What is a Circuit Breaker from God's perspective? By Lead Pastor Dominic Yeo
When I reflect on the circuit breaker, I realize that God in His own ways has already prepared us for it.
It was not a coincidence we had the #Jubilee50k campaign on Facebook in 2015. As a result of this campaign, many of us created a Facebook account. God was preparing us for an online platform.
We also launced the Trinity App, where you can access the e-bulletin to find out what is happening in church through that e-platform.
Our small group system was also key in being prepared for this season. The change from carecells to Connect Groups was a way to get us more connected, so that we will be tighter during this time.
God was also preparing us when He called us into the Back to Basic in these last couple of years to the Word of God, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and faith.
But what is a circuit breaker? It’s an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from great damage because of an excess current or an overload, or what we call a short circuit. So the circuit breaker comes to stop the short circuiting of an electric circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt a current flow after a fault is detected. Unlike a fuse, which operates once, and then has to be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset, either manually or automatically, so that operations can resume.
In a nutshell, a circuit breaker is a
protection from overload and excess
reset to allow regulation
But the best circuit breaker is none other than God, our Almighty Father, whom you and I worship and serve. Yes, God is our circuit breaker!
And God has given us instruments to circuit break the works of the enemy and sin in our life.
We know that the background to Exodus 17 was that the Israelites had come out from Egypt. In Exodus 17:1 we see that they were travelling from place to place in the desert of Sin as the Lord commanded. And at Rephidim where they camped, there was no water.
The Israelites did not leave Egypt and come to Rephidim on their own accord. They arrived at Rephidim because it was where God commanded them. God brought them to Rephidim. They were led by the Lord to camp there.
I like the word camp because it suggests the word refresh. Many of us set aside time to go to church camp so that we can be refreshed. We go to camp so that we can be rejuvenated. We go to camp so that we can regroup. We go to camp so that we can be recalibrated.
And like the nation of Israel, as they were travelling from place to place, God commended them to come to Rephidim where they encamped. And that was the place they can regroup. Can you imagine the journey that they were on, making all the way into the Promised Land and the years that they took. Surely this was a very important point and place for them to regroup, recalibrate, refocus, and get refreshed so that they can continue their journey.
But the problem here is that when they arrived at Rephidim, there was no water. The people were about to stone Moses, accusing him of leading them to a place to die. God then helped Moses bring forth water from a rock.
When God leads you to a certain place, it's not that there is never a challenge. Wherever God leads us on a journey, I can assure you that there will be challenges. When you study the Book of Exodus, you can see many examples. In chapter 14, we see the Israelites being led to cross the Red Sea because they were being chased. They were chased because God asked them to leave Egypt. If that wasn’t bad enough, in chapter 15 there was no water except bitter water. In chapter 16, there is no food! So God had to miraculously supply them with quail. And then we arrive in chapter 17, where they encamp in Rephidim, there is no water.
It wasn’t just that there was no water. In the New American Standard Bible translation, we see in verse 8, as soon as the water came, then the Amalekites came to attack them. Just picture this. As soon as the water came, as the miracle came, they were being attacked.
One thing after another. Attack after attack. It’s like an overload of attacks. They needed a circuit breaker. You and I may have experienced this – as God has led you into this job, as God has led you into this relationship, as God has led you to buy this place, as God has led you to get into this contract, problem after problem arise. And you were wondering – how can you overcome in the Lord? Well, I’ve got good news for you. God is our greatest circuit breaker and He has given us instruments to overcome the attacks of the enemy.
Instruments to Overcome
1. Take Care of Earthly Responsibilities
In Exodus 17:8-15, the Bible tells us to take care of our earthly responsibilities but to lay hold of spiritual power. In Exodus 17:9, Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” Moses was telling Joshua to go fulfill his earthly responsibilities while he takes the staff of God, which represents the power of God. God is waiting for us to move into our earthly responsibilities so that He can download power into our lives.
It’s like a motion sensor. Some of the classrooms in Trinity@Paya Lebar are fitted with motion sensors. It’s a way to conserve energy. The lights only come on when there is a movement. In the same way, God is waiting for us to move, to activate faith, so that the power can come on.
The electrical power is always there. God’s power is always at hand. But God is waiting for a movement of faith. We need to step out in faith in order to see the release of God’s power. That is why we have to take care of earthly responsibilities. We have to do what we got to do so that God can release what He needs to do. The staff of God represents God’s power and authority, and these can only be manifested when we step out in faith.
One of our earthly responsibilities right now is to beat this COVID-19 virus when you and I exercise social distancing. Stay home, stay safe. And when you go out, wear a mask. When we take care of our earthly responsibilities, God can release the power and authority to break the virus.
The staff of God not only represents God’s power and authority, it also represents God’s presence. That is why while Joshua went downhill to fight, Moses went up the hill and held the staff of God in both hands (verses 8-11). It was important for him to stand on top of the hill because he had to get up, lay hold of the spiritual power and authority, lay hold of God’s presence, so that the victory can be realized on earth.
The staff of God represents God’s power, authority and presence. God’s power and presence will only be activated when you and I step out in faith to take heed of that which we need to do. God’s presence is always with you because Jesus has said "I will go with you". But it will only be with you when you begin to move in the dimension of faith which God is calling you to.
Finally the staff of God represents God’s protection. Because the staff of God is God’s protection over the nation of Israel, Moses stood on the hill with the staff of God. As you fulfill your responsibility, as you do what needs to be done, God’s protection will be with you.
The staff is the first instrument God has given us. God has given us instruments. In fact, the Bible tells us that God has given us all that we need for life and godliness.
What is it that God has given to us? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s power, God’s presence and God’s protection for our lives. So the staff of God is the Spirit of God who will manifest in our lives.
Apart from taking care of earthly responsibilities to lay hold of spiritual power, we need to have spiritual engagement. Your spiritual engagement will be your total surrender.
2. Spiritual Engagement
The Bible tells us in verse 11, as long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but when he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. Moses’ holding up of the staff above his head was really the sign of total dependency and surrender. The nation of Israel had come to that place of total dependency and surrender. So that is the spiritual engagement that must take place in our lives.
I believe in this COVID-19 situation, it is more important that you and I understand we must engage God spiritually through total surrender.
The Israelites were never trained to fight. They were slaves. Many were born in Egypt as slaves. But not so the Amalekites, who were the descendants of Esau and men of the valley. The Amalekites were trained to rob and plunder. And because they were always hunting for their livelihood, they knew how to fight. They knew the battle location well because they live in the valley. They knew all its nooks and cranny. Israelites versus Amalekites. Slaves versus hunters – who do you think is going to win?
There was no way the Israelites could overcome the Amalekites. The only way is to come to the place of total surrender through spiritual engagement. Moses represented the headship of the nation, and the headship of nation had to come under total surrender to the Almighty God.
If we are going to see COVID-19 broken in our nations and the nations of the world, Scripture teaches us in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and turn from their wicked ways and pray, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.” Jeremiah 33:3 says, “call unto me and I will answer and show you great and mighty things you do know of or seen.”
Spiritual Engagement Through Prayer
It is important we have spiritual engagement through prayer. Prayer is so important. It is a sign of dependency and surrender. God is happy when men and women learn to come into His presence in prayer and total submission to Him. When we pray, we are saying “God I cannot, but You can.” So, spiritual engagement is total surrender. One of the ways of spiritual engagement is our prayer.
Spiritual Engagement Through the Word of God
The Word of God is another spiritual engagement that shows our surrender and dependency on God. “Thy Word is a light unto my feet” (Psalm 119:105). It speaks of dependency and surrender to the direction of God’s word, over our human wisdom. Isn’t it true that at this time we really need God’s word to enlighten us – to show us how to do things? We need God’s Word to teach us and to lead us. That is why Jesus says men shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Prayer is a spiritual engagement because it shows total surrender. The Word of God is another instrument that shows total surrender. When we show total surrender to the Word of God, we orientate our life by the leadership of the Word of God rather than our own human wisdom.
Spiritual Engagement or Total Surrender By Yielding to the Holy Spirit
The third way to spiritually engage or totally surrender is to yield to the Holy Spirit. The spiritual power of God is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will lead you to all truth. John 16:13 tells us the Holy Spirit is here to lead and guide us to all truth. When we learn to yield to the Holy Spirit and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, it is a mark of dependency and surrender to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
How have you shown and demonstrated your surrender and dependency on God? For the nation of Israel, Moses had to lift his hands and the staff (which represented the power and protection of God) over the nation of Israel and declare Israel’s submission to God’s leadership and lordship. It was a declaration of total surrender and dependency on God.
3. Partnership is the unity to overcome
The final instrument that God, as our Circuit Breaker, has given us is partnership.
Partnership is the unity to overcome. In verses 11-13, we read “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
We cannot do things alone. We cannot accomplish things all by ourselves. We need each other. This COVID-19 situation shows us that we need to practice social distancing together. It cannot just be done by a select group of people. Everyone needs to be involved. Everyone’s collective effort is needed to overcome the virus. This is partnership in unity. In the same way, when the enemy attacks us, we cannot overcome the challenges by ourselves. We need God and we need people around us. We need God because He is the chief circuit breaker. We need one another to stand collectively and shoulder load and burdens together. Partnership is so important.
We need one another because we are different from one another. Each of us is created uniquely. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us the body (of Christ) is a unit though it is made up of many parts. The body can only be a unit when all its parts come together and work together towards its common goal, vision or/and mission. The Decade of Expansion is the mission program that God has given to us. As long as we come together to connect and disciple, to connect and love people, then the Church of Jesus Christ will grow stronger.
We need one another because our roles are different. You and I have different roles. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 tells us “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” We have all differing roles in our church. As Lead Pastor, I have a certain role. The Leadership Team pastors have certain roles. And then we have Connect Group Leaders. They too have a certain role. Then we have Spiritual Parents. They function in a different role. Then there is the rest of us. And all of us have different gifts of God. When all of us play our roles, the church becomes strong.
We need one another because we are His disciples. Disciples of Jesus who love one another are known by this love. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says “a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” When you and I become His disciples – to love one another and be there for one another, the corporate unity of the house will remain strong.
In this year’s Easter, I felt as if I was transported to the first Passover, when the Israelites were scattered. Each of them had to have their own Passover meal in their own respective homes. But when they came together, they became a great nation.
I thank God that while we are currently scattered in our own homes, technology has helped us organize Connect Group meetings and that you are still connecting. Where the enemy intends to scatter, God is gathering us in spirit, heart and mind. Where the enemy intends to scatter us into electronic connections, God is using the technology to gather us into greater partnership.
Partnership is the key. Partnership is the unity that will lead us to overcome.
As we understand that partnership is the key in unity that will lead us to overcome, may the saints gather in greater unity when the church doors re-open.
As we apply what He has taught us, we will overcome.
Take care of earthly responsibility. Lay hold of spiritual power
Spiritual engagement becomes our total surrender.
Partnership is the unity to overcome.
And as we focus on God as our circuit breaker, we will emerge refreshed and re-calibrated, as our Father wills.
Reflect & Respond
In these challenging times, what are the earthly responsibilities you need to step out in faith to do? Commit it to God today and experience His power!
In your life now, how can you demonstrate your dependency and surrender onto God?
What can you do to forge greater partnerships with your family members or with your Connect Group members?
What is God telling you to reset and re-calibrate this Circuit Breaker?