The Crossing Over to the Other Side Always Begins with a First Step

I snapped this shot whilst on a short family break five years ago. As I looked over the horizon, the way forward extended into nothingness.

Having been instructed by the Lord to drop everything without even knowing the next assignment, this picture sure described my situation so accurately. And yet, I knew I had been told to cross over; and that cross over must begin with a very first step of obedience by faith.

It would be 10 days later, on 27 Oct 2013, that the Lord would reveal the next assignment to me – Archippus Awakening. Five years and many steps later, what a journey it has been! Even so, I still don’t know what lies ahead. All I know is that my King and Master, JESUS, is more than faithful and He will lead me forward as I determine to fulfil all He has assigned to me entirely by His grace.

Today, I face a new horizon and another crossing over. After five years, is it not odd that the next step still feels like a first step all over again? The principle remains: every step must be taken with obedience and faith. Truly, it is not where we have been, but where we will continue to go with the One who deserves all worship, praise, glory and honour.

And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry
which you have received in the Lord that you may fulfil it.” Col 4:17

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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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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.

The Experience & Joy of Being on Kingdom Assignment

IMG_5266I just returned last evening from Batam where I spoke at Bartley Christian Church’s Zone Camp. This was the second camp engagement in June, the first being Shekinah AG Church Camp. Next Monday, I will leave for Bintan to speak at Hakka Methodist Church’s Camp. To me, three camps in June is already quite a stretch to me (this is the first time I’ve ever committed to three camps!). Interestingly, I bumped into Pastor Benny Ho in Batam (he was the speaker for Jurong Christian Church Camp) and discovered he would be speaking at five camps this year! (No, I am not trying to compete with him at all – haha!)

Although the work of the ministry is demanding, as I move about my kingdom assignment through Archippus Awakening, I am discovering a very precious truth all over again. It’s not that this is new to me but I have come into a deeper appreciation of it. There are many Christian concepts and principles that sound good. When shared, many of us would very likely and readily nod and agree. But it is one thing to express intellectual assent with a particular truth and yet totally another to experience it first hand! And this is what I am experiencing afresh as I seek to faithfully fulfil this assignment which I have received in the Lord.

I have taught over and over about the grace of God, the favour and blessing of God, the power of God and the love of God. These are great truths! We would say AMEN and AMEN and AMEN! But in the past year of stepping out into the unknown, in the recent months of venturing into things that my little finite mind cannot grasp, I have experienced the depth of my heavenly Father’s love in new dimensions! In times of wrestling with weakness and even fatigue, I have experienced the sustaining power of His grace! In moments of doubt and anguish, I have experienced His presence, His comfort and His favour!

Not to appear facetious, but is it not accurate that many may declare a statement of truth and yet not perceive it to be true? That’s because for many it has remained largely cognitive and not experiential. How then can this be resolved? Quite simply, you can’t experience anything until you get to experience it! For this reason, the Lord invites us to participate in what He is doing. He knows that until we jump into something larger than ourselves, we will never come to an understanding or have a revelation of who our God is and what He is absolutely capable of!

Dear friends, I exhort and encourage you: Get aligned with the Lord and be on assignment for Him! It is when you take that first step of obedience that you begin to experience a deeper fullness of what it means to trust the Lord. Make no mistake! The assignments are not to show or prove how capable we are. On the contrary, God’s kingdom assignments will often expose how weak and how frail we are, yet at the same time reveal how good and how great our God is! This is the paradox of kingdom dynamics and living! Oh, how we love to think it is all about us when it is always about Him and Him alone! That said, kingdom purposes notwithstanding, the Lord in His sovereignty will use every kingdom endeavour to work a deeper work of transformation in each of us.

To this end, I’m beginning to understand, a little bit more, the words of Jesus, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt 16:25) If I only serve that I may derive a sense of achievement, importance or belonging, my Christian activity, however sacrificial, is largely self-serving. But if I am willing to lose myself to the purposes of the kingdom, dare I say in total abandonment, I begin to receive the greatest joy and satisfaction beyond what I can ask or imagine! This is because in relying wholly upon Him who has given the task that I may be enabled to complete the task, I get to discover that truly everything that I am and ought to be is found only in Him who is Life!

Truly, there is no greater joy than to be serving the Lord, to be on assignment with and for Him! I am just so thankful that He has made me worthy in Christ to participate in what He is doing in these final hours. May this humble reflection bring much encouragement!

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

inadequate_721

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.

Lay Aside Every Weight

It’s been a while since I last posted anything. But no, I NOT BUSY; I just have things to do. And I am very thankful for the ministry opportunities that the Lord has graced me with. That said, the things that I am engaged in can, if I am not careful, be the very things that hold me back or distract me from what the Lord has assigned to me.

As I considered the transitions I’ve had to navigate in the past year – and there will be more to come – it has not been easy and the tendency is to always opt for the status quo, the comfort zone that is not comfortable at all.

Two days ago, as I pondered one of such events, the words from Hebrews 12:1 came to me, “lay aside every weight…” I knew it was a word of encouragement from the Lord, affirming and pushing me on towards what He has in store for me.

This morning, ChurchLeaders.com posted a clip from John Piper, entitled “Running with Jesus“. I don’t normally click on every video that is posted on Facebook, but somehow, this caught my attention. It’s just three minutes long, but wow!, did it help to further encourage and strengthen me for the way ahead.

Our God knows exactly what we are going through and the anxieties that often accompany a journey that involves the unknown. How wonderful that He will send notes of encouragement along the way to cheer us on. It may not always been rosy or easy as we take on the assignments He has for us. But like Jesus, we have something to look forward to. And so, we look to Him and the joy that we will experience when we finally complete the race and fulfil our assignments!

May this encourage you too – to keep running with and for Jesus!