The Malaysian pastor challenged delegates to hold fast to their dreams.
Contributed By Chng Shi Jie
|CN PHOTO: Bernard Yeo|
Tan Sri (Dr.) Prince Guneratnam, senior pastor of the 7,000-strong Calvary Church in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and vice-president of the World Assemblies of God was called to round off the second morning’s session of Church Growth International and Asia Conference 2010. After back-to-back sessions by Dr. A.R. Bernard and Dr. Lee Young-Hoon, Guneratnam delivered a compelling, faith-building message that challenged the congregation to keep believing in the dreams and visions God put in them.
Guneratnam began his 30-minute session with a quote from Romans 3:3. He said that when God makes a promise to us, it is His responsibility to bring the promise to pass. His emphasis on the point that “God is faithful, and every man is a liar” was liberally scattered throughout session, each time drawing out loud choruses of “Yes” and “Amen” from the capacity crowds at Halls 8 and 10 in Singapore Expo.
“The difference between Jews and us Gentiles,” said Prince, “is just that they were called to be caretakers of God’s work; God is no respecter of man.” He explained that Christians have power over every circumstance and obstacle in their life, not just because they are faithful in going to church, but because they believe in what He says. That is important to know because many visions and dreams are going to draw derision and ridicule from other people, even those close to us. We need something to help us get past these negative comments and that is our strong belief in what God speaks to us through those visions and dreams.
Guneratnam shared that God specializes in the minority. “It is tough bearing with negative remarks about a big dream you have when there is nobody around to support you, but when you realize that God and you make the majority, everything else just seems much easier to bear.”
Every vision has two elements: breaking and making, and it is vital that we are not hindered by the breaking. He shared three ways to keep our focus on God and fulfill the vision He has for us.
Firstly, ensure the source of the vision is from God. Many times, dreams are borne out of jealousy—we want to emulate someone with a successful career or a powerful ministry. Not only are we wasting time, we are also not fulfilling the vision God has for us.
Next, if God is indeed the source, depend on Him and make Him your resource. If God put a vision in you, He will fulfill it through you. The key to unlocking His resources is to use the resources you already have. God will pour out on us what we are not afraid to pour out on others. God’s giving is based on our surrendering. Guneratnam shared about the boy in Mark 6 who willingly gave up his five loaves and two fishes, enabling Jesus to produce a miracle that fed more than 5,000 people.
The third point is that we should not let our dreams intimidate us. The dreams that God gives are always bigger than our current ability. When his church was seeking to build a larger worship location in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Guneratnam was faced with a stream of obstacles. He realized that sometimes Christians have to make a decision—to either believe that visions and dreams can come to pass or stumble in their faith. One can choose to believe in a limitless God or to believe in the limit of one’s ability.
Guneratnam’s message stirred up the faith in the hearts of every believer in the room.