Navigating Tough Times With The Voice Of God: Bobby Chaw
Let God’s still small voice be your guide, preached City Harvest Church’s executive pastor Bobby Chaw.
In the Bible, Numbers 9 describes a new start for the Israelites as they embarked on their journey into the wilderness. Continuing his series on the book of Numbers, Bobby Chaw taught on how God helped the Israelites navigate the unknown.
The executive pastor of City Harvest Church was preaching in the weekend service of Feb 24 and 25. He started the sermon by reminding the congregation that God is with His people.
JOURNEY TO THE PROMISED LAND
When the Israelites entered the wilderness, they had doubts and uncertainty but God was with them.
Numbers 9:18 says, “At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped.”
“Notice that the same pillar of cloud and fire that God used to lead Israel out of Egypt rested upon the tabernacle and led them into the Promised Land,” Chaw said. “That same pillar of cloud can also lead you out from your trials in 2018.”
Reading from Numbers 9:22, Chaw explained how God led Israelites on their journey through the wilderness. He guided them and made decisions on when to move and where to go. This shows that to navigate the wilderness, it requires total obedience and a total submission to God’s commands.
Chaw asked the congregation: “Who is leading you in life?”
Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Chaw highlighted the word “direct” which means “to make smooth or straight”.
“God will help you head straight for the goal and avoid all the unnecessary détours,” he explained.
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT
Numbers 9 is a call for all Christians to pursue the presence of God. Chaw reminded the church that God is omnipresent. That means He dwells in His creation and He is everywhere.”
So, why do people not recognize God’s presence?
Simple: because there is a difference between His presence and the manifestation of His presence.
Chaw referred to the story of Jacob when he was on his way to Aram. Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth reaching the heaven and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (Genesis 28:12)
In verse 5, God’s omnipresence was manifested: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Yet Jacob did not realize that. (Genesis 28:16)
“Once Jacob encountered the manifestation of the presence of God, it became the turning point of his life,” Chaw said.
SETTING YOUR MIND ON GOD
Having a relationship with God is essential for Christian living. God wants His people to have a relationship with Him, to be close to Him in heart and mind.
Romans 8:5 shows a daily exercise that Christians need to do, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
Chaw shared with the congregation that they have the choice over what they want to set their minds on: flesh or spirit.
“When you set your mind on the Holy Spirit, you immediately become aware of His presence. There is peace in your relationship with Him,” Chaw explained.
“In this generation, we want things to be convenient and fast, and very often we apply the same culture to our relationship with God,” he said. As a result, Christians do not spend time reading the Bible or worshiping God.
Chaw, however, reminded the congregation that experiencing God only happens through taking time and effort to cultivate the awareness, desire and affection for His presence.
THE VOICE OF GOD
Psalm 99:7 says, “He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud, and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.” The pillar of cloud carried the voice of God.
“The voice of God is the most powerful force in nature,” Chaw taught. “In the beginning, He spoke to nothing and it became something. Chaos heard His voice and became order. Darkness heard His voice and became light.”
Proverbs 1:23 says, “Turn at my rebuke, surely I will pour out my spirit on you, I will make my words known to you.” This verse reminds Christians that when obeying God becomes a priority in their lives, He will pour out His spirit and His voice becomes crystal clear.
Many times, our circumstances in life shout louder than the voice of God. “But when we reach deep (in our spirit) there is another voice, the voice of God,” said the preacher encouragingly.
1 Kings 19:11-12 says, “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
Chaw concluded by exhorting the congregation, “Don’t let the wind, earthquake or the fire drown the still small voice of God because God is still speaking. Let His voice be a constant guide.”
by Lim Shi Ting