(Sharing 17th August 2010)
I thought I saw God trying to give us another time table when He led us into the Bible Overview of the book of Daniel and also into the book of 2 Corinthians, where we must never wait for problems to go away, but take the problems as the very thing that God has given us, use that in the Name of His perfect will in it, and see ourselves rise above everything.
Originally, I intended to write this to confirm how everything went so swiftly so that the Lord gave us the keys to our new premise within 4 days right after our first-time church building offering. However, the Holy Spirit led me to pen down everything from how we went through a big and long process — of searching, testing and approving the perfect will of the Lord, saying “This is the one!” many times, but yet, never a time happened to be true — so that we can understand a new timetable that He so earnestly want to descend and dawn on us:
God wanted to prove one thing to us: when we just want to hear God’s perfect will to live so that we can “enjoy blessed living by the will of God”, not seek for fantasies of good things to come but only seek for “taking delight in the Lord and His laws”, and valuing “an assured heart more than successfully found the perfect will”, He gave us more than what we expected and hoped for — a premise that is big and cheap! In fact, at the end, the agent, the landlord, and we ourselves are very happy. I also tried to confirm what God is doing in our midst through the altar message last Sunday, taking the period of April 2010 to August 2010 as the period of difficulties that the Lord called us to turn from a frustrated, fearful, anxious, desire, timidity heart into a heart that is assured, loving, self-disciplined and powerful to turn typical things into testimonies and doors of evangelism. I am still learning, but I sense this very prick in us all, in order to send out the living springs.
Our pastor laid very great conditions that are difficult to meet: near MRT, big, renovated, near HDB (heartlands), and gave no budget at all. We also have high hopes, because the Lord saw us through previous premise searches, and He gave us the best of sanctuary places out of the limited spaces and our small church budget in Singapore.
Premise search begins, buying considered
Guorong and I began our church premise search in May. Almost for everyday, we drove around Serangoon, Punggol, Buangkok, etc, and admired at the buildings. Yet, we only saw big buildings owned by Buddhists and also Mosques in such places. Pastor even came down and joined in the search for buildings from Aljunied MRT, MacPherson MRT, Tai Seng MRT, MaryMount MRT, etc. In fact, we went to Tong Yuan Industrial Building, Lion Building, LHK Building 2, Quartz Industrial Building, Joo Seng Warehouse, pinpointed all other buildings on the maps, and went for it. We even thought of places of about 10 sweaty minutes of unsheltered walk from MRT to the building Vertex@Ubi. We thought of buying premises at Northstar or at First Place (which is very far away from MRT) but just opposite Auntie Diana’s Hougang place currently. After that, we came to a conclusion that we did not even have the cash to pay for down-payment of at least 20% (in fact, maybe even more as we are not coming from residential purposes).
Rental from another church?
At last, we found a place at Natural Cool Lifestyle Hub with our previous landlord, also a church. The place was decorated very nicely, because it is a church to begin with, and the church does not hold worship service on Sundays. However, when our brothers and sisters went down, a lot of negative comments just arose. From then on, we saw God’s perfect will that we need a humble place setting, to train our hearts to see Emmanuel by looking from God first instead of looking from the relative conditions, if we really are to go into discipleship training, to see beyond our current circumstances. Yet, we also saw it that the premise is really not suitable, for many of the comments made were reasonable, plus, those comments, all for the love of the church, were valid. Moreover, to rent some premise from some others that is not 24/7, it meant that we cannot hold more meetings. At that time, Vilon was actively already helping to look around for a premise, looking through the newspapers classifieds. We also thought of renting places at Trinity Church, but there was no more response from them. I think our requirements are quite demanding, as we need to use the place many times in a week, need quite a few rooms including Sunday School rooms, etc. How could we rent a place just for a few fixed timings? Our ministry will expand as the Lord pointed to us that we are a church with many gifts, thus many callings into various ministries.
We temporarily stopped our church search nearing the end of May, as we had to concentrate on the Singapore-Malaysia Camp 2010, and this is actually our lifeline. We did it in the name of faith, but also because we have no choice. The Lord has something to tell us, not only because of accepting things as fate and no-choice so that we must therefore do so by faith, but that to jumpstart the perspective that “there must be God’s great plan in the difficulties we encounter, and arise in courage and boldness out of it”.
NEAR Marymount MRT, Tai Seng MRT, Aljunied MRT
In July (after settling down from church camp), we resumed our church premise search, and this time, Vilon and John took charge. We made it a point that we need a space that is NEAR THE MRT. He found a place with a space of 2400 sq feet at Pemimpin Industrial Building. It belonged to a church. It was 7-10 minutes sheltered walk from Marymount MRT and also 7-10 minutes sheltered walk from Bishan MRT. When we went in, we were surprised to see that everything was quite new. We even had good fellowship in trying to minister to the agents who were agents. Yet, it was still not suitable – by that time, we not only know that it is hard to please all people, but that we have to entrust to God, though it met our budget of $… more than our current rental per month. We took this as a possibility floating in our mind.
There was yet another Union Building near Marymount MRT, and this is really near, yet the space is quite small at 2200 sq feet, and it was a bare unit, meaning that we have to spend a lot of money on renovation, probably escalating to $60-70k including sound system, new aircons, new carpets, etc, plus that the space must be at $… per month more than our current rental (which is a bit too much already). We took this as a possibility wondering in our mind.
Then Vilon went on and found a few buildings near Tai Seng MRT, but all of them were not appropriate. There is a superb marble-furnished Diamond Building, but the price per month is too high, like $…psf, going to twice as much as our current rental, and we do not have that kind of capability of tithes and offerings in the church yet. We took this dreaming in our mind.
God later also confirmed that Pemimpin Industrial Building was no more because all the aircons were taken away as we did not show intentions at renting the place after about 3 weeks. Moreover, God also confirmed that it was not Diamond Building because the building management made it clear that no churches can be allowed there. The Lord also confirmed that Union Building refused to meet our budget at all. In closing all the possibilities all at once, God told us that we cannot have a “hanging, floating, wondering, dreaming” mind, but must have an assured heart. To have absolutely assured heart, it can come from no other than an [absolutely faithful God, the always “Amen” temple of Jesus Christ, and the seal stamped by the Holy Spirit], in order to search for a church premise.
There were a few buildings (e.g. Leong Huat Building) around Tai Seng MRT, but some building management also disallowed churches very clearly. We also went to THK Building just opposite Aljunied MRT, and once Guorong, Jieyong and I came back to office after a lunch-rush down to check the place out, the agent told us that we cannot have meetings after 10:30pm. Is that a waste of time? But the Lord has something to tell us.
Citimac Industrial Complex
27th July 2010 Unit #03-..
Then Vilon found a place at #03-.. in Citimac Industrial Complex on 27th July 2010. This place is a wonderful place! (The psf is like quite low in the rental market of Singapore, for the industrial spaces near MRT. Even the churches moving into Union Building did their research and saw that $…psf is the market rate for industrial / commercial spaces near MRT, but the property-guru prices at this Citimac Industrial Complex searches at the end of July 2010 was placed at quite low prices between $…psf to $…psf. In fact, I called about this factory space back in the month of May, but the agent told me that there were already three churches here, and he replied saying that the landlord did not want any more churches. The price back then in May 2010 was quite high at $…psf. The property-guru searches at that time with areas around Tai Seng MRT also showed only showed one result with Citimac Industrial Building, too.) It was 2600+ sq feet large. The price is much less than what was possible (quoted $…psf, and we managed to get it down to $…psf meeting our budget), and we almost confirmed the place. We negotiated and came out on the price with the agent. The landlord wanted us to pay the deposit the very next day in fact, but just the next day only on Saturday morning, the landlord accepted 2 more months of rental from the existing carpentry factory company and told us that we can only use the place only in October. The place can be considered to be bare, except with electricity and 2 partitions, and we need to spend on renovation too. The agent was even angry at the landlord because of quick going-back on her promise. (We later found out that the landlord of that particular unit was probably in debt and in need of money.) It was no more. Yet, it seemed many people liked this place. It was already the last week of July, and we have to move out of our current premise by the end of August, and we lost our last deal. God made Vilon found the Citimac premise, and He made our hearts “look up to the Lord” (it seemed so ideal!) at losing this #03-.. deal of a good psf.
1st August 2010 The Meaning of Offerings = The Promise inside “God-driven”
On Sunday, our church went ahead and offered a total of $31k as church building fund. We had no places at hand at all then, and we went for offering. It was not the normal way of doing things, but it is perfectly the God-driven way of doing things. Grace must come from God to man. It must come from peace, joy and assurance in “Amen” promise from above first. God made this happen again, to teach us important lessons.
At evening time, I saw that this Citimac was good, and I just made a few searches on property-guru website. There were a few units out on rental, but the few units were very big like 3500 sq feet. But why not, since if the space is renovated and if the space is quite cheap at some prices like $…-$…psf, we can just try to negotiate the prices, get the places for a higher rental fee each month, but pay less for renovation? I quickly emailed our coworkers and just made the chance to try to contact them. All of us were at one heart after the offering. We understood that “God will surely give us the place” does not mean that we get relaxed on the sofa and wait for things to drop from heaven, but that it meant giving us the promise and seal that the place is just around the corner. It pushed us to go on to find the premise God meant for us. Zhiming also tried to list a few Citimac Units, and I quickly emailed. Vilon tried to contact all of the units of Citimac, however, all turned out to be already rented out, as all the units were quickly snapped out. Who in the right mind would not want such a place with cheap $psf and also near the MRT? Any normal person would have snapped up the place. The Lord works to only give one and only one good one – as I have discovered all my life, and we cannot use probability or “most people will” to test and approve God’s will. Yes, God works in normal circumstances, as He created the whole visible and invisible world, but He worked first, not the normal and typical situations come first. We have to restore the absolute first, then to find that the relative has all the perfect will inside. God-driven is the key. Okay, then how did we found our favorite Citimac unit?
2nd August 2010 Monday
I began to think what God did this day. Nothing?
Actually, Huijun came back from China, and she posted this blog “Perspective” on 2nd August 2010 here http://huijun1910.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/perspective/
Here, I quote what she wrote, “first, not all men know how to fix these things too…ha, like my sisters’ previous boyfriends also dunno how to fix lamps, computers, etc…second, God Himself will be the handyman & brought help to us…so there had always been helpful uncles, neighbours sent to us, and for this case of the stove, my sis’ hubby would assist…
So sometimes, it’s just about perspective…like today’s Sunday message, our problem is not the problem we think it is…but our problem is we fail to see God who is present with us even in ironical situations…”
It meant that men cannot boast how we can find the premise. In fact, brothers are nothing, because they could not find the premise from May 2010 till start of August 2010. But it meant deeper, that God MUST enable the USE of brothers to find the church premise. We have to change our perspective, from God to men, then the unit can be found.
3rd August 2010 Tuesday Jericho Walk at Citimac – Found
Vilon’s father made a smart move, and through Citimac canteen contacts, he got to know the building management who said that there was a unit for rental. It was Monday 2 August 2010. Vilon reached the place first. I fetched Jieyong, and yet on the way to the Citimac Industrial Building, Vilon called us to say that we needed not to come any more. That place that was mentioned to be available was the same unit that the landlord sold us out on her promise (as mentioned above.) The building management chairman is in fact a humble pastor, and we talked. He courageously encouraged church activities in the buildings, not caring about rules and regulations, because he placed God’s kingdom above all, though if the landlord is a company or anti-religious, they would not allow churches. We loved this pastor, as though he was traditional, did things with much freedom. He was going to start a sea-man fellowship in a few months’ time. Why would God let us meet such a building management chairman?
At that time, I was still driving my car, with Jieyong inside the car, talking to Vilon on the phone. Vilon, after a while, told us we could still go down, and I thought that since Jieyong was with me, and God made my stomach growl needing lunch badly, I would just continue to drive down and have some discussions and fellowship with Vilon at Citimac Industrial Complex. Before we reached, Vilon had talked to the pastor, and also went up to the highest floor to check out other churches. He had confirmed that there were no units available already, and looked a bit disappointed. Pastor Adam showed us his humble church setting, and his friendly humble secretary also welcomed us. They seemed elderly but loved the Lord. Vilon had to rush back to his company, and Jieyong and I stayed for lunch. Frankly speaking, I did not know why the food tasted so good at that canteen (there were only about 3 stalls) during lunch.
Since we are already there, we thought that why not, we just go from floor-to-floor to check out any property advertisements on the doors. This was because we noticed that the unit that we almost secured had her agent paste the agent’s contact on the door (an ERA advertisement). This was on Building B. Citimac Industrial Complex has two buildings and so, we went floor-by-floor from the 8th floor down to the first floor. Every floor we came down, we got more realistic: “Even if there were such available units, people would have advertised and rented them out, right?” But we still went down floor-by-floor, as I recalled how God also led me to find the previous two places at 123 Geylang, and Citiraya Building all by walking and driving around (we cannot depend on the searches of humans, but need to depend on the Holy Spirit, as we are seeking for a prime non-of-a-kind place). Imagine going one-floor-by-one-floor, giving up thoughts of finding the place more and more. It was confirmed that Building B had no available units. Most of them were using this space as a warehouse. Yet, there was some joy in us, and I confirmed that it was because Jieyong was beside me. He is a steady and gentle brother, and he took things really calm. I just took the chance to enjoy the walk and fellowship with him, even smiling as a school boy rushed into the cargo lift to go to school, from his parents’ warehouse. This is centering on the pulpit message “Enjoy Blessed Living by the Will of God”, the first 2Corinthian message to walk confidently ahead because of the gospel, centering on brethrens with Jieyong, and centering on serving the Lord as we walk down floor-by-floor.
We went to Building A. From 8th floor again, we went down to 7th, and we went down to the 6th floor. Jieyong saw a lady, and this lady, called PS saw us, and asked us what we wanted, seemingly very eager to find out herself. She was moving things out of the unit. I hesitated a bit as I was quite taken aback at what to say (what would people think if we are finding a church premise?), but Jieyong just said that we were looking for a premise for church. PS, an employee of her lighting company (later which I found out was a family business), looked bright and asked for my contact straight-away. I thought it should be the other way around of getting her contact. She even promised me that she would get back to me by linking me up with the landlord. We continued to walk the rest of the floors of Building A. There were NO units available for the remaining of the floors and #06-07 was the only one. Jieyong made the comment “Perhaps just one is enough.” Wow, this brother really encourages.
After sending Jieyong home, I rushed back to office and emailed, asking all to “stay tuned” because it seemed like it, and we really had no time for church premise search any more for us to move to a new premise. What God convicted pastor and us all, I tested and approved, with pluses and minuses, this is probably 99.9% the place. PS never called, and I sent an sms to her asking if she asked the landlord. She replied if I was okay to deal with an agent, as her hubby is. I then immediately called her, “Are you sure you mean that the unit has no people wanting the unit? Are you sure we can rent the place?” This premise found was just like a dream come through, because it happened just so very quickly, so that even I asked the agent PS on the phone (at least 3 times of asking) whether it is really available, being puzzled why the landlord had not yet found any people to rent yet. PS just replied surprisingly, “Yes, it is available”, asking me back if we are still interested in the place. I called back, and she even quoted me that the landlord wanted $…psf. She told me that this is already a reasonable price, the tone as if she hoped we would not try to negotiate down on the price, wondering if we thought the price was too high. This price, for a space that is 40% more than our current Citiraya premise, is only $… more per month than our current rental! I was stunned. Vilon even asked me if this was a con job. A straight-no I answered, because when I was at the premise with PS helping to move things out, I already tested and approved by looking straight at PS’s eyes. It is easy to see a person whether they were up to tricks, and I already tested and approved, that all my life, I never met any politics (do not ask me why, maybe I am blur, but it just happened that no back stabs on me happened. Even if there were, there were rebates from God after that =) the angels have eyes.) The only thing I could not understand is why PS sounded more enthusiastic than us finding a church premise.
4th August 2010 Wednesday Deal accepted
The next day 4th August 2010 Wednesday, we planned the meet up with the landlord. We met at 3pm. Guorong was able to go down, and pastor flew down too. The place had almost all the right partitions done up already, and there were some existing aircons, just to check if they were working fine. This could save us some money for renovation. The landlord is a bright young person who grinned as we looked around the place. PS made one final check with the building management, confirmed, and came back. We were not worried, because Pastor Adam, the chairman of the building management, would be all the more willing that more churches came in, especially when the landlord is okay. We accepted the deal on the spot.
5th August 2010 Thursday Received the Keys
Next day Thursday, 5th August 2010, I went down alone to sign the contract with PS, taking the role as agent, helping her husband. Nothing looked suspicious. The landlord had not signed the papers yet, but because I signed it, I acquired the keys to the unit. The unit #06-07 could be considered ours! The landlord wished to do things simple, so that there were no letters of intent, and the contract was from the landlord himself (considered a very old copy photocopied a few times). The previous tenant (PS’s company) stayed at the place for 10 years. Zhiming rushed down also to witness the signature and I passed the keys to him, as I needed to rush off to prepare and lead small group after that.
12 August 2010 Contract Signed
It was not until 12 August 2010 that the contract was signed, with all the stamp fees paid up. STL, PS’s husband, came in and passed the contract to me, and then explained what actually happened. If you already know the above story, you would not know the one below:
What actually happened? Behind the scenes
During April 2010, H… Pte Ltd wanted to move out of Citimac building because of a strange reason that one of their workers could not drive (why not just hire another worker?), therefore, having a warehouse far from their showroom at Bendeemer Road was inconvenient. They kept on eyeing on a place to rent across their showroom (to become available, so that they can just move all the things there) in Bendeemer Road, and when they could move after a month later, the place was already snapped up. This means they had the stay back at Citimac Industrial Complex again. Later on, they were told to just apply for the place again through the normal process, and found out that the company who snapped up the premise before them did not pass some regulations, so could not move in to the unit. Therefore, they received the confirmation to move in their dream place at end of June. In fact, the place at #06-07 was already available for rent in July. What happened then? Was the Lord too fast at moving the people out of #06-07?
PS is a very soft and kind-hearted lady. She told a mover to move their warehouse things away, and gave them a week to do so. They also promised the landlord to move out in one week, and the landlord had arrangements for his friend to come in and use the space. (If it is his friend coming to use the place, it meant he could not lease the place out too expensive, and it must be very cheap, probably cheaper than our $…psf for a friend.) Yet, the mover took his time and for 4 weeks, could not even move everything out of the place. The landlord’s friend could no longer move in the #06-07. STL, PS’s agent husband, stepped in and told PS that she could not be so soft-hearted, and told the mover on the last week of July that if he could not finish moving out soon, the lighting company would sue him and ask him to pay for a month’s rental at #06-07. Scared, the mover finished the move on 1st August Sunday. In fact, the mover was so anxious so that he moved all the things away even spending the weekends Saturday 31st July 2010 and Sunday 1st August 2010 to complete the task, even till late 6pm on Sunday 1st August. Remember what day 1st August was? This was our first time to offer up our best for the church building, everyone confirming what their faith could offer. God made PS’s heart soft. He made the mover move things slow. He made STL angry. He made the mover finish moving exactly after we offered and we calculated the amount given in praise to God.
Finally, when the unit #06-07 was ready to be passed back to the landlord, PS tried to arrange on Monday 2nd August 2010, but the landlord could only make it on Tuesday 3rd August 2010! This was the date when we went down to Citimac to check floor-by-floor. God made this happen again. By this time, PS and the lighting company felt very bad and guilty that they caused the landlord, who had been on very good terms with them for 10 years (they rented for 10 years already), to miss a chance to rent out to his friend. They were thus very willing to help them actively find a person/company to rent their place as soon as possible. (Up till now, there were enquiries, but only wanted to only rent half the place.) Therefore, it was also on Tuesday 3rd August that the landlord wanted to discuss with PS on helping him find people to rent his unit out. Yet, when Jieyong and I went down to #06-07 at about 2pm, it so happened that the landlord had not arrived yet – we were probably earlier by about 1 hour only (the landlord liked the time of 3pm). That was why PS’s eyes brightened up at seeing us. God even made us meet one day later to meet at Citimac Industrial Complex even after trying to find other units at Citimac. All these are God’s work.
The transaction took place fast. The premise belonged to Lai’s father, but under his mother’s name, and I also heard that the parents hoped Lai to start to slowly take over skills and managing their properties. Lai is the quiet and bright guy we saw on 4th August. If I am not wrong, he may be happy to have clinged the deal (to have a tenant already so fast after the previous tenant moved away) so as to comfort his parents.
This place is privately owned. This means that there is no 7% GST tagged to the price, as it is not GST registered company. If this were a company, we would also need to be registered with GST in order to waive any GST. We got a cheap and big place and paid no commission. The agent was very happy too, because they helped the landlord to find a tenant (us) so fast, helped him secure his quote of $…psf, and earned commission from the landlord. The landlord was happy too, because he found quickly, no need to spend all the money to make the unit bare, and also got a good rent rate probably than renting out to his friend. Praise God again that He made things really possible!
Why does God make us go one big round?
God already prepared everything for us in April. We tried to keep on believing every step, but I have a word to say. The periods from April till August are a period of testing, difficulties and sufferings for us all.
The spiritual state that we grasp and keep in our hearts were not up to the standard as God had desired, but the Lord had a voice for us “The Life Church and Missions”. In the past, we were afraid of problems and sufferings, and prayed to God to remove them. We are no longer afraid now, but we had a heart that is in a state of difficult tone, feeling and atmosphere. When we go through difficulties, we cannot hope in the Lord naturally and powerfully. We pull ourselves along, and we get easily discouraged in and out. The room inside our heart is “stuffy”, and sometimes, we just want to ignore the difficulties and feel bored at “when the problem would go away”. The Lord does not want this at all: “I know”, “no choice”, “God has some better things ahead of this difficulty”, “There must be blessings lah”, etc. This is not the way Paul rejoices in the midst of difficulties and sufferings! It pains God’s heart this very way that His gloriously loved children do not look comparable to bright children of sunshine!
Quoted from pastor’s words, “There are spiritual hurdles we still need to cross. There are things in our lives which we still need to understand through our spirit, let go, believe and submit, so that the answers experienced in us will be more absolute, and battles fought even more beautifully.
I know there are more lands (inheritance) which we need to conquered, and the Lord has promised us all of them. In my heart, I yearn to seek out true workers for Christ and have a pure, grounded and long-lasting relationship with them in Christ. Only with that, I can find the purpose and joy of living. So let us see into this as we move into our new premise. Let us learn to let go of the fear, discouragements, desire and timidity that so temporarily and easily plagued us, for the Lord has given us a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
We have to get on up with the Emmanuel MOMENT, and ride the tides of this dark era at every moment. This is what is meant by 0.5 seconds of restoration of Emmanuel. Do not let your guard down to Satan because you think you cannot do so, but it is ignorant to think we cannot do so, because it is not about our ability or power to do so, but the transformation of heart that God can ignite at every moment.
1) Delight in God and His Laws alone
For this, we have to pass through delighting in God alone. To delight in Him, we need to have no qualms on loving the laws of God. To love the laws, we must know how to resolve all sins and know the way God intended for sinners to purge the guilty heart in order to receive a spirit of sonship, freedom and holiness in their lives.
The sufferings/difficulties that come as a result of sin can be resolved the MOMENT we “restore Christ and thus the forgiveness of sins”
We are already blessed children of God, and once we believe Christ in dying and resurrecting with Him, we already entered that eternal bright kingdom of heaven. If we have eternal life, we have already totally left that “sin that Adam has placed in us”. So even if we meet with difficulties as a result of sin, we can stop looking at difficulties negatively, but we can IMMEDIATELY look up and understand that since we entered the heavenly kingdom and into Jesus Christ, there are already no death, illnesses, poverty, and disaster in Jesus Christ!
Okay, there would be consequences of sins, right? Yes, in fact, and people who loves the Lord would not go around explaining it away, for it only causes pride to arise. There will be consequences of sins and discipline. But we have to learn the way to solve guilt immediately at the MOMENT. For the discipline (difficulties, sufferings) that God allowed on His children, the MOMENT when we confess, repent and be willing to follow God, the feelings of sufferings and difficulties can IMMEDIATELY be solved! The reason why we are still in various kinds of feeling difficult, in more sufferings than others (=discipline), is because they do not understand the Lord’s perfect will at that MOMENT or do not understand the gospel’s essence so that they do not know how to repent (solve sins and guilt, thus receive righteousness as deemed and guaranteed by God, and then being reconciled with God so that we can walk hand-in-hand in all things without fear with Him, and finally receive the bold heart to come confidently to the throne of God not fearful of anything but can look straight with humility and boldness to the Lord) at that MOMENT. Another reason why we are still in various kinds of feeling difficult is because we do not believe at the MOMENT and that we do not submit to the Lord at the MOMENT even after knowing the perfect will. Going through the consequences of sin correctly only makes the heart fonder of God’s love, and makes one heart a bigger vessel of love, desiring to join and be held together with other brethrens.
2) Delight in His Promise Alone <Lev 26:1-13>
For the sufferings and difficulties that are not a result of sinning, anything that comes along MUST BE a promise of God. The Lord definitely protects, comforts and anoints us, no matter what situation we go through! If we go through temptations, the temptations are not to cause us to fail, but there is surely a road of opening through it <1Co 10:13>. If we go through deep dark valleys of death, God will surely protect us and prevent us any harm, and He will lead us with His visible and invisible staff <Ps 23>.
Why can’t we be like Joseph, who rose out of his reasons to get even with his brothers [who tried to kill him by leaving him in a cistern with no water, enslaved and sold on a slave market, wronged and put in the deepest dungeon] but yet [continue to see every MOMENT as His Emmanuel presence, protection, guidance and anointing] so that he treasured in his heart in a MOMENT that there must be a reason of God to raise him to become the Premier of Egypt so that he could never be proud and fight for his unjustified past causes, and finally that he did not condemn any of his brothers, he found out in a MOMENT that the very reason for all his process is the reason to save Israel!
Why can’t we be like Paul, who in his whole missionary trips and ministries, so that every time when he encountered dangers, he did not just have a heart that set him aback, but a heart that transforms in a moment to see the Lord’s protection and guidance? With this promise, He saw immediately that every condition is the calling of God to him, and heard the Lord telling and voicing to him in every moment, “I will also save you from the hands of Gentiles”. The Lord faithfully just accomplished His promise, so that at the end, Paul was able to give glory to God and gave a testimony in a moment saying, “Yet I received the Lord’s help at every turn of events, so that till today, I can still stand firm and right”.
Why is our thinking and our heart a bit on the down side? Why can’t our thinking be INSIDE THE PROMISE?
There are already no problems in our lives! Why does God list down the blessings in <Leviticus 26:1-13> first? Because there are all blessings in our lives! This is the meaning of 2), where we can surely delight in His Promise at every time!
Why does God also list down the discipline in <Leviticus 26:14-39>? This is because we will definitely fall into <Gen 3> sometimes in the process of walking with Him, and the Lord has to tune the our precious inner spirits correctly with His Spirit in us through His discipline. Anyone taking discipline as difficult is going to miss a whole lot of blessings in his life. This discipline is 3) below:
3) Delight in His Process for us Alone <26:14-39>
His Promise is always true for us His Children, and therefore, we have no fear in us any more. We can envision and make covenant with God boldly and courageously. This, we can take it from that very small problem of ours and confirm through, so that we received a freed and powerful spirit.
However, the problem is that we can accept and think about promise in an enclosed and boxy room in our heart of limited conditions and situations. That is why, when God leads us in His best process, using the whole universe, but we are terrorized at every moment. We must take the promise of God to another level and another timetable. We must take the promise to see all things and 24 hours. We must take it to everything in the world — from our inner spirit, heart, body, lifestyle, interpersonal relationships, spouse, children, finance and ministry in church and our careers. We must take it to the ends of the world, and to see all history, to see all the bible, and to see all kinds of difficult situations.
Actually, when we let go completely of ourselves, test and approve, submit and rely on Him, AT THIS SAME TIME, we will see the Lord’s protection, guidance and accomplishments IMMEDIATELY.
This is where we hold on to the “eternal, unchanging, absolute truth” to see “the temporary, changing, relative conditions”. No matter what situations we encounter, it is the eternal, unchanging, absolute truth that “the Lord is with us, love us, totally protect us, and there is the Lord’s perfect will, so that He will surely guide us, and bless his power on us”.
(1) THE MOMENT we use this absolute perspective to test and approve the relative conditions that we meet, we will immediately discover the manifestations of the Lord’s Holy Spirit in our spirits, so that in the matters that we meet, it enables us to understand the Lord’s perfect will. (What is more important is that the Holy Spirit reveals Himself in our spirits, as it enables us to understand the Lord’s perfect will.)
(2) The MOMENT my heart deeply believes that “What I received is that very Lord’s perfect will that God has revealed to me”, we will discover that our hearts become strengthened. (What is more important it the courageous heart that resulted from knowing the perfect will of God for me).
(3) Then, we will naturally and IN A MOMENT completely entrust to the Lord, submit the Lord, and rely on the Lord, we will immediately see the state of the Lord response in the form of His help, guidance, doors being opened, giving us wisdom, power, accomplishments. (What is more important is the seeing the many responses of the Lord to me as I obey Him).
When we confirm more and more, ups and downs, alternate repeatedly, IN ALL MOMENTS we will be able to grasp more of the above mystery. In the midst of doing so, our testing and approving, judging, following, all becomes more and more with foundation, and we will do everything with an assured heart.
4) Delight in the Moment of Emmanuel <Leviticus 26:40-46>
The Lord gave us processes to go through not to make a joke to starve us so that we will be attracted to Him. The Lord’s wisdom is not that shallow. He has a higher wisdom, so that through repeats, and alternations in sufferings and difficulties, we can grasp the mystery of the moments of Emmanuel, and delight in just loving to test and approve at each moment. This is the level of precious sanctification jewel that a person can have next, which is being able to rejoice and receive convictions from the Lord quickly, immediately and always. This is also the difference of the levels of blessedness in a believer, of how much he responds to the very true essence of the gospel of Emmanuel.
Having an assured heart is the most powerful weapon, and another timetable has dawned, overcoming the one whose heart is courageous and not even a bit influenced by changing circumstances. This assured heart becomes the a very powerful force in difficulties. When we, IN A MOMENT, having an assured heart, see the Lord’s grace and love, the enemies’ power will be broken up themselves, and the sufferings that we meet will already have ended! We will continue to see that the Lord is always preparing a banquet of great feast for me to enjoy in the presence of my enemies, anointing my head <Ps 23>, and so that I can quickly see things very smoothly and naturally receiving resolution in all things, and the most important meetings, doors are being opened at the front continuously.
Therefore, if only that we are willing, in whatever problems, lack or sufferings we are in, we will be able to solve ALL problems NOW! The problems of everything starting from the heart being strengthened, to seeing the Lord respond in many forms, to some problems that still have the tingling and influential effect to our gentle hearts, are all resolved in a moment! The kingdom of heaven has descended not only in my heart, but in my every health, lifestyle, relationships, etc!
5) Delight in sufferings
The Joseph who can see through every slander from his brothers and still see that the Lord is with Him Emmanuel each and every time before he was forgotten by the cupbearer, and the Joseph who had already gone through great tribulations to become prime minister of Egypt, thereby conquering the whole world, gaining so much wisdom and yet gentleness and love in the heart for his brothers who betrayed him, even conquering Israel’s heart, is greatly different! This is another level of a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline in a person’s life.
The soldier who has fought real wars, having visible scars on his body, is different from the soldier who learns much theory but no way to apply them. He earns respect from others without explaining the tactics of war combat, but everyone is just awed at his experience of sufferings.
After going through sufferings, we will have seen that our life and power are totally different. In the past, what I see as temptations no longer can become temptations in me. The way I perspect and see people and things in a moment all become largely different. The MOMENT of ways where I can enjoy the power of peace, freedom and joy are also largely different. There is no fear in sufferings, but in sufferings, there is an calm and steady understanding on how to enjoy greater grace, and therefore, will not meet with any kind of sufferings.
In fact, through periods of lengthened equipping and battles of fight, I will discover another truth: in the past, what I thought were difficulties and troublesome things to go through were actually not sufferings, but actually, they are the fears, terrors in my heart, and it is these very fearful and terrorized heart that magnifies them so that they become sufferings, which is to say, in reality, they are very small things indeed in this dark era where Satan’s tail is fiercely and aggressively wagging in the visible and invisible world.
6) Delight in blessing brethrens in sufferings <Leviticus 27>
The sufferings experienced by brethrens are a blessing in disguise if I have prayed for them. If I have discovered that the sufferings that I go through are actually small things (i.e. small things but that cannot pass through <Gen 3>), I would have discovered that it is just as easy to solve the sufferings by brethrens. They suffer actually because of small things, but just that they cannot see. I would not force them to it, but I would have the know-how of blessing them at each moment.
The experience that I have with sufferings can become the blessings of many whom I loved. Just like Jesus Christ’s sufferings brought unlimited blessings to all the universal congregation of saints whom He loved. Joseph also suffered a few years, but he brought the whole Israel great blessings of deliverance. Can our sufferings be so efficient as Jesus and Joseph?
I do not need to be anxious at the ones whom I loved at all because it is for the very reason their timetable is slower than mine so that I can bless and wait for them.
Therefore, if today, I am not enduring any suffering brought about because of any discipline brought about by my weaknesses, but if I am willing to endure the suffering for the sake of the greater good of the universal church, which was the reason I was called to became Christ’s body, then the days of sufferings that I endured today at this moment, is actually redeeming the sufferings of those whom I loved and the universal church.
This is actually the hidden essence of offering for our church building fund. We offer because we have experienced the grace of Christ, and even if it costs us something, we think that giving that amount is just a little part of us, for the sake of the greater good for Christ’s Body, and when we offer it up, we offer up our prayers and intercessions. The Lord is delighted to have those offerings, and He ate the offerings gladly and with much pleasure!
This is the meaning of the law of fulfilling vows and in how to redeem what we vowed in <Leviticus 27>.
7) Delight in suffering with brethrens (because it would bring the most correct comfort)
This is the most precious level of sufferings, which is recognizing that there is a bunch of brethrens / travelmates who join together in fate to suffer in the same way! These brethrens suffer difficulties together and receive comfort and consolations together!
This has been evidenced to happen to all Christians in the history of mankind. This happens to us because we have the same enemy, battle, and we also have the same one Father, one Lord, one Spirit, and one Victory, and one Glory, and one Inheritance.
In all kinds of difficulties today, through many testimonies of how people go through sufferings first and leave behind a legacy of faith and beautiful testimonies, we therefore can receive and testify grace and comfort today in our sufferings. And through our testimonies of sufferings, they can become the later generations of consolations and power today.
This especially happens when there is, in a same era, a bunch of these kinds of brethrens having the same vision, inheritance and ministry, so that there is a surpassing sort of communications of grace, consolations, power between these travelmates, so that they receive the same inheritance daily! In such an era having the same vision, calling, their challenges, battles, victory, inheritance are the same. The difficulties met by a coworker become the difficulties of the whole congregation, and the comfort received by a coworker receiving actually becomes the congregation’s whole consolation, testimony and boast. The great communications that happened between Moses, Joshua and Caleb were the same sufferings and comfort; the great communications that happened between Paul, Timothy, Silas, Luke were also the same sufferings and comfort!
Therefore, when we see some coworker who received the same difficulty, we will at the same time be able to predict / foreshadow and thus bless, expect the comfort and rewards they will receive! If we see a person going through sufferings because of the gospel, his heart has an assured heart that they will receive great grace!
Therefore, in my sufferings, I just need to confirm if I am suffering because of the gospel of this era, If so, I just need to rejoice and be glad, as the Lord will bless completely His grace, peace to be with me, so that I should see these and enjoy, and that I can and must take the ones whom I love (their life and their future) in great expectations and glorious hope!
Moreover, if we are brethren who suffers through intercessions and blessings because of the gospel, our hearts should believe that it shall be accomplished, and when we converse with the brethrens and comfort them, we must have an assured heart, confirming this as the Holy Spirit’s conviction and comfort.
We must be like Paul, who grasped onto this mystery, so that in his ministries of evangelism, counseling and healing, he can exemplify the unlimited powers of the Holy Spirit.