At City Harvest Church’s final service at Singapore Expo, the church’s advisory pastor Phil Pringle cast the congregation’s vision toward their future as an army of true disciples.
“Discipleship is about being a follower,” said CHC advisory pastor, Phil Pringle who was in town last weekend (Jun. 28 and 29) to preach in the final worship service at Singapore Expo.
CHC returns to its permanent location at Suntec Singapore this weekend, July 6 and 7.
Pringle is the founder and president of C3 Global Network of churches, a thriving movement of more than 200 churches worldwide and the senior pastor of C3 Church in Sydney, Australia. He was joined this trip by his wife Chris and his son Joe who led the congregation in a rousing time of praise and worship.
Moving on from his last sermon, “The Parable of the Dog”, which he preached on May 25 and 26, Pringle brought yet another word in season this time, imparting to the congregation on the qualities of a mighty army.
Pringle read from Proverbs 3:6, explaining that knowing “Jesus is my Lord” means one must trust in Him for the direction of his lives, believing that He has greater plans.
“When you move from knowing Jesus is my Savior to Jesus is my Lord, you will realize that you are living in a place where you’re on top of your circumstances; and actually living in dominance on earth. And by this obedience to God, you will gain authority in life,” Pringle added.
Reading from John 5:19, Pringle said, “Sometimes, following Jesus is not just about doing things, it is about not doing things as well.” He explained that when Jesus passed by the gate called Beautiful, he didn’t heal the beggar because one day, Peter and John were going to heal him. Jesus yielded to His father’s guidance and only did what He saw His Father do.
“For you to get to the place where God wants you to be, God will stretch you,” Pringle said. “And with every stretch, you will find yourself doing things that were previously impossible.”
To illustrate his point, Pringle shared his story of his gym training sessions, where his trainer was training him to be flexible, agile and not fragile. His trainer got him to bend down, stretch and touch his toes. Initially, Pringle was doubtful how he could do it, but with every stretch he attempted, he found that he could not only touch his toes but put his palms flat on the ground.
QUALITIES OF MIGHTY MEN
In 1 Chronicles 12, a group of mighty men came to join David while he was running away from Saul. The interesting thing about these men was that “they were of Benjamin, Saul’s brethren”. David found that people who were supposed to be against him turned to be on his side.
Pringle established 10 qualities of the men and women who fought with David:
1) They were skilful
1 Chronicles 12:8 says that the men were “trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear”. They could handle a shield, which represents the Christian faith, so they had faith covering their life.
“When we keep our positive thinking and confession that God will come through for us, we find ourselves among these mighty men who are full of faith and courage,” Pringle explained.
The spear is like the Word of God. “We need to throw these spears into the enemy’s camp and find ourselves defeating him.”
“How do you train for battle?” Pringle questioned the congregation. “By going into battle! How can we learn about it any other way? We will never learn how to fight until we are exchanging punches with the devil.”
When people go into battles with their problems and difficulties, they are fighting against them. “When we keep fighting the good fight of faith, we will win!”
2) They were courageous
The men’s faces were “like the faces of lions”. “Have you ever looked in the face of a lion?” Pringle asked. “Lions don’t smile, they look the same no matter they are happy, sad or angry. When you have a face of a lion, nobody knows how you feel on the inside; you’re just the same, immovable, unshakable.”
3) They were not slow, but swift
The men “were as swift as gazelles on the mountains”. “This is like the City Harvest believers,” Pringle said encouragingly. “When you meet with a mountain, you’re on top of it in a flash! It doesn’t take you three years, five years, 10 years. When people beat you down, you’ll be down for about 30 seconds and up you go again! You’re getting over the mountains, skipping over them one by one.”
4) They were ever-ready, all-weather soldiers
1 Chronicles 12:15 says that these men “crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it had overflowed all its banks.” The mighty men crossed the river during an inconvenient and messy time, they did not wait for a better period. “These are not your convenient soldiers; no matter what the weather is, they are going to get up and fight the fight.”
5) They were united in the vision of their leader
1 Chronicles 12:18 says that Amasai, chief of the captains pledged to be on David’s side and fight his battles.
6) They were insightful, spiritually-alert people
1 Chronicles 12:32 says that some of the mighty men were the “sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”
7) They were people who went out to battle, not waiting for the battle to come to them.
1 Chron 12:33 says that “there were fifty thousand who went out to battle.” “These are the people that don’t wait till the situation is so desperate before they get motivated. Don’t wait for things to get desperate before you start getting serious with God! Go into the battle and get on top of your circumstances.”
8) They were multi-purpose warriors
The verse also says that the men were “expert in war with all weapons of war”. In all situations, the men were full of faith, spoke the word of God and found themselves in victory.
9) They were stouthearted men
“They didn’t emotionally collapse every time a situation came up. Just like your pastors. Every time I come, there seem to be a situation harder than the last one, but there they are, still smiling and strong on the inside. You can’t even tempt them to give up,” said Pringle.
10) They could keep rank
Finally, the verse says the men “could keep rank.” Pringle underscored this point.
“The anointing flows down the line of authority, not the line of friendship,” he taught. “Some people wanted Jesus to be their friend, but not their Lord. But we need to understand that the authority flows from Jesus to His church, to His leaders. God has put people over our lives, to lead and guide us into the blessings of God.”
Pringle explained that while the personal relationship of a Christian with Christ is important, the corporate relationship is important as well.
“Christ is the Head and we are the Body; we need to remain connected to the head and connected to one another. Out of this comes an invincible army that Jesus is raising up.”
In 1 Samuel 30, when David and his men were away at battle, the Amalekites took captive of their wives and children. David, like his men, lost everything he ever gained, but the people turned against him, blamed him for what had happened and spoke of stoning him.
In his lowest moment, he chose to “strengthen himself in the Lord”. While he could easily have commended the elites in his army to pursue his enemies, David stopped and went to inquire of the Lord of what he should do next.
“This is discipleship in action,” Pringle said. “David was an expert in war, he could even deal with giants, but he chose to ask God. This shows that David had made God Lord over his life.”
Pringle drove the point home by sharing about David in Psalm 27:4, where he was constantly asking of the Lord, submitting himself to what God wanted him to do.
“If you are willing to hear from the Lord, you will hear the strategy that you need for your life,” said Pringle.
“While you are looking at what you have lost, He is looking at what you can gain in the future.”
Members received deep revelations from this powerful message. Victor Wong, 28, a bank executive said, “My takeaway on today’s sermon was that as disciples, we should move from ‘why’ to ‘what’. When David was faced with trials, he didn’t ask God why things happened the way it did, neither did he take things into his own hands, instead he committed it to the Lord. We need to move from having God as our Savior to God as our Lord. Let Him have the first say in our plans, and we’ll find ourselves spending less time running to Him for help.”