A preacher once said, “Christianity is not blind faith.” Yet, while there are many believers that profess to be Bible-believing and truth-seeking, many simply do not know enough to defend their faith when the need arises. I was one such believer; until I decided to enrol myself into City Harvest Bible Training Center, School of Theology (SOT).
Joshua 3:5 says “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” (author’s emphasis) In the year 2006, the Lord assured me that if I were to consecrate my life to Him and give 10 months of my life to study His Word, He would do amazing things in my life in unexpected ways.
Although I was excited and filled with anticipation, it was nonetheless a huge struggle for me to resign from my job to enroll in SOT. I was the sole breadwinner in my family and I had just been promoted to an Assistant Audit Manager in one of the top accounting firms in Singapore. With much prayer and fasting, I took a step of faith to resign from my job and enrol into SOT.
And what an experience these 10 months were for me! My life was daily submerged in the presence of God as the school came together every morning to praise and worship God before lesson time. Throughout the day, we were taught on faith, the Word, principles of living, the nature of God, the history of the Church and many other truths I had never been exposed to. I felt my foundation in God was strengthened and my love for God grew deeper through the course.
It was also in SOT where I encountered the power and anointing of God in a very real way. The pages of the Bible came to life during the one week of deliverance sessions with Rev Mike Connell, where we witnessed many of the students being miraculously delivered and set free in Jesus’ name. We also had many opportunities to practice and sharpen our spiritual gifts, and I found myself learning to step out in faith and to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I applied what I learnt in Bible School during my cell group meetings and was surprised to see how I had became stronger and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit as I moved in the spiritual gifts.
The lessons on Homiletics, the Art of Preaching, were very rewarding too. In this module, we had to prepare our own sermons and preach to our classmates. Although each sermon was only seven minutes long, I had to spend many late nights praying and preparing them. This also helped me to gain confidence in speaking to a group of people.
Even though it was all good, there were also some challenging moments where I struggled financially. I had to take an 80 per cent pay cut and survive through my personal savings and by giving private tuition. I also had to balance my time to complete endless SOT assignments on time, study for exams, lead my cell group and not to mention, spend quality time with my parents at home. But God is indeed faithful and He saw me through these 10 months of Bible school.
After graduation, I continued to experience God’s miracles and His blessings have overflowed in my life even till now. Immediately after my Bible School graduation, I was shortlisted for a job interview with a conglomerate. After the first interview, I was immediately selected for the job without having to go through any subsequent interviews. As I sacrificed to God, He rewarded me by quickly giving me a job with good prospects and remuneration. So far, I have been working in this company for around 1 year and I have just received my year-end performance bonus. God did exceedingly, abundantly more than what I could have asked or imagined. I received a total bonus of 15 months which amounted to more than $55,000. Indeed, God was faithful to the promise He had given me, that He would do amazing things in my life, in unexpected ways.
In the year 2007, I was asked to prepare an opening speech for the Group Finance Director in my company for our Finance Managers’ Conference. This was a first for me and I was unsure how to go about doing it. But I remembered what I had learned in Homiletics and the lesson on sermon preparation helped me a great deal. At the presentation, the Director was impressed and commended me on a job well done.
Looking back, as I made the decision to trust God and sacrifice 10 months of my life to Him, He gave to me more than what I could ask for or imagine. Not only did he prosper me financially, my faith in God is well and truly grounded, and my entire life is changed!