4 Sept 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
“We are the church of Christ and we need to understand the times we are in and move in the Spirit according to the times,” said Rev Prince Guneratnam, the opening session speaker for the three-day 23rd Pentecostal Conference on August 29.
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
More than 3000 people from 67 nations gathered together in the main auditorium that spanned four floors in the Calvary Convention Center. Prince reminded the audience to flow freely with the Holy Spirit, unlimited by conference’s agenda because that is how a Pentecostal Conference should be.
Expounding on the book of Esther, Prince shared that the church should recognized the kairos time they are in today.
Time to be Aromatic
Esther or Ishtar was a Persian name, which was the name of a fertility goddess in the culture then. However, Esther’s Hebrew name was ‘Hadassah', which means myrtle or aromatic shrub.
And like the meaning of Esther’s name, Prince shared that we as believers should carry the aroma of hope, joy, and peace to the people in our midst.
Time to Know our Place
Esther was an orphan before but Mordecai ‘adopted’ Esther and raised her as his own daughter. Likewise, God adopted us as His children in Christ (Gal 4:4-6).
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
Time to be Holy
Not only that, Esther was also a virgin bride before the King. Symbolically, like Esther, the church is presented as a holy bride before Christ.
“But are we practicing holiness (1 Cor 6; 2 Cor 6)? Only the Holy Spirit can help us become holy,” said Prince.
1 Cor 6:18-20
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
2 Cor 6:14-15; 17
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
Time to Take Risks
How many of us know that we are living in such a kairos time like Esther’s? But some of us are too comfortable resting in the blessing from God that we become afraid in doing risky things for Him.
For example, as a queen, Esther enjoyed the life of a royalty, dining and living at its best. When Mordecai sent a message for her to plead the King, Esther became afraid because meeting the King without being summoned could result in death.
“Sometimes, we are afraid to put ourselves out there because if we testify, preach, and stand up for Jesus, it my cause us something. So, what do we do? Shall we hold back and keep the will of God to ourselves?”
“The church should not just enjoy her life of royalty but be willing to take risk for the sake of the Kingdom of God to advance till every soul is reached with the gospel,” said Prince.
Time to Remember God
Also, when God lift us to a high position of recognition and status, it is important to remember that it is God who brought us to that position.
Citing Pr Yonggi Cho, Prince shared that we should treat men’s exaltations like eating chew gums, “Eat and enjoy the sweetness but spit it out at the end of the day. Don’t let it get to your head,” said Prince.
Time to Stay in Touch
Staying in touch with God is important in knowing His Will, or the specific things he wants you to do.
Esther sent clothes to Mordecai when he was dressed in sackcloth (Esther 4:4) because she might think that he had an economic problem. She did not know what troubled him (Esther 4:5).
“If you’re out of touch with God, you don’t know what God wants,” said Prince.
What God wanted was Esther to stand up for her people before the King, even if the circumstances were dangerous. But sometimes, like Esther who offered clothes to Mordecai, we might also offer substitutes such as material possessions or other equivalents to the Lord, when what God truly wants is our obedience rather than our sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).
Time to Obey
Sharing his story of obedience, Prince recalled how he obeyed God to become a preacher when he was a teenager.
Although Prince had a powerful encounter with God in a brilliant light at 12 years old, he backslid when he became a teenager.
“Although I had a tremendous experience encountering God, I still backslid. What I want to say is that we should have a fresh encounter with God everyday,” said Prince.
At that time, an old man invited him to a Pentecostal meeting in Taiping. And despite his reluctance, Prince went anyway out of his compassion for the old man. There, Prince was prophesied to be a preacher where he finally relented over the night to do the Will of God. Needless to say, the rest was history.
No Better Time
There is no better time than now to personally know Godand do His Will. Who knows? Like Esther, maybe we are also placed in our position ‘for such a time like this.’
This is the kairos time for the church.
Note: Rev Tan Sri Dr Prince Guneratnam is the Senior Pastor of Calvary Church, which meets at the Calvary Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur. He was elected as the Chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship in 2010. In recognition for his meritorious service, the honorific title of ‘Tan Sri’ by the King of Malaysia was conferred to him in 2008.