In the fifth service of the Arise and Build campaign, senior pastor Kong Hee taught the church about three things that release the promises of God.
City Harvest Church members experienced a different kind of weekend on Nov. 1-3 with eight services held in two different locations.
The Church’s usual worship hall, Suntec Singapore, had been rented out for an external event and so, that weekend, church services were held in two smaller halls: its Jurong West premise and Suntec Singapore Hall 606.
GOD’S PREDICTABLE FAITH CYCLE
Kong Hee, senior pastor of CHC, started his fifth Arise and Build message with a quote from the late Dr. Edwin Louis Cole: “Everything God does, He does according to a pattern and based on a principle of His Kingdom.”
“An exciting life is a life of faith,” said Kong. “God works according to a very predictable faith cycle!”
Using the story of Abraham, Kong illustrated the seven stages of God’s predictable faith cycle. Firstly, God always starts with a dream. In Genesis 12:1-3, God gave Abraham a dream: He told Abraham that He would make him “a great nation”, Abraham’s name would be great, he would “be a blessing” and in him, “all the families of the earth shall be blessed”.
With a dream comes a need to make a decision. Hebrew 8:1 says, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
After the decision is made, the difficulties will start to surface.
“It is not easy to follow your dreams; Abraham didn’t even know the final destination when God asked him to leave.”
Genesis 12:1-3 laid out seven promises God made to Abraham; the only promise that was fulfilled very quickly was the promise of prosperity.
Besides experiencing difficulties, there will also be many delays to the fulfillment of the dream, Kong said.
While Abraham became very rich, the rest of the promises did not come. The senior pastor explained that this was because there are different powers for different promises.
“Some promises will cause all hell to rise up against it!” he said.
One such promise was God’s promise to make Abraham’s name great. Until Isaac was born, his name was great to no one; Pharaoh even chased despised him and chased him away. All of hell rose to fight this promise.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” Kong said. Difficulties and delays make one fee like all hope is lost and everything has reached a dead-end.
But Romans 4:19 said that Abraham “without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead”. How did he do that?
Kong shared the three things Abraham did that brought deliverance and took him to his destiny.
In Genesis 15:7-9, Abraham asked God for a breakthrough and God, in reply, asked him to bring him an offering. However, as Abraham worshiped God with his offering, vultures came to steal his offerings.
“Satan hates it when we give to God,” Kong explained. “He will send vultures to steal our giving.”
On the same night, Abraham experienced an intense spiritual warfare–the Bible said that “horror” came upon him, just like what Psalm 91 called the “terror that comes by night”.
When Peter raised Tabitha from the dead in Acts 9, he faced away from the body as he knelt down and prayed. Only when he felt faith arise did he turn to the body and command Tabitha to get up.
“What I’m trying to tell you is that there are demons that can empty your storage of faith,” Kong said. “Especially when we are experiencing difficulties, delay and dead-ends, the devil may come to us in night terrors and panic attacks.”
What did Abraham do to chase away the “terror that comes by night”? Here are three lessons we can glean from the man of faith:
1) Keep strengthening his faith
First, he chased away the vultures that were stealing his offerings. Then he kept listening to the word of God; whenever he the night terror strikes, he will rise up from his bed, step out of his tent to count the stars–each star represents a promise God gave him.
“When negative thoughts hit you, don’t lay on your bed and have a pity party. Get up, play some praise and worship music, read your Bible. Don’t go back to sleep until you regain your faith,” Kong advised.
2) Keep sowing into others
When Abraham waited for God to give him his son, he was not self-absorbed about his problems. Genesis 20:17-18 says that he was praying for the household of Abimelech, that they may bear children.
After Abraham prayed for his servants, his own wife Sarah conceived.
“Most people are waiting for God’s promises to first be manifested in their lives before they would bless others. But the Bible way to do it is to first bless others and God will then bless us back,” said the pastor.
3) Keep surrendering to God
When God wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac at the altar, Abraham showed his faith in God by his willingness to surrender Isaac back to God.
“Abraham could do that because he believed that if God can work His miracles once, He can do it again and again!”
It is the same for every believer, Kong reminded the congregation. God can bless them again and again.
When Abraham surrendered Isaac to be a sacrifice, God showed up and provided a ram for sacrifice in place of Isaac. Abraham then called the place Jehovah Jireh.
“One last powerful truth: Jehovah Jireh is not just the name of a person, it’s a name of a place,” explained Kong. “Anyone can go to the place of provision!”
Kong ended the message reminding the Church that the place of their best surrender is the place of their abundant provision.