In the leaders’ blogs in April, I shared that every crisis is a call to seek and hear God. The words we discerned during the covid-19 lockdown period are … REST, REFLECT, REPENT and RESET.
In June, I spoke from Ephesians 4 that Y2020 is a time where we should be in a ‘sitting’ or seeking posture. A time for God to RENEW, RESTORE, REALIGN and RESTRUCTURE our lives and church. Y2021 clearly will be a time to “WALK and SHINE” with the new developments and opportunities that God is opening for us in Ponggol. We are also reminded to keep the UNITY of the Spirit with diligence by being humble and gentle, patient and bearing with one another in love.
It’s a Kairos time of prophetic awakening and preparation for us.
Awaken to what are happening in the world. It’s the eleventh hour. Be alert. See with our spiritual eyes what is happening. Tsunami, SARS, global financial meltdowns, deterioration of morality, increasing wickedness, pestilences, famines, wars, rumour of wars and natural disasters (Matt 24, Luke 21) are the beginning of birth pangs. We are going into dark tunnels soon and we need to brace ourselves, fasten our seat belts for impact before we can see the light again.
We live in a restless world of endless distractions. We need to be awakened from our slumber. Like the 5 wise virgins, we must make preparations and ensure that we have sufficient oil in our lamps when the bridegroom comes. As such it is important for us to repent, reset, rekindle our first love that have been choked by the many idols in our lives. We have put God in low priority. Our busyness with work, family life, children, hobbies, chasing the Singapore dream etc, blurs our vision of Christ and dulls our hearing. As such, there is a need to renew, restore, rebuild back the broken foundations. We need to ask God to wake us from our slumber and turn us around.
We also need to awaken of what God is doing in our midst and in Punggol. The bus stop next to the church is ready and operational. The staircase connecting the bus stop to Ponggol Twenty-Fourth Avenue is almost completed. The completed pathway from Punggol Point LRT to ROLC makes the walk short. While there is inevitable delay, the Straits Times on 17 July 2020 reported that 50 percent of home owners have collected keys in Northshore Residences in Ponggol. In the next few years, Ponggol will continue to be transformed by the relentless development and change with new university campus, commercial offices, HDB blocks, shopping malls and even Punggol Coast MRT station very near to our church.
Opportunities and threats abound. ROLC will need to restructure and seize the new opportunities to grow and flourish God’s kingdom or we will face the threat of further decline and be oblivious to the community if we do nothing.
John 5:9 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does”.
When God parts the Red Sea or the Jordan River, we better jump in and go with him. Our pasts don’t determine our future. But how ROLC going to respond to the challenge and opportunities right now will determine our future and destiny.
We are not ready to take the Promised Land as yet. God has pressed the temporary ‘Pause’ button for us. God is gracious and provides us this time to prepare, sort out our issues, unite us in our common vision, to give us rest and recuperation and to strengthen our troops.
If I can use an analogy, this is currently a break before we resume the second half of the football game. In the break, the coach will give a pat talk to the players, provide analysis, tweet his playing formation, swop new players and fresh legs into the game. It is important that all players in the bench are fit and ready. When call upon, they will play like the first chosen elevens.
Preparation of God’s people. We can see the many changes happening as God redirect us. The church office has been renewed with new team members (Mui Ling, Christina). Many of the faithful old guards (Ben, Lucy, Peter, Rachel Goh) are called to new areas of service that God has directed them. Tina has taken over as chief intercessor for ROLC from Mui Ling. Elder Siow Hui and Ben are taking a well-deserved sabbatical while new faces (Eva, David) are added into the church council. The Livewire and young adults have transit into DG groups. God has also blessed us with a new pastor and he is joining us soon. God is redeploying his troop and bringing in new reinforcement in the coming seasons. We can expect to see further changes and movement in the coming months.
We need to be able to let go in order for new things to come. In the COVID-19 period, we have to let go of the past and adopt new practices. We learned and adapted well to zoom meetings and preaching online or recorded messages. We adjusted to working from home. We developed a new e-bulletin and incorporated online PayNow for our offerings. We are also thankful that ROLC website is also newly completed end of last year. During the past months, we are also encouraged with regular visitors to our zoom services and many who participated in zoom prayer meetings. Our DG groups experienced high participation even when we meet virtually. We are navigating in unchartered territory, yet we know that God goes with us and is directing our steps.
The training and coaching of the DG leaders and core team is also a crucial part of the preparation for ROLC in this time. We thank God for using Rev Philip Huan as an additional resource to help us. It is not by coincidences. God’s hands have directed and guided us to make the decision and commitment for this training. We appreciate and know that the DG leaders are stretched with the additional training and commitments. Nevertheless, I believe that this is necessary and our perseverance will bear much fruit as we continue to build firm foundations for discipleship in ROLC. Thank God for the many who answered the call to strengthen the DG by being in the core team. When we hear God, we don’t just put up a thumb sign like in FB or iphone, but we put our both hands up and tell God to “count me in”.
During this period of upheavals, unfortunately there will be those who may drop out due to fear, or unable to be involved or participate for various reasons.
Judges 7:3 Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So, twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
Gideon’s army of 22,000 soldiers saw 135,000 Midianite troops with their physical eyes and were afraid. Those who lack faith in a holy war directed by the Lord did not participate, lest they discourage others (Deuteronomy 20:8). We need to discern and release those who lack the faith, who are unable or not share the same vision at this season. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Nevertheless, I believe that God will prepare the ‘Gideons’ and the ‘300’ men for us to do his work so that all the glory will go to him. As we pray for revival, we must believe what God has started by the Spirit and his promises, He will bring to completion. It will be accomplished in his time, in his miraculous ways if we fully trust and rely on him.
I pray that in this Kairos time of prophetic awakening and preparation, the church and leaders will see clearly and walk wisely.
We will pray as one united and not fearful. Let’s pray for the ‘Gideons’ and the ‘300’ in ROLC to rise up, broken earthen vessels that God use to shine brightly. Let’s get ourselves ready in this end times.
Thank you for your faithfulness and encouragement as we journey by faith together.
Weng Him, 20 July 2020