Malaysia is currently going through a difficult time, and very often the news we read affects our peace of heart and mind. We are in confusion about the accountability of certain prominent figures. What’s even more disquieting, we can sense a spiritual tension in the atmosphere and even the earth beneath some of our feet are shaking.
What is God saying to us at this time, individually, as the Church, and as the nation? Recently, Pr Chew Weng Chee shared a message on this at SIBKL. There are 5 main messages that God is saying to us, and Pr Chew counseled us to very intentionally take heed of them.
The Earthquakes That Hit Sabah
Not too long ago, a huge earthquake hit near Kota Kinabalu, something that is unprecedented in our nation’s history. Later aftershocks would also hit the state. Explain it how you may, certain ‘coincidences’ in the event clearly communicate to us that this was no fluke. The earthquake this time was unique not just because of its magnitude but also because of its location. The epicenter of this earthquake hit a village, Kampung Kiau, which is around the historical heartland of revival in Sabah.
Throughout the Bible, God uses earthquakes to speak. In Exodus 19:17-19, when Moses gathered the people to meet God at the foot of Mount Sinai and God descended on the mountain, the whole mountain trembled violently. In Acts 4:31, as the early believers were under persecution and as they gathered to pray, God shook the meeting room with His presence, indicating that He was with them. Revelations 6:12 and 8:4-5 speaks of two cups; one of the cup of wrath and the other of the cup of censer of prayer. Both times as the cups were poured on Earth, earthquakes shook it.
In 1 Kings 19:11-12, God used an earthquake to draw the attention of Elijah who was on the run from Jezebel and burnt-out at that time, and He spoke to Elijah after the earthquake. God is directly concerned with what is happening in our nation and He is thundering a message to us.
God is Speaking to His Church
How do we know that God is speaking to His Church? Because we have the Holy Spirit in us, it means that of all people, we should be able to discern when God is speaking to us.
In Hebrews 12:23-29, a passage which was directed to the church of the firstborn which is Jesus, the apostle Paul warns God’s people not to ignore the warnings of God, for the time will come when He will shake not just the Earth but also the Heavens, and all the material things that can be shaken will be shaken until only what cannot be shaken remains. Therefore, as God’s people we need to be in the Kingdom that cannot be shaken and worship Him with gratitude, reverence and awe.
‘God is trying very hard to speak to us and how much clearer can He be than shaking the highest mountain in Malaysia? And people are still not listening. If we do not listen or hear and discern, it is either we’re dull, we’re spiritually insensitive, or we’re callous and careless, and we have literally lost our script,” Pr Chew cautioned. “We have to take what He is saying to us very seriously and we cannot trivialize the message of God.”
5 Messages from God
What is God saying to us at this time? Pr Chew communicated that God is trying to send 5 messages to us:
The first is the message of Amaran/Warning: In the aforementioned passage of Hebrew 12:23-29, the word warning appears twice in verse 25, and the whole passage is a caution to God’s people to take heed when He speaks. The word warning here is a translation from the word Chrematizo meaning a warning by direct calling or revelation. And we who have the Holy Spirit living inside us, who belong to the church of the firstborn, must discern and not trivialize God’s warning.
The second is a message of Awakening: Why is God giving us a warning? Does God just delight in threats? No! By giving us a warning, God is telling us that we need to awaken our spirits. It is a call for us to awaken our spirit man. We cannot afford to slumber any more, not caring about the way we live and the things that are happening in our nation. We need to be concerned and pray like never before. God is telling us that it is time for our spirits to awaken and come alive!
The third message is that God is Angry!: God is giving us very stern warning that we need to stop slumbering and come alive. Pr Chew shared that when God’s wrath is poured out, none will escape, ‘Do not think that just because we’re God’s people, we will escape the judgement”. In Ezekiel 38:18-19, God was angry with Gog and the war was with Gog, yet in verses 18-20, we read of a great earthquake happening in Israel.
God is justice personified and when He pours out His judgement, all of us sinners, even Christians, will feel His wrath. ‘There was collateral damage in Israel during the war with Gog. Never pray for judgment on the nation because when it comes, don’t think you’ll be able to escape. Christians too will be affected, just as the rain falls on everyone. God never asks us to pray for judgement but to intercede for our nation, to cry out to Him for mercy for its sake.”
Why is God angry with Malaysia? First of all, the nation has been very incompetent in managing its wealth. Corruption is rampant everywhere and people are in pursuit of a materialistic lifestyle without regard to God and their responsibility. We are indifferent to the poor, the aliens, and the suffering in our midst. We turn a blind eye to the plight of groups of people like the Rohingyas.
There is rampant injustice in the land. There is incarceration of the land, and uncontrolled exploitation of the resources in this nation. The Earth belongs to the Lord and He has entrusted us as stewards over the land He has blessed us with, yet many have forgotten the Lord in their greed.
God is very serious when He is speaking but thanks be to Him that He is also full of grace and mercy. The fourth message is that God is asking us to Anticipate a revival. Why is God giving us all these warnings and signs of anger? Pr Chew communicated that God never delights in punishment. He wants us to return to Him and if He needs to shake the earth to get our attention, He will do so. ‘God wants us to stand in the gap,’ he communicated.
What must we do to anticipate a revival and so that we don’t miss the boat? We must Prepare; we need to set our relationships right with Him. We need to Position ourselves in the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:17 is a potent reminder of this. When our positions are in God, the battle no longer becomes ours, and we only need to stand firm in them.
We need to Pray like never before. Without prayer, fear and confusion sets in and destroys. When we humble ourselves before God, seek for His forgiveness and turn from our wicked ways, God has promised that He will forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).We need to Partner with God, encouraging one another to pray. We need to get our lives back in tune with God.
The fifth message that God is telling us is that we need to Accelerate whatever we are doing now! As we gain traction, we need to continue pushing on and picking up the pace. There is a powerful passage in the Bible which illustrates this principle, and it’s found in 2 Samuel 5:23-24.
David was at war with the Phillistines and God communicated to him. David was instructed to wait but to move quickly when the sound of marching army came from the top of the poplar trees near him for that meant that the Lord was moving ahead of him to strike down the enemy. This is a lesson for Christians to be strategic in our working. As the forces of darkness envelops a nation, God moves as well. When God starts to move, we need to move quickly with Him.
This is a time for Malaysian Christians to stand in the gap. To pray for the government and that they’ll be God-fearing. To intercede and ask for God’s mercy upon our land. To take up our responsibilities and live out the life that God has called us to, in love for our nation.
NOTE: This is a simplification of what the writer senses is an important and prophetic message shared by Pr Chew at SIBKL on the 5th of July 2015. For the full message, download it on SIBKL’s Sermon Downloads page on http://www.sibkl.org.my/what-s-on/latest-sermons.
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– Jason Law