The rest of God is a rest of faith. Kong Hee’s penultimate message in the Arise & Build series was an eye-opener for City Harvest Church.
By Lee Wei Fang
In the creation story, God created the world and everything in it over a period of six days. On the seventh day, He rested, having fully completed His work.
Adam, the first man, was created only on the sixth and the last day of work, entering directly into the day of God’s rest. “The intention of God is clear—we are to take dominion, be fruitful and multiply, through rest in God,” declared Kong, introducing the service sermon topic over the weekend of Nov. 3 to 4.
In the natural, there appears to be a contradiction between “resting” and “conquering”. How are believers to rest and yet “take dominion and conquer at the same time”?
Kong related a conversation between him and the man he called his “spiritual father”, Dr. David Yonggi Cho, founder of the world’s largest church Yoido Full Gospel Church, with 800,000 members.
He explained to Kong that throughout his 50 years of ministry, he has never been worried or stressed because he lives in the rest of faith. “’I do nothing except spend time in His presence, watching, praying, and visualizing what Jesus wants me to see. I do this until the substance of faith drops into my heart, and then I just speak it into existence. That is how I built the church and ministry!'” quoted Kong.
Resting In God Does Not Equate Idleness
Resting in God is not tantamount to idleness. The Word teaches that all believers are invited to bear a yoke (an instrument for work) with Jesus. God does not desire that believers do nothing, but that they fully rely on the power and authority of Jesus to achieve their visions and dreams.
“Personal striving, even if it is for sanctification, leads to frustration. Eventually, it leads to anger with God, and burnout,” explained Kong. God wants us to get ahead in life not by our own strength, but by having complete rest in Him.
In Psalms 92, a song for the Sabbath day, or the day of rest, the psalmist talks about receiving “fresh oil” in the presence of God—coming to a place where the believer is not moving in his own strength, but in the power of the Spirit.
Before the fall, Adam ruled over all of creation simply by the words he spoke. As he named the animals, there was a supernatural ease as the animals came under his subjection because God backed up his words with His own authority. In this way, Adam was resting and conquering at the same time with God.
Likewise, Jesus, the Son of God, was so reliant on God’s faithfulness that even when faced with a storm, He fell asleep at the back of the boat, calm and unperturbed.
“I like to call entering the rest of God, the rest of faith,” said Kong. “Faith should not be a struggle. It is a rest! When you enter into the rest of faith, worry is gone, and a supernatural peace and calm takes over. Though the challenges are still there, you can experience peace in the storm.”
Kong took a leaf out of Abraham’s story in the Bible, where the father of the Christian faith received his promised son, Isaac at age 100, after a 25-year wait. Although he faced discouragements and doubts, he “did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief,” but was “fully convinced that what He (God) promised He was also able to perform.” (Rom. 4:20-21)
“So when you face a problem, don’t panic. Simply walk by faith and not by sight. Continue praising God, giving Him glory, and speak the promise into existence,” Kong said, exhorting the congregation. “The Word you speak, through the Spirit, will do the work!”
Believers, therefore, are to exercise their God-given authority and dominion as children of God through prayer, praise, proclamation and prophecy.
The place of unbelief is a dangerous place to be, and Hebrews 3:7 warns believers against hardening their hearts during a period of trial. “Testing and trials are a normal part of your life,” said Kong. “Trials are a necessary part of growth. However, the real challenge is not in the trial itself, but in your faith. Can you still believe God in the midst of the trial?”
The Israelites were a classic example of a people whose hearts were hardened through unbelief. Though they were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they could not enter the Promised Land because they failed in their faith, continually complaining against God and Moses; each time they complained, their fear increased, and faith decreased.
“Your faith is shown through the words you speak,” explained Kong.
By refusing to speak positively and confess His promises, the hearts of the Israelites became hardened.
God considers unbelief something evil (Heb. 3:19). In fact, the verse in the Amplified Bible states that unbelief shuts the believer out from receiving the promises of God.
Kong encouraged the congregation to evaluate their own speech. By making statements such as “I just can’t believe I can be healed,” or “I just can’t believe I can be delivered from this addiction”, unbelief begins to harden the heart of the believer. “If you need a miracle, only believe!” Kong declared.
Resting In Faith Through Speaking In Tongues
A good way in which believers can exercise resting in faith is by speaking in tongues. “When you speak in tongues, your mind is totally at rest. The Spirit is praying through you,” explained Kong.
“When you pray in understanding, you have to think about how to pray and what to say. However, when you are praying in tongues, there is no stress! At the same time, you know your prayer is powerful because you are praying in the power of the Spirit,” he said.
With the Arise & Build pledge weekend coming up on Nov. 10 and 11, the senior pastor encouraged the members not to just make a decision in their natural mind regarding the sum to pledge toward the building fund, but to seek God in prayer, “until the figure that God has prompted you to give drops into your heart, and you receive the substance of faith to fulfill the pledge.”