Sunday, December 23, 2012

Since that last article (ministry-update)

When I looked at my last article under the section of  "my little ministry", I realized, that last article was dated more than 6 months ago. In other words, I have not done any article-update of my ministry here, on this blogsite, especially on my ministry in my church setting.

Change in corporate atmosphere
From that last article, "At cross-road, then suddenly, I am encouraged", we can see that one of changed factors in the church has been that 2012 has been with a leadership change. Somehow, along with that, the altar ministry corporate atmosphere of the several years before, has changed with that leadership change (old Senior Pastor retired).  Lest I be said as putting the blame on the new Senior Pastor, I want to say, apart from the uncanny coincidence of timing, I really cannot say I know exactly whose fault it was and is. The change in corporate atmosphere could be due to more than one reason; and it is all parties, the church leadership, the members of congregation, the altar ministry "ministers", need to self-reflect.  That is if the party(ies) wants to see a re-emergence of the atmosphere we have witnessed for about 4-5 years previous. These months I have pondered if I was and am at fault, for I have not been just a member of the congregation, but I have been one of the most active "ministers" of that altar ministry where words of knowledge and prophecy were released, people responded, and people were prayed for, for healing, wholeness, breaking of bondages, and for breakthroughs in lives' impasses.

Concerning the change of ministry corporate atmosphere of the church services, it depends on what you want to see in a church service, that you will say the change is for the better or we have retraced to an old spot.  I have been with the church for more than 20 years; from my observation, we have retraced to an old spot. Going backwards, if it is the desire of the Lord, it is good, it has to be, for God knows best, but is it the desire of the Lord?  Maybe not.

Cannot boast
I cannot boast and will not boast, God forbids; but I am gladden to see God still honors those who are persistent in wanting to do what He desires.  There is still, regardless of poor corporate atmosphere or any resistance to His move (has there been?), if God wants to minister to one in need, He will do it, and He can use anyone who is a yielding and available vessel. I believe there are still a few persistent ones, despite hurdles before them.  I am one of these, and we seize opportunities afforded us to minister, regardless.

God still ministered to some
Fewer updates here was because there have been few meaningful or edifying testimonies to share, and fewer positive testimonies were due to fewer times of going into ministry.  Of course, I am conscious, it is not necessarily that, poor ministry corporate atmosphere is the sole cause of fewer positive testimonies; it can be the problem lies with me, the vessel. My observation has been that it pervaded other "ministers"; it has not been I alone, and hence, the inclination to attribute significance to the corporate atmosphere. When not encouraged, generally speaking, many would slide back into positions of casualness and easiness, and that was what has happened too; "ministers" slackened, and increasingly fewer and fewer operated. Along with that, members' faith of God's presence in the sanctuary to minister in supernatural ways, dwindled.

Like I have said, however, God is not, not able.  Even in that time that Jesus was in His own hometown, and the corporate atmosphere there, was not good, He still ministered to a few. Also important to note is that after leaving that hometown, He quickly was ministering powerfully with signs and wonders and miracles, in other places, in the Holy Land.  Why would God show or give different treatments? 

There necessarily be diferences, if God is God
Some people just don't get it, the specific treatments are different, but the underlying overarching treatment is the same - God chastises, and He chastises because He loves, and because we need to be conformed to holiness, for He is holy. 

It is about Him, but it is not, it is always got nothing to do with how we conduct ourselves. For example, if one or one church wants to do evil, and another wants to do good works and acts of love, God has to treat differently specifically, not supporting the former, and supporting the latter. Don't be naive, and be deceived, there has to be a difference, otherwise, people just do what they fancy, including evil. God judges and there is an eventual judgement, otherwise, where is justice and righteousness, and God is not God.

I must now return to the core nature of articles placed under this caption of "my little ministry", and that is to record of my acts in ministry and the testimonies connected to it. Once again, I thank the Lord for the encouragement, and the honor He still sneaked in, for me, as I persisted to serve Him, despite circumstances.

Words and swords
In early Dec (2012), at the end of one of the services, I prayed for a woman who was about to go the Israel, in a contingent of some 300 people. She shared that she "kinda of  know" God would use her in this trip, and talked a little about the political tension in the region, and so on and so forth.  

All of us like to say we prayed as led by the Spirit.  Exactly, how is that? Frankly speaking, at times, I did get an obvious thought or two, coming into me, and I would pray it/them out, but often, and especially you have been praying for people for years, regularly, you also develop a framework of what to say in your prayers for the different circumstances.  What I am saying is that certain petitions become standard items, and it is when, you say them in prayer, that you "play around" with.  But such routine-ness is not shunned by God.  There bound to be a certain routine-ness in repetitive events.  Look, even the natural passing of a day, with break of dawn, sun rise, noon heat, clouds or no clouds, rain and or rain, sun set and setting in of the twinkle lights curtain over the earth, there is routine-ness in it.  What I am saying, is that we endeavor good routines, and God will come into our routines.  And we are to expect Him to come in, into those routines.  If you don't have the good routines, you limit His coming into situations and times of need, of grace, mercy, or direction or encouragement for you or for others. For example, doing quiet time is routine, and praying for others in need,is also a routine, yet when we don't perform these, we can miss the opportunities that God wants to manifest to you and others.

There was nothing special that I said in the prayer for this woman who was about to make this trip to the Holy Land.  None of the things I said in prayer was new to me, all were routinely said in the past for people. All I can remember was that I heard the expectancy conveyed by the woman, and I prayed into that expectancy that God would use her.

Afterwards, after the prayer, the woman shared, that what I prayed about, that God would use her, to intercede for Israel and the region, and that God would send angels to protect her, she saw in a vision.  This is what she shared concerning the vision she saw when i was praying for her: A giant sword came from above , coming right into her (she saw herself in the vision before her). As she was wondering what was happening, of the picture she saw, she then saw, out of her mouth, came forth many small swords! Wow, what a vision. She then shared she saw behind her shoulders, figures, which her inner witness told her they were angels.  She said when she have seen the angels, she heard my utterances of calling for angels to be assigned to protect her. I believe my thought of angels to come, preceded the appearance of the angels in the vision, it was the release in words was afterwards.  This, happens; we, at times, received a thought of what to pray, but we speak it out only after we finish up with the item that we are praying at the moment.

I remember I ended the prayer with speaking out that the woman be blessed.  After the woman shared of her vision, I exclaimed, "You are blessed". Come to think of it, I was blessed, too.

How have I been blessed? I am blessed because despite the fewer times of ministry and the slackened ministry corporate atmosphere, the Lord has encouraged me, in my routine-ness, in my persistence in service.  It has not been nothing happens! I am blessed because this would be the second time I prayed for an individual, and the person was given a vision as I prayed.  The last time, that happened, the person was smiling away when I prayed for her, and afterwards, she shared she was given a vision of a beautiful waterfall. Thirdly, I am blessed, for although, I have not, have the occasion to visit the Holy Land despite having lived that long (not young-lah), and generally, also not served the Lord overseas, in any capacity, not even as on mission trip, I have through my prayer for this woman, with that vision given her, encouraged her and given her courage, and imparted faith for her to be used by the Lord for such a time and season for the Holy Nation.

I sometimes wondered if it was that easily had, of words for people we prayed for, that so very often, people asked me if I had received a word for them, when I prayed for them. Is it that other people have been getting these words, so very easily, that they expected me to receive words from God for them.  Quite often,  I would shyly say, "No".  And then, I would think this, in my heart, "I would say it, right, if I did receive.". Rarely, do I receive specific words from God for people I prayed for, although, I believe God does grant me wisdom for the situations of those I pray for.  The problem, sometimes, is that people don't want this, they only wanted an actual word from God; but I cannot say, "This is the word from God for you......", unless in my spirit, I receive it as such.  This testimony of the woman is of course better; God told direct, in vision! Hallelujah, more Lord.

50% better
Also in Dec, a brother came to the front of the sanctuary, to me, to ask for prayer. I prayed for him, probably a week or two earlier. He shared that, then I prayed for his arm, which he somehow had injured it, there were pain and discomfort in one of his upper arm, near to the joint to the shoulder. I remember he could not lift his arm beyond the shoulder level without great pain.  He shared that with my prayer the last time, the arm was 50% better, and so, he came again that I might say a prayer for him, for complete healing.  I am a lay minister, volunteering, not church staff or pastor of the church, and so, have no access to any formal feedback; such a reporting back by this brother, sure help to encourage people like me, to persist in our good routines for the Lord.

Vision of someone slipping and falling down
The last one, also in Dec (16/12/2012); perhaps, the Lord was encouraging me even as I round up another year of serving Him, voluntarily, and wondering what to do, next year, to cut down, to do something else, or what.  In the service, I received a vision or picture of someone slipping and falling heavily to the ground, and released that word or picture of knowledge, and said that I would like to pray for anyone who have had a fall and was still suffering from that fall.

Several people came forward; one came closest to the vision.  He has had a bad fall the week before, and he was still suffering from the fall.  He injured one of his knees very badly.  He was having great difficulty (painful and all) flexing his legs.  He also could not shake his injured knee to left or to the right. After prayers, he was surprised he could do both with much greater ease. He would look to complete healing from the Lord in the days to come.

I thank my Lord, and I wonder
Lord, I thank you for these, coming in the last month of another year of serving you. Yet, Lord, you know, generally what I am doing, I have been doing them, all voluntarily, for the past 5 years, since you raised me up from the depth of my great affliction of life. Although, now I am out of that long drawn affliction, and I am no longer the same from that, and I am no longer the same  from your scooping me up from the pit, and putting me to serve you, even honored me before men, true to your words in Ps 19:14-15, I am now uncertain of what to do, in the time to come. This "what am I to do", is stronger than the same for the past several years.  Perhaps, 5 years have passed, and I have 5 years less, of my already old life. Oh, how time has passed me by.  Lord, have I been lukewarm - drawn back somewhat from the drawings of the world, inclined to you somewhat, and served you somewhat.  Lord, am I neither here nor there, no achiever in the eyes of the world, and done nothing much for you?

Anthony Chia, high.expressions - Lord, how I wish I could overcome more, and love you more. Lord, help me to make my life count for you.  Lord, there is no turning back, for me, isn't it so. Ever needing your mercy, grace and encouragement, Lord.  Amen.

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