Daily Walk Jan 31st: Authority

Through my journey as a cell leader, I have learnt that true authority as a leader comes from an authentic walk with God.

We can minister with our words and through wisdom from reading books and listening to sermons. However, genuine discipleship is about lives impacting lives. It is about mentoring based on our journeys with the Lord, learning how to draw closer to Him through the struggles and difficulties of life. God forms our character through those struggles and it is that process of formation that allows us to minister to others.

Daily Walk 30 Jan: Settling Our Doubts

Andrew Wommack’s Daily Devotional (30 Jan)

JOHN 1:43-51

Nathanael suffered from a skepticism that afflicts many people today.

However, it is to his credit that he came to the Lord and gave Him a chance to prove who He was.

We can only speculate what it was that Jesus saw Nathanael doing under that fig tree (v. 50), but it is very clear that it was something that proved beyond a doubt that Jesus was the Christ.

Jesus didn’t rebuke Nathanael for his doubts, instead he removed them. The Lord has an answer for every doubt that we have. We need to be without guile before the Lord as Nathanael was (v. 47) and come to Him when we are plagued with doubts instead of running from Him or avoiding Him.

Jesus knows our frame. He remembers that we are but dust (Ps. 103:14). It is not a sin to doubt, but it becomes sin if we harbor those doubts. We should do as Nathanael did and bring our doubts to the Lord. Let’s allow Him to deal with them.

This was a really comforting devotional. A very simple truth for us to know is that doubts should bring us to God, not away from God.

The Christian walk is full of questions. Trying to apply the Word of God to our lives fill us with questions and sometimes, the Word doesn’t always seem to be true, based on our human wisdom. We pray and pray, but breakthroughs don’t come or our prayers aren’t answered in the way we want them to be. Living in Christian community isn’t always as beautiful as the Bible claims it to be. At the heart of it all, Christian living is flawed, difficult and these challenges inevitably cause doubts.

But the most important thing is that Jesus knows our frame, like the devotional claims. Let me start bringing more of my doubts to Him and trust that He will deal with them one by one.

Daily Walk 29 Jan: Helping God

Today’s devotional comes from Living Life.

The devotional asks a very interesting question – Does God need our help? – based on the story of Abram and Sarai.

The devotional writes:

They think they can help God by putting forth their own effort. God does not need our help to fulfill His promises. When He has a plan, He will carry it out no matter what. Are there times when you try to “help out” God by your own efforts? Ask God to help you be still and trust in Him, not in your own abilities.

I’d like to differ from what the devotional states above. The last statement is actually the most important – it is about where we place our trust in, but not ultimately about whether we have put in our own effort or not. It’s a heart issue and not a human effort issue.

It’s always a cooperation between man and God – 100% man, 100% God. God does need us to fulfill His plan/will in our earth – that is why there is the church, and that is why He has created man to be His hands and feet. We need to listen to God and be obedient to ensure His plans will come to pass. Nonetheless, when they do, it’s not about our efforts, but God. The issue in Abram and Sarai story was that about impatience – not really about them putting in effort, but being unwilling to wait on God and hence taking things into their own hands. We need to work with God to ensure His will comes to pass on this earth.

Daily Walk 28 Jan: Stirred by the Word

For the past few months, I have been laying hands on my wife’s womb, trying to feel where my baby is and then reading God’s word to him.

Almost always, once we start reading God’s word to him, our dear BabyD will start to move a lot in the tummy. It can be a light or hard kick – so strong that we can even see a little ‘bump’ in the stomach, or sometimes we just feel a little rumble, like baby suddenly getting active and moving around in the womb, or occasionally Baby just nudges my hand gently. It is clear to us that Baby enjoys this time of listening to God’s word every night.

Reflecting on Baby’s responses just led me to ask myself – how responsive am I to God’s word? Am I equally stirred every time I read or hear God’s word?

Of course, that stirring will not be as physical as what Baby does, but is my heart stirred up and excited to hear God’s word? I have experienced before congregations where the listening of God’s word is exciting – people shout Amen!, they raise their hands up in support of the Pastor’s points and clap enthusiastically when a great point is made.

This is how we should be responding to God’s word! We should be stirred up and excited! Let my heart never grow cold in response to God’s word!

Daily Walk 27 Jan: Integrity

As part of extending the weekend sermon to personal application, our cell leader shared the following with us in the whatsapp group, which was a good reinforcement for me and a very useful reminder too.

This weekend Ps Tai Tong shared a powerful message about dignified living and we’re challenged to grow in godliness, glorify and glow for God and His chosen citizens."

As we reflect on this, the Holy Spirit just reminded me that it is really important to live our lives with integrity with Christ and in congruence with His character…

[He then shared 2 areas of application within the home – as a husband, and as a son.]

1 Peter 2:12 NIV – Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

As we are fired up for God to use us in transformation in ministry and marketplace, may God change the core of who we are to be more like Him, so that we see transformation in our own lives and families.

Indeed, it is so easy to be externally ‘good’ and productive. In fact, many of us thrive on that as being good in ministry and the marketplace brings tangible rewards – more money, the favour of man, good influence, improvement to society. Yes, all of these things are good.

But in the midst of it all, the issue really is whether our lives are being lived with integrity – what does integrity mean? The meaning can also be derived from ‘integrated’ – is our life ‘integrated’? Are we the same everywhere we go, in both the public and private sphere?

And unfortunately, the private sphere is where all that we do receives little recognition, little praise and rarely any award. Doing good in the private sphere cannot be motivated by reward or human recognition. 

And if we look even more deeply beyond just loving people at home to this core of our being that my leader spoke about – this brings even less tangible rewards. This deals with the feelings inside of us, our own thoughts – we may do good towards others, whether publicly or at home – but what are our thoughts like? How do we respond to others? Do we have a sense of superiority or judgment? Do we do things expecting reward? Do we do it out of a genuine sense of love, or bear grudges and discontent in our heart?

It gets harder and harder as we go deeper, but ultimately, this is what God wants for us – to not only impact the world around us, but to become more and more transformed into His image, with our characters moulded become more like Jesus.

Daily Walk 26 Jan: Judging others

I was really convicted by these verses today:

Matthew 7 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and [a]by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how [b]can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Even though I sat through two sermons today (attended two services), none of the verses in both sermons rang as powerful as the verses above, which God just brought to my attention during service. And as He brought it to my attention, it brought great conviction to me. Who am I to judge others, when I am equally flawed and sinful in front of the Lord?

Daily Walk 25 Jan: Take a Risk

I started off this endeavour of blogging daily with a commitment to share God’s revelations from devotional materials, but I’m slowly realising (and should have known, frankly) that that is way too limiting. Just within a short span of 2 weeks, I’ve realised that the most significant ‘God-moments’ in my life do not necessarily come through devotionals, but through worship, personal daily encounters and conversations, or through “secular” articles that we read.

Today, God spoke through this article shared by a friend: 11 Important Thoughts and Reminders for your Everyday Life. I read this in the morning and Point 4 spoke to me: If there’s something you want to do, but it’s high risk, high reward – take that chance before you’re no longer able to.

I’ve been seeking God a while about my next step – I’ve wavered between taking a bold step which stirs my heart with excitement, to taking a certain next step which promises stability and growth. This line somehow just jolted me.

More interestingly, when I spoke to Dearie later that day, out of nowhere, she asked me, “Do you think you are fulfilling your dreams?” I took the opportunity therefore to share my reflections from this morning and my wife shared that since we had been discussing it for almost a year, it was now time to find out more and take some practical steps to move ahead. I’m so thankful for a wife who is always so supportive and so encouraging. It is now time to take action.