Physical services are resuming this weekend! Let's heed the prophetic word released by Lead Pastor Dominic Yeo at Watchnight 2020 and gather back in God's house to press onward as a church!
It has been more than year since COVID-19 started impacting the world. The battle with with the pandemic has been quite a tug-of-war. While history was made with the speed at which the vaccines were developed and produced, mutations and new variants of the virus continue to push back man’s efforts in dealing with the pandemic.
Was God ever surprised by COVID-19? No! God is never surprised. He watches to see how the Church will respond and continue with His plans and purposes.
It is important to know what God is saying and doing in times of great disruption. This pandemic has revealed many things -- one of the most important is “Are we a SHEEP church or a GOAT church?”
The pandemic reveals the foundations of churches and lives – do we have a foundation of faith, or do we have a foundation of fear? Do we succumb to societal pressures, shut ourselves in, stay home, or will we press on in the propagation of our faith?
Do we stand in unity, or do we start to look out for ourselves? What are the depths of our maturity and discipleship? Are we loyal believers, committed to God and the study of the Word, or are we convenient believers without any passion for the things of God?
How do we experience divine breakthroughs and forge forward while the battle with COVID-19 rages on?
I believe God wants to bring the church to a new level, and a new platform. I believe with the Spirit of God, we can be ahead of this pandemic and not be caught off guard whenever and however the situation evolves.
This requires us to press forward out of the elementary into maturation. We have to press onward from the previous paradigm of anointing to a new dimension of anointing, because God is wanting to release a new anointing upon the Church.
"Therefore, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so."
God cannot release that new anointing until we move from the elementary teachings. God is challenging us to press onward because we cannot remain at man's level. We have to now press onward to a spirit-empowered level. There's a level of the empowerment of the spirit that you and I have yet to arrive at. We need to press onward from the shallow things to the deeper things of God. We cannot stay where we are if we want to move to the next platform.
Many of us have stunted spiritual growth. The reason why we don’t experience God’s abundant life or live in the supernatural is because we continue to cling onto the elementary foundational teachings.
If you read earlier in Hebrews 5:12, the church was being reprimanded; how “by this time [they] ought to be teachers.” At this point in time, they were supposed to be at this level, at this anointing, at this platform, but they were not there, because they did not “leave the elementary teachings." (Hebrews 6:1)
1. Pressing Onward Requires Leaving
The Greek word for “leave” is aphiēmi, which also translates to abandon, divorce, desert, send away, run away, neglect, and forgive.
To press onward, we need to grasp three concepts of leaving:
Forgoing – so that we will not be weighed down. If you are going on a long hike, you do not want to carry a 50kg haversack. The problem of not forgoing is that you begin to clutter and continue to carry the burdens of yesterday.
Forgetting – so that you will not be distracted. It is important to forget those things that are behind us, past pains, victories, and strategies, so that we can build a church for the future. Not forgetting keeps us in a limited place and delays our progress.
Forgiving - so that you will not be limited. Forgiveness is memory without vengeance. If you cannot forgive, you remember with a lot of pain. If you have forgiven, you remember without pain. A man who cannot mature from the bitter things done to him is a man whom God cannot use to bring to a deeper level.
To move forward, we must learn to press on in forgoing, forgetting, and forgiving. The person who moves from elementary things into greater things is a presser. The only way to get oil from an olive is to press and crush it. Similarly, for us to experience the anointing and to move from elementary into greater things, we need to press on in our discipline and pain despite being wounded. We must learn to press on even in the wilderness and not allow our past to keep us from moving forward.
2. Pressing Onward Requires Growth to Maturity
Hebrews 6:1 tells us to “go on to maturity.” It’s not just about leaving (aphiēmi), it’s about teleios – which means complete, perfection, accomplished, fulfilment.
Maturation is more than information. Maturation is growth in knowledge that enables us to live out truth.
Information that is illumined by the Holy Spirit brings knowledge. When knowledge is released, we experience discernment by the Holy Spirit, which brings revelation. Revelation will then lead us to divine wisdom.
There is a big difference between divine wisdom and human wisdom. Human wisdom is borne out of experience, the lessons you learned. Divine wisdom, on the other hand, has nothing to do with experience. It is a divine download, an impartation that comes upon our lives. With the wisdom of God, we are spurred to take godly action. With that godly action, we are now able to thrive and be successful, and that equates to life!
Information that is not illumined by the Holy Spirit is just pure knowledge. There is no revelation. Information that is translated by natural knowledge becomes rationalization. You are digesting the information with human logic. There is no reliance on the Spirit of God. This is just human wisdom, which is the application of knowledge and experience. Human wisdom leads us to man’s action. We rely on our own efforts, which lead us to strive, which is limited life.
We need to choose today. Are you going to operate under the illumination of the Holy Spirit or human rationalization?
What is the state of your maturity in the Lord?
Solid food is for the mature. Maturation is described in Hebrews 5:14 as a people “…who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). To be mature, we need the Spirit of God to train us to discern good from evil. And through “constant use” – each time we keep on moving in Spirit-assisted discernment, we train ourselves to distinguish and discern.
Discern Truths from Facts and Fake
The fact is that some of you may have been diagnosed with cancer or given a bad report. But what is the truth? The truth is that God is your healer!
The fact is the economy is impacted and debts are piling. But the truth is God is your provider!
The fact is that some of you have not been sleeping well because there is no peace, but truth tells us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
And when we stand upon that truth, we allow room for faith to engage with God’s truth and release divine peace and healing into our lives. How we choose to discern is how we choose to live.
Discern Word for Principles
Many people are situational rather than principled leaders. We should be guided by principles from the Word of God, rather than going with the flow and reacting based on the situation or circumstance. Every decision made should be based on godly principles, revealed to us by the Spirit, that give us a basis for living.
When physical services resume, will you be guided by the principles from the Word of God to place God as number one, to gather back and worship Him as His church? Or will you allow situational fear and measures to determine the worship of God in your life?
Discern Revelation for Conviction
When we receive revelation from God, there is great conviction that will spur us on to godly action just like the sons of Issachar. They were one of the 12 tribes of Israel who knew what to do and when to do it. Through the revelation, they received from God. There is godly wisdom and that helped them to make godly decisions.
What is a conviction? It’s a firm and strong belief that causes one to be unwavering. We need the revelation of God to bring a deep conviction in our lives. A deep-set conviction that moves knowledge to action. It’s with a deep conviction that we can then press onward. Even if it’s counter-culture, we will press on to do what God calls us to do.
Discern Value Proposition for Kingdom Culture
If we want to impact our workplaces or communities for God, we need to have Kingdom Culture. Our value system drives our day-to-day decisions, and it needs to align to God’s principles. Many Christians form their values from the common culture of the environment rather than God’s Word.
For instance, if out of expediency, you tell a lie every time. A white lie. And you form a value-set in your life that it’s okay to tell a lie for efficiency or convenience. Or when there’s a time crunch in your life and the first thing you decide to do it to pull the plug from serving.
When there is maturity in the Lord, you will begin to discern values for actions, values for decisions, and values for plans and strategies. And when you look at those values in totality, it forms kingdom culture. Otherwise, we end up compromising our Christian faith and blend in with worldly culture.
As we move forward in unprecedented times, we have to keep on pressing onward to maturity.
We must take action to grow in maturity.
We must learn to press on in constant spiritual growth.
We must learn to press on in the things of the spirit.
We must learn to press on beyond our current commitment in church.
We must learn to press on in the foundations of faith.
3. Pressing Onward is a Movement
To move from the elementary into the greater things, we need to recognize that it is a movement. Hebrews 6:1 let us “move” beyond. I believe God is calling the church to move beyond where we are right now.
This entails four important movements – it’s a movement upward, inward, forward, and outward.
Pressing Upward in Maturation
We need to press upward in our relationship with God. To mature in the Word of God so that it does not remain as information. To grow our spirit life and mature in prayer. And to mature in our personhood.
Don’t ever drop your guard! One of the first signs of backsliding is the neglect of God’s Word. The second is you give up on prayer and subsequently, you stop praying in the Spirit and you stagnate.
How are you doing in your Word life, Prayer life, Spirit life, and Faith life? Are you growing in the Lord? Is there leadership development in your life?
Pressing Inward to Abundant Living
Our revelation of God must be translated inward into behavior. As we press upward into maturation, growing in the Lord, we also need to press inward to actively live out God’s truth in our lives and experience God’s abundant living!
To live an abundant life, we are to live out God’s truth, live biblically principled lives, live prophetically through divine revelations, and live generously by giving of self and our resources.
Pressing Forward in our Vision, Mission, and Decade of Expansion
Despite challenges and circumstances, we cannot and should not give up pressing forward in our God-given plans and purposes. For us as Trinity Christian Centre, we press forward to carry God’s Vibrant Atmosphere in our services – whether it’s online or on-site. We started Zoom Altar Call rooms because we believe it’s important for people to encounter God and be transformed. We press forward to organize the Life Conference so that Trinitarians can continue to experience the “zoe” life of God!
Despite COVID-19 and all the limitations, we press forward to keep Incredible Unity in our Connect Groups. Where we are unable to meet in person, we press forward to do video calls to check-in on and support each other.
We press forward in carrying God’s Passionate Heartbeat for the nations. Though the borders are closed, that has not stopped us from praying, giving and going (digital means)!
We press forward in being God’s Strategic Leader, growing as Spirit-filled leaders to impact and disciple others to step into God’s fulfilment for their lives. We continue to grow in our God-given values of Passionate Honor, Audacious Fervor, Relentless Belief, and Contagious Faith. As we live out these values, we begin to live principled lives that not rocked by situations.
We press forward in our culture of Care and Connect where we continue to invite people to experience and encounter God in tangible ways.
We press forward in the plans that God has given to us in the Decade of Expansion. The plans of God are still in motion. There will always be opposition. I believe God allowed COVID-19 to happen in our Jubilee year to expedite our expansion into the broadcast arena.
Pressing Outward to See Kingdom Established Now
There are spheres of life that the Kingdom of God needs to expand into. There are industries of the secular world that the Kingdom of God needs to extend into. The Kingdom of God needs to permeate these industries so that believers can usher in God’s divine move in these areas.
We need to press outward to bring God’s hope and healing to a disfranchised and alienated world of the sex and human trafficked victims. There is a broken, wounded and forgotten world of the abandoned, divorced, single parents, and orphans. Will you press outward to reach out and minister to them to see the kingdom of God established for all of these people?
If Trinity is going to make a greater global impact, then we need to leave the elementary teaching, and press onward to a greater maturity, live with Spirit-assisted discernment, and allow God to use us powerfully.
Reflect & Respond
Are you growing in your Word, Prayer and Spirit Life? Commit to spending time with God and knowing His Word. Partner someone for accountability now.
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