The youth of City Harvest Church learned the importance of catching the fire of God in the first Emerge Night of 2014.
The last few days of the school holidays are usually dreary—the prospect of returning to school for a new term is often met with dread. However, for the youth of City Harvest Church, there was much to look forward to on the Friday before school re-opened.
The first Emerge night of 2014, held on Mar. 21, saw hundreds of youths gathered at CHC’s Jurong West premise—there was nary a weary face in sight. Emerge is CHC’s youth movement, involving those 25 and under.
It was hard to tell which was brighter–the shiny smiles of the youths’ as they laughed and mingled among themselves, or the huge bunch of light sticks and light rings lining the steps that led up to the stage. Spirits were high and everyone was ready to party!
The evening kicked off with a heart-thumping bang. Youths dashed enthusiastically to the front and this writer found herself at the front of the crowd in the company of smiling, happy faces waving glow rings and light sticks. The emcees “threw” the youth zone supervisors into the crowd and they crowd-surfed while two huge brightly-coloured balloons were tossed from one end of the hall to the other.
Exuberant praise and worship led by the worship band showed that the glory of the youths were indeed their strength–the hall literally turned into “God’s Great Dance Floor” as they jumped and grooved with passion.
One of the segments saw the Emerge Poly Society sharing their vision to see students in the different polytechnic revived, Spirit-filled, and relevant to their marketplace. They also shared about the DJ party they organised during their RAVE Camp and the “raving” good time they had. Student representatives from the Emerge Varsity, Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore Management University, National Technology University and National University of Singapore also shared great testimonies of the work of God in their campuses.
Lee Seow Shi from the zone led by assistant pastor Edmund Tay shared a powerful testimony of how God worked among the youths in her zone. Inspired by 1 Timothy 4:12, Lee has a burning desire to experience revival. When she became a cell group leader at 18, her first outreach saw 17 cell group members bringing 50 new friends! God revealed Himself to be a God of revival. Lee is now overseeing eight youth cell groups and these have organised events that brought 102 new friends to the Kingdom of God. Her testimony reminded the youths that when God gives a vision, He will give the provision.
CATCHING THE FIRE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The message for the night was aptly titled “Catching Fire”, a tribute to Suzanne Collins’ popular Hunger Games books. As soon Wu Yuzhuang, district pastor and the speaker of the night, took the stage, the youths whipped out their Bibles and notebooks to take down what he had to share.
Wu started his message with a story from Exodus. When Moses came to a bush burning with fire, God spoke to him and gave him his life calling.
“God wants to bring the burning bush to you,” Wu shared. “This fire will burn in you, yet it will not destroy you.”
He said that to be on fire means to be passionate, radical and dedicated for the Lord. When the people of God have encounters with Him, they will catch the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Wu went on to share what will happen when the fire of God come upon His people:
When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, something began to change on the inside. The Bible says the disciples were fearful and in hiding after Jesus was crucified, but on the day of Pentecost, Peter and John spoke to the people with such boldness, the people marveled.
Stephen–whom the Bible said was filled with the Holy Spirit and fire–was fearless to the point of death. In Acts 7:55-56, Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God, just before he was stoned to death.
“The Bible always describes Jesus as ‘sitting at the right hand of the Father’, I can imagine that when Jesus saw Stephen’s faith and boldness to make a stand for Him, He stood up for him,” the pastor preached.
“Stephen made a stand for Jesus Christ and so Jesus stood for Him. When we stand up for Jesus, He will stand up for you too!”
2. They Will Be Zealous For The Lord
Speaking from Titus 2:14, Wu shared that God purifies His people with His fire so that they can be zealous to do good works and zealous to serve Him. If a Christian was zealous for the Lord, he would not be passive about serving God; just as fire increases temperature, a person on fire will never be a lukewarm Christian–he will be hot for the Lord!
Wu also encouraged the youths to be hot for God because Revelations 3:15-16 says “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
3. They Will Be A Person Of Influence
James 3:5 says, “See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” Fire spreads and affect its environment quickly, thus when a person is on fire, he will become a person of great influence.
Wu encouraged the youths never to stop spreading the fire and to let the fire of evangelism spread. “This is the season for campus revival,” Wu declared.
He went on to share his own revival story when he was in Anglican High School and how attendance of his prayer meetings in his school grew from five to 60 people. The prayer meetings were so loud that it caught the attention of the principal.
Upon hearing the word, the youths were eager to know how to catch the fire.
In 1 Kings 18, the false prophets of Baal put to a challenge by Elijah. In the story, Elijah filled a trench with water–which did not make sense since it was a season of drought and water was precious.
The night ended with youths coming together in deep worship, pledging to sacrifice their precious to God.
Justin Gan, 13, said, “Tonight has been really fun and the message Pastor Zhuang shared was very impactful. I want to do more things for Christ!”
The youths left that night, fired up to return to school and to burn even brighter for Jesus Christ.