In the first of a two-part teaching titled “Faith, Trust And Rest”, the senior pastor of City Harvest Church taught the church how faith is activated—or blocked.
“Whatever we consider the most, will become what we are most flexible to and whatever we don’t consider, is what we will become hardened to,” said Kong Hee, the senior pastor of CHC, to his congregation over the weekend of Nov 7 and 8, 2015.
Drawing from the story of Abraham in Romans 4:16-21, he emphasized that grace has availed everything, but faith appropriates it into our lives. God wants His children to model their faith after Abraham’s faith, because it reflected what God Himself exercised. God
“called those things which do not exist as though they did,” bringing those things from an invisible dimension into the natural realm. In the midst of hopelessness, Abraham anchored and sustained his hope by the Word of God.
In Rom 4:19, “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb”, the word “consider” means thinking, pondering, giving attention to, directing the mind or to focus. Abraham chose to fill his mind and thoughts on God’s promises. He praised God relentlessly for the promise given to him. Kong expounded that the opposite is also true: disregarding the promises of God will lead to hardening of their hearts to the miracles that God wants to perform. Similarly, disregarding the negative hardens the heart towards that—hence opening the door for miracles to happen. People must intentionally decide what to consider in their lives, emphasized Kong, adding, “our lives will change only when our mindsets change!” With Abraham constantly meditating on God’s Word, the miracle was apparent. He chose not to focus on his old age, his frail body and the barren womb of Sarah, but he was focused and remained strong in his spiritual walk with God.
Kong went on to expand on his teaching through the feeding of the 5,000 in Mark 6. All the disciples had were five loaves and two fish, but there was not one moment where Jesus considered the potential shortage of food. Instead, He thanked God for what was available. Undoubtedly, “a little becomes much in the Master’s hands” as everyone was fed, with much left behind. Jesus was fully convinced that the God who created the entire universe, could definitely bring about a miracle to feed the multitudes as well.
Kong advised the congregation to train themselves to instinctively turn to Scripture whenever they encounter problems. He exhorted them to meditate on God’s promises and give it attention because faith alone does not warrant miracles in their lives.
The obstacle to seeing miracles happen is found in Matthew 17:14-19, where the disciples were unable to cast out the demon from a possessed boy, and asked Jesus why. Kong points out the difference in the disciples between two instances in the Book of Matthew. In Matthew 10, Jesus gave them power to cast out demons and they went in faith and did it. But in Matthew 17, the state of the possessed boy caused them to consider that they might not be able to do it. It was not the amount of faith, but the unbelief (Matt 17:20) that determined if the miracle happened, explained Kong. “We can believe and yet, not receive. Demons believe but receive nothing because unbelief cancels out and neutralizes our faith,” Kong shared.
Kong also shared a quote from preacher Joyce Meyer: “Positive minds full of faith and hope produce positive lives. The opposite is also true: negative minds full of fear and doubt produce negative lives, which can ultimately destroy your life.” He explained this was not that people should be close-minded and ignore negativity, but they must focus on the thoughts that they need to ponder and meditate on so that good things can come to past.
“We need to think about what we think about,” Kong underscored to his congregation.
Kong will continue Part 2 of the teaching next weekend (Nov 14-15, 2015) at City Harvest Church, Level 6, Suntec Convention Centre.