3 Sept 2013 by Crescentia Morais CM –
There is a need for the church as a corporate body to honour the Word of God as a simple way of honouring God, says Chong Mei Lin, Director of Elijah House Malaysia. As the Sunday message shared in FGA KL the day after Malaysians celebrated the nation’s 56th year of independence, Sister Mei Lin’s reminder of a basic, simple principle of Christian daily life was timely indeed.
This was especially so as she linked this necessity required of the corporate church to that required of individual Christians. If Christians are not praying at home daily, she stated, “even though we come for prayer meeting” we cannot hope for the church to be effective, as the state of the individual heart affects the state of the church as a whole.
Pointing to Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, as good examples of people who walked in God’s law because they loved Him and not out of a sense of frigid duty, Sister Mei Lin mused that it must have been difficult for old Zacharias to continue serving as temple priest when his wife was known to all to be barren, seemingly cursed by God, unable to produce an heir and offspring. Yet the old man and his wife continued to serve God and in due time, they were blessed with a son. Although that son might have been seen as a failure when he was beheaded as an adult, the truth is that God’s plan and destiny for him and his aged parents had been fulfilled.
God has the destiny of every one of His children mapped out, reminded Sister Mei Lin, referring to Ephesians 2:10, in which Paul teaches that God has prepared a good work for everyone to fulfil in his or her life. According to Sister Mei Lin, God has a plan “tailor-made” for each of His children that matches their unique personality and talents. She cautioned that we would not enter that God-planned destiny if we allowed ourselves to be led by our circumstances rather than the Word of God.
She also cautioned against focussing on self rather than on God in living out His Word in our lives. The motive behind practices such as forgiving others and giving, for instance, should arise as felt response to the reality of God’s forgiveness of our sins and of His provision for our needs rather than from our desire for God to return to us blessings by the measure we extend them.
She also highlighted the blight of unforgiveness, which keeps us in a darkness that causes us to become bitter and cynical. To forgive, she emphasised, is to honour God’s Word.
A pertinent point that Sister Mei Lin raised was the question of whether we stand in awe at God’s Word, and why we tend not to honour God’s Word. She suggested that it was because we are often careless with our own words. We have lost sight of the “awesomeness of God’s Word” because we rarely mean what we say and rarely say what we mean. God, however, stands by His Word, which is true, certain and pregnant with power. Indeed, it was God’s Word that created life, demonstrating that His Word equals His action, and His Word equals His deed. If we are to be the people of honour that God created us to be, then we need to honour the Word of God. “We need to wait,” Sister Mei Lin encouraged, for our destiny in God to be fulfilled, just as Abraham, who despite his great faith and faithfulness, still had to wait 25 years for the fulfilment of God’s promise to Him.
Unfortunately, Sister Mei Lin stressed, we tend to obey only that portion of God’s Word that we find convenient. This, however, she suggested, was lawlessness, as we put self and self-pleasure ahead of the total obedience that God expects of us.
Sister Mei Lin remarked that many Christians tend to find Christianity and the reading of God’s Word dull; that, she pointed out, was an indication that we were not walking in God’s destiny for us. We need to consider what are the activities that lead to this dulling of the desire to uphold God’s law, and take them to God in honest prayer. She hoped that rather than feel guilty about not reading God’s Word, the body of Christ would feel hungry when they skipped a reading of the Word of God.
Sister Mei Lin ended by asking another probing question: Do we believe what we read of God’s Word? She pointed out that we could have been praying for decades for something without really believing that it could happen.
As we ponder new directions for our country and reflect upon God’s purpose for Malaysia at this hour, it does seem a good idea to revisit the basics of the practice of our faith. Sister Mei Lin’s message to honour God by honouring His Word with a “childlike attitude,” is certainly foundational; if every Christian would tend to this basic requirement of our faith, surely together as a church we could move and shake Malaysia to her destined position in God’s plan.
Perhaps this is also a good time, as we enter the later months of this year of jubilee, to deal with disinterest in reading the Bible, which provides our spiritual nourishment, and to drag unbelief out into the light of God where it can be dismantled; we need to be free to walk in our God-arranged destiny for ourselves and for Malaysia. Do we believe what we read of God’s Word? It takes courage to answer that question truthfully, and it will take strength, great strength, to choose to go on an intimate journey with God to find the answer because it is possible to lose one’s destiny in God, like Saul, who chose to rest within the shadows lurking in his heart, and leaned too closely to hear what they were whispering.
Note: Chong Mei Lin received her counselling training from the University of Nations, YWAM, Hawaii (1993-1994). Her experiences include serving as staff in YWAM counselling Schools (1995-1996), Youth Counselor with IBA (Inter Brethren Assemblies, 1997-2002). In 2003, she did her internship with Elijah House, Idaho, USA. Since 2002, she has been conducting training and teaching sessions for Elijah House Malaysia Prayer Counseling. Mei Lin received her calling from the Lord from the book of Ezra, that His gracious hand would be upon her for the task of ‘rebuilding ruined temples’ through the power of His Word and the Holy Spirit.
Note: Elijah House is a Christian organization committed to the principles of Malachi 4:5-6 and Matthew 17:11 to call God’s people to “restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” and to “restore all things,” enabling people to recognise the root causes of their problems, to receive healing for hurts, to accept responsibilities for their sinful responses and to allow the Lord to effectively deal with their hearts. It also provides a means by which one can learn hands on by watching others ministering in small groups, and then participate as members of the body. For more information about Elijah House ministries, please visit http://www.elijahhouse.com.my.