Believers are to walk in faith, but equally important is the spirit of understanding and wisdom in order to react the right way to trials.
“Success must be created. It is not an accident. And once it is created, it must be protected.”
Speaking at the Leaders’ Meeting at City Harvest Church’s Jurong West building on May 14, CHC’s advisory chairman Dr AR Bernard spoke of the need for Christians to be clear about the realities of life and their image of Christ which will then affect the way they live their own lives.
Reading from the book of Nehemiah, Bernard highlighted that the men from the city of Jerusalem were rebuilding its walls with one hand while the other hand held a sword.
This was because of their enemies who were threatening to destroy them while they work. Similarly, there are forces in reality that will come to destroy (“the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy”). Success has enemies—jealousy and envy, those who want success but are not willing to pay the price.
Reminding the congregation of what the world system runs on— force (threat), greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure—Bernard said that there is a marked difference between God’s kingdom and the system of the world.
Culture is man’s attempt to organize society and define effective and correct ways to live in it. The problem is that not everybody agrees on how to create culture.
Bernard went on to talk about the differences in understanding Christ from two Scripture verses. Philippians 2:5-7 paints a picture of Jesus as a humble servant who put aside power, subjecting Himself to the powers of this world. The focus is on growth in the individual believer.
The first image is one of submission, and the second, power. It is this contrast that our speaker explained how whatever image one has of Jesus will determine how one lives out the Christian faith in this world.
“They were first called ‘believers’ before they were called ‘Christians’. And for the believer, the crisis is never a crisis of finance or anything else; it’s always a crisis of faith,” he explained.
Paul was praying that the Colosse church would get an accurate image and understanding about God and apply wisdom to engage the world they are in. “When we get this understanding, we can keep praying like Paul did, that God will give us knowledge, spiritual understanding and wisdom to bring us through every situation,” said Bernard.
For system programmer Jeremy Kuang, 29, the meeting reminded him of the faith the believer is first called toward. “The church is bigger than any individual,” he noted. “We tend to place focus on our own ministry and our own strength and forget what God’s original calling upon our lives is.”
It was the last CHC leaders meeting held before the trial involving key leaders of the church began on May 15.