At the finale of the Arise & Build series, the Building Fund Pledge weekend, Kong Hee delivered a power-packed message on the rest of faith.
By Jeremy Chua
After seven weeks of praying, praising, prophesying and professing, City Harvest Church was ready to arise and build. In the weeks leading up to the Pledge weekend of the Arise & Build campaign on Nov. 10 and 11, the members of CHC went through a series of teaching on the power of verbal confession in their lives. As they gathered last weekend, every member was ready to build the house of God, as they pledged their faith amounts to be fulfilled over four months, culminating in February 2013.
The Chinese Church and Indonesian Church members attended the main English service and partook in the pledging ceremony together, the Dialect Church, Children’s Church, JAMs Church, and Filipino service, each held their own pledging services.
DOMINION THROUGH REST
The final installation of the Arise & Build series was a revelatory message on faith. Building upon his previous week’s message on the rest of faith, Kong reminded the church once again that in Genesis 2, God rested on the seventh day–not because He was tired, but because everything He had set out to do had been completed. “And Adam was created on the sixth day–this means that the first full day Adam had on Earth was the Sabbath, the day of rest,” taught Kong. “Man was designed to increase and to have dominion through rest.”
This concept of having dominion through rest was difficult to grasp due to the preconceived notions of what it means to “rest”, but Kong put the pieces together by explaining out of Psalm 92:10. “The rest of God is a time for us to trust in God and to lean on Him, to be strong in the Lord and His might, to let God arise and let Him fight for us. This has nothing to do with physical relaxation,” he explained.
The key, Kong revealed, is trust. Trusting God in His word and promises will result in worries and stress being depowered in our lives. “The children of Israel could not be resolute in their faith,” he taught, reading from Psalm 78:37. “They could not trust in God, and were thus unable to enter the Promised Land, which was the land of rest prepared for them–a place where the promises of God became reality.”
Expounding on Hebrews 2, Kong taught that while receiving a word from God is important, mixing that word with faith is equally crucial. “Trust is to rely on, to lean on, and to be committed to. That is all God wants us to do. God says, ‘Don’t panic, don’t struggle, just rely on My promises, and lean on My Word,’” Kong said. “Everything has been provided for, and prepared for us through the Cross 2,000 years ago.”
Striving and struggling in self-effort will only cause people to burn out and become angry with God and the church. Kong advised the people to trust in the Lord instead. “We don’t have to beg God as though He does not want to help us! Just trust that everything is provided for,” encouraged Kong. “Sometimes it may be the hardest thing to do, but just trust and believe!”
Kong also highlighted the importance of abiding in Jesus and staying connected to Him—it becomes easy to do ministry when life flows out of that connection to God. Sharing anecdotes on how salvation and healing come through God’s word and visions, Kong threaded all these encounters together by stating that there was a supernatural ease that came from abiding in Christ through trusting and obeying. “In everything that we do, there will be challenges, but there should be a supernatural ease. The Bible says that it is not by power, not by might, but it is by the Spirit of God!”
EASE WHEN THERE IS FAITH
Speaking out of Romans 5:17, which says that Christians are to “reign as kings in life” through Jesus, Kong reiterated the secret behind Dr. Yonggi Cho’s success. The man Kong calls his “senior pastor”, Cho built the world’s largest church and came out of numerous challenges by spending 70 percent of his daily time worshipping and loving Jesus. Kong quoted Cho saying, “The more I love to be in His presence; the more I love to worship and pray. All my life I spend time thinking and seeing the future God has given to me, until the substance of faith drops into my heart, then I believe and speak to my mountains.”
However, that does not mean that there is no need to set goals and targets. Instead the crux of the goals set must come from God. “It is having the vision from God, then God giving the provision, not us coming up with the vision and asking God for the provision,” Kong pointed out. “When we know that this is what God wants us to do, and there will be a supernatural ease! It is not twisting God’s arm to get Him to do what we want!”
Hebrews 4:11 demonstrates that we have to be diligent in entering the rest of God, and the word “diligent” means labor, and this labor is also known as the fight of faith. “The real fight is not with satan, for he is a defeated foe. The real fight of faith is whether we can have faith in the Word of God, and His promises. When we can believe, we will be able to lean upon God. When we don’t believe, we strive and struggle,” Kong said.
This fight of faith is akin to receiving and claiming an inheritance. Using the illustration of a person who inherits billions of dollars left by his great-grandfather, Kong explains that this person has to take action and gain essential knowledge in order to take hold of the money. Similarly, believers have to recognize their inheritance in God, the authority and power that comes from their identity with Him, and to boldly ask for it.
Sharing from Hebrews 4, Kong revealed that Jesus is the great High Priest; as believers hold fast to their confession by speaking them aloud, He is presenting the words they say to God the Father so that it will be done for them. Delving deeper into Hebrews 4:16, Kong taught that God is not out to punish and condemn, but to bless His children by His grace. The key to gaining the grace, according to the Bible, is to come boldly before God. “To come boldly means to have freedom of speech, to speak openly,” declared Kong. “As we speak, we enter into a supernatural rest and the Word will do the work. God’s Word will not return to Him void!”
The rest of God is equally key when it comes to giving. Kong presented overwhelming statistics on David’s giving to the Temple of God, noting that David was able to give what would be more than S$4 billion today, because there was an ease in his giving.
“Let us just trust in God, that the money will come,” Kong encouraged the Church as the service came to a close and the members began to write down their commitment to God on their pledge cards. The atmosphere was filled with faith and joy as people streamed to the front to pledge their best to the House of God.
Angel Yap, 13, felt energized and happy after an uplifting service. “If I had a chance to send a thank-you note to God, I really want to thank Him for being here with us throughout this entire season, as well as for giving us this opportunity to grow stronger as a church. This is my church, this is my life!”
Distance is no barrier for Phileo Kang, 23, a student who is currently studying in London. He commented, “It is good to be able to connect with CHC via the webcast, and participate in the Arise and Build no matter where we are!”