alone

Last week, I experienced another ‘first’ on my ministry trip to Kidapawan City, Mindanao, Philippines: it was the first time that I would travel on an overseas mission, 21-27 October 2014, on my own. I know that this would mean nothing to veteran ministers but for me, it was a milestone – haha!

IMG_9948The trip started with a glorious send-off by my family and parents early Tuesday morning, 21 Oct. After a short half hour delay, my SilkAir flight MI566 departed and I arrived safely in sunny Davao City. I was met by my host and friend, Ptr Joel Acaso. We spent some time catching up over coffee and then proceeded to fill up over buffet dinner at Vikings before embarking on a 2.5hr drive to Kidapawan City, arriving at 10:30pm. After a full day’s travel, I was all too ready to hit the sack. Unfortunately, my beauty sleep was rudely  interrupted at 4am when the neighbour’s cock started crowing (every 5mins!) … all the way to my scheduled alarm time of 6am. Talk about an awakening – haha!

The next three days were spent ministering at the Prayer & Leadership Conference, organised by Kidapawan City Assembly of God Church (of which Ptr Joel is the Lead Pastor). We had a tremendous time in the Lord’s presence and the response to the message of Archippus Awakening was very encouraging! Read more about this Awakening Event on Archippus Awakening’s Website.

After the conference, on Saturday morning 25 Oct, we drove about 1hr to President Roxas in Kamarahan Barangay. I had the opportunity to speak at a Thanksgiving Service of Temple of Praise Assembly of God Church. This church is set in the midst of a farming community and the service was for the purpose of giving thanks to the Lord for a bountiful harvest. For a city dweller like myself, it was quite an experience as we tend to give thanks for our material possessions rather than an actual agricultural harvest. A celebration lunch followed and we feasted on Filipino fare; yes, there was lechon baboy (roasted pig), of course!

On Sunday morning 26 Oct, I preached at Kidapawan City AG Church, encouraging the leaders and congregation with the message, “Trekking Through Transitions”, drawing from my own journey and experience, especially in this past year of personal and ministry transition. It was significant when I called out the leaders and prayed for them, exhorting them to be strong and of courage as the church navigates and treks through transitions towards all the Lord has called them to.

By this time, I was all ready to head home, missing my wife and children dearly (and my good ol’ kopitiam kopi-O). It had been a full but very productive week of ministry. The message of Archippus Awakening was declared and many seeds of the kingdom were planted in hearts made ready by the Lord. I also made many new friends and I believe, new kingdom connections too. I may not know every name but that’s ok because to me, they are all Archippuses awakened for Jesus and His kingdom 🙂 It was also a meaningful time of re-connecting and fellowshipping with Ptr Joel Acaso, a very passionate minister of the Lord. We spent much time sharing and exchanging ideas; and eating too.

After saying goodbye to Ptr Joel, I made my own way into the airport to check-in. By myself once again, I waited in the lounge and later boarded SilkAir MI566 bound for Singapore via Cebu. How significant, I thought to myself, that I should be travelling overseas alone for the very first time since I stepped into full-time ministry. I suspect this would not be the last time I do that. That said, in my heart, my desire is always to bring others along, not just for company but for the purpose of discipleship and raising even more Archippuses along the way. I know the Lord will honour and arrange that.

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Even so, although I spent much time alone on this trip, I knew that I was never alone. The Lord was always with me, watching over me and enabling me for the work of the ministry. He said that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I can be strong and of good courage because the Lord God is with me wherever I go. The Lord affirmed this for me as I looked out the aircraft window and beheld a beautiful rainbow in the distance! Significantly, in my last trip to Davao in 2011, the Lord also encouraged us with rainbows over Davao City.

I also know that a team of prayer warriors upheld me in prayer for the entire trip. These brothers and sister might have not made the trip with me physically, but in the Spirit, they interceded and stood with me as I preached and ministered in the name of Jesus. To these, I am truly appreciative of their love and co-labour through the ministry of prayer!

My entire family, Serene and the children, was also with me, supporting me and praying for me. It is not easy for Serene to manage the household all by herself; but because she understands and acknowledges the higher purpose of the kingdom, she stands squarely behind me as I minister. And as the Lord was with me in Philippines, I know that He was also with her and the children back in Singapore.

What a good and faithful God we serve! Where He sends us, He never sends us there alone. The Lord Himself goes before us and journeys with us every step of the way! All praise and glory be unto Him!!!

14 Years of Following Jesus

Today is 8 July 2014.

Each year, on this day, I take a moment to reflect and recount how 14 years ago, on 8 July 2000, Jesus invited me to follow Him. And so, what I am doing is nothing new; except, this year is especially significant. Having gone through a major transition in 2003/04, leaving the business to step into full-time ministry, the Lord has taken me into yet another transition, this time, stepping out from a church-based ministry to develop a ministry of my own.

The LoveSingapore 40Day Fast material through which the Lord spoke and called me to follow Him.

As I wrote in Follow Me: It’s Been 9 years: “The past 9 years have been the most exciting years of my life and I know it’s only the tip of the iceberg.  There’s more, for sure!” Interestingly, in 2012, the Lord showed me the word “abundance” and that sparked a new hunger and thirst to seek Him for all that He has in store for me. Two years later, that seeking has directed me into the next leg of my journey of serving Jesus through the expression of my present assignment, Archippus Awakening.

Even as I look forward to new things, new lessons and new experiences, it is important for me to acknowledge all that the Lord has allowed me to learn and the people He has led into my life and ministry. Firstly, I give thanks for Rev Francis and Sis Shirley who gave me the opportunity to partner them in Covenant Vision Centre when I first stepped out. In 2007, they entrusted me with the development and operation of Covenant Vision School of Ministry. When Covenant Vision Christian Church was birthed in 2008, I was commissioned as pastor and later ordained and positioned as the Deputy Senior Pastor. Without their prayers, support and encouragement, I would never have been able to learn so much.

Next, I am thankful for all the pastors and ministers – men and women of God – whom I have come into contact with. As I observed and interacted with them, it has deepened my understanding and broadened my perspective of ministry, as well as my own walk with God. Through the School, I am thankful for every student that has allowed me the privilege and honour to speak into their lives. Unknown to many, their Dean and Instructor has also often been the Student, silently learning and growing. In the Church, I give thanks for each and every member. Whether leading them in ministry, working with them in various projects, or ministering to them in their situations and challenges, these have shown me so much. I could go on, but time and space will not allow me to list everyone and every experience.

That said, this acknowledgement would not be complete if I do not mention my wife, Serene. Ever since the Lord called me 14 years ago, she has always been the one who is ever ready to obey and respond. Back then, when I asked her when I should step out, she said, “Anytime.” In Oct 2013, the Lord gave the word of stepping out and crossing over to and through Serene. I thought it only referred to my pastoral position but Serene was fully convinced it was for me to let go of everything. She was right. On 1 July, I ceased being the Dean of CVSOM. Together, over the past 14 years, we have gone through so much – as husband and wife, as father and mother, as fellow sojourners. In this new season, I sense that we will grow even more as fellow ministers and co-labourers for the Kingdom of God.

And finally, but definitely not the least, our children 🙂 In 2002, it was only 2yo David and 1.5mo Sarah. Today, they are joined by Aaron, Esther, Ruth, Deborah Hope and Anna Joy! Whether they realise it or not, every experience that I go through, they go through too, albeit in different ways. I am so thankful for their prayers and support, and especially their understanding when Daddy is away and unable to pray for them before they sleep. They are such a blessing and joy, both individually and collectively as the Lim Tribe.

14 years … wow! And yet, this is nothing compared to others who have served the Lord for decades since their youth. I’ve often remarked that there is a sense of regret that I wasted so much time when I was backslidden in my season of waywardness. That said, I have also come to know that God can redeem anything and in Christ, He will redeem the kairos that I have missed and turn this next season into the most abundant and fruitful of years for the sake of His name and kingdom! AMEN!