4th/11th -Nov-2012, Sunday
On Sunday, I attended the City Harvest Church service at Singapore Expo Hall 1. I sat with my cell group members. The service started at 10 am with beautiful Praise and and Thanksgiving and then worship led by Sun Ho. After Praise and Worship, Pastor Kong preached on “Rest of Faith“. In the Genesis 2:2, we read And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
God rested on the seventh day after having fully completed His work. Adam was created only on the sixth and the last day of work, entering directly into the day of God’s rest. “The intention of God is clear—we are to take dominion, be fruitful and multiply, through rest in God,” declared Pastor Kong.
Pastor Kong said, we are meant to lean on the authority and power of God. The key to rest is to trust in the promises of God. If we give our best, he will give us the 100 fold return. Trust is the key to entering God’s rest.
In Hebrews chapter 4, we read that God wanted Israelites to conquer Canan through rest, but they panicked and didn’t trust God.
Hebrews 4:2 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them,[a] not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
Pastor Kong encouraged people to mix the Word of God with Faith. Trust is to rely on, to lean on, to be commited to the dreams and visions you have received from God.
The place of unbelief is a dangerous place to be, and Hebrews 3:7 warns believers against hardening their hearts during a period of trial. “Testing and trials are a normal part of your life,” said Kong. “Trials are a necessary part of growth. However, the real challenge is not in the trial itself, but in your faith. Can you still believe God in the midst of the trial?”
The Israelites were a classic example of a people whose hearts were hardened through unbelief. Though they were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they could not enter the Promised Land because they failed in their faith, continually complaining against God and Moses; each time they complained, their fear increased, and faith decreased.
“Your faith is shown through the words you speak,” explained Kong.
By refusing to speak positively and confess His promises, the hearts of the Israelites became hardened.
God considers unbelief something evil (Heb. 3:19). In fact, the verse in the Amplified Bible states that unbelief shuts the believer out from receiving the promises of God.
Kong encouraged the congregation to evaluate their own speech. By making statements such as “I just can’t believe I can be healed,” or “I just can’t believe I can be delivered from this addiction”, unbelief begins to harden the heart of the believer. “If you need a miracle, only believe!” Kong declared.
Hebrews 4:3: For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’”[b]
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 4:10: 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
If you trust in Him, you do not have to struggle by your own works. We must trust and obey in the leading of the Holy Spirit.
“I like to call entering the rest of God, the rest of faith,” said Kong. “Faith should not be a struggle. It is a rest! When you enter into the rest of faith, worry is gone, and a supernatural peace and calm takes over. Though the challenges are still there, you can experience peace in the storm.”
Kong took a leaf out of Abraham’s story in the Bible, where the father of the Christian faith received his promised son, Isaac at age 100, after a 25-year wait. Although he faced discouragements and doubts, he “did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief,” but was “fully convinced that what He (God) promised He was also able to perform.” (Rom. 4:20-21)
“So when you face a problem, don’t panic. Simply walk by faith and not by sight. Continue praising God, giving Him glory, and speak the promise into existence,” Kong said, exhorting the congregation. “The Word you speak, through the Spirit, will do the work!”
Believers, therefore, are to exercise their God-given authority and dominion as children of God through prayer, praise, proclamation and prophecy.
Pastor Kong mentioned we must have goals and objectives based on what God has shown us and then we plan for it. Is your future God’s future or our own? If God has given you a vision, then there will be provision. We are doing things, because we are moved by God. When we trust and obey, there is supernatural ease to which we receive miracles. Supernatural ease is the grace of God. We must Love God, enjoy His Presence, and obey His word.
Hebrews 4:11: 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
Pastor Kong mentioned rest of faith is not physical relaxation, we must labor to enter into that rest. The Israelites had giants to conquer in the promised land. God does not desire that believers do nothing, but that they fully rely on the power and authority of Jesus to achieve their visions and dreams.
James 4:7: 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Pastor Kong said, Where there is rest of Faith there is fight of Faith. We can do that by resisting the devil, constantly praying and speaking out the Word of God. He mentioned that the real fight is whether we can have faith in God’s promises.
Pastor Kong said, we must Trust, Believe and Speak.
A good way in which believers can exercise resting in faith is by speaking in tongues. “When you speak in tongues, your mind is totally at rest. The Spirit is praying through you,” explained Kong.
“When you pray in understanding, you have to think about how to pray and what to say. However, when you are praying in tongues, there is no stress! At the same time, you know your prayer is powerful because you are praying in the power of the Spirit,” he said.
Hebrews 4:14-15 says
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Faith works through love. Faith is gonna bring miracle and deliverance. He quoted Psalm 81:10, the word which was given to him by a Korean prophetess
10 I am the Lord your God,
Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Hebrews 13:5-6 says 5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[a] 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”[b]
Hebrews 4:16 : 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Pastor Kong said “God will not give us what we deserve, but God will give us what we don’t deserve”. God will give us Healing, Power, Anointing and His Blessings.
Lastly Pastor Kong quoted 1 Chronicles 22:14 and 29:3-4
14 Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.
1 Chronicles 29:3-4
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: 4 three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses;
He encouraged people to give to the works of God. When people build God’s house, God will build their house. All the people responded to the sacrificial giving and came forward with their offerings. It was a marvellous sight to see the entire congregation responding cheerfully.
Later, Pastor Kong led the people into worship. He prayed for the healing, finanical miracle and deliverance for the people. The anointing of God was powerful. People prayed in tongues, held hands and prayed corporately. It was an awesome time. Finally, the service ended with beautiful praise.