The power of the Kingdom answers the believer’s most desperate demands, said Kong Hee in his first sermon on “Power Encounters”.
Throughout 2016, senior pastor of City Harvest Church Kong Hee has been preaching about faith and along with that, encounters with God. In a new series that began Aug 27 and 28, “Power Encounters”, Kong focused on the power of the Holy Spirit on the weekend of Aug 27 and 28.
“We must want to grow in the power of God,” Kong said, reminding the people that progress in life is defined by power. If there is no power in their Christian journey, he said, then Christianity is nothing more than a religion.
“Our progress in life is according to His divine power, not just in ministry, but in all [areas of] our life.” Kong said. “If you want real inner transformation, you need the power of God.”
WE ARE CALLED TO DESTINY
Christians are people of destiny, Kong said. “If we are not walking according to the predestination of God, then we are just dependent on luck, in the hands of the world system and the devil.”
If Christians do not know their destiny, or the assignment of their life, they would not go after it actively.
Firstly, Kong told the church that their destiny is glorious. Romans 8:30 says, “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Kong explained that the fact that God has prepared a destiny for every believer, and that destiny is glorious.
Secondly, Kong used Isaac as an example to show the congregation that their destiny is enviable. In Genesis, it says that Isaac was very prosperous and he continued prospering that the Philistines began to envy him.
“Our destiny is so great; Jesus says we will do greater works than Him,” Kong said. “But to live the life of destiny, we need power encounters with the Holy Spirit.”
LIFE OF DESTINY IS LIVING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
First of all, the Holy Spirit is the source of all power.
“When the Bible talks about power, it is talking about supernatural signs and wonders,” said Kong, quoting Isaiah 61 which says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of prison to those who are bound.”
“We can do all the counselling but without power we cannot heal the broken-hearted,” Kong pointed out.
Even Jesus needed the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38 says, “[H]ow God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
“The Holy Spirit always comes in power,” Kong said. “It is the anointing that breaks the yoke; it’s the Holy Spirit who delivers you from your sicknesses. To have a power encounter means to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit.”
Secondly, the Holy Spirit is the custodian of vision.
The senior pastor told the congregation that even though the word “vision” has been secularized, the definition of “vision” first came from the church. It was defined as “supernatural insight in the imagination”.
“It is the unfolding of God’s divine plan and purpose for your life,” Kong said. “If it’s from God, it is a vision. If not, it is just an ambition.”
The Bible says that without vision, people perish. Apart from meaning “die”, Kong suggested that the word “perish” in this case may also mean to keep on struggling. Kong used Jonah’s struggle in pursuing his own vision as an illustration of what it means to live without God’s vision.
Jesus says in John 16:13, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
“This means that the Holy Spirit has a map of our destiny and He unfolds it step by step,” Kong explained.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit gives revelation of Scripture. Vision is driven and powered by revelations from the scripture. “If vision is inspired only by a good idea, you will not have the strength to persevere. Because vision will always tarry. Only if you have Scriptural revelation to back it up will there be power in the vision—because there is life in the Word.”
Kong taught the Church how to receive such revelations. “You sign up for Bible study lessons in church and that is good. But the important part happens when you get home and open the Bible again. As you read you hear God speaking to you, and faith drops into your heart. Suddenly you know that is the vision.”
Fourth, the Holy Spirit empowers believers to fulfil the vision.
Zechariah 4:6 says, “’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts,” quoted Kong, explaining, “That means that the power to fulfill the vision is not by human cleverness or human connection but by His Holy Spirit. This is because the power that is against the vision is demonic, only the power of the Spirit can fight on our behalf.”
Without the Holy Spirit, it is very hard for anyone to stay on fire for God, the senior pastor explained. Kong shared how he has seen people who used to be on fire for God in their youth lose their passion because of the pressures of life.
“When you go through a difficult season, the presence, the power and the anointing of God will carry you. Only the Holy Spirit can help you to fulfill your destiny, to help you fulfill your purpose.”
Finally, the Holy Spirit Power is released only on demand. The manifestation of the power of the Spirit is only released when the people become desperate for Him, Kong explained.
“Nobody gets empowered unconsciously—’Oh, I was just minding my own business and I got the power of God’—no, it doesn’t happen that way,” Kong quipped drawing laughter from the crowd. “It can happen to Spider-man but it won’t happen to you.”
The power of the Kingdom only answers to desperate demands, he pointed out, quoting Psalms 63:1-2, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You. In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.”
Kong underscored his point with Acts 4:31 which says, “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
He explained that the apostles in Acts was so desperate for the power of the Holy Spirit that the whole place was shaken when they prayed. Verse 33 says that great power and great grace was upon them all.
“The power of the Holy Spirit was so precious to them. How precious is your destiny to you?” challenged Kong. “The Holy Spirit has done it all: He has given you a vision, and His power is ready for us. He is just waiting to see how desperate you are for His power. Are you satisfied in living by your ambition? Or are you going to tell God, I want to see Your glory, I want to see Your power, I want to move in the power of God?”
Kong ended the service by praying for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon the congregation.